Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Quickies: An Election-Year Maneuver And What It Suggests

     CNN has occasionally been derided as the “Communist News Network” or the “Clinton News Network.” Its editorial leanings are left of center, and several of its luminaries have been fairly open about that. However, that doesn’t mean the people who run it are stupid.

     Consider this sliver of evidence:

     CNN will host a televised Townhall for the Libertarian ticket of Governors Gary Johnson and William Weld tonight at 9 pm eastern, the first time any non-major party candidates have been given this exposure.

     No other media are being allowed access to the event. For the past two days the Libertarian Townhall has been the subject of the CNN countdown clock that appears in the lower right corner of the screen on CNN broadcasts.

     In a closely contested race for the presidency, minor parties will usually endorse one of the two major-party nominees. The usual calculation is that since it’s clear that a minor-party candidate cannot win a national election, its interests lie with whichever major-party candidate is closest to its own ideology. Were the prospective margin of victory large, the minor party might run an “educational campaign,” simply using the election as a vehicle with which to expose voters to its platform.

     The Libertarian Party doesn’t follow that pattern. It has run candidates of its own in every presidential contest since 1972. The LP ticket has never garnered enough votes to make a difference in the outcome, though it has occasionally figured in close races for other offices.

     However, this year might be different, as the LP ticket of two former Republican governors is sufficiently well known and respected to draw a few percent of the vote. The fear among Republican partisans is that GOP nominee Donald Trump will be the one to “lose votes” to the Johnson / Weld ticket. If so, it could cost him the election.

     It’s difficult to analyze the matter. Some who would vote for Johnson and Weld would otherwise stay home, but some would likely have voted for the Trump ticket. Therefore, one cannot say definitively that the LP ticket would “defeat” the Republican ticket by siphoning off votes. But that could be the case...and from the comments to the cited article, it has a lot of Republican partisans worried. What has my attention, however, is different.

     CNN, never previously open to LP coverage, is hosting this “Townhall.” If it’s a conscious maneuver to draw support away from Trump, it’s both cynical and clever: potentially even game-changing. The agitation among right-inclined voters aware of the “Townhall” suggests that a substantial number of them would embrace a proposal to exclude third parties from electoral participation, at least in presidential contests. It’s an ugly, unAmerican idea, but our politics has devolved so greatly that it’s not beyond possibility. Moreover, both major parties would favor it.

     Keep that last sentence in mind as the contest progresses.


Col. B. Bunny said...

Good call. Libertarians preen at their bizarre conventions and delight in playing the spoiler role. There's a viciousness to those people, not least because they embrace the insanity of open borders. They say they love liberty but they work for the success of statists. Just because you say you're in favor of something doesn't relieve you of responsibility for in effect working against it. Knowingly doing so, IMO.

Eskyman said...

I still think Donald Trump will romp home in a landslide. Finally the American people have an American to vote for, instead of one of the put-up-only-to-lose-convincingly RINOs that we are all so sick of.

The MSM, the Democrats, the Republican establishment, the leftists, communists and America-haters will all throw everything they've got at The Donald, of course (sorry for the redundancy.) It's only anecdotal, but I've been amazed here in deep blue CA, where I wear my red MAGA hat & get approached by all sorts of people asking: 1/where can they get one? 2/"That's my guy!" 3/"He's going to get jobs back" (several Latinos & black folks have volunteered this to me!) 4/lots of passersby commenting how they "like my hat" or "thumbs up!"

Maybe it doesn't mean anything, but it continues to surprise and delight me, and to give me hope that maybe, just maybe- my beloved country isn't quite dead yet!