[guest post by JVW]
In my ongoing efforts to make everyone into a more informed yet caustic and bitter voter, I thought I would try to render a bit of assistance to my fellow Patterico’s Pontifications readers who refuse to support the reelection of Donald J. Trump yet can’t countenance voting for a mediocre hack like Joseph R. Biden.
Four years ago I tossed a write-in vote in the direction of Evan McMullin, a man who at the time seemed to me to be an authentic conservative yet in the intervening years has led me to believe that he is a bit of a prima donna and caused me to regret my impulsive move. This time around I have vowed to be more judicious with my vote; no more write-ins for me: I’m going to find somebody on the California ballot worthy of my endorsement. I’ll be investigating the candidates as I write up this post, so what you will get is my snap judgement — which, I hasten to add is unerringly true except in the case of that McMullin fellow — so follow along with me as I learn all about the interesting and accomplished men and women who have tossed their hat into the ring. Without further ado, here they are in the order in which they appear on my ballot:
Jo Jorgensen, President & Jeremy “Spike” Cohen, Vice-President; Libertarian Party
This is probably the most likely landing point for a disaffected conservative, right? I mean now that the battle for drug legalization has mostly been won, everyone seems to hate law enforcement, and nobody wants to send American troops anywhere outside of our own borders, all that’s left for libertarianism would appear to be the battle against the encroaching socialism seen among today’s Democrats. While it’s true that we might not yet be ready to deal with a President who sports bangs, us anti-big-government types who have been frustrated by the current White House occupant’s soft spot for authoritarianism need someone to remind us that taxation is, indeed, theft.
Ms. Jorgensen has a short but sweet URL (jo20.com), befitting a small-government advocate, and her website distills complex policy discussions into pithy one-sentence talking points in the same time-honored way that Democrats and Republicans have done for years. You still have to deal with the famous flakiness of libertarianism (she wants our foreign policy to be that of “one giant Switzerland” and her immigration policy can be un-demagogically characterized as open borders), but knowing that Congressional Republicans and Democrats might be a necessary brake on her ambitions makes her candidacy quite intriguing in this silly year. And who wouldn’t want a Vice-President named Spike?
Joseph Biden, President & Kamala Harris, Vice-President; Democrat Party
No. Just no.
Donald Trump, President & Mike Pence, Vice-President; Republican Party
Gloria La Riva, President & Sunil Freeman, Vice-President; Peace and Freedom Party
She is running on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket, yet the campaign website describes her as “a socialist answer to the two corporatist parties,” and the word “socialism” or “socialist” appears quite frequently. Eat your heart out, Bernie Sanders! In a fortuitous twist for all of us, it turns out the answer to each of the ten key issues that Ms. La Riva identifies as pressing needs is — coincidentally enough — more socialism! People are lacking life’s basics? Give them free stuff! The environment is being depredated? End capitalism! Cops are being mean to people of color? Reparations! Immigrants are having a hard go of it? No more borders! And so on.
If our Adorably Ornery Clueless niece is too milquetoast in her commitment to socialism for your taste, why not go for the Emperor Palpatine to buttercup’s Anakin Skywalker? The water in the deepest part of the well always tastes sweeter.
Roque “Rocky” de la Fuente Guerra, President & Kayne Omari West, Vice President; American Independent Party
I have a soft spot in my heart for Rocky de la Fuente Guerra (whose name, if I am not mistaken, translates to “from the source of the war”). He’s perhaps the most interesting candidate on the ballot: born in San Diego, raised in Mexico and California, received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, took over his family’s auto dealerships, expanded them, got into banking and land acquisition, had a bunch of disputes with governments at all levels, then embarked upon his second career as a perennial candidate. He’s run for President in the Democrat primaries (2016); the Republican primaries (2020); in the 2016 general election on the American Delta and Reform parties, the former of which was his own creation; and now in the 2020 election representing the American Independent Party, with that beacon of stability and common sense Kayne West as his running mate. When not running for President, Rocky likes to appear as a Democrat candidate for the United States Senate representing Florida (2016), a Republican candidate for New York City mayor (2017), a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate representing California (2018), an unaffiliated candidate for the U.S. Senate representing Washington (2018), a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate representing Florida (2018), as well as various offices in Wyoming, Hawaii, Minnesota, Vermont, Delaware, and Rhode Island. Earlier this spring he ran as a Democrat in the jungle primary for California’s 21st District House seat. His son Ricardo, who had previous run for House in seats in Florida and California, won a primary and is now the Democrat candidate for the 27th Congressional district of Texas. His other son, Roque III, managed to get on the Democrat Presidential primary ballot this year in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, New Hampshire, Texas, and Utah.
Seriously, what’s not to love about this family?
Rocky père is running on a largely left-wing platform: single-payer health care, amnesty for immigrants, “livable” income for those who can’t work, job guarantees, green energy transformation, end overseas adventurism, raise Social Security contributions, etc. No matter that most of it doesn’t add up: if you are looking for an unserious man for rather unserious times, you can’t do any better.
Howie Hawkins, President & Angela Nicole Walker, Vice-President; Green Party
Speaking of unserious candidates, Mr. Hawkins has managed to swipe the endorsement of the Socialist Party USA right out from underneath Ms. La Riva, perhaps on the strength of his Jeremy Corbyn-like beard. Though he had hopes of winning the Peace & Freedom Party nomination too, Ms. La Riva nudged him out for that honor to secure her place on my ballot. Mr. Hawkins (who likes to be referred to as “Howie,” so I’ll refer to him as “Mr. Hawkins”) styles himself an “ecosocialist” which, he hastens to inform us, is different from bureaucratic state-socialism. He advocates “communalism,” though without the racial or religious overtones, probably because its close cousin communism implies that public pension or trust-fund Greens will be “asked” to share with the less fortunate. He’s also against the U.S. developing a first-strike nuclear weapons capacity, so he’s thus lost my vote.
Like any good fringe candidate, Mr. Hawkins’ website is chock-full of position papers, platform documents, op-eds, speech transcripts, and moderately-lucid rantings about the things that anger socialists the most: success, wealth, autonomy, and freedom. Facing up to the reality that he won’t win, Mr. Hawkins declares a goal of expanding ballot access to Green Party candidates, so he must be fairly cheesed that the Democrats have conspired to keep him off the ballot on technicalities in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, two states in which he could conceivably hurt Joe Biden’s candidacy.
So, short of writing in My Little Aloha Sweetie (which, to be honest, is probably at least a 50% liklihood at this point) I think I’ll probably vote for Jo Jorgensen. If BLM or antifa thugs later menace me, I can always say to them, “Hey, I’m on your side; I voted for Jo!” and as long as they don’t make me write it out I’ll probably have them fooled. I can also burnish my already sterling credentials as a woke feminist by pointing out that I voted for a woman for President in both the primary election and in the general election. In this awful year, it helps to be crazier than the times in which you live.