As I occasionally do, I am posting a link to an article that I found of value. It’s not arguing for any particular candidate, but it’s author, Clay Shirky, believes “There’s No Such Thing as Protest Vote,” and he explains why.
If you read the article, scroll to the very bottom and click on “Show All Responses.” Unlike many Comment sections following an article that may be controversial, some of these responses are quite good and many take exception to what Shirky writes, but they do so respectfully.
I’m pasting in the first few paragraphs so you can see if it is something you want to spend the six minutes it will take to read the article:
There’s No Such Thing As A Protest Vote
We’re in the season of protest vote advocacy, with writers of all political stripes making arguments for third-party candidates (Jill Stein, Gary Johnson), write-in votes (Bernie Sanders, Rod Silva), or refusing to vote altogether (#NeverTrump, #BernieOrBust.) For all the eloquence and passion and rage in these arguments, however, they suffer from a common flaw: there is no such thing as a protest vote.
The authors of these pieces rarely line up their preferred Presidential voting strategies — third-party, write-in, refusal — with the electoral system as it actually exists. In 2016, that system will offer 130 million or so voters just three options:
A. I prefer Donald Trump be President, rather than Hillary Clinton.
B. I prefer Hillary Clinton be President, rather than Donald Trump.
C. Whatever everybody else decides is OK with me.
That’s it. Those are the choices. All strategies other than a preference for Trump over Clinton or vice-versa reduce to Option C.
Clay Shirky is someone I respect and follow. He wrote an important book — Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (2008) — and is one of the more informed and thoughtful individuals on the emerging role of the Internet and on Internet technology. Among the many other things in which he’s involved, he teaches at NYU and his writings and thoughts are usually at the forefront of what is happening in this new world of the Internet.
Medium, the site on which Shirky published this article is a somewhat new ‘publishing platform’ founded by Ev Williams and Biz Stone, who among other things were founders of Twitter. This endeavor is to give writers a longer space (longer than 140 characters) to post articles. They also have writers of their own, and I think Shirky might be writing for them. Their website explains, “Medium is a community of readers and writers offering unique perspectives on ideas large and small.” If you’re interested in learning more about Medium, you can check out the site here.
Finally, as always, I encourage MillersTime readers to comment, respectfully, on these linked articles directly on my site. Please consider doing so and let others know what you think about Shirky’s view that “There Is No Such Thing as a Protest Vote.”