Anatomy of a Political Hot Mess

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The 2016 Presidential Race is an Unmitigated Disaster.

The two top presidential contenders include a bombastic, unthinking misogynist and a robotic, corrupt career criminal. I don’t think anyone actually supports Hillary Clinton, least of which are former Bernie Sanders supporters, and while Trump has ardent supporters, most of them want him in the White House for no other reason than to stick it to the establishment. The most important factor in deciding who someone will vote for this time around isn’t how great their candidate is, it’s how much more evil their opponent is.

Imagine making any other decision based on this principle: yeah, I can’t wait to order the fried maggot excrement for dinner because just look at how disgusting the baked horse manure with sewage sauce is! Look, we need drink the arsenic cocktail because the rat poison could kill us!

Let’s all be honest, a system that produces likely the two worst Americans for the most important job in the country is a broken system. Seriously, the election will cost around $5 billion. Isn’t there a cheaper way to identify the most horrible people on Earth?

We have a system that promotes vile, power-hungry egomaniacs and eschews sensible pragmatists. We have a system that has completely forgotten its power-balanced republican origins and devolved into a mob-ruled dictatorship. In short, we have a political hot mess.

But this didn’t happen overnight. This hot mess has been fermenting for decades.

When someone asked Benjamin Franklin what the new government of the United States was going to be, he replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Well, we didn’t keep it.

The Founding Fathers were brilliant, but their system relies on a country of intelligent, moral people. They never foresaw a populace that had been rendered so utterly inept and soulless as to think Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump is a legitimate presidential choice. With decades of government schooling and Kardashian-esque pop culture, the majority of people are clueless of history and completely unaware of how ridiculous the political process in America has become.

America, on the whole is helpless. 36.5% of adults in the US are clinically obese. Almost a quarter of us are on at least one psychiatric medication. Less than 2/3rds of us have any sort of gainful employment. Half rely on the government for some or all of their subsistence. The amount of debt Americans have incurred — $12.2 trillion — is only surpassed by the federal government and Kanye West. Few people know how to grow food, hunt, or fish for sustenance. And, in spite of an exorbitant education system in the US, 70% of employers found that even college graduates were unprepared in skills such as “written communication,” “working with numbers/statistics,” “critical/analytical thinking,” and second-language proficiency.

This situation may well be by design, since the solution offered is a larger government to help the helpless. Americans need help in a lot of ways and the easy (read: lazy) solution to them is just to vote for someone who says she or he will give it to them. Problem solved. But the problem is that when government gets involved to help some, it necessarily harms others, since everything government gives to you has been taken from someone else. This unpleasant economic truth solidifies the us-against-them mentality and further divides the country into opposing groups.

A recent meme puts it succinctly: if Stalin ran as a Democrat and Hitler as a Republican, one of them would become president. That’s a terrifying prospect, but the worst part is that it’s true.

Today we have two analogous candidates claiming to help their side (and implicitly harm the other). The question then becomes who has enough votes to put the “lesser of two evils” in charge so that the other side will suffer more for the next four years.

stalin-and-hitler-ending-up-in-white-house

Like starving dogs fighting over the scraps that our overfed owners tempt us with, we grapple with each other when there is a feast outside.

The solution is simple: ignore the propaganda pointing to the false dichotomy of a Trump or Clinton overlord and vote your conscience.

Clinton and Trump have some of the lowest approval ratings of any presidential candidates in history. If all the people who disapprove of them voted for someone else, neither one would be elected. Saying that we must vote for one of them because one of them is going to be elected is self-defeating and circular. Consistently voting for the lesser of two evils makes the two progressively more evil and it doesn’t have to be like that.

There are four other candidates on most of the ballots across the country — Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Evan McMullin, and Darrell Castle — each of whom would make a more effective and principled president than the media’s two choices. Disillusioned Bernie supporters, vote for Jill Stein! Pro-life conservatives, vote for Darrell Castle! Libertarians, vote for Gary Johnson! Everyone else, vote for Evan McMullin!

And it doesn’t have to be simply a throw-away or a protest vote. If someone besides Trump or Clinton wins a big state, it’s possible no one will receive a majority of votes in the Electoral College, which would send the election to the US House of Representatives, where they would select the candidate from the top three vote-getters. FiveThirtyEight laid out the tantalizing prospect of Evan McMullin winning Utah (where he’s currently favored) and deadlock the Electoral College, sending the process to the House. With dwindling support for Trump by House Republicans, it’s almost guaranteed that they would elect the third vote-getter over him. Gary Johnson also poses a threat as he’s polling in double-digits in most states.

With such equally distasteful major party candidates this election we have a great chance to make history, but to do so means enough people taking the plunge, denying the two-party propaganda, and voting their conscience. When people stop looking at the presidency as a solution to all the country’s problems and they start to help themselves instead, we can shake off the shackles of this disastrous two-party system and restore some sanity to the political realm.

But if that doesn’t happen, secession is always a good option.

This article was edited for grammar, style, and spelling, but not for content. The views expressed are that of the author, JSB Morse, exclusively, and do not reflect that of BeingLibertarian.com or Being Libertarian LLC

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JSB Morse is an author, entrepreneur, and philosopher. He has written several critically acclaimed novels including the political thriller "Gods of Ruin" and the spiritual fiction "Now and at the Hour of Our Death" as well as "Zero to Paleo" and the "Take Advantage" non-fiction series. He is editor of "The Libertarian Catholic" and can be found at jsbmorse.com.
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