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The Spoiler Effect
While Sanders remains the target of some criticism for costing the Democrats the election, the real vitriol is leveled at third parties and their supporters.
Typical was the reaction of Newsweek senior writer Kurt Eichenwald, who published an account of an encounter he had with a fan in the Philadelphia International Airport following the election. The individual had approached Eichenwald to praise his work but nearly ended up the victim of a physical assault.
According to Eichenwald, the man, who had recognized the pundit from his television appearances, thanked him for his reporting on Trump and expressed disgust that Trump had won. Eichenwald then asked the fan who he had voted for. The man stated that he voted for Green Party nominee Jill Stein, to which Eichenwald replied: “You’re lucky it’s illegal for me to punch you in the face.” According to his account of the interaction, Eichenwald then told his fan to go “have sex with himself.”
As anyone who has ever voted for a party other than the Democrats or Republicans can attest, this is a pretty familiar reaction. In the United States’ winner-take-all electoral system, a vote for anyone outside of the two main parties is seen as a “wasted vote” that could “spoil” the election, and those who make this decision risk professional and social ostracism.
In this system, third-party voters are vilified to an extent not seen for any other voting demographic – including nonvoters who in fact account for a far greater share of the electorate, and therefore have a much bigger effect in swinging the election.
Yet, this has not stopped many pundits and social media users from piling blame onto supporters of Stein or Johnson, who are deemed reckless and irresponsible for so frivolously casting a ballot for candidates who had no chance of winning – or worse yet, as personally culpable for Trump’s victory and all the disastrous policies that might follow.
Whatever you’ve been feeling since the election, it’s probably been pretty intense.
To the Pessimist
Maybe you’re thinking: this is the end, the final season of the Netflix show “America,” in which every episode is darker than the last until the grim finale. That your life’s prospects have dimmed. What kind of lives will your children have?
California voted to ban plastic grocery bags. Seriously, this is infuriating. Now I’ll have to lug a bunch of reusable bags around or pay a 10 cent surcharge for each paper bag. I can’t believe a majority of people in CA voted for this nonsense. This also means I’ll have to make double the trips back and forth from my car to my apartment every shopping trip, since paper bags don’t have handles which allow me to hang numerous bags off each arm. It’s just an all-round pain the ass.
Reusable bags are a cesspool of disease. Even the uber-liberal USA Today ran an article on just how filthy the average reusable shopping bag is. Ryan Sinclair of the Loma Linda University School of Public Health, is quoted as saying they were about as sanitary as “the bottom of your shoe.”
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GUN OWNERSHIP AND HOMICIDE RATES.
An increase in gun possession decreases murder rates. If gun-free zones were eliminated and every mentally-competent adult woman was required by law to carry a loaded gun in her pocketbook or on her body at all times, the murder rate by guns would drop significantly.
1. Murder rates or gun possession remain constant. If the other changes there is no relationship.
2. Both go up or both go down. We do not know which is the cause or which is the effect.
3. One goes up and other goes down. We still do not know which is the cause and which is the effect, but one is desirable and other is terrible.
Thank you for your interest in the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania. The Libertarian Party is Pennsylvania's most moderate party. It's the voice for those generally conservative on economic issues and generally tolerant on social issues, who are not represented by the old parties. We are Pennsylvania's third largest party. There are now 30 Libertarians in Public Office in Pennsylvania.