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Your 3rd-Party “Statement” Vote Is A Vote For Ignorance And Privilege



Supporting Non-Viable, Unqualified Candidates Only Harms The Most Vulnerable Among Us

I’ve written more than a few columns about why I’d never be able to consider voting for Donald Trump or anyone who stands by the 2016 GOP platform. More recently I wrote about why I’m proudly voting for Hillary Clinton. In response, many folks said they wouldn’t vote for either candidate and that they were planning on voting for a third-party candidate. This column’s for them.

Let’s get something out of the way first: Either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will win the election in November. Period. That’s it. These are your options. These are the only options. And, with that in mind, I have absolutely no problem saying that a vote for a third-party candidate is a wasted vote.

I get that there are some folks who believe they’re making a moral choice by voting third-party. Plenty of people have convinced themselves that there’s some sort of moral equivalence between Trump’s racism, misogyny, xenophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia, homophobia and overall offensive bigotry, and Clinton’s bad decisions — both of which she’s acknolowledged, learned from, and apologized for (not that Trump’s ever apologized for anything in his life). Let me say this as clearly as possible: These are not moral equivalents. Not on any level, so let’s stop even entertaining the possibility that they are. 

Some folks say they’re helping grow a movement. This is their chance, they say, to really make an impact and set the stage to end the two-party system. In a vacuum, yes, this is an argument that could be made. In reality? No. People have been working on growing this “movement” for decades and it’s never gone anywhere. It’s not going to happen now.

The last third-party candidate who was even remotely viable was Ross Perot back in 1992. You know what happened with him? Nothing. In 2000 there was Ralph Nader and he legitimately affected the election — he took away many of Al Gore’s voters and gave us George W. Bush instead. It was the ultimate irony: the folks so passionately liberal they wouldn’t even vote for a mainstream Democrat gave us one of the worst GOP presidents in recent history. 

According to some historians, Lincoln and the GOP were considered third-party back when he won. I asked my friend Dr. Josh Dix about that, and he pointed out: “It’s true that the GOP was the newest mainstream party in 1856 and 1860, but it was not a third party in either election. The Whigs folded in 1854, and the GOP came on scene in 1856. In that election, it came in second in electoral votes. In 1860, with Lincoln, it won the most. It wasn’t a third party; it became one of the two major parties before him.”

While third-party voters are out there trying to make a statement, the rest of us have to deal with the fallout. It’s an incredible statement of privilege to be able to vote for a third-party candidate and accept the consequences of a loss without much harm. Many of us don’t have that luxury. We’ve seen the types of people Donald Trump surrounds himself with. Voting for a third-party candidate who has no chance of beating him tells the world that you don’t care about the folks who will be most affected by his hatred — you’d rather make a statement. In my book, that’s incredibly selfish.

Let’s not pretend that the current crop of third-party candidates are noble alternatives, either. Libetarian Gary Johnson, the only one to appear on the ballot in all 50 states, is no bastion of liberal love. As Think Progress’ Judd Legum points out: Johnson’s in favor of Citizens United. He wants to reduce corporate tax to 0 percent. He has no plan for climate change. He wants to abolish Social Security. He’s against any kind of mandated minimum wage. In what world are these good liberal policies? If you’re a Bernie-or-bust person thinking of voting for Johnson, you’ve missed the mark entirely. 

(I suppose now’s a good time to mention that Johnson’s also simply not smart enough to be president. He’s tried to play off his “What is Aleppo?” and “Name one world leader you admire” gaffes as calculated “awww, shucks” moments, but the truth is, he has no idea about how to handle foreign policy. It’s not his fault, though — one of the main tenets of the Libertarian Party is the idea that we should never interact with any other countries.)

Jill Stein’s no better. Aside from the fact that she’s not even on the ballot in all 50 states and it’s statistically impossible that she’ll ever be elected to anything, she’s got absolutely no experience — even less than Trump. Here’s a really great breakdown of why Stein is absolutely not the savior the Left is looking for. Frankly, Stein’s candidacy is so absurd she’s not even worth the the column inches here.

Evan McMullin is a write-in candidate from the Right. He’s in favor of using religion as a means to discriminate, anti-abortion, against the Affordable Care Act, pro-gun, and basically the kind of person many Republicans had wished they’d nominated — in other words, he’s not here for us, our family or our friends.

For better or worse, the two-party system is what we have, and it’s here to stay. I think it can be noble to try and change that — but not when the alternative is Trump’s America. What does it matter that you’ve proudly made a statement in favor of a movement when your neighbors are being rounded up and deported? How is it noble to actively enable the kind of misogyny Trump has been so proud of? How is it responsible to seek a long-term change when the short term damage would harm so many? 

A vote for a third-party candidate in 2016 can only be justified by privilege or ignorance. You’re either going to be safe enough (thanks to your masculinity or your race) to not be affected poorly by Trump’s policies or you’re so foolish you think your third-party vote will matter. Either way, it’s incredibly selfish and irresponsible, and it shouldn’t be who we are as a society.

The mark of a great society is how well it treats its most vulnerable. Voting third-party in 2016 flies in the face of that belief. Either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton WILL be elected president on Nov. 8, and you’ve got a decision to make. 

Robbie Medwed is an Atlanta-based LGBT activist and educator. His column appears here weekly. Follow him on Twitter: @rjmedwed.

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Nikki Haley Continues Her IVF Evolution With Yet Another Policy Position 



Nikki Haley is now on her fourth in-vitro fertilization (IVF) policy position. In a period of less than two weeks the trailing Republican presidential candidate has gone from saying embryos are “babies,” to distancing herself from the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that claims embryos are “children,” to saying she supports IVF but it’s an issue for the states, to calling for federal protections for IVF.

After the extreme Alabama Supreme Court ruling that declared human embryos to be “children,” the former Trump UN Ambassador quickly announced she agreed that embryos are “babies.”

“When you talk about an embryo, you are talking about, to me, that’s a life. And so I do see where that’s coming from when they talk about that,” Haley had said.

But public sentiment runs strongly against the Alabama Court’s February 16 ruling and Haley’s concurrence February 21.

Haley, who is trailing Trump in the polls by strong double digits, pulled back from aligning herself with the toxic Alabama decision.

RELATED: Republicans Kill Bill to Protect IVF After Claiming They Fully Support It

“Well first off all, this is, again, I didn’t say that I agreed with the Alabama ruling. The question that I was asked is, ‘Do I believe an embryo is a baby?’” Haley told CNN, as The New Republic reported. “I do think that if you look in the definition, an embryo is considered an unborn baby. And so yes, I believe, from my stance, that that is.”

That appears to not have been sufficient, because she quickly switched her stance yet again.

“We don’t want fertility treatment to shut down, we don’t want them to stop doing IVF treatment, we don’t want them to stop doing artificial insemination,” said Haley, again to CNN, on February 22. “But I think this needs to be decided by the people in every state. Don’t take away the rights of these physicians and these parents to have these conversations.”

And now, another switch.

“We don’t need government getting involved in an issue where we don’t have a problem,” she told CNN’s Dana Bash on Friday. “We don’t have a problem with IVF facilities. If you have a certain case, let that case play out the way it’s supposed to but don’t create issues and that’s what I feel like it’s happened with this.”

READ MORE: ‘Trump’s Lawyers Got It Dead Wrong’: Espionage Act Trial Will Not Be Stalled by DOJ Rule

But there is a problem, and it was caused by Republicans. Specifically, by the Dobbs case and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The Alabama Supreme Court majority opinion mentioned Dobbs over a dozen times.

“I think we want IVF to be as accessible as possible to parents who are wanting those blessings of having a baby,” she also said Friday, adding a religious element to her remarks. “I don’t know the details of any of the bills, so I can’t weigh to that. But what I can tell you is, we don’t want to take that away from parents who desperately want to have a child.”

“Michael and I got our children from fertility processes. We need to make sure that those are available, that they’re protected, that it’s personal, and that the whole situation is dealt with respect,” she added, echoing pro-choice concepts while applying them to IVF.

Asked, “should there be a federal protection” for IVF, “or do you think it should be left to the states?” Haley replied: “Well, I think there should be federal protection that we allow for IVF places to be able to function.”

She added, “I think that the people need to decide if they want to get into the details of it or not. It’s the same thing of, do they want to decide, you know, exactly how many embryos or anything like that. I hope they don’t get into that. I want to see that decision between the parents and the doctors. But I think the only thing that the federal government should do is make sure that IVF places are protected and available.”

Professor of law Joyce Vance said recently, “It’s pretty simple. If life begins at conception, IVF is off the table. If you make an exception for IVF then we’re just having a conversation about who you’re willing to make exceptions for.”

Watch the video above or at this link.

READ MORE: Tuberville: Secure the Border Because Immigrants ‘Know Nothing About God’

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‘Trump’s Lawyers Got It Dead Wrong’: Espionage Act Trial Will Not Be Stalled by DOJ Rule



Special Counsel Jack Smith’s prosecution of Donald Trump in the Espionage Act case, which will be tried in Florida, will not be stalled by the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s policy on not taking certain actions 60 days before an election. The case, often referred to as the classified documents case, includes 31 charges under the Espionage Act.

MSNBC legal analyst and contributor Katie Phang Friday afternoon reports on the “BIG news out of Ft. Pierce.”

“The DOJ advises Judge Cannon that the ’60-day rule’ does NOT apply in Trump’s case as he has already been indicted & the case is already being litigated,” Phang writes. “So, no reason to delay taking him to trial, even with elections in November.”

Phang notes professor of law and her fellow MSNBC contributor Joyce Vance has been making that point.

“Read the policy for yourself,” Vance added Friday. “it doesn’t apply after a case is indicted, when the judge, not DOJ, is in charge of the schedule. Trump’s lawyers got it dead wrong.”

Vance points to her own Substack newsletter’s commentary, where she explains: “At the start of his filing, Trump tries to invoke DOJ policy as a justification for not having a trial this year. But he gets the analysis dead wrong. Trump tries to claim the protection of a DOJ policy against interfering in elections—a huge irony in light of Trump’s efforts to corrupt DOJ after the 2020 election and get the Justice Department to legitimize his false election fraud claims.”

READ MORE: Trump Swore Under Oath He Had $400 Million in Cash – Now He’s Telling a Court a Different Story

“Trump argues that ‘Given President Trump’s status as the presumptive Republican nominee and President Biden’s chief political rival, a trial this year would also violate Justice Manual § 9-85.500, which applies to the Special Counsel’s Office, and prohibits ‘Actions that May Have an Impact on an Election.’ ‘”

“The provision Trump references reads as follows: ‘Federal prosecutors and agents may never select the timing of any action, including investigative steps, criminal charges, or statements, for the purpose of affecting any election, or for the purpose of giving an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party,'” Vance notes.

She adds that the timing of a trial is controlled by a judge, not the DOJ.

READ MORE: ‘Injustice’: Experts Condemn Supreme Court’s ‘Fundamentally Corrupt’ Trump Decision

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Tuberville: Secure the Border Because Immigrants ‘Know Nothing About God’



U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville says America must put God back into the country and the government, and right now the government isn’t honoring our “Judo” Christian values. The Alabama freshman Republican, a Christian nationalist, also says God cannot be put back into this nation currently because immigrants, who “know nothing about God,” are crossing the southern border illegally.

Sen. Tuberville is also calling for massive cuts to the federal government, saying only the “mentally unhealthy,” “elderly,” “veterans,” and “farmers” should be eligible for financial support from the government.

Tuberville told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo that “the federal government is not here to take care of every person in this country. We have to take care of the mentally healthy, mentally – mentally unhealthy. We have to take care of our elderly, our veterans. Everybody else needs to go get a job. They need to get off that couch. We’re paying so many people. Maria, we have turned into so much of a socialist country headed to communism.”

He insisted there is no “free speech” in America. “They’re taking all of our rights away.”

READ MORE: Bartiromo Blasts Biden Administration for Encouraging Americans to Register to Vote

“We need to ask God for help, our country needs help,” Tuberville said in a separate interview. “We’re in a tough situation right now. I’m right here in the middle of it. I get to see it every day.”

“We live in a constitutional republic that’s trying to do things without our Judo-Christian [sic] values. And that’s how this country was built. And we got to get back to that. If we don’t, we won’t make it,” Tuberville claimed.

“The biggest thing right now I will tell you is what’s going on at our southern border. When you’ve got a country without borders, you don’t have a country. And it goes back to one thing: God is not in this building. We’ve got to get God back in this building and we’re gonna get God back in our country. We’ve got to get the God back in the nuclear family. We have to get moral values back into our country. And you can’t do that when you have a million people every couple of months come into this country that know nothing about God, that know nothing about our laws and constitution.”

Back in October, Tuberville said European countries have been “lost” to “immigration” as he praised Christian nationalist authoritarian Viktor Orbán of Hungary. Tuberville has a history of promoting white nationalism and has said he sees a white nationalist as a “Trump Republican.” The Senator also declared immigrants “don’t assimilate,” and are “globalists” who “don’t go by the laws.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Jaw Dropping’: Democratic Senator Slams Tuberville’s ‘Open’ Talk About ‘White Supremacy’

Image via Shutterstock

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