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2 Important Points from ‘The Folly of the Protest Vote’

posted by Brandon Mikhail 2 Comments
2 Important Points from 'The Folley of the Protest Vote' - Citizen Slant
Photo: NY Times

On Thursday, New York Times opinion writer Charles Blow inked his latest essay, this time arguing against the protest vote, which has gained some popularity in light of the unpopularity of the two front running presidential candidates.

There are three important points that Blow makes, points that make it difficult to justify a protest vote — either voting for a third party or not voting at all.

First, Blow argues that this election is not just about two very unpopular candidates, implying that perhaps if that was the only dynamic playing this election season, a protest vote may have some justification. He echoes what many– particularly an unprecedented, wide spectrum of experts and political leaders — have said. In this election, on one side, there is an unpopular candidate with a long and very public history of public service with experience in governing and in being president unlike any other candidate who has ever run for the presidency. On the other is a

“demagogic bigot with a puddle-deep understanding of national and international issues, who openly courts white nationalism, is hostile to women, Mexicans and Muslims, and is callously using black people as pawns in a Donnie-come-lately-kinder-gentler campaign.”

Second, Blow argues that it is a foregone conclusion that either Clinton or Trump will be elected president come November. The third parties simply have a zero chance of winning. He then correctly argues that there is one factor that makes this not just about a four year presidency, but one that will surely and significantly impact the nation for multiple terms and even decades. What Blow, correctly, is referring to is the Supreme Court vacancies that are sure to come — obviously, there is one vacancy already — and the many federal judgeships that have to be filled by the next president.

Those judges — and the role of the ‘non-SCOTUS’ judgeships should in no way be underestimated — will determine various social and civil rights issues for decades to come. He argues that for those who are now concerned about civil rights — particularly the African American community — a protest vote would be a vote against those interests without question.

Ultimately, regardless of her unpopularity, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are not otherwise equal. Donald Trump’s significantly divisive policies — if they can even be called that — his long record both before and after this campaign of racism or at the very least, extreme racial insensitivity, his unquestionable adherence — in fact, being a puppet for — to the Alt Right, and his clear buffoonery and lack of any knowledge, completely disqualify him as a presidential candidate.

 

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Slant.

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2 Comments

idic5 at

We should realize the one’s ‘protest vote’ is another’s …vote…Also, there is some practicality to this, a ‘protest’ vote…

To the extent that real change is significantly aided when there is competition to the status quo, then we need a more robust Green Party to be more of a realistic option. THis does not simply happen ex nihilo overnight, but like w/ anything , it takes baby steps.

The attached meme has nt been confirmed, but if true, this would be a practical reason to vote for Jill stein ( if you are a progressive).

At first it will seem like it is attacking windmills, but this is the case whenever something is not real initially. With enough hammering, it can become real.

Plus protest votes reflect people’s values and conscience, something that should not be castigated, but promoted. It is eminently ironic that perhaps the number one item we hear from the political class is ‘ DON’T FORGET TO VOTE’

Now they are telling us how and who to vote for . HAH! reminds me of young children where you try to pull words out of their mouths ad nauseum, and then you tell them to shaddup already.  

http://imgur.com/a/oMR9Q

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idic5 at

We should realize the one’s ‘protest vote’ is another’s …vote…Also, there is some practicality to this, a ‘protest’ vote…

To the extent that real change is significantly aided when there is competition to the status quo, then we need a more robust Green Party to be more of a realistic option. THis does not simply happen ex nihilo overnight, but like w/ anything , it takes baby steps.

The attached meme has nt been confirmed, but if true, this would be a practical reason to vote for Jill stein ( if you are a progressive).

At first it will seem like it is attacking windmills, but this is the case whenever something is not real initially. With enough hammering, it can become real.

Plus protest votes reflect people’s values and conscience, something that should not be castigated, but promoted. It is eminently ironic that perhaps the number one item we hear from the political class is ‘ DON’T FORGET TO VOTE’

Now they are telling us how and who to vote for . HAH! reminds me of young children where you try to pull words out of their mouths ad nauseum, and then you tell them to shaddup already.  

If one really does not like a candidate who says Single Payor Health plan will ‘NEVER EVER come to pass’, or who supports anti worker deals like TPP, or who supports regime change or going to war over cyber hacking ( Hillary just said this two weeks ago), or who supports fracking, pipelines, more carbon and not a carbon tax, ‘pay for play’ money in politics, and more , it would be the height of folly that your vote would be for this person.

When they tally up her votes, Clinton might think that indeed these many people really want all the regressive policies just enumerated , that she has a mandate to do this. Without the so called protest votes, the system wd haved no way to know what the electorate really believed and wanted.

But if one wants to get strategic, if one is a progressive, and one is in a Swing state, vote Jill Stein. You would be safe in causing Trump to get in and your vote will help the cause of changing the status quo down the way in ’18 and ’20

Also, dont fetishize the presidential vote . If you are a progressive , work like heck multiplying votes to wrench control of the Senate from the GOP. THis way, regardless of who is in president, he or she will be de-fanged to do crazy stuff.

http://imgur.com/a/oMR9Q

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