Some Election Thoughts

In our post October 18,2016 “Tale of Two CEOs: Stumpf and Priebus” we pointed out how important people can lose sight of what’s most important about their job. “First of all don’t do grievous harm to the entity you head!” Stumpf and Priebus failed to see this resulting in great injury. Now we have the head of the FBI James Comey possibly making  the same mistake on an even greater scale. By writing a letter to various congressional committees informing them of some possible new developments in the Clinton Email case, he has cast a pall on her campaign. You’ll remember he the took the lead in that case because his boss Attorney General Loretta Lynch had been compromised by a private meeting with Bill Clinton while his wife was being investigated. Her inability to realize her own job requirements left Comey in charge.  Mr Comey sent this letter in spite of Justice Dept. rules against commenting on ongoing investigations, releasing any information 60 days before an election and his superiors opposition to this action. The only acceptable reason for Comey overriding all this is a smoking gun situation to prevent a possible felon becoming President.  For instance, an Email indicating Mrs. Clinton was involved in murdering Vince Foster or similar would qualify. There’s the rub, because of this circumstance,the letter could only be perceived by the public at large as evidence of a major transgression. Why else would he send it? If it  isn’t true, it is incredibly unfair to Mrs. Clinton or anyone else in the last eleven days of a campaign. As William Weld, the Libertarian Vice-Presidential candidate stated “this just isn’t right.” Given the time frame relative to the election someone needed to step in and determine if this was so big that it justified interfering with a Presidential election or it was a major mistake by a public servant. With Lynch compromised, President Obama should have stepped in immediately and told Comey he had 72 hours to come up with  proof his actions were warranted or he’d accept his letter of resignation. As Harry Truman’s desk sign said,”the Buck Stops Here.” The President has the ultimate responsibility for how our elections are perceived here and abroad. The public has a right to know either way before they cast their ballots.(already too late for those that have voted) So far the President has been absent. The lack of real leadership again threatens to do irreparable harm. As Casey Stengel said of his NY Mets “Can’t anybody here play this game?”

We can only hope we have better choices in 2020. Yet everywhere you turn, we are being told voting for a third-party candidate wastes your vote. We’d like to turn this around. For those voting mainly for the lesser of two evils while lamenting the choice, in most states you’re the ones wasting your vote. Voting for Trump in New York or Clinton in Mississippi won’t matter one iota in the outcome. Unless you’re in one of the few battleground states, you’re Presidential vote is meaningless. If you want more and hopefully better choices in 2020 you have to act now. Either Trump or Clinton will win on Nov. 8th and run for reelection so you’ll have half of this years lousy choice and no incentive to change Republican or Democratic dynamics. We’ll be presented with a similar rotten choice. Why not vote for a third-party candidate. If either Johnson or Stein receives at least 5% their party will receive automatic places on the 2020 State ballots. Also they could if they choose receive Federal matching funds. Without the grueling and expensive effort to get on every state ballot, the third-party nominations would be more attractive to top talent. Even this year Libertarians were able to field a ticket of two successful governors. With an improved ballot situation,the choice pool could be even be better in 2020. Many top candidates may have no path to nomination in the present duopoly, but nevertheless be the choice in the general election. If you’d like to see candidates such as Ben Sasse, Elizabeth Warren, Mitch Daniels, Joe Manchin , John Kasich or Michelle Obama have a way forward for 2020, vote for the third-party candidate of your choice. Doing so will send a message the choices as we have this year will no longer be tolerated. As in any market more choices will lead to greater satisfaction.