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Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld (left) is the LIbertarian Party’s nominee for vice president.  His running mate is ex-New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, left, is the Libertarian Party’s nominee for vice president.  His running mate is ex-New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

WHEN THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS
ISN’T AT THE TOP OF THE TICKET

 
When both nominees stink so bad,
what’s a reasonable voter to do?

A WAY TO VOTE FOR PRESIDENT
SO YOU CAN SLEEP AT NIGHT

Stealing the nomination and the party
 
By Alan Z. Forman
 
So what does a responsible voter do in a presidential election when the standard bearers of both parties are below standard?

When neither is likable? And when both of them are flagrant, unabashed liars and cheats?

When one is a fascist and the other a crook?

And when the third-party alternatives are deficient also?  The Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson, for example, is unable to name a single world leader! and has never heard of the City of Aleppo.

It’s a choice most of us wish we didn’t have to make:  Between Scylla and Charybdis, a rock and a hard place; between a liar and a bigot, an untrustworthy woman and a less than trustworthy man.

So does one sit-out the election and not vote? Or do you suck it up, hold your nose, and pull the lever for whichever Republican or Democrat you believe is the “lesser of two evils”? the one that stinks the least, that’s only somewhat repugnant… and then despair at what is happening in 21st Century America?

Or do you vote for a third-party nominee or independent who hasn’t got a snowball’s chance of winning? Or maybe write-in the name of some other individual who isn’t actually on the ballot? — and hasn’t got a snowball’s chance of winning either?

In effect, a so-called “wasted vote.”

At latest count there are six third-party candidates to choose from, plus 19 independents, all virtually unknown to the voting public. And if you vote for any one of them, most people will probably say you’re wasting your vote.

HANDING THE ELECTION OVER TO TRUMP

Or — if you talk to the Clinton Democrats — you’re handing over the election to Donald Trump.

By the way, since when did “voting your conscience” morph into “wasting your vote”?

Consider this alternative: Vote not for the president but for the vice-presidential nominee of your choice.

Not necessarily a write-in, unless you’re planning to vote for the Libertarian Party’s William Weld or the Greens’ Ajamu Baraka, whose running mates are barely worthy of consideration. But if you choose between the Democrats’ Timothy Kaine and the Republicans’ Michael Pence, you at least have viable alternatives to select from, either of whom would likely make a decent president.

Like Bernie Sanders, whose candidacy hinged less on political positions than on his personal integrity, both are decent individuals — unlike the candidates at the top of their respective tickets.

And if you pick Libertarian Bill Weld — who is in reality a Republican has-been unabashedly supporting Hillary Clinton — you will have chosen the one candidate who far and away leads the field when it comes to integrity, honesty, decency and governing experience, not to mention affable likability.

Not that such a ballot will significantly affect the outcome of the election — it won’t — unless of course it turns out you’re voting for a Ralph Nader, as happened in the Election of 2000 and cost Al Gore the presidency; but because you’ll be better able to sleep at night and live with yourself when the president who takes office January 20th says and does all the terrible things and makes all the bad decisions that you fully expect him or her to do.

EMBARRASSING AMERICA; GETTING IMPEACHED

And in addition embarrasses America on the world stage and/or possibly gets impeached.

Of course you can’t actually vote for the vice president alone: The last vice-presidential nominee to receive his own Electoral College vote independent of his running mate was Aaron Burr; and beginning with the Election of 1804 all party standard bearers and their vice-presidential nominees have run as a team, each getting a single vote from each elector.

The notion of voting the veep runs contrary to popular belief that few people actually know or care who the vice president is or pay more than passing attention to any of the candidates for the No. 2 spot.

But this is an unprecedented election, when both the Republican and Democratic nominees are universally disliked, distrusted, reviled… and even hated. (VoB cringes and hesitates to overuse the word stinks; we are, after all, talking about the person who will become America’s 45th president.)

The choices are clear however: One speaks his mind, no matter what — and lets the chips fall where they may. The other says whatever she thinks the voters want to hear — but lacks her husband’s charm to pull it off.

One stole the nomination from a more popular Bernie Sanders; the other stole the entire Republican Party from its hierarchy.

Still, Sanders caved and did what politicians always do: he endorsed the standard bearer of his party. As did Ted Cruz when he belatedly agreed to support the candidacy of Donald Trump.

However most of the Republicans are still shunning Trump, a factor the mainstream media would have us believe is his political death knell but which in reality is his secret strength: He is not the candidate of the party bosses — and he repeatedly makes sure we all know that.

Vice President Joe Biden, right, was Barack Obama’s preferred successor as presi- dent — not Hillary.   Both Barack and Michelle Obama intensely dislike the Clintons.

Vice President Joe Biden, right, was Barack Obama’s preferred successor as Presi- dent — not Hillary.  Both Barack and Michelle Obama intensely dislike the Clintons — plus it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever catch the President hugging Hillary or Bill.

A decent, honest, trustworthy candidate from either party could win this election in a walk. Vice President Joe Biden is most likely kicking himself in the pants for not running.

He was President Obama’s choice, by the way, not Hillary. Despite the First Lady’s gushy public adulation for Mrs. Clinton and the unprecedented hard campaigning by a sitting president for his hoped-for successor in order to protect his legacy, the Obamas intensely dislike the Clintons.

They’re such effective politicians however, only those on the inside would ever know that.

Presidential nominees in modern times have sought a running mate who wouldn’t do their candidacy too much harm, rather than one who might help them get elected.

A notable exception in recent decades was Lloyd Bentsen, who was Michael Dukakis’s No. 2 in 1988 and who many thought should have been heading the ticket in that election instead of being the nominee for vice president.

Another was Lyndon Johnson, who the Kennedys forced to run with JFK in 1960 and whose delivery of the critical electoral vote from Texas won that election for the Democrats.

Other recent presidential nominees who selected capable running mates that enhanced their candidacies include Ronald Reagan, who was elected twice with George H.W. Bush as his vice president; and Jimmy Carter, who ran twice with the well-respected Walter Mondale.

Carter and Mondale were only elected once however; they lost in 1980 to the juggernaut of Reagan/Bush. And Mondale was overwhelmed when he ran for president against the incumbent Reagan in 1984.

But who can forget Bush 41’s choice of Dan Quayle as his vice president? Or John McCain’s desperation pick of Sarah Palin when he ran unsuccessfully against Barack Obama in 2008?

Or even Richard Nixon’s hatchet man Spiro Agnew? who rose from obscurity as a Baltimore County PTA president to a heartbeat away from the presidency, which he would likely have attained as a result of the Watergate Scandal had he not accepted gratuitous groceries and bags of money delivered to the back door of the Maryland Governor’s Mansion and the Washington D.C. vice-presidential residence.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, right, is The Donald’s running mate for vice president.

 Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, right, is The Donald’s running mate for vice president.

In the Election of 2016 there are fortunately good choices for vice president: U.S. Senator and former Governor of Virginia Tim Kaine for the Democrats; Governor of Indiana Mike Pence for the GOP; and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld for the Libertarians.

Depending on the outcome of the election, either Kaine or Pence could well become America’s 46th president, given the strong possibility — some would say likelihood — that either Clinton or Trump could face impeachment after being elected to office.

Trump has vowed, if elected, to direct the Justice Department to prosecute Hillary for her email illegalities, plus she may end up being prosecuted even if she defeats The Donald this coming Tuesday.

FBI Director James Comey however gave her yet another reprieve this weekend when he again decided not to recommend prosecution, this time based on the sharing of classified emails by her body woman and close confidante Huma Abedin with her estranged husband, former congressman and sexual predator Anthony Weiner.

It’s ironic that yet another sex scandal has contributed mightily to what may ultimately be the downfall of the Clintons. Like Hillary, Huma stuck with her oversexed husband through thick and thin, despite his repeated escapades and “indiscretions,” ultimately dumping him only when he couldn’t keep his mind and his computer off children.

Of course, Bill still gets regular visits from “The Energizer” (a/k/a Julie Tauber McMahon) at Chappaqua, so named by the Secret Service because of her recurrent visits to the Clintons’ Westchester N.Y. home, always when Hillary is out campaigning and isn’t around.

Some pundits have suggested that President Obama will issue an advance pardon for both Hillary and husband Bill — whose “ethical lapse” in meeting with the Attorney General to prevent his wife’s prosecution borders on the illegal — before leaving office January 20th.

The Clintons may well need it.

The Clinton Foundation secretly accepted contributions from, among others, a Saudi Arabian organization that funds the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group and would-be caliphate; and just this week an email to Hillary’s campaign chairman John Podesta, published by WikiLeaks, reveals the Foundation accepted a $1 million gift from the Persian Gulf state Qatar while she was Secretary of State, without informing the State Department, in violation of an ethics agreement she signed in 2009 in order to get the job.

Hillary Clinton's running mate, right, is Tim Kaine, the junior U.S. Senator from Virginia.

  Hillary Clinton’s running mate, right, is Tim Kaine, junior U.S. Senator from Virginia.

But if you base your decision on how to vote on a choice between Kaine and Pence — and can pretend you’re not really voting for Hillary or Trump — you can at least rest easy in the knowledge that you voted your own conscience, and the end result be damned.

Or if you write-in one of those two — or Weld… or someone who represents your interests even better — you’ll have trouble sleeping only if the country continues on its downward path.

So vote your conscience.  In the end, isn’t that what elec- tions should be all about?
 
Voice of Baltimore voted early and cast its ballot for William Weld: a highly imperfect write-in for an honest, decent candidate who has no chance of ever being elected to national office.

But he’s not a crook, he’s not a liar, he’s not duplicitous, he’s not a braggart. He doesn’t flagrantly mishandle top-secret email; he’s not a fascist or a bigot; and when he speaks his mind he doesn’t use offensive language or ridicule opponents.

And he doesn’t grope women or seek to get BJs from interns in the White House.

Plus we didn’t have to hold our nose while voting.
 
alforman@voiceofbaltimore.org
 
EDITOR’S NOTE:  THE TRIUMPH OF THE DONALD

Voice of Baltimore does not attempt to predict election outcomes:  we leave that to the pundits and TV talking heads — nearly all of whom have been totally wrong in this unprecedented election cycle.

From the advent of Bernie Sanders, whose right to a level playing field in competition for the Democratic nomination was abrogated by a pro-Hillary party hierarchy — Chairwomen Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Donna Brazile both stacked the deck against him, effectively nullifying his chances of ever being nominated — to the winning candidacy of outsider Donald Trump, …the party leaders and media folks who inform us about elections haven’t had a clue about what’s been going on.

No one seems to know how deep American dissatisfaction with “politics as usual” actually is. The triumph of The Donald, despite his many faults, is proof of that. But it seems to VoB the dissatisfaction cuts far deeper than anyone ever imagined.

And will the Sanders supporters suck it up and vote for Hillary? — or refuse to forgive the party for enabling and assisting her to steal the nomination from their man?

Will Tuesday’s election result be a nail-biter, razor-thin close? or will there be a landslide?  For Hillary? …or for Trump?  Just hours from the day of reckoning, it seems that no one actually knows.

The pollsters seem not to have figured out how to account for the phenomenon of the cellphone; plus it’s unclear how many of the people polled are in reality telling the truth about how they intend to vote.

At VoB, we believe the outcome could well tilt either way.
 

6 Responses to “VOTING THE VEEP — When holding your nose for president isn’t enough”

  1. Gene Oishi

    I am voting without reservations for Hillary Clinton. I do have some policy differences with her, but she is a fine woman who will be a good president, if the Republicans allow it. The vilification she has endured is undeserved and reflects shamefully on the state of our politics.

  2. Editor, VoB

    Thanks for your Comment, Gene.  (Mr. Oishi is a published author and former Baltimore Sun reporter.)

    Obviously we disagree about Hillary, but that’s what America is all about.  Despite our many faults, we’re still the greatest country in the world.

    Ditto regarding Elf13’s Comment below:

  3. Elf13

    I’m with Gene Oishi.
    Prefer not to have an Unabashed groper who believes he has that right, who does not put down his supporters who escort the black republican out of the white rally & those people shouting Jews SA. Trump feeds on hate.
    Hillary. not responsible for Bill’s infidelities as Melania is not responsible for Donald’s bullying & groping. Hillary has more aplomb & holds her head high & doesn’t get all sulky.
    She is not all techy. Happy sh did with her emails was stupid but then I guess George W & Colin Powell & Condoleezza Rice were also stupid.
    I’m with Hillary.
    PS: both a Trump & Pence are anti woman’s right to do with their bodies as they wish. My body, my decision.

  4. Margo Christie

    As a woman of a certain age from a dysfunctional alcoholic home, I don’t even blink at Trumps womanizing. I’ve been around womanizers all my life. His incitement of his supporters to all out mob violence is truly frightening, as is his vows to jail his opponent. #NEVERTRUMP !
    Hillary? Hill YES!

  5. nick kaplan

    Nice article on our problem. All things considered, I think that the collective thought of the electorate will be ‘to make History’ and elect the first woman president. Whatever happened to the Republicans will be mirrored in the Democratic party and the local elections will find more people running as independents; but what do I know.
    -Nick

  6. Editor, VoB

    @ Margo and Nick:  Voice of Baltimore much appreciates your insightful Comments and is thankful for your readership.

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