Here are some observations and final thoughts about the 2016 presidential election:
- How could this have happened to us? I have never seen a presidential election with so few bumperstickers . To me that means that most voters were unenthusiastic about the candidates they voted for.
- Money still means much too much in elections, particularly national ones. Arianna Huffington once jokingly said that we should do away with the elections, and simply give the job to the person who raises the most money. Can this somehow be changed?
- Although most people decry negative campaigning, it is still often much more effective than discussing issues – especially this year!
- Campaign pros focus on the “3 M’s” of an election: Money, Momentum and Message. This election added one more: Misery.
- Common decency still is not common.
- More “sunset laws” should be passed and enforced. That would mean that all laws would have to be reviewed and re-passed every five or so years, or they would expire. This would keep more people focused on issues and reduce crony capitalism, which is defined as laws that favor some special interests over others.
- It almost always feels better to vote in favor of a candidate than against one. (So I feel good about my vote for Governor Gary Johnson!)
- Don’t be afraid! We are a resilient people. But concentrate on the Golden Rule, and remind others to do the same.
- The criteria used to invite candidates to participate in the three final presidential and one vice presidential debates must be changed. Both the candidates for the Libertarian and Green Parties were on the ballots in enough states technically to win the presidency. Had they been able to be in the debates, it would have changed the face and results of the election, where we reaped the results of an unworkable two-party system.
The most achievable of these changes is that dealing with the presidential debates. When the League of Women Voters oversaw those debates, the candidates of any political party that were on enough ballots technically to win the presidency were invited to participate. But when the Republican and Democratic National Parties gained control of the Commission on Presidential Debates and changed that criterion the League left, saying publicly that it would not be a part of the “hoodwinking of America.” At this moment, the Libertarian and Green Parties, as well as their 2012 presidential and vice presidential candidates, have a lawsuit against the Commission and the main two parties to change back to the way it was before. If you would like to donate to this cause, please contact me and I will provide you with the necessary information. In my view, this in many ways is the biggest investment anyone can make in our great country, and in Liberty! And that will keep the 2020 election from a repeat of 2016.
Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President
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