Top of the Ticket





(Pending certification pursuant to section 115.399)


HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON                                                                                                            (Dem)



DONALD J. TRUMP                                                                                                                                 (Rep)



GARY JOHNSON                                                                                                                                     (Lib)



DARRELL L. CASTLE                                                                                                                             (Cst)



JILL STEIN                                                                                                                                                (Grn)



Above is the ballot for President that I will have to choose from on November 8. That ballot is the one for Clay County, Missouri, USA.

The news talks about only two of these candidates, but as you see, I have 5 options to choose from. I know way too much about the first two to be able to vote for them. I have been a life-long Republican — even served on my hometown/county’s Republican committee for a short time, but the party has continually moved away from me until I need to find another home. I explain how I feel, and it doesn’t change what they do or how they keep asking me to support people that I don’t agree with.  Yes, I agree with the “other side” less, but I really need someone I can agree with more.

So this year I am not voting for either Clinton (D) or Trump (R). I can trust neither of them. Which leaves me three other people to vote for, and to research where they stand. I will not choose the option of “voting down” the ticket (voting for every position but the president), because I believe that only helps the top two candidates, as well as telling people that I didn’t care enough. And I care. Deeply. That last comment requires its own post, which I should write soon.

The third line on the ticket is for Gary Johnson/Bill Weld of the Libertarian Party. The abbreviation is (Lib), which could be Libertarian or Liberal, so as I go down the ticket I am going to be careful to make sure that I know what each abbreviation stands for — there could be more options than I am aware of.

The preamble to the Libertarian Party Platform reads:

As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.

We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.

Consequently, we defend each person’s right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power.

In the following pages we have set forth our basic principles and enumerated various policy stands derived from those principles.

These specific policies are not our goal, however. Our goal is nothing more nor less than a world set free in our lifetime, and it is to this end that we take these stands.

The Libertarians are fiscally conservative but socially-accepting liberal. I am definitely down on the fiscally conservative, and in general fine with the socially-accepting liberal. I agree that making drug use a medical issue rather than a criminal one makes sense. We should keep the government out of our bedrooms, but I do have qualms about the pro-choice element this “socially-accepting” position creates. Yet, overall I am not likely to find a better match, which my review of the remaining two parties will show. I don’t need to worship the candidate, or believe them to be perfect. I need a candidate I can trust to do what he says, and whom I can respect.

The next option is Darrell Castle and Scott Bradley of the Constitution Party. The name of the party sounds like it would be a good option for me — since I believe in translating the constitution by original intent. Their website statement notes:

All the other candidates are marching to the beat of the same song- that of government or personal tyranny over the American people, to a greater or lesser degree. Is the Law of Liberty negotiable, as Trump says “everything is negotiable”? Is the Law of Liberty to be trampled upon, as Hillary has a history of doing? Johnson and Stein also both believe that the government should have greater control over the people in many areas than those prescribed by the Constitution. Only Darrell Castle and Scott Bradley understand the Law of Liberty, live the Law of Liberty, teach the Law of Liberty, and will govern by the Law of Liberty. No compromises, no negotiations, no looking the other way because it suits our personal priorities. If you want Liberty there is only one choice in this election – Castle/Bradley 2016.

They make a good point, even about my preferred candidate Johnson, and how he would allow government greater control over people’s lives than the constitution says via original intent. But I am not sure that we can go straight from where we are back to that very sparse government. It has to be done in stages. His line about “no compromises, no negotiations, no looking the other way” actually concerns me as to his ability to work with the other people to make real change. I think Johnson can.

The final option I have is Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka of the Green Party. I’m not sure what in my past makes me naturally distrusting of the green party, but this year I am putting any qualms aside and taking a serious look at them.

The Green Party has as its four pillars: “Ecology, Social Justice, Democracy and Peace. These are the four pillars, the four interconnected ideas, that the international Green Party movement supports to organize just societies.” The pillars sound good, but when you look at what they intend to achieve, the only way to do this is by massively ramping up the involvement and interference in our everyday lives. Less freedom not more.The first plank of their platform calls for massive intervention:

  • Enact an emergency Green New Deal to turn the tide on climate change, revive the economy and make wars for oil obsolete. Initiate a WWII-scale national mobilization to halt climate change, the greatest threat to humanity in our history. Create 20 million jobs by transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030, and investing in public transit, sustainable agriculture, conservation and restoration of critical infrastructure, including ecosystems.

Based on that, while I laud their goals, I strongly disagree with the methods of the Green Party.

So I have two candidates I can believe in and support, those for the Libertarians and those for the Constitution Party. When I look at them both, I honestly believe that the Libertarian candidates have the better plan and skill to work with others to make a difference if they can make it into office. So I choose to vote for Gary Johnson and Bill Weld.

I will admit I am more compelled by Johnson than Weld. Weld speaks well, but talks almost as if he expects to lose. Johnson is in this to win. I like that.

I have a second post schedule for later today (unusual for me) to explain why I believe we need to vote, and not simply vote “down ballot” either.

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