Tuesday, November 8, 2016

School Scope: No Third Party Vote for Me - Norm in The Wave

Submitted for publication Friday Nov. 11, which I may be reading from Canada. This article is fueled by my increasing annoyance with the often clueless far left, some of whom have suggested that a Trump Presidency would galvanize the left - one of the biggest laughs I had throughout the endless election season. The 2020 campaign starts on Nov. 9. There are about 30 top Republicans praying for a Trump loss so they can begin running.

School Scope: No Third Party Vote for Me
By Norm Scott

Monday, Nov. 7, 2016

I’m writing this on election day eve. I wanted to get this done before I leave right after I vote tomorrow for my new residence in Canada – just in case. But I will be back on Wednesday if a certain candidate loses. You know what they say: if you want to avoid talking about a contentious election talk about sports or the weather. Nice day! And how about dem Cubs? I was rooting for Cleveland because lifelong Indians fan and WFAN caller “Bruce from Bayside”, a retired NYC teacher, died just a few weeks before the Series. I was getting sick of Cub Mania and if they went another 108 years without winning a World Series I wouldn’t have been unhappy.  As one of the few people who root for both Yanks and Mets, I’m looking forward to the Hot Stove League. OK, enough sports. As a despiser of Trump and skeptical of Clinton, I need to decide how I’m going to vote.

I’ve been a 3rd party voter more than half the time in presidential elections:  1996, 2000, 2004 and 2012. Not this time. I hear the Greens calling for Jill Stein and I know many people in my leftist circles who are going Green. Does the Green Party deserve our vote?

If the Green Party, which has been around for a while, actually did real grassroots organizing and showed some promise of building roots as a 3rd party, I could see tossing them a vote But what has happened since Nader in 2000 cost Gore the election and led to the horror years of the REPUBLICAN Bush presidency that has lead to catastrophic wars and destabilization of the political world, in addition to an almost 30s-like depression and a crash of the economy which is just recovering now?

The Bush presidency, which Republicans try to bury, has killed the 3rd party option, especially when Trump is the alternative. I’ve never voted for a Republican and won’t this time.

By the way, count the wars and invasions over the past 50 years under Republicans  under Nixon (7 years to end Vietnam), Reagan (Grenada and Iran-Contra-Nicaragua) and Bush (Iraq and Afghanistan) and compare that to the Democrats (Carter, Clinton, Obama). You might also check out the economy and stock market under Clinton and Bush and Obama. So sad that Hillary wasted her campaign attacking Trump instead of focusing in these issues. No matter how much she says she goes high when they go low, she mostly went low.

What message are we sending to vote 3rd party? What message did Ross Perot send with the largest 3rd party vote in a long time? It is not just about keeping Trump out of office but also about why should I back the Green Party and Jill Stein given their inability to have any impact over so many years? If they had shown they could make even a tiny dent I would help build them up -- but things start at the grassroots level – I will vote Green for any down party candidates. Is the struggle right now an attempt to change the Democratic party from the left - or organize inside for a split? 3rd parties just don't seem to get any traction.

The left argues that the lesser of two evils argument will never end and in 2020 we will face the same thing if Hillary wins. See Voting Third Party is Not a Wasted Vote – Voting First Party Is https://gadflyonthewallblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/04/voting-third-party-is-not-a-wasted-vote-voting-first-party-is. I don’t agree with this argument this time.

The Bernie movement offers something different. Can we build grassroots progressivism in the Democratic Party? Probably not. But unless there is a massive breakaway party from the Dems after this election voting Green (where is Jill Stein between elections?) is even more wasteful than voting for Hillary.

Interestingly, one of the best cases for voting for Hillary comes from conservative David Frum in a must read piece, even if after the election: The Conservative Case for Voting for Clinton
Why support a candidate who rejects your preferences and offends your opinions? Don’t do it for her—do it for the republic, and the Constitution.

And if David Frum can make a case for voting for Hillary despite enormous disagreements, people on the left can also make a similar case. Yes we don't trust her, etc. But we also have the remnant of the Bernie movement - if Obama had taken a strong left stand he wouldn't have been vilified any less than he was for taking the center neo-liberal stand. As the 2018 midterm elections and the 2020 elections are in the cards and the Republicans block everything, the Bernie people must press that only a progressive left agenda, even if just from the bully pulpit, would have a chance of salvaging anything other than a disaster in the coming years by bringing back at least some of the white working class. (An interesting factoid is that a number of Obama white working class voters are supporting Trump, thus cancelling out some of the racism charges.) That this election is so close means that next time there is little chance Hillary would win with a slick right winger running. So maybe the goal is to make her a one term president if she wins and find a viable candidate next time to oppose the next Trumpist.

Maybe it is time for the left/progressive to pile into their local Democratic Party machines and raise some hell.

As for local races, I’m still undecided on Republican Alan Zwirn vs. Democrat Stacey Pheffer Amato Assembly seat and will report on my decision next time.

Norm blogs at ednotesonline.com


  1. I did it. I voted third party. I had never done it before. I couldn't vote for Clinton because I could not sanction another four years of neo-liberal promotion of endless wars, unflinching charter school support and Wall Street coziness. I could not vote for Trump because I am a woman and I would prefer not to end up in a concentration camp. Sorry Norm! I did not have it in me to pull the lever for HRC.

    Abigail Shure

    1. TY for your honest comment. I feel the same way. If Hillary wins, I truly feel that our govt will be bought and run by the plutocrats and oligarchs that already are in charge of the big banks and wall street. Our democracy will suffer because of the political policies that are designed to benefit the uber-rich. My two of my greatest fears are the privatizing of social security and the public school education reforms. Will those two entities be heavily protected in the next administration? Oh God I hope so. As for the economic status of our country, do I smell TPP being passed? Oy!!

  2. So under any circumstances trump would be worse. I'm no longer a purist. Our democracy was more valid under Lyndon Johnson or Nixon? Remember Vietnam? And how does tpp negatively affect you as a consumer? What happened to the garment industry here in NYC decades ago before nafta? This crap has been going on for a long time. Let's not act that hillarys election is a new ball game. On education we now have a movement of resistance. Hillary may not get off so easily as Obama did with NAACP and black lives matter taking stands on charters.

  3. Green Party for me, too. Next time it will be some other neoliberal vs. David Duke, and "we can't let someone like Duke into the White House". Over and over. Lesser evil voting will always lead to more lesser evil voting - it's all the Powers That Be will allow.

    Plus, I want the Green Party over the 5% mark.

  4. I remember, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." (JFK) I have vivid memories of the Vietnam War, the War on Poverty and Watergate. I can envision Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a member of the NAACP, but with all due respect, the organization is late to the charter school moratorium party. In Newark, for example, twelve former Newark Public Schools are listed for sale by the Newark Housing Authority on www.npsportfolio.com as reported by Bob Braun. Eleven more schools are rumored to be closing. State District Superintendent Cerf has gone to court to end LIFO in anticipation of a RIF in order to rid himself of more experienced (read here more expensive) teachers. I would hardly consider myself a purist, but what exactly has Clinton had to offer to remedy the plight of urban public schools other than her advocacy of high quality public charter schools?

    Abigail Shure

    1. This is about what trump doesn't offer on ed. What he has offered is a path for open antisemitism. There are times when we have to look beyond. Let's not be Germany 1932 and if you don't think so think again. The left said similar stuff about the people running against the guy with the Stache


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