Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Voting Nobody in 2016

Jerry Stratton, November 2, 2016

Clinton-Trump

Separated at birth?

For many years, or at least every four years, I wrote a Nobody For President musing. I stopped in 2008 because the choice between the two candidates was much clearer.

But if there’s any election to test the idea of voting for Nobody, it’s this one. Both Republicans and Democrats had Nobody in their primaries, and the Republicans, because they don’t have a super-delegate system to override the will of the people, elected theirs.

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump were both Nobody for President; they were both protest votes. Only Trump won.

But because this Nobody is a real person rather than an empty seat, this is a crappy election. We’re either going to elect someone who clearly has no respect for women; or we’re going to elect someone who has viciously smeared women who have been sexually assaulted and raped and who has enabled multiple abusers, at least including her husband and her aide’s husband. Probably more.

I’m going to ramble a lot more than usual because Donald Trump is like voting Nobody in one sense: everyone in the DC elite hates him, including Republican leadership. When he tries to act like a Democrat, the press will call him on it—as he’s discovered. And both Republicans and Democrats in Congress will be ready to assert congressional power and reign him in.

The main difference between Clinton and Trump is that Clinton will get away with it.

Think about how FBI director James Comey’s press conference would have gone if it had been Trump who lied about reckless handling of national security secrets.

Instead of calling him careless and unreasonable, testifying under oath about lying, often, about reckless handling of classified information and irresponsible evasion of public records laws and then saying that those lies aren’t evidence of intent, Donald Trump would have been indicted.

The FBI and the Justice Department would not have let Trump get away with what they let Clinton get away with. The Attorney General would not have met with his spouse in a clandestine meeting..

Then, think about how the press will police a Donald Trump presidency. Hillary Clinton can argue that a twelve-year-old rape victim, left injured by a 41-year old rapist, asked for it. The issue is not that she defended a child rapist. It’s that she blamed the rape victim for her rape. She almost literally wrote in a court filing that the twelve-year-old wanted it. Someone alleged to have committed child rape still deserves a defense. But that doesn’t mean attacking the twelve-year-old in order to get her to shut up about her rape. That is typically Clintonesque.

Hillary Clinton rape affidavit, condensed

Imagine if Donald Trump had written this decades ago, about a twelve-year-old rape victim…

The press lets her get away with it, even defends her by changing the subject and downplaying the offensiveness and the criminality of what she’s done.

Can you imagine if Donald Trump had written and signed something like that? The press would suddenly rediscover their traditional role in investigative journalism. They will not hide the crimes of Donald Trump, nor will they defend him when he’s wrong.

The press will never attempt to destroy a voter who asks Donald Trump a tough question.

I can understand people who argue that Hillary Clinton is the lesser of two evils. They’re both pretty horrible. But it is self-deception of the worst kind to pretend that she’s a good candidate for President.

Here’s the thing, though. We’re not forced to vote for the lesser of two evils. We’re not forced to vote at all.

The essence of voting Nobody is that there is no such thing as a vote against. A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for Hillary Clinton’s actions. It is not a vote against Donald Trump. The same is true of a vote for Donald Trump. When the votes are counted, politicians will take notice of which actions won and adjust their own accordingly.

This is a crappy year for anyone who wants a non-cronyist in the White House, for anyone who wants a responsible foreign policy from the White House. The Republican’s nominee is a Democrat, the Democrat’s nominee is a brutal and corrupt cronyist, the Libertarian’s nominee is in favor of big government. I fully expect the Green Party’s Dr. Stein to come out in favor of burning baby whales for winter heat before the election season is over.

Ted Cruz had great advice, for which Republicans ridiculed him and the press laughed at him. Vote your conscience. Vote for someone. Don’t vote against someone else. If there’s no one to vote for, hand in an empty ballot.

If we keep voting for people like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, we will continue to get people like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

If there were any election in which to abandon Nobody, this is it. If someone as corrupt as Hillary Clinton, who sold our foreign policy through her Foundation, can be elected president, there is no depth to which a president may not plumb. If someone as guilty as Hillary Clinton, who hired out her own email server so that she could erase all the written evidence of her corruption can be elected president, there is no justice that cannot be obstructed by future presidents. For all his brashness and uncouthness, Donald Trump has done none of that.

This is definitely one election where Nobody is worth voting for.

And there is nothing wrong with voting for Nobody.

In response to Election 2016: Another fine mess you’ve gotten us into.

  1. <- Republican 2016 lessons
  2. Congratulations, and condolences ->