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Holding Third-Party Voters In Wisconsin In 2016 Responsible For National Crisis

July 11, 2018

I am not–nor have I ever been–a supporter or fan of Senator Bernie Sanders.  While I liked the style and feel of one of his ads during the primary season his overall persona made me turn away.

First, I have a problem, generally speaking, with populists.  Second, though I was never a fan of math in my years of education, I still believe math matters.  The numbers have to add up.    Thirdly, though I am a liberal Democrat with strong ideals, I still know that to govern effectively one has to be pragmatic.   To win an election one has to be even more so.

That in a nutshell are my reasons for shunning Sanders.  Playing to national fears, failing to accurately compute budget proposals, and drifting off into a land of fantasy when it comes to political reality may allow for some to cozy up to the Vermonter, but all that makes me run in the exact opposite direction.

It is with that start I wish to say how simply delighted it was to read the column from Capital Times Editor Paul Fanlund.  I agree with every keystroke he made when crafting his column.

What I reject is the suggestion that this generational shift should also bring ever more extreme policy prescriptions in races throughout the nation.

In part, I think that tendency is fueled by an understandable and boundless revulsion at Trump and his enablers. But here is my question: Do you really think there are enough voters who favor truly far-left prescriptions to make up for the centrist voters likely to be turned off by these litmus tests for ideological purity?

Excuse me, but aren’t the folks who provided Hillary Clinton a popular vote majority in 2016 also “voters”?

There are tons of such people who would do just about anything to interrupt the nightmare of Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress, and fear that extreme far-left positions might play right into GOP hands.

But it’s the attacks on Clintonism from the left that have become especially old.

Yes, the Democratic Party needs new and more diverse leaders — most anyone devoted to progressive outcomes would stipulate to that.

But what gets tiresome is this narrative that candidates like Ocasio-Cortez somehow feel more aggrieved about Trump’s America than others who are apparently dismissed as namby-pamby pragmatists.

In fact, in today’s blood-sport politics, it may be those just a bit left of center who are the most unfairly criticized. They are caricatured by the right and then — and this still happens in 2018 — are attacked by what might be called the Bernie Sanders left.

The last time I looked, it was not the Hillary Clinton voter who helped create this American catastrophe. It was, to a large extent, the “never Hillary” crowd. People like actress Susan Sarandon, who claimed there was no difference between Clinton and Trump, or Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who drained critical votes from Clinton. And yet both still deny any responsibility.

And, oh, let’s remember those poor Bernie backers who, you know, just didn’t feel it in 2016, so they sat the election out — and gave us Trump.

Now, we’re told, they are the ones — not the rest of us — who claim to possess a unique passion and vision and that others should fall in line.

Let me add a bit more to the facts that we must never forget.

In Wisconsin we needed roughly 20,000 votes to carry it for Clinton. The numbers were roughly the same for Michigan and Pennsylvania.  Had those three states found their common sense the electoral college would have been 270 for Hillary Clinton. Not only must we vote—but we must always vote smart.

Consider that in Wisconsin the amount Clinton lost by was less than the 30,981 votes Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein garnered statewide to get 1.1 percent of the total.  Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson took 3.6 percent of the statewide total or 106,434 votes.   Trump will have his second Supreme Court pick next week, and with the age of the court likely a third pick, too.

We must be smarter with how we vote when given the chance.  And we must hold those accountable in 2016 who delivered such a disaster to the nation and world.  They can try to duck and weave and spin their yarns but they did this to our nation.  This is on them.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2018 3:13 PM

    Let me just add that Lincoln was not a third party candidate. Abe was part of a new, and it needs to be underscored, very successful political party that had already taken over a chamber of Congress. That had occurred before Abe was made its presidential nominee in 1860. It also needs noting in as of 1856 the Whigs had imploded and following that there were really two political parties. Not three. The Republicans didn’t succeed because people chose to vote for 3rd party candidates. It was created because the Whig party collapsed due to internal tensions over slavery. Those not agreeing with Whigs left to create the GOP.

  2. Stephen Douglas Solly permalink
    July 19, 2018 9:57 AM

    Interesting article posted on your Twitter https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/07/14/never-trumpers-will-want-to-read-this-history-lesson-219006 I guess that damn third party of the Republicans in the 1850s was a total waste of votes. And we just got back from the Lincoln Museum in Springfield. 1860 was a 4-way race and the reason Lincoln won. What a disaster that was!

  3. Solly permalink
    July 12, 2018 1:24 PM

    Maybe Barry and the Dems shoulda reformed (axed) the EC when they had the chance. Then we wouldn’t have been in this situation.

  4. July 12, 2018 11:54 AM

    There was NO doubt whatsoever that the fate of the United States was in the hands of the voters in 2016. The very thing that the Founders feared–a harmful populist that could sway voters–wished to have brakes applied. Either an electorate more mindful of the needs for the nation than their passions, or an electoral college that would block the danger. Citizens knew there was no chance of the EC doing its mission, and therefore, had a DUTY TO THE NATION to think not if they were warm to the idea of the one candidate with a resume, reason, and credibility but to MAKE SURE a deranged lunatic posing as a serious contender for the Oval Office did not have the chance to wreak havoc. The citizens have a HIGHER duty to the nation than if they are ticked off about the actions of congresswoman from Florida!

  5. Solly permalink
    July 12, 2018 12:51 AM

    If it’s a day of the week with a “Y” in it Paul Fanlund and Deke Rivers will be looking to blame someone else for delivering a crapola sandwich to American People and wondering why people didn’t want to buy it. Putting the thumb on the scale for Hill, (Thanks Debbie W-S), taking August off to attend Hollywood and NYC fundraisers instead of campaigning in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan (because you know the money raised for redundant commercials no one watches is so effective) and the fact that the working class was worse off after 8 years of Clinton,8 years of W and 8 years of Obama. Many people think Bernie could have beat Trump. And you have the temerity to bring up Bernie’s style as off-putting? As opposed to Hillary’s school marmin’ lecturing? 2016 was a strange year.

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