If you don’t vote for the Democrat, your vote is for Trump

Look.

For the next election, you’re either voting for the Democrat or you’re voting for Trump. There is no “third choice.” Any other candidate you waste your vote on helps Trump.

Yes, you want to make a point. Yes, if we got rid of the Electoral College and had ranked voting, your third party choice might have a chance. But for now, we have to play with the rules we are given, and if you waste your vote on a third party candidate, you may as well have given your vote to Trump.

If you want to stop Trump, the best possible way to do it is to vote for the only other candidate who can beat him, and that’s the Democrat. If you are voting 3rd party from either side (even as a Republican protesting Trump), you’re not doing that.

These third party votes can lose you an election.

Look at it this way:

When you vote third party instead of Democrat, yes, that’s a vote Trump doesn’t get. But it’s not a vote the Democrat gets.

Here in Pennsylvania in 2016, Trump won by 44,292‬ votes.  49,941 people here voted for Jill Stein.  I’m not saying all of those Stein votes would have gone to Trump, but none of them stopped him.

If a thousand people upset with Trump vote 3rd party as a protest and then the Democrat loses the state by 999 votes to Trump, then what’s the point? Where’s the protest there?  What good did that “protest vote” do?

If you’re not doing everything you can to stop Trump, you’re helping him. If you’re not voting for the only possible choice who can beat Trump, then you might as well vote for Trump, because that’s where you’ll end up anyway.

GOP election strategy: Cheat to win

If we come out and vote, like we did twice for Obama and in 2018 in the “Blue Wave” midterm, then we win. There are more of us than there are of them, and we represent what the majority of Americans want.

They know that. And so they know that the only way they can win is by cheating. And that’s why the Republican party has worked so hard (especially over the past twenty years) to do the following:

  • Purge voting rolls of registered voters for no real reason
  • Make it harder to register
  • Gerrymander districts to allow them to win even when they get less votes overall
  • Fight against mail-in ballots
  • Remove the Voting Rights Act
  • Refuse to pass legislation to prevent Russian hacking of voting machines
  • Refuse to pass legislation requiring paper ballots
  • Removing voting precincts in minority-held districts
  • Pass ID laws that make it more difficult if not impossible for some people to vote
  • Fight against early voting laws
  • Restricting those with criminal records from voting
  • Creating an atmosphere of fear at the precincts (especially for Latinos who worry about being detained for voting, even if they are citizens)
  • Refusing to consider getting rid of the Electoral College

You’d think the most basic right in a democracy would be the right to vote, and you’d think anyone who really supports democracy would want everyone to vote. But the history of America has constantly been one of the people in power doing everything they can to prevent that from happening, starting with the establishment of the Electoral College. Women and non-whites had to fight and die for this very basic right, and the battle continues today.

Vote for who you want, not for who you think will win

I have given up on predicting what people want. The experts all said we’d never elect a black man and we got two terms of Obama. The experts all said we’d never elect a racist asshole and we got Trump. And in the past, when we chose who we thought would probably win instead of who we really wanted (Kerry, Dukakis, Gore) we lost.

Vote for who you want. Support who you want. You may be surprised at how well you do.

Mind you, as a Political Science grad who worked on political campaigns and runs a political blog and taught political science at the college level, you could consider me an “expert” — and I’m one of those experts who has been proven wrong.

I now think what is most important when people vote is personality and charisma, which can overcome any negatives a candidate may have. “Do they look like a President?” should be the main question.

I’d love to see a Warren / Harris ticket, but people are saying they can’t win.  I think that the kind of person who would refuse to vote for two women on the ticket probably isn’t going to vote for a Democrat anyway. I think we can win by getting our base excited and actually coming out to vote, like they did for Obama. There are more of us than them, and when we vote, we win.

How to discuss the Democratic candidates without being insulting

If there’s one thing the Republicans (and their friends the Russians) want, it’s for us Democrats to be divided and fighting each other. It makes their job so much easier.

They’ll once more do all they can to encourage it, by posting articles in their newspapers and magazines full of lies and accusations, and posting blatantly false memes they know we’ll share.

We cannot play their game this time. The stakes are too high.

Harris

Sure, I have my preference. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to trash the others.

We’re at war to save our country from incompetence and corruption, and even the worst Democrat is better than the best Republican right now.

So here’s what you need to do:  Discuss campaign strategy without using personal attacks.

Like this:

“I think Kirsten Gillibrand will have a harder time getting the support of people like me because of her support of [issue].”

“Bernie Sanders will have difficulty getting the Democratic nomination because he refuses to understand that you need to work within the party to get its support.”

“I think we need to nominate someone from a red state and not another Masssachusetts or California liberal, and that’s why I’m supporting [candidate].”

This is not a sport, where you pick a team you support and call all the other ones losers. This is politics, and this time, we have a lot of good candidates. I have my preference and I can tell you why I think she has the best chance of winning, and I can do that without trashing her opponents.

I ask all my liberal friends to do the same. Please. This election is too important for us to hand it to people who want to destroy all that we stand for.

Why I’m not supporting Bernie this time

You may be aware that I supported Bernie Sanders last time, because I thought he had a better chance of winning than Hillary.

Bernie accomplished some great goals nonetheless: He proved that (a) you can raise money for a campaign without using corporate donations and PACs; (b) you can use the word “socialism” without killing your campaign; (c) you can talk about issues that the media calls “leftist” which are actually moderate and supported by a majority of people.

He’s allowed our other candidates to be able to do these things, as he has shown the way. I thank him for that.

I supported him last time but not this time. It’s not the same election.old man yells at cloud

I think we need a younger, newer candidate to excite the voting populace, and Bernie’s not it. We have a lot of great candidates this time. We don’t need him.

And it doesn’t help matters that he only wants to be a member of the Democratic party when he can get something out of us. One of the problems with Bernie (and some of his supporters) is that he doesn’t understand that politics is about, well, politics. It’s about making alliances and getting people on your side to get things accomplished. You need to make friends and allies and you do that by helping each other.

You want the support of other Democrats? Support them back. Don’t just show up at the last minute and wonder why none of the insiders are helping you.

However, if he gets the nomination (which is very unlikely), I’ll still vote for him over any Republican.

Please note: I think it is very important that we do not attack other Democrats this year. However, I think we can rationally discuss each candidate’s pluses and minuses (such as their chances and what will help and hurt them on the campaign trail) without trashing them. And I also think all of the candidates can be made fun of in ways that are not harmful.

Doing the Republican’s job to attack Democrats

We Democrats have some very good candidates this time. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Julian Castro … I’d be happy to have any of them as President.

So please Democrats. Pick your favorite and support that person without thinking that means attacking the other ones.

We’re all on the same team and we’re debating who is the most valuable player. We don’t have to say bad things about the other players to build up our favorite.

Saying “I prefer Harris’ health plan to Booker’s” is not an attack, and you can then debate why. Saying “Booker is an idiot and his plan is the stupidest ever and I will never vote for him” doesn’t help at all.

This does not apply if one of these candidates turns out to be corrupt or does illegal things. Yeah, then they deserve to be attacked.

So let’s keep our debate civil and reasonable, and not do the Republican (and Russian) job for them.

Harris

My current favorite, but that doesn’t mean I dislike the others

 

Democrats: Stop the Damn Fighting!

I’m already sick of these damn Bernie Bots and Russian trolls trying to divide us. “Why Bernie supporters should crush Beto supporters” says one article. There’s another article saying why liberals should abandon Hillary. It’s written by a right-wing columnist, and liberals are sharing it. Really? You want to take advice from these people?

NO.1_9sAoxBsFoFq8z_SoTPrbPA

When progressives fight it’s exactly what the Republicans want.

NO. NO CRUSHING OTHER DEMOCRATS.  And yes, I know that Bernie isn’t really a Democrat but it does us absolutely no good to trash him, either.

When discussing potential candidates, there are two big questions:

1. Who do I like best?

2. Who do I think can win?

These are often not the same person.  I’ve been voting in Democratic primaries since 1976 and the only time the candidate I wanted in the primary got the nomination was with Obama. And in every single case, the person who was nominated was still better than the Republican candidate.

Demanding perfection and turning on anyone who isn’t on your side 100% means you are destroying the candidate who is only on your side 75% of the time. And then the Republican who is on your side 0% of the time wins.

Stop demonizing the candidates who aren’t perfect in your eyes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying “We have many good candidates, but I prefer X.”

Stop doing the job of Republicans and Russian trolls.