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In Wisconsin, the Democrat party successfully kept the Green Party off the 2020 ballot on a technical filing infraction. As of this writing, Biden has a 20,000 vote lead over Trump in the state. In 2016, the Green Party’s Jill Stein received over 30,000 votes. But the Green’s candidate this year, Howie Hawkins, drastically underperformed Stein’s 2016 showing. Had he been on the Wisconsin ballot, he likely would’ve received around 10,000 votes. The margin would’ve been even narrower but it wouldn’t have been enough to close the gap as it currently stands.

The third-party vote in 2020 was a fraction of what it was in 2016. It dropped from over 5% of all presidential votes in 2016 to less than 2% of the total this time around. The lion’s share of those who voted third-party in 2016 but not in 2020 went to Biden. He beat Trump among former third-party voters, 60%-25%.

The Libertarian BLM social justice strategy struck me as electoral madness, but given that the party’s target voter–people who voted for Gary Johnson in 2016–overwhelmingly backed Joe Biden, perhaps it wasn’t as crazy as it seemed. That the ‘protest vote’ went so strongly against Trump doesn’t bode well for populist nationalism.

 
• Category: Culture/Society, Ideology • Tags: Election 2020, Libertarianism 
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  1. Populist nationalism is not going to be a thing. People keep saying that Trump showed the way and now we just need an appealing populist candidate to lead the Republicans into their populist future. But unfortunately, it’s partly true what the left says about Trumpism–it is partly personality cult. There were a lot of voters who responded to the TV/wrestling star who made rude jokes about ugly women in the debates, and not to the arguments about immigration, war, or trade. The Republicans had a great populist candidate for years in Pat Buchanan–he is extremely articulate, has a sterling character, and can be quite funny–but he was never able to get any traction as a candidate. Ross Perot probably showed us the ceiling for populism without a personality cult element.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
  2. @Chrisnonymous

    But unfortunately, it’s partly true what the left says about Trumpism–it is partly personality cult.

    I can’t tell what other people think, but I can say for a fact that my wife, who’s not at all political, likes him for purely policy reasons. Listening to the media cast aspersions on Trump’s supporters appears to have made you dumber. He annoys the heck out of me, but I support him because – what’s the alternative? It’s the same dynamic that had me supporting McCain and Romney.

    Just because the media puts up its preferred narrative doesn’t mean you should latch on to it. It’s the same old coalition-type party politics in action. Workers want to work. Law-and-order people want law and order. And so on.

    The media BS about personality cults is just an extension of its crap about GOP supporters voting against their own interests. They are in the business of telling you that there’s a mudslide when they are taking a giant crap on you.

    • Agree: PhilK
    • Disagree: Supply and Demand
  3. @Johann Ricke

    Perhaps drop your paranoid delusion that there is anything wrong with the Democratic Party platform as it currently stands, and stop shooting yourself in the foot with the nonsensical Republican votes.

    • Replies: @anon
  4. @Johann Ricke

    I’ve seen video of Trump supporters trying to explain why they like him and unable to come up with anything other than “the greatest economy”, repeated more than once.

    The fact that Trump never articulated clear ideology or policy rationales make it difficult. We here at Unz did a lot of projecting in 2016, and there was a lot of wishful thinking even up through 2020 about what Trump might do.

    The question is easy to settle if we just poll people on other populists. I doubt support can ever rise to the level of making a viable candidate.

  5. In Wisconsin, the Democrat party successfully kept the Green Party off the 2020 ballot on a technical filing infraction.

    Those Democratic bastards have gifted President Trump a moral excuse to execute a coup.

    Politics in a democratic republic is no mere game. Such politics prerequires reciprocity and comity, and it demands that the stakes be kept low enough that an election’s loser and his supporters can afford to concede defeat.

    The Democrats have been escalating for four years—what with their impeachments, their political arrests, their kangaroo courts, their censorship, their arbitrary destructions of innocent nonpolitical persons’ careers, their fantasies that U.S. whites were oppressing and torturing U.S. blacks, and their abolition of the last vestiges of a fair mainstream press—so they now apparently feel entitled just to ignore the law in Wisconsin.

    To grasp the sheer petty injustice of the Democrats’ shameless election-commission maneuver in Wisconsin, it does not suffice to read the news article you have linked, but also to read the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision the news article has in turn linked; and especially, to read the decision’s dissents.

    Whatever one might think of Mr. Trump (I think him a fat, vulgar, incontinent, dishonest loser and, paradoxically nevertheless, a comparatively good president), this isn’t about Mr. Trump, is it? It’s about the rest of us, for the Democratic Party’s élites are telling us, loud and clear, that they are no longer willing to coëxist with us in a tolerable way as free, dignified fellow citizens.

    I am thankful to be an ordinary citizen, without power and therefore without responsibility to sort this impossible problem out, for I would have no idea what to do next; but this terrible track down which the once great Democratic Party of the United States is railroading us leads nowhere I am willing to go.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
  6. iffen says:

    That the ‘protest vote’ went so strongly against Trump doesn’t bode well for populist nationalism.

    There are people who vote that are not partisan nor particularly informed in a political sense and many of these people likely voted for 3rd party candidates as a form of none of the above (Trump or Biden).

  7. Lot says:
    @Chrisnonymous

    I think you and JR are talking past one another.

    95% of Trump’s votes came from regular GOP voters for the regular reasons people vote for any Republican.

    Some of those regular voters especially like him for his WWE personality, but would have voted for Jeb too, and his persona is also be a big cause of his gain of marginal votes outside of the regular 95%.

  8. Jtgw says:

    Interesting observation about the Libertarians. I think their establishment may yet conclude their strategy was a relative success and use that against the attempted takeover by the right populist Mises Caucus.

  9. @V. K. Ovelund

    Let’s not forget–Sulla restored the Republic!

  10. anon[861] • Disclaimer says:
    @JohnPlywood

    Whoa, obvious troll is obviously triggered into a storm of emotion!
    Question: What is stirring up this shill today?

  11. anoint says:

    That the ‘protest vote’ went so strongly against Trump doesn’t bode well for populist nationalism.

    —> 3% represented by lolbert potheads and anime fapmasters pulled for Biden

    —> this is evidence that populist nationalism is DOA

    lol, no. Have you been sparking up the same happy leaf as those “protest” voters?

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  12. @Chrisnonymous

    I’ve seen video of Trump supporters trying to explain why they like him and unable to come up with anything other than “the greatest economy”, repeated more than once.

    That’s what journalists do – cherry pick. I bet I can find for you any number of similar videos for any candidate. Note that selective edits make this a very easy exercise.

    Remember – this is, to some extent, what lefty journalists have always done – decide the thrust of the story, then look for evidence to support their thesis. Today, they do it exclusively. The gist being that Republican voters are cultists.

    Again, stop listening to the media. They used to be embarrassed about lying through their teeth. Now they do it with pride, to shield their audience from crimethink.

    Even the personality cult thing is a Hollywoodized/idiotic perversion of reality. Personality cults don’t create an army of robotic followers. What they are is an expression of power by a dictator, an exercise in ego-stroking, as well as a means of flushing out and eliminating dissenters who lack the common sense to go along to get along (i.e. bide their time). Muammar Gaddafi, Hafez Assad and Saddam Hussein all had personality cults, where attendance at mass rallies determined eligibility for rationed government benefits, and non-attendance was noted down in their personal dossiers by the Mukhabarat. Did not prevent multiple assassination attempts and large-scale revolts and mutinies.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
  13. @Chrisnonymous

    I’ve seen video of Trump supporters trying to explain why they like him and unable to come up with anything other than “the greatest economy”, repeated more than once.

    Would that be anything like the Bill It’s-the-Economy-Stupid Clinton supporters? The reality is that people vote for what they perceive. How could anyone, in reality, vote for a candidate that cannot remember where he is, or that his granddaughter is not his dead son?

  14. @Johann Ricke

    Sorry. You’re wrong on this. You’re about the video I referenced, and you’re also wrong about the larger question of whether Trump’s viability was partly based on people responding to his person rather than his policy. I never said that all Trumpists were part of a personality cult. Some people clearly believed in Trump because of his trade war or because they hoped he would end immigration or hoped he was an isolationist/pacifist. But was that segment of populists large enough to build other campaigns with other candidates on? Doubtful.

    Is the media/left correct that Trump voters are just a gullible mob who Trump manipulates. No, but at the same time, if you are serious, you have to recognize that the left can sometimes hit on some truth in the process of dishonest disparagement. For example, Qanon is a false conspiracy theory (even if there are grains of truth in there), Obama was not born on foreign soil, and those jobs really are not coming back again (in the way they existed previously). Similarly, the right does have some low-information, unsophisticated voters. Trump’s ability to gain support among evangelicals by projecting his religiosity ought to be proof of that.

    The world is grayer/more complex than you’d like it to be, I’m afraid.

    • Agree: dfordoom
    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
  15. anon[353] • Disclaimer says:
    @Chrisnonymous

    I’ve seen video of Trump supporters trying to explain why they like him and unable to come up with anything other than “the greatest economy”, repeated more than once.

    I dunno how to break this to you easily, but … that vid you saw? It was hand picked and edited for content. Really! Not kidding! I know it’s a shocker but it’s true.

    Stop watching TV “news” and you’ll find you think clearer. Try it for 6 weeks, and double your money back if it doesn’t work!

  16. @Chrisnonymous

    For example, Qanon is a false conspiracy theory (even if there are grains of truth in there), Obama was not born on foreign soil, and those jobs really are not coming back again (in the way they existed previously)

    It’s just a way to annoy the other side by saying things that trigger them. Someone who’s not otherwise racist will use objectionable words when worked up, just to push the other guy’s buttons. Re things like Qanon, there are plenty of lefty equivalents. Except with the left – the majority actually believes this stuff. That’s why it’s official policy to defund police departments.

  17. Mark G. says:
    @Jtgw

    I’m not sure what the long term goal of the Libertarian party is. There is no plausible scenario where they can go from one percent to winning elections.

    Is it to push one of the major parties in a more libertarian direction? If so, that hasn’t worked up until now. Cutting spending and balancing the budget has almost disappeared as a policy goal for both major parties. The small vote totals of the Libertarian party indicate to the major parties that there are no votes to be won by shifting in that direction.

    Is it to serve an educational purpose? Someone like Ron Paul got more attention running in the Republican primaries than he got as an LP presidential candidate. The Libertarian party spends a lot of time and money just on ballot access and that money and effort could be redirected to supporting something like the Mises Institute website as an educational vehicle rather than have Mises supporters spend their time trying to take over the LP.

    I think the appeal of the Libertarian party is for people who want to be involved in politics and would rather be the big fish in a little pond rather than the little fish in a big pond. They can be a state party chairman in the LP whereas that wouldn’t happen in a major party. I once had breakfast in a restaurant with the chairman of the Colorado Libertarian party. She seemed surprisingly uninterested and uninformed about libertarian ideas. She was quite pretty, though, and I can imagine all the nerdy libertarian guys in the party voting for her while having fantasies of her being Dagny Taggart.

    • Replies: @jtgw
    , @V. K. Ovelund
  18. So, who got the dead vote?

  19. Talha says:

    Look at the bright side, at least we don’t have elections where we get the privilege of all voting for one guy…and then he thinks he has a mandate for all his awesomeness policies because the-masses-have-spoken:

    Peace.

  20. Dr. Doom says:

    This uniparty is now done. These frauds are much too obvious.

    The so-called third parties are hardly any alternate choice.

    I expect this “democracy” crap has lost all credibility now.

    The War should clear peoples’ minds to letting bums and invaders “vote”.

    Those that say there won’t be a War now are shills and disinfo agents.

    War is now inevitable. Why play a game that is RIGGED against you?

    There really are no choices left for NORMAL people in this decayed corrupt failed state.

  21. jtgw says:
    @Mark G.

    I think the idea is politics gives you a bigger platform to spread ideas than a purely educational institution like the Mises Institute. But you first need to get that platform, like getting into the debates. And for that LP needs to crack 15%, let alone 1%.

  22. @Mark G.

    Though unlikely to win, the Libertarian Party forces the Republicans to compete for votes the Republicans would otherwise take for granted.

    Oh, how the Republicans howl! “A vote for the Libertarian is a vote for the Democrat!” they’ll complain. “You’re just throwing the election to the Democrats!”

    Screw the useless Republicans. They locked Patrick Little out of their convention in California and are still letting an innocent James Alex Fields, Jr., rot in a Virginia prison. They have stymied patriotic immigration reform and have sabotaged efforts to build the Wall. They couldn’t be bothered to put up a serious pro-American candidate for president in 2016, so we got stuck with an unserious Trump. If Republicans insist on taking my vote for granted, then they can go to hell.

  23. @Jtgw

    If they want to try and spin a 65% drop in votes during a record-setting election turnout as a success they can knock themselves out, I guess.

    • LOL: Jtgw

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