Johnson is, for me, generally strong on social issues but glaringly weak on fiscal ones and particularly regulation of business. That's my general view of Libertarians as a whole, so I'm not terribly surprised by that. They simply don't tend to believe in the idea of a social safety net, which I can't accept.
Honestly what I'm starting to think is less that this country needs a third (maybe even fourth) viable political party so much as it needs to be broken up into 3 - 5 autonomous countries.
Libertarian ideals work well when you put them down on paper - but they absolutely fall apart when you bring them into the real world, because they fail to take into account the fact that humans are dicks. Yes, it's very nice to say that you should leave everything to the free market and explain how segregation would have been impossible but for state government intervention like the Jim Crow laws and Plessy v Ferguson.
But how well does that actually work in practice
To my experience, a given civilization is only as good as its worst person, or alternately, its worst group of people. If you've got a society where the vast bulk of its occupants practice empathy and are generally decent and moral human beings - the Gordon Gekkos are outliers - then for the most part you will have a fair, functioning civilization.
If Gekko is not the outlier - if he is the norm, everyone is a dick and only thinking of their own best self-interest and not how their decision will hurt others, only how it will benefit them - then you have a society that's walking the path to destruction.
Civilization has rules. And one of those rules is don't be a jerk
I was for Bernie. The stuff the DNC did was terrible, and as far as I'm concerned, should be prosecuted. At the least, it shows us how reprehensible the Democratic Party can be, right alongside the Republicans.
The DNC and various other personages attached to that end of the political spectrum have had a number of chances - more than they usually get - to try and earn my vote. Because I'm not voting for you simply because I'm afraid of what the other guy will do. They ruined nearly all of them, simply because they continue to practice the political corruption that Democratic voters scream about with the Republicans, but give a pass on with their own people. Frankly, as far as I'm concerned neither the Dems or the GOP have the right to exist anymore, they've become insulated political influence machines who have no interest in serving the country.
Now, I'm lucky enough that I live in New England, which is bluer than hell, so I can choose to vote for someone like Stein or Johnson so they can break into the political scene and break up this duopoly from hell we've got, but I don't envy anyone living in a swing state this cycle.
I've studied history since I was a child. It's my passion, other than writing and music. I find that many, many Americans see themselves as special, or in a special place in the world, regardless of their being Conservative or Liberal. In so many ways, too many of my countrymen think certain horrific scenarios are impossible, simply because we live in the United States. But there's no guarantee of our liberty or continued way of life. This nation has barely existed for 200 years. One sure-fire way to test the already-threatened rule of law here is to put someone in power who sides with people like the Bundys. What would it look like if Trump was to end up impeached, but the White House grounds were crawling with armed white supremacists refusing to allow him to be removed? There are too many steps forward we have taken that could be rolled back with him and a Republican Congress and Conservative Supreme Court. What the Philippines just did in electing a madman would pale in comparison.
That's because people have this misconceived idea of what American exceptionalism means. American exceptionalism, if you talk to the experts on the subject, means that the founding principles of this country were unique and exceptional for founding principles. Nothing more than that. American exceptionalism does NOT mean we get to ignore all the bad consequences of our actions and that we're somehow immune to falling because 'MURICA! The only way to ensure continued existence and liberty here in the United States is to follow and embrace the principles that allow it to survive and thrive. Aristotle asked a question - what is democratic behavior? Is it behavior permitted by democracies or behavior that allows democracy to be preserved?
I've read a lot of stuff in my day, and CS Lewis' The Screwtape Letters
was one of them. Lewis had an addendum later on, called Screwtape Proposes a Toast
, in which he actually talks about democratic societies (and even makes reference to the question by Aristotle I mention above!). To Screwtape, what a democracy should look like, in the Hellish sense...well, I'll just leave you with this quote:
We, in Hell, would welcome the disappearance of democracy in the strict sense of that word, the political arrangement so called. Like all forms of government, it often works to our advantage, but on the whole less often than other forms. And what we must realize is that “democracy” in the diabolical sense (I’m as good as you, Being Like Folks, Togetherness) is the fittest instrument we could possibly have for extirpating political democracies from the face of the earth.
For “democracy” or the “democratic spirit” (diabolical sense) leads to a nation without great men, a nation mainly of subliterates, full of the cocksureness which flattery breeds on ignorance, and quick to snarl or whimper at the first sign of criticism. And that is what Hell wishes every democratic people to be.
'Quick to snarl at the first sign of criticism.'
Sound like anyone you know?