The last thing the country needs is another multi billionaire who has no government experience as a Senator, a Congressman, a Governor, a Mayor, a Cabinet Officer, or a military career.
We have gone that route with Donald Trump, and while multi billionaires Howard Schultz and Tom Steyer might be considered vastly different than Trump for sure, still the reality is that they are simply running, because they have the financial means to run, and do not need to ask for public support and funding.
That in itself is an outrage, and we should not consider anyone who has not faced Americans in a voting situation in his or her past, and a proven record of accomplishment, to be our President.
The fear is that either Howard Schultz, who has said he will run as an Independent, and Steyer, who is saying he is a candidate for the Democrats but could decide to run an Independent race, could be on the ballot in all or most states, and take away votes that would favor the Democratic nominee, and throw away the hard efforts of the Democrats, and reelect Donald Trump.
Either or both could become the spoiler, as was the case with Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader being on the ballot in Florida, and taking away the election from Al Gore, in favor of George W. Bush in the 2000 Presidential election.
In the midst of the battle for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2020, one can lose sight of the reality that a third party or independent candidate could affect the election result, as it did in 2016.
Third parties and independent candidacies for President have played a role in past elections, and the death last week of Independent and Reform Party Presidential candidate H. Ross Perot brings that to mind.
Presently, we have two potential spoilers–Michigan Republican Congressman Justin Amash, who might run as the Libertarian Party nominee against Donald Trump; and billionaire businessman Howard Schultz of Starbucks fame, who might run as an independent nominee, and harm the Democratic Presidential candidate.
Either or both could draw millions of votes, as Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party did in 2016, when Johnson gained 4.5 million votes and Stein gained 1.5 million votes. Additionally, Evan McMullin of Utah, who ran as an Independent, gained about nearly three quarters of a million votes. So together, these three non major party nominees gained a total of about 6.75 million votes , about 5 percent of the total popular votes cast.
Ralph Nader and Patrick Buchanan had played roles in the 2000 Presidential election, as Ross Perot did in 1992 and 1996. And John Anderson was a factor in 1980, as George Wallace was in 1968.
Whether Amash and or Schultz will be a major factor in 2020, and draw millions of votes, is a center of speculation in the summer of 2019!
Today, April 22, is the 49th Earth Day, first declared by Richard Nixon in 1970, although earlier promoted by Wisconsin Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson, considered the true “founder” of the modern environmental movement.
We have come a long way in the movement to preserve our environment, with many heroes in that movement,
We can look back to Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, John Muir and many others at the beginning of the 20th century.
We can look forward to such people as Ralph Nader, Jimmy Carter, Cecil Andrus, Al Gore, Bruce Babbitt, and a multitude of others who deserve praise.
But we also have the enemies of the environmental movement, from the time of Ronald Reagan onward, and including many Republican senators over the years.
And now, we have the Donald Trump Presidency, and the evil being done every day by Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and by Ryan Zinke, the Secretary of the Interior, who are trying to destroy all efforts at protecting us from climate change, global warming, and the damage to wildlife and to our national park and national monument system.
The fight for the environment must be fought against all enemies, as it is the future of the planet at stake!
New vote counts indicate that Hillary Clinton gained about 30,000 votes in Philadelphia that had not yet been counted before today, bringing Donald Trump’s margin in Pennsylvania down from about 77,000 to 47,000 votes!
Add the approximate 10,000 vote margin of Trump in Michigan,and the 22,000 vote margin of Trump in Wisconsin, and that explains Trump’s win over Clinton, despite a 2.5 million popular vote lead for Clinton over Trump.
So anyone who still says voting does not matter now knows it makes ALL the difference in the world, and transforms American history.
And now we know that IF Jill Stein had not been on the ballot in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, assuming all of the Green Party votes would have gone to Clinton, she would have won, again showing how the Green Party made the difference, as it did in New Hampshire and Florida in 2000 with Ralph Nader, and denied Al Gore the Presidency, and gave it to George W. Bush.
This demonstrates that the Green Party has managed to harm the environmental cause twice, and one has to be furious, that the environment was harmed under George W. Bush, and is likely to be harmed greater now under Donald Trump.
So the Green Party did in its own purpose of being, showing the destructive nature of a third party that denied us two outstanding people who should have been President!
Third Parties are supposed to represent democracy in action, but we have now learned the hard way that it denies popular vote winners the Presidency!
It happened in 2000, when Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan took enough votes away to harm Al Gore, and elect George W. Bush.
And now it has happened again in 2016, with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein taking enough votes to harm Hillary Clinton and elect Donald Trump.
Bush did much harm in his Presidency, and realistically, Donald Trump can be seen as likely to do even greater damage.
Any one who voted third party in 2000 or 2016 should feel guilt, as it has led to the worse choice, and nothing was accomplished, except maybe to feel good that one protested.
There is no way to prevent third party movements, but it has NEVER had a positive effect, with maybe the exception of Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressive (Bull Moose) Party in 1912.
But in a democracy, nothing can be done to prevent this harmful action from taking place, so likely, we will lose the better Presidential nominee more times in the future!
The closest Presidential Elections in American history would be the following in chronological order since the introduction of popular vote in 1824:
Presidential Election of 1824—Andrew Jackson vs John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and William Crawford
Presidential Election of 1876–Rutherford B. Hayes vs Samuel Tilden
Presidential Election of 1880–James A. Garfield vs Winfield Scott Hancock
Presidential Election of 1884–Grover Cleveland vs James G. Blaine
Presidential Election Of 1888–Benjamin Harrison vs Grover Cleveland
Presidential Election of 1892–Grover Cleveland vs Benjamin Harrison, James Weaver
Presidential Election of 1916–Woodrow Wilson vs Charles Evans Hughes
Presidential Election Of 1960–John F. Kennedy vs Richard Nixon
Presidential Election of 1976–Jimmy Carter vs Gerald Ford
Presidential Election of 2000–George W. Bush vs Al Gore, Ralph Nader, Pat Buchanan
Presidential Election of 2004–George W. Bush vs John Kerry
As we near the end of an extremely divisive and polarizing election, it is a good time to look back and judge what were the ten most divisive and polarizing elections in American history.
Chronologically, they would be the following:
The Election of 1800 between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
The Election of 1828 between John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson
The Election of 1860 between Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, John C. Breckinridge, and John Bell
The Election of 1876 between Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel Tilden
The Election of 1884 between Grover Cleveland and James G. Blaine
The Election of 1896 between William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan
The Election of 1912 between Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Eugene Debs
The Election of 1948 between Harry Truman, Thomas E. Dewey, Strom Thurmond, and Henry A. Wallace
The Election of 1968 between Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, and George Wallace
The Election of 2000 between George W. Bush, Al Gore, Ralph Nader, and Pat Buchanan
It looks as if Bernie Sanders is on the road to being the Ralph Nader of 2000.
In so doing, he may bring us Donald Trump in the White House, which would condemn him in history, as Nader brought us George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, and two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and the disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina!
Sanders has failed to win more than a few primaries, mostly winning unrepresentative caucuses; is more than three million popular votes behind Hillary Clinton; and will not have more pledged delegates than Clinton, but he now says he will fight to change “super delegates”, who have pledged to Hillary Clinton, to switch loyalties to him, which will not happen. He is not lifelong Democrat, but rather a Socialist who was allowed to join the Democratic Party, and now is, seemingly, out to harm them for his own ambitions!
But what it means is that we will have division, dissension, and turmoil at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, rather than unity. Already, Sanders has demanded, which will not happen, to remove Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congresswoman from Florida as the DNC Chair, and also to replace former Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Governor Dan Malloy of Connecticut as leaders of the Platform Committee at the convention.
Bernie now comes across as a bitter, nasty, crotchety old man who seems not to care about whether the progressive agenda wins, but only whether his own ego is satiated!
It seems clear that many Americans are disgusted with the two party system, as they see the Democrats and the Republicans as “owned” by Wall Street and the billionaires.
So therefore, there are calls for a third party or independent movement, but it is unlikely to happen in any serious way, and certainly, will have little or no effect on who wins the Presidency.
But if any effect, it would lead to those who are discontented discovering that by voting for a third party or independent candidate, they have helped to elect the worse choice of the two major party nominees!
In American history, twice there has been a serious third party or independent nominee who has helped to defeat a sitting President or a popular vote winner and promoted the election of a candidate seen by many who voted for the third party as far less desirable.
Only Theodore Roosevelt in 1912; and Ralph Nader in 2000 are seen as having any real impact on the election results, helping to lead to the election of Woodrow Wilson and George W. Bush. William Howard Taft lost his Presidency due to the third party candidacy of TR; and Al Gore lost the chance to be President because of the third party candidacy of Ralph Nader.
Looking ahead to 2016, there is no prominent personality planning to run on a third party. Those who have said they would not run include: former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman; former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura; Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders; and environmentalist Ralph Nader. These individuals have a certain appeal to many Americans, but they well recognize they have no chance to win, and could only mess up the election by running, as NO third party or independent has EVER been elected President, with only Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 making a really respectable performance as candidate of the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party, winning 6 states nationwide, 27.5 percent of the popular vote and ending up second rather than third, and gaining 88 electoral votes!
This blogger heard the statement of Ralph Nader, a guest on Bill Maher’s “Real Time” HBO show recently, that if only the Democrats had won the 2004 Presidential Election, the Supreme Court would have been dramatically different than it is today!
Present Secretary of State John Kerry lost to George W. Bush, who became only the third President to have to wait until his second term of office to nominate and confirm a Supreme Court Justice! Bush proceeded to select Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito, who have together had a dramatic effect on Court decisions in a very right wing manner!
Only James Monroe and Franklin D. Roosevelt failed to have a Supreme Court nominee in their first term, and only William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, and Jimmy Carter were unable to make any appointments to the high Court, due to lack of vacancies. Even President James A. Garfield, shot after four months in office, had an appointee to the Supreme Court after two months in office! And FDR may not have had appointments in his first term, but he ended up having a total of nine appointments between 1937 and 1943 over six and a half years!
This is something to keep in mind, the power of the President to affect the Supreme Court’s future, and with the certainty that there will be vacancies on the high Court in the next Presidential term, making the election of a Democrat to the White House, and a Democratic Senate after 2016, ever more urgent!