While many libertarians are not thrilled with the Johnson/Weld ticket, some of the most liberal talking heads on YouTube are rather excited by the poll numbers. Whereas Johnson had polled at 1% in 2012, Johnson now polls at 10%. However, the Young Turks point out that this may not be due to increased outreach by the LP or more media exposure. Rather, the Young Turks propose that people dislike Hillary and Trump so much that they will say they will vote for Johnson even if they have no idea who he is. Samantha Bee also commented that whereas Gary Johnson is unknown, he is not hated like Hillary or Trump. According to Samantha Bee, all Gary Johnson needs to do is shut up and look pretty. These observations by the Young Turks and Samantha Bee are not to be taken as support for Gary Johnson. On the issues, both the Young Turks and Samantha Bee only support about half of what Gary Johnson stands for. Rather, it appears they are more excited about the prospect of the unpopularity of the two major parties being so dismal that a third party option is almost feasible at this point. The Humanist Report seems more interested in seeing Bernie Sanders become Jill Stein’s running mate. However, he doubts that will happen.
Probably the most interesting aspect of the reporting done by the Young Turks is his analysis of how the media reacts to what he feels is an extraordinary phenomenon. The Young Turks compare each of the pitfalls that the media finds in Gary Johnson’s campaign with that of popular figures in the major parties. Sure, Gary Johnson should focus less on his mountain climbing, but people praise Paul Ryan for working out. Sure Gary Johnson’s poop joke was about as good as a Rush Limbaugh joke. However, this happened in 2012, and Donald Trump has made jokes about male genitalia, tiny hands, and blood coming from a woman’s nose. (I’m still waiting for the parody version of “Hands” by Jewel.) It’s as if the media must reject Johnson simply because he is not an establishment candidate. I guess Weld just isn’t bland enough to be considered part of the establishment. Maybe that’s why Weld was talking about the WTO and NAFTA; he wanted to build some establishment cred.
Regardless, A third party win has happened before. At least for Governor of Minnesota. The first time I voted, I voted for Jesse Ventura for Governor, an Independent. People doubted that he could possibly win, but he did. My 12th Grade English teacher said it was a game changer. However, after George W. Bush won in 2000 and Democrats placed the blame on Ralph Nader, the upset factor reversed any effect that Ventura and my vote had on the game.
But it appears the major parties have fumbled. The ball is now in the third party’s court. Can third party candidates convince the American people to just say enough is enough? Will people take this moment to just say no to the parties that have controlled their government and dominated their media. Will people say to Hillary and Trump, “You’re right, the other candidate is worse, but you’re not that much better”?
However, the idea to vote third party has not quite permeated the populace. It seems as though the worse the two major candidates are, the more pressure there is to vote for one over the other. I still hear the lesser of two evils argument pop up on social media. I have even seen Democrats say that they are willing to vote for Trump to stop Hillary and Republicans saying that conservatives need to vote for Hillary to stop Trump to save their perspective parties from a deadly downward spiral. I find it odd that these individuals had not arrived at the conclusion that a third party would be the best option.
Is this a flaw in the Democratic system or a flaw in the psychology of the voter? Is it just so difficult to appease the correct number of people to win that one must stoop to the low of being hated by most of the population in order to win? Or have the institutions of the Democratic and Republican Party been so deeply ingrained in the minds of the voter that they cannot overcome this idea that they must vote for one of them to prevent the other one from winning? If Hillary and Trump are not enough to shake people out of this state of self-defeating circular logic and self-fulfilling prophecies, what will? Is there any hope for humanity left? Is the Giant Meteor the ideal candidate after all?
Is politics just a big waste of time?
Hey, who wants to play Minecraft?!