Wednesday, October 26, 2016

John Oliver and Keith Olbermann examine minor party candidates

Earlier this month, I shared how Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers mocked Gary Johnson and Bill Maher warned against voting for him even as newspapers endorsed him.  I pointed out this was exactly what should be happenning in a good year for minor party candidates.

Now, John Oliver spreads the attention and the mirth not only at Johnson, but also Jill Stein and some other minor party candidates for President in Third Parties.

Third party candidates want to be serious contenders, so John Oliver considers them seriously as potential presidents.
What I saw actually made me think better of Gary Johnson.  First, he proved he was smarter and better prepared than Rick Perry.  Asking Perry what three departments he'd eliminate led to his infamous "Oops" moment.  At least Johnson could name them off the top of his head.  Second, I didn't know he climbed Mt. Everest.  Regardless of his politics, that's impressive.  Third, he actually has the right attitude of humility about his accomplishment; one does not conquer the mountain, one merely survives the experience of visiting.  Just the same, his metaphor for expressing himself is downright strange--but that's Johnson.

As for Stein, Oliver shows she can do more musically than play the bongos; she sings better than I expected, although AutoTune may have done wonders for her.  However, Oliver exposes how she is even more tolerant of bad weird ideas than Johnson.  I found that disappointing.

While Oliver came to the conclusion that all of the candidates are flawed, so voting for Johnson, Stein, "Joe Exotic," or any of the candidates in last night's Free and Equal debate will not be any better than voting for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, Keith Olbermann actively warned his viewers against voting for any minor party candidate in This Election is Too Important Not to Vote for Hillary.

Don't like Hillary Clinton? Desperate to change the system? That's fine. But those impulses must wait.
I'm not quite that adamant.  If any of my readers live in a safely Red or Blue state, voting for Johnson, Stein, Darrell Castle, or Evan McMullin will not matter; go right ahead, you're throwing away your vote harmlessly and in the case of Johnson will likely end up qualifying the Libertarians for public election funding.  On the other hand, those who live in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, or Ohio have votes too valuable to waste.  Think hard about your vote this time, and then work to change the system between elections.  That's more likely to get the results minor party voters say they want.

As for Keith, he may be scared, but at least he remembered his tag line--"watch this space."


  1. Twenty minutes of John Oliver is better than 24 hours of any news channel.

    1. Well, maybe not Al Jazeera America when it was on, but it's certainly better than CNN, MSNBC, and especially Fox News. You'll learn about a topic in depth in the most entertaining fashion. It's why Last Week Tonight won three Emmy Awards last month.