Let’s please get something straight about the 2016 Presidential election

If you are a liberal who does not like Hillary and wanted to vote for someone rather than against someone, by November of 2016 there was no good candidate to vote for. 

I don’t mean that there was no viable candidate to vote for, I mean there was no good candidate to vote for. Assuming you didn’t like Hillary, by November of 2016 there was no candidate who it would have been a good idea to install in the White House as Leader of the Free World. 

Bernie was no longer a Presidential candidate by that point. That only left one non-Hillary liberal candidate:

Jill Stein.

I’m not saying that Stein didn’t have a good platform. I am saying that Stein herself was not a good candidate for President. There are a number of things that might qualify someone to be President:

Significant leadership experience
Significant administrative experience
Significant elective officeholding experience
Significant appointed officeholding experience
Significant international experience
Significant expertise in government and politics
Significant judicial/legal experience

I could include significant military or business experience but these really fall under the category of significant leadership or administrative experience, so I consider them redundant for my purposes. 

I’m not at all sure that some of what’s on my list would be adequate background for the Presidency, but they’d all at least help. I’m not sure my list is complete. 

Which of them does Jill Stein have?

None of them. She’s never run anything big. Her only elective office was a minor office in a small city, so small that her total vote count when she won - not her margin, her total - was well under a thousand votes.

And she was trying to become the chief person responsible for the welfare of well over three hundred million people, along with running the most powerful military in the world and handling crises. 

If a major party ran a candidate with her complete lack of qualifications, Green Party members and supporters would make a big deal out of exactly that. 

Voting one’s conscience, a person in this position should not have voted for President at all because there was - assuming they did not want to vote for Hillary - no suitable candidate. 

Voting for someone with that lack of qualifications constitutes voting for a lesser evil because that kind of lack of qualifications and experience absolutely constitutes an evil. It constitutes trying to put someone in the White House who clearly doesn’t belong there. A platform is simply not enough for a job like that. Too much is at stake. The Presidency doesn’t just require good issue stands, it requires a heavy level of competence. And if you think I’m kidding, ask yourself what you think of the White House’s current occupant. He isn’t qualified either, though he at least had managerial experience.

In other words, those who voted for Stein did what they accused those who voted for Hillary of doing: voting for someone unsuitable in order to keep someone more unsuitable out of the White House. 

Same old Lesser Evilism. It just comes with a different flavor of self-righteousness. 

Views: 791

Comment by Rodney Roe on July 29, 2018 at 11:15pm
  • Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877) ...
  • Grover Cleveland (1885-1889 and 1893-1897) ...
  • Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) ...
  • Dwight Eisenhower (1953-1961) ...
  • George W. Bush (2001-2009) ...
  • Donald J. Trump (2017-)

The above presidents had the least political experience prior to being elected.

Grant and Eisenhower, both U.S. Army generals, had significant managerial experience.  Eisenhower’s presidency was marked by tranquility and a lot of golf.  Grant’s presidency was marked by corruption.

Grover Cleveland was a nominal Democrat who was favored by moderate Republicans. Before being president he had been Mayor of Buffalo, NY (less than a year) and then was elected Governor of NY in 1882.  He is famous for being the only President elected to two non-consecutive terms.  His first term was O.K., but his second term was spoiled by the Bank Panic of 1893.

Woodrow Wilson was President of Princeton University and Governor of New Jersey for two years before being elected as on the second Democrat since 1856.  He was a Progressive who saw the income Tax and the Federal Reserve established and opposed ratification of the Treaty of Versailles.

George Bush was Governor of Texas.  This is considered to be a dubious level of experience since the Governor of Texas has little power or influence.  His election was more a result of the fact that his father was President and grandfather a U.S. Senator.  He is a graduate of Harvard and Yale, but, aside from his leadership following the attack on 9/11, his presidency was marred by involvement in a war in Iraq, a sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina, and a the financial crisis of 2008.  His approval rating was the lowest since Watergate when he left office.

Donald Trump managed a large real estate enterprise, some would say poorly, and was a reality T.V. personality.

Hillary is history as a candidate.  We will never know how the country might have fared with her as POTUS 45.  I'm sure Republicans would still be talking about her email server and Benghazi, neither of which were anything but a smoke screen to obscure the fact that we were about to elect the worst president in U.S. history.  (I'm sorry, Mr. Bush.  Trump gets that distinction now.)

Comment by koshersalaami on July 29, 2018 at 11:23pm

Hillary is history as a candidate. 

Looking at that list of candidates, do any of them compare in experience to Stein? 

The only candidate who has anywhere near as little experience as Stein is Trump. 

Comment by Rodney Roe on July 30, 2018 at 1:53am

Before Trump I wondered why those in politics spoke so disparagingly of populists.

Comment by koshersalaami on July 30, 2018 at 4:47am

So did I. But I'm not sure we can paint all populists with a Trump brush

Comment by koshersalaami on July 30, 2018 at 5:03am

By the way: Concerning Bush, the only aspect of his post-9/11 leadership worthy of note was his absolute insistence that we not blame American Muslims for this. To be fair to him, Bush was and is no hater, and his administration was diverse without an element of tokenism to it. That unfortunately didn’t prevent him from being the second worst President in our history because he mangled so much else. 

Comment by Ron Powell on July 30, 2018 at 6:45am

"... his absolute insistence that we not blame American Muslims for this..."  while secretly getting members of the Arabian royal family out of the country as quickly as possible....

Comment by koshersalaami on July 30, 2018 at 6:54am

Different issue. This has to do with American bigotry, not covering the asses of his friends. There could easily have been a lot of anti-Muslim violence in the United States in the aftermath of 9/11. Even some Sikhs were targeted because they looked vaguely Muslim with their turbans. The difference between Bush and Trump in this instance is stark. 

Comment by alsoknownas on July 30, 2018 at 7:36am

Oregon was a run away for Clinton in the 2016 general election. I did not want to vote for either candidate, not having any desire to see either in the White House.

Had it been "iffy" I would have voted for Clinton. My meager protest was to write in Bernie Sanders' name.

The Jill Stein campaign was never realistic.

Comment by koshersalaami on July 30, 2018 at 7:57am

You had the opportunity to place a protest vote without doing any damage. 

My point about the Stein campaign isn’t that it wasn’t realistic. It has been argued that if enough people who didn’t want Hillary voted for Stein, she would have had a shot. I don’t agree with this argument but for the sake of my argument here I can temporarily accept it. 

My point about the Stein campaign is that it wasn’t a good vote even if she did have a shot. Stein was sheltered from criticism by her platform. She had no right to be. The Greens put up a Presidential candidate inexperienced enough to have done serious damage to this country if she got to the White House, even if she’s a good person who wants the right things. Wanting the right things is a very far cry from getting them, particularly without screwing up a whole lot else in the process. 

Congress is complicated. The military is complicated. Diplomacy is complicated. Policy is complicated. The economy is complicated. Terrorism is complicated. We’re now watching an inexperienced President making a mess of most if not all of them, and not just out of ideology. 

To occupy the most influential job on the planet without screwing up the country and the world royally, you need to have a clue what you’re doing. 

Comment by alsoknownas on July 30, 2018 at 9:25am

My point of calling it not realistic is that those who say she had what it takes are deluded by their admiration of someone who says the right things.

I know lots of people who say the right things.

None would be capable of holding the office of POTUS without "screwing up the country and the world royally" as you have put it.

I think we're on the same page.


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