'Are you a spoiler?': why critics fear Amash's Libertarian bid may ensure a Trump win

Basic information
Date of placement
20
0
0

The Michigan congressman who quit the Republican party is seeking the Libertarian nomination – and he could make a difference in the election

“He has no idea what’s gonna hit him as a third-party challenger,” says Ralph Nader, who knows better than most after running for US president four times. “The public has bought into ‘the spoiler’. The public wants to vote for a winner.”

Nader is considering the prospects of Justin Amash, a congressman from Michigan who announced this week he is seeking the Libertarian nomination for the White House. Amash reasoned that millions of Americans do not feel well represented by either major party or their candidates: Republican Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Continue reading...

World news | The Guardian

“He has no idea what’s gonna hit him as a third-party challenger,” says Ralph Nader, who knows better than most after running for US president four times. “The public has bought into ‘the spoiler’. The public wants to vote for a winner.”

Nader is considering the prospects of Justin Amash, a congressman from Michigan who announced this week he is seeking the Libertarian nomination for the White House. Amash reasoned that millions of Americans do not feel well represented by either major party or their candidates: Republican Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

The 40-year-old, who quit the Republican party to become an independent and voted for Trump’s impeachment, told the Associated Press: “It’s important that we present them with that alternative … The first step to moving toward no political parties or all independent candidates is to provide some big challengers to the main two parties right now.”

It is not controversial to assert that Amash has no chance of winning. But it is also notable that in 2016 in Amash’s home state, Michigan, Trump took a key electoral college win over Hillary Clinton by 10,704 votes, or less than a quarter of a percentage point. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian, won 172,136 votes – or 3.6%. Even Jill Stein, for the Green party, took 51,463 and 1.1%.

Amash could make a big difference. The parlour game of the week for Washington pundits, therefore, involved trying to weigh whether Amash’s candidacy would hurt Biden or Trump more.

He also follows in a long tradition of third-party campaigns that have struggled to break through in a society that prizes choice but has been slow to embrace the type of multiparty democracies seen in Europe.

The Democratic party is much more scapegoating toward the small left parties than Republicans are to the Libertarians Ralph Nader

The only third-party candidate to gain more than a quarter of the vote was a man who had already occupied the White House. Having been denied the Republican nomination in 1912, former president Theodore Roosevelt ran as a Progressive or “Bull Moose” party candidate and won 27%, not enough to deny Woodrow Wilson the presidency.

Robert La Follette, Strom Thurmond, George Wallace, Eugene McCarthy and Ron Paul are among those who tried and failed to break the duopoly. In 1992, Ross Perot, an eccentric Texan billionaire, took 19% of the vote, arguably denying George HW Bush a second term and putting Bill Clinton in the Oval Office. Perot ran again in 1996 but only garnered 8%.

In 2000, Nader’s Green Party bid took less than 3% of the vote but was widely blamed for having cost Democrat Al Gore vital support and contributed to George W Bush’s narrow win, a fork in the road that had dizzying implications for the Iraq war, climate crisis and the entire shape of the 21st century.

Bob Shrum, a senior adviser for the Gore campaign, said this week: “I haven’t forgiven him. I think whatever good he did in the early part of his life is more than made up, for example, by the Iraq war. He hurt because he attacked Gore from the left: that was his argument. I don’t know that Amash is in the same position. The assumption that he would take votes from Biden rather than Trump seems dubious to me at best.”

Ralph Nader speaks at Boston University in November 2000. Photograph: Amy E Conn/AP

Now 86, Nader is a consumer advocate who still follows politics closely, firing off columns and newsletters. He denies that his candidacy handed the presidency to Bush.

“There are all kinds of other reasons that the Democrats lost,” he said. “Gore doesn’t blame the Green Party at all. He said: ‘It’s us. We did it. I lost my home state of Tennessee. We bungled it in Florida.’ On and on.

“And then George Bush wasn’t elected, he was selected by five out of nine supreme court justices in a judicial coup d’etat [following a dispute over the count in Florida]. The only way the Democratic party can explain its constant loss to the worst Republican party in history is to scapegoat the Greens. It’s built into their DNA.”

Nader ran in 2004 and 2008 but polled less than 1% both times. Campaigning could be a frustrating experience, he recalls.

“Almost all the interviews had nothing to do with my agenda, which was a precursor to Bernie Sanders’ agenda – universal healthcare, free tuition, living wage, cracking down on corporate crime. All they wanted to ask about was ‘spoiler’ and that’s partly because the Democratic party is much more scapegoating toward the small left parties than the Republican party is to the Libertarian party.

“I don’t know whether that will happen this year, but by far the Democrats are much more aggressive to get third-party candidates like the Green Party off the ballot, harassing them, calling them spoilers and setting the media’s agenda for spoilers.

“Even the European media would call me up and say: ‘Do you think you’re helping George W Bush? Are you a spoiler?’ And I’d say: ‘Spoiler? I’m trying to fight a spoiled political system.’ A multi-party system creates more meaning for voters because it gives them more voices and choices.”

‘We need more parties’

Nader welcomes the entry of Amash and others as an expression of first amendment freedoms but is uncertain about the likely political consequences.

“If he plays his cards right and he basically is viewed as the lawmaker who stood up to the foul mouth, snarling, lying, bungling betrayer of his own voters, then he will take more from Trump,” he said of Amash. “But if he tries to appeal to all voters, then it’s another equation and nobody knows what’s going to happen.”

Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico, came third in 2012 and did so again in 2016. But it was the Green candidate, Stein, who was accused of robbing Clinton of the presidency after gaining more votes in Michigan and Wisconsin than Trump’s margin of victory in both states.

Evan McMullin campaigns in Draper, Utah, in October 2016. Photograph: Rick Bowmer/AP

In Utah in 2016, Evan McMullin, a former CIA operations officer, finished third in his home state with 21% of the vote.

Now executive director of the pro-democracy group Stand Up Republic, he said: “You take criticism from both sides when you run as a third-party candidate or as an independent. There are committed partisans on both sides, but there are also millions of Americans who are fed up with the two-party system and who don’t feel well-represented by either party. They’re looking for something new.”

McMullin would like to see America move beyond the two-party system.

It doesn’t serve our country well to have only flavour A and flavour B and that’s it Evan McMullin

“We need more parties and more open ballot access so that voters have more choices,” he said. “We live in a country of such abundant choices in every aspect of our lives.

“But when it comes to politics, we’re offered only two. It doesn’t serve our country well to have only flavour A and flavour B and that’s it. That won’t help us overcome modern challenges in healthcare, information warfare, employment and the national debt. We need more competition and more ideas.”

‘A huge mistake’

Amash could prove attractive to small-government Republicans who already lean libertarian. But the former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh, who challenged Trump in this year’s Republican primary, argues that this is not the time.

“I think it’s a huge mistake, it’s the wrong thing to do,” he said. “It will help get Trump elected. Amash and I are friends, we’re colleagues, but he’s clearly putting what’s best for Justin Amash ahead of what’s best for the country. If he does it, it’s a selfish thing for him to do. It is very disappointing.

“Disaffected Republicans and conservatives who don’t want to vote for Trump, if their only option is Biden, they’re going to have to hold their nose and vote for Biden. But if these disaffected Republicans and conservatives now have another option, they’ll do it. It will take votes away from Biden. Here’s the thing: Amash knows that Donald Trump is an existential threat to this country. He voted to impeach Trump.”

Walsh, who has quit the Republican party, describing it as a cult, looks forward to the day of multiparty democracy. But first, he argues, Trump is the clear and present danger.

“Justin Amash and I, we’re brothers in that we agree on almost all the issues. I agree with Justin that both political parties suck. I agree that our political system is broken. But not this year.

“This year, the biggest threat to the country is Donald Trump and all of us, from libertarians like me and Amash to liberals, gotta come together to make sure Trump loses. And the we can start a third party or a fourth party or do whatever.

“But right now, the only job for all of us is to get rid of Trump.”


(0)
0.0
Dislike 0
ОТН 0
Like 0

News list


15:50 Home prices in NL to increase 4% this year: ABN Amro
15:43 ‘Artefact detectives’ in Iraq aim to end the theft of their history
15:39 Archaeologists & filmmakers dig up the past of UAE’s Shamash temple
15:30 Moderation
15:05 [Ticker] Sweden halts Iran Air flights after crash
15:01 Middle East crisis: EU's delicate balancing act between Washington and Tehran
15:00 Dutch soldiers in Iraq safe, together, Defense Min. says
14:59 Outrage over reports EU-funding linked to forced labour in Eritrea
14:45 Meeting between the College of Commissioners and the Members of the Parliamentary Groups
14:33 [Ticker] Spanish court: EP must end Catalan MEP immunity
14:10 Boy, 10, randomly assaulted by woman on Haarlem street
14:01 Dutch cabinet now in favor of new fireworks limits and regulations
14:00 Girls more likely to be harassed, stalked online
13:51 2nd EU Clean Air Forum (Bratislava, 28-29 November 2019) - Part 2/3
13:49 [Ticker] Orban to offer free IVF in anti-immigrant move
13:27 Hate speech has 'no place' in Austria, says Kurz, after Bosnian-born minister receives abuse
13:20 Dutch car rolls in Belgium; deceased victims discovered hours later
13:00 Trump proposes 'NATOME': NATO expanded to MidEast
12:35 Lack of career prospects leaves care workers to quit, says report
12:35 Singer songwriter Jeangu Macrooy is Dutch Eurovision entry- AD
12:35 Defrosted kingfisher rejoins museum collection of dead animals
12:35 Saba again present at Holiday Fair - Saba News
12:35 Politicians should take responsibility for their own laws, says legal chief
12:35 ChristenUnie calls for firework clubs, backs ban on consumer sales
12:35 Good weather will bring clear views of partial lunar eclipse
12:35 'Explosive' growth in Amsterdam hotels despite stricter limits
12:35 More violent incidents at New Year, but fewer people are arrested
12:30 Number of hotels in Amsterdam region skyrocketing: report
12:05 [Ticker] Von der Leyen: 'Influential' EU means talk and trade
12:00 Pope Francis: "US-Iran tensions threaten rebuilding of Iraq"
11:40 More than 9,300 incidents over New Year's: police
11:30 Friends of plane crash victims mourn loss
11:21 EC Midday press briefing of 10/01/2020
11:20 2nd EU Clean Air Forum (Bratislava, 28-29 November 2019) - Part 1/3
11:18 Croatian Presidency of EU Council: press conference opening remarks by President von der Leyen
11:15 Croatian Presidency of EU Council: opening remarks by Croatian Prime Minister and President of EC
11:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Geldermalsen - Voetakkerweg
11:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Prinsenbeek - Spoorstraat
10:50 Girl, 10, dies after falling from asylum center's window
10:43 Compilatie 24H ‘Ontdek je stad’ 2019
10:32 Ontdek Amerfoort #Citytrip
10:26 UK accused of 'behaving like cowboys' over EU database copying
10:26 Men in west London have highest male life expectancy in EU - Life expectancy
10:24 Ursula Von Der Leyen and Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic talk to the press | LIVE
10:00 Car with possible explosives found in Gelderland town; link with ATM bombing investigated
09:40 Viktor Orbán threatens new Europe grouping to rival 'weaker' EPP
09:39 Stockpiling for the New Year
09:37 European ministers meet to salvage Iran nuclear deal
09:35 President von der Leyen meets with Andrej Plenkovic, Croatian Prime Minister
09:30 Dutch Listening Practice - Talking About a School Trip in the Netherlands
09:28 [Ticker] Johnson suggests Iran crash was 'unintentional' missile
09:22 In Myanmar Armys Corner, Aung San Suu Kyi Will Defend It in Rohingya Genocide Case
09:16 Trudeau: Canadians deserve answers on plane crash
09:10 Man, 68, arrested for taping jerry can to Leeuwarden train
09:09 Iran denies that it brought down Ukrainian plane with a missile
08:49 Ask Our Astronaut | What's next in space exploration?
08:18 8 teams who saw their seasons ruined by international breaks
08:17 Judiciary Council calls politicians to stop blaming judges for unpleasant rulings
07:45 Iranian missile caused crash of Ukrainian Boeing 737: Officials
07:39 House of Commons passes Brexit bill for UK departure from EU on January 31
07:37 Gay, bisexual young people over twice as likely to be harassed, stalked online
07:01 Canadian PM called PM Rutte about MH17 after Tehran plane crash
06:37 Only let specialized clubs light fireworks, coalition party says
06:27 [Ticker] Swiss afraid of EU wage dumping
06:25 [Ticker] Orban to start new EU movement if kicked out of EPP
06:24 [Ticker] EU blasts Israeli settlements on 'occupied' land
06:15 Croatian PM Optimistic About EU Talks For North Macedonia, Albania
06:10 ABN Amro names PwC's former Dutch chairman as new CEO
06:07 South Mississippi Strong- Mag Holland is an angel devoted to helping others
06:04 MEPs slam UK for violating EU police database
06:03 EU regions: don’t touch cohesion funds for Green Deal
06:02 [Opinion] Europe, Scotland and Brexit - what next?
06:02 [Ticker] Brexit back on EU presidency agenda next week
06:01 [Ticker] President of European Court of Justice lambasts Poland
06:01 [Ticker] Athens asks for US help in east Mediterranean
06:01 [Ticker] Ukraine investigators want to search Iran plane crash site
04:32 How polluted is the air where you live?
04:14 Poisonous caterpillar to strike earlier than usual this year

11:18 Croatian Presidency of EU Council: press conference opening remarks by President von der Leyen
10:50 Girl, 10, dies after falling from asylum center's window
10:43 Compilatie 24H ‘Ontdek je stad’ 2019
09:35 President von der Leyen meets with Andrej Plenkovic, Croatian Prime Minister
09:28 [Ticker] Johnson suggests Iran crash was 'unintentional' missile
07:45 Iranian missile caused crash of Ukrainian Boeing 737: Officials
07:37 Gay, bisexual young people over twice as likely to be harassed, stalked online
06:24 [Ticker] EU blasts Israeli settlements on 'occupied' land
04:14 Poisonous caterpillar to strike earlier than usual this year
14:10 Boy, 10, randomly assaulted by woman on Haarlem street
13:51 2nd EU Clean Air Forum (Bratislava, 28-29 November 2019) - Part 2/3
13:20 Dutch car rolls in Belgium; deceased victims discovered hours later
11:40 More than 9,300 incidents over New Year's: police
11:20 2nd EU Clean Air Forum (Bratislava, 28-29 November 2019) - Part 1/3
10:32 Ontdek Amerfoort #Citytrip
09:40 Viktor Orbán threatens new Europe grouping to rival 'weaker' EPP
09:16 Trudeau: Canadians deserve answers on plane crash
09:10 Man, 68, arrested for taping jerry can to Leeuwarden train
09:09 Iran denies that it brought down Ukrainian plane with a missile
07:01 Canadian PM called PM Rutte about MH17 after Tehran plane crash
06:37 Only let specialized clubs light fireworks, coalition party says
06:15 Croatian PM Optimistic About EU Talks For North Macedonia, Albania
06:01 [Ticker] President of European Court of Justice lambasts Poland
06:01 [Ticker] Ukraine investigators want to search Iran plane crash site
15:50 Home prices in NL to increase 4% this year: ABN Amro
15:43 ‘Artefact detectives’ in Iraq aim to end the theft of their history
15:39 Archaeologists & filmmakers dig up the past of UAE’s Shamash temple
15:30 Moderation
15:05 [Ticker] Sweden halts Iran Air flights after crash
15:01 Middle East crisis: EU's delicate balancing act between Washington and Tehran
15:00 Dutch soldiers in Iraq safe, together, Defense Min. says
14:59 Outrage over reports EU-funding linked to forced labour in Eritrea
14:45 Meeting between the College of Commissioners and the Members of the Parliamentary Groups
14:33 [Ticker] Spanish court: EP must end Catalan MEP immunity
14:01 Dutch cabinet now in favor of new fireworks limits and regulations
14:00 Girls more likely to be harassed, stalked online
13:49 [Ticker] Orban to offer free IVF in anti-immigrant move
13:27 Hate speech has 'no place' in Austria, says Kurz, after Bosnian-born minister receives abuse
13:00 Trump proposes 'NATOME': NATO expanded to MidEast
12:35 Lack of career prospects leaves care workers to quit, says report
12:35 Singer songwriter Jeangu Macrooy is Dutch Eurovision entry- AD
12:35 Defrosted kingfisher rejoins museum collection of dead animals
12:35 Saba again present at Holiday Fair - Saba News
12:35 Politicians should take responsibility for their own laws, says legal chief
12:35 ChristenUnie calls for firework clubs, backs ban on consumer sales
12:35 Good weather will bring clear views of partial lunar eclipse
12:35 'Explosive' growth in Amsterdam hotels despite stricter limits
12:35 More violent incidents at New Year, but fewer people are arrested
12:30 Number of hotels in Amsterdam region skyrocketing: report
12:05 [Ticker] Von der Leyen: 'Influential' EU means talk and trade
12:00 Pope Francis: "US-Iran tensions threaten rebuilding of Iraq"
11:30 Friends of plane crash victims mourn loss
11:21 EC Midday press briefing of 10/01/2020
11:15 Croatian Presidency of EU Council: opening remarks by Croatian Prime Minister and President of EC
11:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Geldermalsen - Voetakkerweg
11:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Prinsenbeek - Spoorstraat
10:26 UK accused of 'behaving like cowboys' over EU database copying
10:26 Men in west London have highest male life expectancy in EU - Life expectancy
10:24 Ursula Von Der Leyen and Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic talk to the press | LIVE
10:00 Car with possible explosives found in Gelderland town; link with ATM bombing investigated
09:39 Stockpiling for the New Year
09:37 European ministers meet to salvage Iran nuclear deal
09:30 Dutch Listening Practice - Talking About a School Trip in the Netherlands
09:22 In Myanmar Armys Corner, Aung San Suu Kyi Will Defend It in Rohingya Genocide Case
08:49 Ask Our Astronaut | What's next in space exploration?
08:18 8 teams who saw their seasons ruined by international breaks
08:17 Judiciary Council calls politicians to stop blaming judges for unpleasant rulings
07:39 House of Commons passes Brexit bill for UK departure from EU on January 31
06:27 [Ticker] Swiss afraid of EU wage dumping
06:25 [Ticker] Orban to start new EU movement if kicked out of EPP
06:10 ABN Amro names PwC's former Dutch chairman as new CEO
06:07 South Mississippi Strong- Mag Holland is an angel devoted to helping others
06:04 MEPs slam UK for violating EU police database
06:03 EU regions: don’t touch cohesion funds for Green Deal
06:02 [Opinion] Europe, Scotland and Brexit - what next?
06:02 [Ticker] Brexit back on EU presidency agenda next week
06:01 [Ticker] Athens asks for US help in east Mediterranean
04:32 How polluted is the air where you live?

15:50 Home prices in NL to increase 4% this year: ABN Amro
15:43 ‘Artefact detectives’ in Iraq aim to end the theft of their history
15:39 Archaeologists & filmmakers dig up the past of UAE’s Shamash temple
15:30 Moderation
15:05 [Ticker] Sweden halts Iran Air flights after crash
15:01 Middle East crisis: EU's delicate balancing act between Washington and Tehran
15:00 Dutch soldiers in Iraq safe, together, Defense Min. says
14:59 Outrage over reports EU-funding linked to forced labour in Eritrea
14:45 Meeting between the College of Commissioners and the Members of the Parliamentary Groups
14:33 [Ticker] Spanish court: EP must end Catalan MEP immunity
14:10 Boy, 10, randomly assaulted by woman on Haarlem street
14:01 Dutch cabinet now in favor of new fireworks limits and regulations
14:00 Girls more likely to be harassed, stalked online
13:51 2nd EU Clean Air Forum (Bratislava, 28-29 November 2019) - Part 2/3
13:49 [Ticker] Orban to offer free IVF in anti-immigrant move
13:27 Hate speech has 'no place' in Austria, says Kurz, after Bosnian-born minister receives abuse
13:20 Dutch car rolls in Belgium; deceased victims discovered hours later
13:00 Trump proposes 'NATOME': NATO expanded to MidEast
12:35 Lack of career prospects leaves care workers to quit, says report
12:35 Singer songwriter Jeangu Macrooy is Dutch Eurovision entry- AD
12:35 Defrosted kingfisher rejoins museum collection of dead animals
12:35 Saba again present at Holiday Fair - Saba News
12:35 Politicians should take responsibility for their own laws, says legal chief
12:35 ChristenUnie calls for firework clubs, backs ban on consumer sales
12:35 Good weather will bring clear views of partial lunar eclipse
12:35 'Explosive' growth in Amsterdam hotels despite stricter limits
12:35 More violent incidents at New Year, but fewer people are arrested
12:30 Number of hotels in Amsterdam region skyrocketing: report
12:05 [Ticker] Von der Leyen: 'Influential' EU means talk and trade
12:00 Pope Francis: "US-Iran tensions threaten rebuilding of Iraq"
11:40 More than 9,300 incidents over New Year's: police
11:30 Friends of plane crash victims mourn loss
11:21 EC Midday press briefing of 10/01/2020
11:20 2nd EU Clean Air Forum (Bratislava, 28-29 November 2019) - Part 1/3
11:18 Croatian Presidency of EU Council: press conference opening remarks by President von der Leyen
11:15 Croatian Presidency of EU Council: opening remarks by Croatian Prime Minister and President of EC
11:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Geldermalsen - Voetakkerweg
11:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Prinsenbeek - Spoorstraat
10:50 Girl, 10, dies after falling from asylum center's window
10:43 Compilatie 24H ‘Ontdek je stad’ 2019
10:32 Ontdek Amerfoort #Citytrip
10:26 UK accused of 'behaving like cowboys' over EU database copying
10:26 Men in west London have highest male life expectancy in EU - Life expectancy
10:24 Ursula Von Der Leyen and Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic talk to the press | LIVE
10:00 Car with possible explosives found in Gelderland town; link with ATM bombing investigated
09:40 Viktor Orbán threatens new Europe grouping to rival 'weaker' EPP
09:39 Stockpiling for the New Year
09:37 European ministers meet to salvage Iran nuclear deal
09:35 President von der Leyen meets with Andrej Plenkovic, Croatian Prime Minister
09:30 Dutch Listening Practice - Talking About a School Trip in the Netherlands
09:28 [Ticker] Johnson suggests Iran crash was 'unintentional' missile
09:22 In Myanmar Armys Corner, Aung San Suu Kyi Will Defend It in Rohingya Genocide Case
09:16 Trudeau: Canadians deserve answers on plane crash
09:10 Man, 68, arrested for taping jerry can to Leeuwarden train
09:09 Iran denies that it brought down Ukrainian plane with a missile
08:49 Ask Our Astronaut | What's next in space exploration?
08:18 8 teams who saw their seasons ruined by international breaks
08:17 Judiciary Council calls politicians to stop blaming judges for unpleasant rulings
07:45 Iranian missile caused crash of Ukrainian Boeing 737: Officials
07:39 House of Commons passes Brexit bill for UK departure from EU on January 31
07:37 Gay, bisexual young people over twice as likely to be harassed, stalked online
07:01 Canadian PM called PM Rutte about MH17 after Tehran plane crash
06:37 Only let specialized clubs light fireworks, coalition party says
06:27 [Ticker] Swiss afraid of EU wage dumping
06:25 [Ticker] Orban to start new EU movement if kicked out of EPP
06:24 [Ticker] EU blasts Israeli settlements on 'occupied' land
06:15 Croatian PM Optimistic About EU Talks For North Macedonia, Albania
06:10 ABN Amro names PwC's former Dutch chairman as new CEO
06:07 South Mississippi Strong- Mag Holland is an angel devoted to helping others
06:04 MEPs slam UK for violating EU police database
06:03 EU regions: don’t touch cohesion funds for Green Deal
06:02 [Opinion] Europe, Scotland and Brexit - what next?
06:02 [Ticker] Brexit back on EU presidency agenda next week
06:01 [Ticker] President of European Court of Justice lambasts Poland
06:01 [Ticker] Athens asks for US help in east Mediterranean
06:01 [Ticker] Ukraine investigators want to search Iran plane crash site
04:32 How polluted is the air where you live?
04:14 Poisonous caterpillar to strike earlier than usual this year
I agree and close
x Cookies text