The Good Lief: Who Gets My 2020 Vote?

Back in 2016, I was told — sometimes humorously, sometimes insultingly — that my decision to give my November general election vote to Libertarian Gary Johnson was “throwing my vote away.”

I heard that from people who loved Hillary Clinton and from people who loved Donald Trump.

The Hillary people thought that my vote for Johnson might throw the election to Trump, while the Trump people claimed that my doing so would give the election to Hillary.

It was not my job to choose between Hillary and Trump. It was my job to vote for the best person for President, considering everyone – even vote for myself, if I choose.

So I voted for Gary Johnson. Now, as we gear up for 2020, I am hearing the same hogwash, and the Democrats have not even selected their nominee, while the Republicans have not yet officially renominated Trump.

Lying seems to come as easily to President Trump as breathing does, as I have noted before. That is the major reason that I will never vote for him. Yes, there are policy reasons. Trump said he would build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. As of today, he is condemning military families to live in falling-apart base housing by diverting military construction money to build his wall that will not, by itself, stem illegal immigration.

I would be hard-pressed to choose whether I dislike Donald Trump or columnist Ann Coulter more, but on this narrow point, Coulter has it right: Trump is a con artist.

As for Hillary … happily, she is history. If she pulls a Nixonian resurrection, there will be time to revive the litany of criticisms. But I will never vote for her, either.

“Hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two evils,” I am told.

I cannot understand that.

People who claim to be Christians have told me that. I thought that Christians opposed evil. I can see voting for the lesser good, but I’ll go to my grave refusing to vote again for the lesser evil. I did that once (Nixon vs. McGovern, 1972), and have repented of that morally bankrupt decision of mine ever since.

As we start to focus on 2020, then, Trump is out as far as my vote is concerned, no matter who runs against him.

I could vote for some of the putative Democratic nominees: Biden, Klobuchar, Sanders, a few others. But I need to learn more about Klobuchar. I already know Biden had been a liar (plagiarism), but he seems to have repented.

I have repented of my 1972 vote for Nixon, so I have empathy for repentant former liars. As for Sanders — I am no Socialist, and Bernie is a Socialist. However, in a half-century of politics, Bernie has not moved the Vermont government or the federal government into outright socialism. I think he is enough of a realist to understand that he won’t get Medicare for All or other unaffordable ideals, but he might move the needle away from Wall Street’s financial rapists. That might be good enough for me.

Probably, though, I won’t vote for either the Republican or the Democratic nominee. At age 76, I have seen what politicians of both parties have accomplished: largely their own re-elections and their own enrichment, while the country drifts into bankruptcy and Third World status – if nuclear war does not wipe us all out.

So … Howard Schultz, a billionaire independent? Nope. I don’t trust billionaires, self-made or inherited. They largely answer only to themselves and, except for a few principled ones such as Warren Buffett (who is not running) can’t be trusted to look beyond their own Midas-like worship of net worth. Ditto, then, for Michael Bloomberg, who flirted with running as an independent.

That brings me right back to the slightly zany Libertarian Party, where my membership and my $25 state dues and $50 national contribution currently reside.

Will I vote for the Libertarian Party nominee? At this writing, there is no nominee, so I can’t know. But if that nominee is not rich, is sensible, is competent and, above all, is fundamentally honest, I could vote that way.

As for the down-ballot vote, I personally like several incumbent state and federal officeholders.

Liking them is not a good reason to vote for them.

The federal deficit is more than $20 trillion; the state deficit hovers near $2 billion (much of it hidden from public view); and the incumbents blithely increase spending each and every year.

I won’t write in “Mickey Mouse.” But I might write in the name of someone I know who is honest, competent and sensible.

Just think: I could vote for you.

¯¯¯

Denny Bonavita is a former editor at newspapers in DuBois and Warren. He lives near Brookville. Email: denny2319@windstream.net.

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