In Defense of Independent Candidates

Before I get started I want to make clear that this is not a defense of Schultz nor is this a defense of another billionaire deciding he wants to be president. This is more a response to people telling Schultz to “pick a party” and the stranglehold the Republicans and Democrats have on our country.

Legal requirements for presidential candidates have remained the same since the year Washington accepted the presidency. As directed by the Constitution, a presidential candidate must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, a resident for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older. That’s it. There is no requirement to be a Republican or a Democrat, but rules have been put in place to make it almost impossible to win the election if you do not join one of the two major parties. Since the Commission on Presidential Debates took over the presidential debates in 1987 it has become harder for third-party candidates to participate. Since 2000, CPD has required candidates appear on enough state ballots to win and register at least 15 percent in five national polls. It isn’t easy for the candidates to appear on the ballots and many polls don’t even include the third-party candidates as an option. This makes it pretty much impossible for the third party candidates to appear in a debate where they could increase their profile and get their message out to the voting public. This is exactly how the RNC and DNC like it.  They don’t want to lose control of US politics. Unfortunately, the many people have bought in to the “pick a party” mentality and will get angry if you say you will vote for a third party candidate. At the very least they will tell you you are wasting your vote. Personally, I believe it is a waste of a vote to insist on voting for a candidate you don’t like because they have the “right” party next to their name. Third party and independent candidates are good for the country and might help with the gridlock, “us vs them” game that keeps the government from progressing. We should change the rules to give them a level playing ground.

I get why people are worried about Schultz running. They have legitimate concerns that he might split votes and it will result in re-electing our moron in chief. I get that, but I also strongly believe that it goes against the spirit of America to tell someone that they should pick a party to run for president.

Tater’s Take on Flake

Everyone is talking about Flake’s speech about Trump. Flake even wrote an op-ed against Trump for the Washington Post. While I’m happy whenever someone speaks out against Trump, I’m not impressed with Flake for  couple of reasons.

  1. Flake has voted with Trump 90% of the time. He’s not against Trump policies or political stances.  He’s only upset that Trump’s abrasive personality is damaging the Republican brand.
  2. He only did it when he’s quitting. Is it really that brave to stand up to the president on your way out the door? Wouldn’t it be better to stand up to him and also seek reelection so you can do it from a position of power?  If you work for a toxic person and you are silent until you are walking out the door and then you make a big speech about how you always hated the boss, that’s not brave. Brave would be standing up to the boss while you still have something to lose. Sure, it’s better to say something on the way out the door than to say nothing at all, but I’m waiting for the person brave enough to take a stand when they aren’t walking out the door. Maybe Flake’s speech will empower someone to do this.

Bureau of Jerks

My daughter’s third grade class arranged a field trip to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in DC for today.  We were scheduled to go in as two groups starting at 10:15.  Because DC traffic sucks(due in part to horribly timed traffic lights) we arrived a few minutes late for the first tour.  The lovely people at the bureau informed the teacher that due to our lateness, they could not accommodate the entire group.  When they were asked if we could send the kids in with the teachers and leave the parents out, they refused.  A parent who is a local DC police officer(and who arranged the trip) talked to everyone he could and they still refused to let all of the kids in to the tour.  My daughter’s class got to go in since our parent arranged the trip and were faced with a very rude and angry security person as they were screened.  She constantly yelled at the kids and the parents and did not seem to realize that 8 year olds don’t have a lot of experience with government security requirements.  What a lovely introduction to the United States Government these kids received. Great job representing our county!

On the other hand, the people at the Capitol(the second stop on the tour) were very nice and very good with the kids.  Maybe the Engraving a Printing people need to take a class with the Capitol police on how to deal with visitors in a civil manner.