What are those to do who feel (certainly not irrationally) that neither Trump nor Clinton are qualified to be President of one their local homeowners’ associations (don’t they each belong to many?), let alone the United States of America?
The idea of creating an independent party to put up a nominee to join in the contest between Trump and Clinton is hardly an original thought. We always seem to have one or two independent parties, but never one contemplated to have a competitive chance of winning the Presidency. The last one to make a serious run at that was Ross Perot, in 1992.
Perot’s problem is that he wanted to win. Silly boy! But there’s a thought being bandied around now of a third party run not to win, but simply to assure the defeat of both Trump and Clinton. Now that’s an interesting thought, but is there anything to that? With every other oddity in the 2016 election campaign, why not this too?
Consider, say, the Sanity Party. It holds a Presidential convention with just a handful of delegates and nominates Cruz and Kasich (alphabetical order). The only issue is who they nominate for President and who they nominate for Vice President. Won’t ego get in the way right at the start?
Not if we keep our eye on the objective, not necessarily winning but assuring that neither Trump nor Clinton wins. Like the spoiler in a race. Like the rabbit in a Marathon. Not there to win, but simply there to influence the outcome. So, toss a coin for who between Cruz and Kasich is the Presidential candidate of the Sanity Party and who is the Vice Presidential candidate. It doesn’t matter if the primary goal is to prevent Trump or Clinton from winning.
Next, the Sanity Party nominees merely enter the election contest in Texas and Ohio. The strategy is to assure that Texas and Ohio will cast their electoral college votes for the Sanity Party nominees in order to assure that neither Trump nor Clinton wins the electoral votes of either of those two states.
If the other 48 states vote as rationally projected, neither Trump nor Clinton will amass the necessary 270 electoral votes to win the general election. The election is then determined by Congress. The House selects the President and the Senate selects the Vice President. And who would they be?
Under the Constitution, the House must select one of the three highest finishers in the Presidential general election and the Senate must select one of the two highest finishers in the Vice Presidential general election. Each state delegation in the House receives one vote for President. Each Senator receives one vote for Vice President.
Back, then, to the question of who the Sanity Party nominates. If Cruz and Kasich cannot agree on who between them will be the Presidential nominee, then we need two find two other credible candidates who will agree. The Republicans started with 17 candidates for the Republican nomination. No doubt one of them would be willing to “settle” for the Vice Presidential nomination of the Sanity Party. Hey, Christie and Carson have already indicated they’re willing to settle for Vice President!
Crazy? Impossible? Maybe. But maybe not if we don’t want either Trump or Clinton as our next President. Didn’t someone once say “Politics makes strange bedfellows?” The actual statement was made by Shakespeare in The Tempest that “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows,” about a shipwrecked sailor who, seeking shelter from an approaching storm, was willing to sleep next to a giant monster.
Bet you didn’t know that Shakespeare was a politician.
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