The Green Party and Libertarians deserve to be loathed

GrimmIf Republican Bruce Rauner loses the Illinois Governor’s race it is very likely that the Libertarians will bear some of the blame. The State Board of Elections rejected the Green Party candidates’ petition to be included on the ballot while approving the Libertarians’, a move challenged unsuccessfully by the Illinois GOP. Now the Libertarians are getting union cash to fund their ballot effort.

What is the goal of their campaign? To be seen. That’s it. There is no Libertarian candidate on any ballot anywhere who is actually making plans to hold an office. “Third party” candidates are engaged in a sort of political cosplay, dressing up to fulfill some weird political fantasy. Unfortunately, this is not a harmless hobby.

Third party candidates have long been viewed as a harmless outlet, giving voters a form of ‘none of the above’ option on the ballot. Ever since professional asshole Ralph Nader got George Bush elected President in 2000, attitudes toward these nuisance candidates have been hardening. Political polarization has led to some unusually tight and consequential elections, drawing attention to the votes siphoned away toward symbolic futility.

In 2012, Democrat Pat Quinn won the Illinois Governor’s race by just over 30,000 votes, less than a percentage point. The Green Party candidate drained away more than 100,000 votes while the Libertarian grabbed 34,000. A random millionaire “Independent” gathered 140,000. Democrats took notice.

This year, the left’s band of nuisance candidates have been systematically blocked from the ballot, giving Quinn a boost potentially worth a couple of percentage points. Meanwhile Rauner must still cope with a level of political vandalism eating into his numbers.

Third parties talk a lot about ‘democracy’ which is odd for organizations that never win enough votes to get elected to anything anywhere. They inhabit a category with door-to-door cult recruiters, email spammers, patent trolls and cold callers. They serve no purpose other than to promote themselves at the expense of people who are trying to accomplish something useful, yet they cannot be stopped.

Think this assessment is unfair? Ask a Green or Libertarian why they almost exclusively field candidates for top of the ballot races. A political group with a genuine interest in governing would start by finding winnable local elections and getting people into office. In other words, they would develop a ground game somewhere before running for President. Greens and Libertarians do not make any meaningful effort to compete in winnable elections because having their goofball candidates occupy an office would not bring a happy result for anyone.

Attention is all they are interested in. Libertarians and Greens don’t care if their actions benefit candidates deeply opposed to their interests or yours so long as they squeeze their fifteen minutes from the process. Libertarians and Greens deserve to be loathed because they are sanctimonious political vandals, monkeying with elections for publicity, distorting the democratic process to ‘make a point.’

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Illinois
74 comments on “The Green Party and Libertarians deserve to be loathed
  1. Zach says:

    As of two years ago, L’s and G’s are definitely out there running for local and state positions… I know because voted for them. I’m not sure exactly what will happen come November, but I will vote for them again if they’re on the ballot.

    I’m not sure what you’re getting out of disavowing the R party ( while slagging those that aren’t R or D in this post. Attention whoring, maybe? Seems disingenuous.

  2. M. Qtips says:

    This is an extremely disappointing post. In 1992 we came within .8% of the voting public of having a third major party, because people like you convinced so many people that they would be “throwing away their votes”. If everyone I knew who said they liked Perot but didn’t want to “throw away their vote” had voted for him, we’d have a three-party system today. Thanks a lot, guy. Who “threw away their votes”, now?

    But defaulting to always voting for major party candidates, you’re helping ensure the race to the bottom that says the winner only has to be ever so slightly less foul than the user. I stopped voting major party because they stopped representing me. I’m not going to reward them for that with my vote, and if people like you didn’t try to hard to keep people from voting for the candidates they actually think would make the best president (because otherwise the other infinitesimally worse guy might win!) maybe the major parties would begin to get the message that they need to shape up if they want to stay in power. I will never, ever vote for a candidate I don’t believe in.

    Nader didn’t cost Gore the election. Gore cost Gore the election, by failing to be a better candidate than Nader in the eyes of so many people. That is the principle job of a candidate and he didn’t do it. That’s his fault and his fault alone. In such a generally lucid and pragmatic blog, it’s disappointing to see the major parties’ propaganda line swallowed like that. 1992 scared them, and for every subsequent risk they closed ranks and attacked the third-party candidate. Hence the overwhelming messaging from both sides fallaciously blaming Nader for Bush.

    If people vote for candidates they don’t actually think would make the best president among the available choices, then *everyone* is throwing away their votes. We’re never going to break the duopoly that allows both major parties to sink ever lower, if someone doesn’t start it. Criticize me all you want. I’m going to keep voting for the candidate who best represents my views. That hasn’t been the Democrats or Republicans for nearly 20 years now, and if they want my vote, they need to change into something I and others like me want to see in office. Please stop trying to prevent that from happening.

  3. The best thing about our two party system is that both Chris and I are in the same party. Talk about a big tent. 😉

    • tuttabellamia says:

      And so is Captain Sternn. As for me, I took the lonesome, loathesome route this election.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Sorry, “loathsome.”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        “Have you heard about the loathsome, lonesome, libertarian loser? She’s a loser but she still keeps on trying.”

      • There’s nothing wrong with sending a message, tuttabella, so long as you are willing to live with the consequence that price of your message might be electing someone you’d really rather not see in office. If the GOP is subjected to enough pain from Libertarians, they’ll be forced to invite Libertarians fully into the GOP tent. Personally, I can’t see how that’s a bad thing.

    • goplifer says:

      I’m laughing, but it hurts.

  4. Gage Creed says:

    Well okay. I still voted for this Libertarian for a seat on the Court of Criminal Appeals.

  5. bubbabobcat says:

    Chris I hope you don’t mind my reposting Des’ fundraiser for his niece’s cancer fight on your most recent blog for hopefully more views and participation.

    Give our love and best wishes to your niece Des.

    desperado says:
    October 31, 2014 at 3:42 pm
    Chris, my apologies in advance and no intent to hijack your blog, but if I can take just a minute to ask for help from those so inclined. My niece’s 14-year-old daughter is battling leukemia and the family is sponsoring a t-shirt sale to raise money to help with the enormous medical expenses involved. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    • objv says:

      I’d love to donate but don’t need any T-shirts. Is there a way I can contribute money without having to buy something?

      • Dittos. I’m happy to buy a shirt, but I’d rather do something a bit more effective.

        And nice avatar pic, objv – say ‘Hi’ to your lovely daughter for me.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Yes, there is an additional link in the one above to donate directly.

        Here it is.

        Follow our journey at

      • objv says:

        Thanks, bubba, I will make a donation today.

      • objv says:

        Tracy, my lovely daughter sends greetings as well. She was very happy that you mentioned her.

        Lately, she has gotten it into her head to hunt elk. A female coworker is a hunter and gave us about 70 pounds of delicious elk meat when cleaning out her freezer to make room for this year’s season.

        My daughter asked my husband to take her to the gun range so she can learn to shoot. Prayers would be appreciated.

  6. Anse says:

    People need to remember why the two-party system is effective: it is designed to marginalize the fringe ideologies and radicals. If you want to radicalize the political system, you must do what the Tea Party is doing to the GOP: work within the system. It’s been effective for them, politically. Democrats, in contrast, have consistently moved to the Center, much to the consternation of liberals. It’s gotten so bad that we’re at a point where a distinctly conservative idea–the insurance mandate–is now characterized as “socialist” by know-nothings in the GOP. This can only happen in a country that is being dragged right-ward, bringing the left wing party with it.

    I don’t often agree with kabuzz about anything, but I do agree that one of the most damaging aspects of American politics is the never-ending campaign. I used to think our problem isn’t the “system” per se, but the people in it; now I’m inclined to think some serious reform of how we elect our leaders may be in order. What was once merely the aspirational rhetoric of the campaign has now leached into policymaking. That’s a bad thing. We’ve made it impossible to have real, bipartisan compromise, because the never-ending campaign has drilled it into voters’ heads that all this high-minded talk must translate into real policy, or it’s all a failure. I get this sense (and maybe I’m wrong) that voters at one time understood that the aspirations laid out by a candidate in a campaign would change somewhat once he/she got into office by the inevitable need for compromise. That’s no longer the case.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      I agree with most of your comments but still laughing at the ‘the democrats are more to the center’. Good way to start my day.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Democrats move to the center? Um, not even close, they have moved to the extreme left, dragging the republicans to the left of center. The tea party movement is working hard to bring the GOP back to slightly right of center.

      The insurance mandate was the democrats destroying more of our liberty and rights, working to bring down a large portion of capitalism and the private system, both health insurance and health care. Problem for the extremists on the left is that the DNC is not extreme enough, has not moved more towards socialism and not done enough yet to destroy the private sector.

      • johngalt says:

        The claim that the GOP is left of center is at odds with every shred of political history from every country ever. While you can certainly find individual exceptions, as a party today’s Democrats are to the right of the UK Tory (conservative) party.

      • Anse says:

        There is no real left wing left in America. At this point, the Democrats look more like the UK’s Labor Party. The idea that we’re “extreme left” is fantastically stupid, and can only be posted in a time when all concept of what liberalism means has been forgotten. You guys are so deep in the Fox News propaganda that you’re blind.

  7. kabuzz61 says:

    Both party’s have proven that there is a real need for a party that doesn’t care about the divisineness or differences but just what is good for the country. The left wing and right wing have made a mess but unfortunately they also control the rules so it is a rigged game.

    Perot was the only independent candidate that actually brought in a huge amount of votes that caused the rascally Clinton to win with less than a majority which he again attained without a majority.

    If we really want to try to even up our elections, we should use a variation of the England model and only have public campaigning two months before the election. Then matching dollar for dollar won’t be a requirement.

    Can you imaging? It would be like heaven.

    • dowripple says:

      I agree, but only as long as I can continue to get all those wonderful phone calls, especially during dinner.

      Caller: (click)(click)…(click) “Hi! Joe So-and-so really needs your vote…”
      Me: (interupts) “…listen, I’m so glad you called. I just got back from the clinic, and Joe really needs to get himself checked out. The good news is they removed it, but it was a female and…”

      • dowripple says:


      • texan5142 says:

        Political interruptus?

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        I’ve been receiving old-fashioned calls from people who state their names clearly and then say why they’re calling. If they have a script, I haven’t heard it.

        I used to make those calls but have since retired from that practice.

        I don’t like the calls, but feel kindly toward the people I’ve spoken with.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      I HATE political calls but now it is even worse with all ‘robo’ calls. Come on Tuesday.

    • Turtles Run says:

      I would add that campaigns are only publicly financed. Rid the dark money groups and the third party PAC ads.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Still railing against free speech, Turtles. Then again, individual liberty and rights are not things valued by the left.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Sorry Cappy, not everyone supports a plutocracy like the tea types.

      • CaptSternn says:

        And not everybody supports socialism like the left.

      • Turtles Run says:

        People love socialism even if they won”t admit it. All first world modern nations are socialist. Some more than others but make no mistake a modern society cannot function without it.

      • CaptSternn says:

        No, Turtles, some of us love civil rights, like property rights. We like capitalism, which is based on freedom and property rights. But it is refreshing that you finally admit openly that you are against such things. At least you are being honest. But what would happen if you and the bird and others would be more open about such things? You would never stand a chance, and that is why all of you socialists, people against freedom, deny your very goals against freedom.

      • texan5142 says:

        The monkey is throwing poo again……Yes I mean you Captin

      • Turtles Run says:

        Cappy – when you write you tripe do you ever say to yourself ” jeez, that is a load of carp that I just wrote”. Pretty much every first world socialist nation on this planet allows property rights, civil rights, and enjoys freedom. Heck the very internet that you post your ignorance upon is the product of socialism much like your iPhone.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Yea Captain, all the internet service providers are really government tools. Yea. Brilliance I tell you, brilliance.

      • CaptSternn says:

        That’s funny, Texan. Flinging poo is a lot of what the left does here and everywhere else. Oh, look at what this guy said. Oh, look at what that lady said. Lifer is flinging it at the tea party all the time, now at the LP and GP.

        Y’all better hope the republicans just hold the house and fail to win control of the senate, because if they do win the senate everybody will find out that the poo and the stench has been coming from the left all along.

        Turtles, why don’t you trot on down to Venezuela, where people have had their property siezed, lost jobs, lost income, can’t get food or even toilet paper and tell them how much better they are now than before? Or scoot on over to Germany and find out how fast you can get years in prison for exercising free speech? Or maybe the U.K. where women are denied health care because they are deemed not worth saving?

      • johngalt says:

        I wouldn’t call for publicly funded elections. I would call for transparency in exercising one’s free speech rights: if you want to influence an election with your money, then you should have to disclose those donations. I would also support an amendment to repeal Citizen’s United. Corporations are not citizens, they are legal entities without the same rights as individuals.

      • CaptSternn says:

        John, the U.S. Constitution doesn’t grant congress the power to censor our free speech, not for individuals, not for groups, not for organizations or even corporations. You are advocating and amendment to repeal the 1st amendment and grant congress those powers. No thanks.

      • johngalt says:

        There are myriad laws and regulations regarding limits on free speech. Drug companies are not allowed to market their products for non-licensed uses and they are not allowed to market drugs that are not approved. Companies are not allowed to use blatant falsehoods in advertising. The SEC has reams of regulations regarding the reporting of earnings and what company officers can say publicly. Corporations are not people and do not have the same rights as actual human citizens.

      • CaptSternn says:

        The limits on any and all of our rights are ony legitimately restricted to when they would harm or endanger others. Show where speech you disagree with politically harms you.

  8. fiftyohm says:

    The Operator’s Union giving cash to Grimm while endorsing The Mighty Quinn is as devious as Grimm’s candidacy itself. (It’s hard to imagine a union thug who could even spell Machiavelli.) Illinois needs a change in leadership so desperately, yet “professional assholes”, (I love that!), many of whom share a sense of desperation regarding the state’s financial situation, are working in the opposite direction. Talk about cognitive dissonance.

    One quibble with the linked piece: The statement, “A vote for Grimm is a vote for Quinn”, is not true, strictly speaking. It’s actually more like *half* a vote for Quinn. If you consider three voters, one a Democrat, one a Republican, and one an “independent”, the Dem votes for Quinn, the Republican votes for Rauner. At this point, the score is tied. If the Indy votes for Rouner, he wins by one vote. If he votes for Grimm, there is still a tie. The assumption is that 100% of the votes for Grimm would otherwise be for Rauner – which is probably true – but a vote for Quinn puts Quinn up by one, A vote for Rauner puts Rauner up by one, and a vote for Grimm is simply wasted. It puts neither of the real candidates up by anything.

    It’s also true that some of the votes for Grimm would otherwise be cast for neither candidate. Some voters would simply not vote.

    I do wish Rauner the best of luck. Having some (very) peripheral involvement is the situation downstate, the Charlie Foxtrot regarding permitting of gas production from the New Albany Shale, and the obstruction of immediate benefits that would flow to that impoverished, ignored, and neglected part of the state is utterly unconscionable.

  9. rightonrush says:

    Of course, most of us already knew this. Racial Resentment Drives Tea Party Membership

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Give it up Rush. We all know you are a full card carrying Southerner filled with hatred for the ‘coloreds’.

      • rightonrush says:

        What should I give up cat, reading? Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m merely giving you TeaP’s a link to the RW leaning Gallup poll. Why would I, as a mixed race person hate the “coloreds”?

      • objv says:

        ROR wrote: Why would I, as a mixed race person hate the “coloreds”?

        Isn’t Cap part Native American just like you? He regularly gets compared to the KKK. I’ve often wondered why he doesn’t get the same break you are claiming for yourself.

    • dowripple says:

      How can that be? Didn’t they all love Herman Cane? 🙂

      And all this time I thought it was coincidence…

    • CaptSternn says:

      That would be funny if it weren’t so sad. Seriously, if somebody believes all are equally capable of being successful, it means they hare black people? But somebody that looks at them as being inferior means they are not a racist? The world looks very strange through the eyes of the left.

      • texan5142 says:

        “l, it means they hare black people?”

        LoL Cap.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        The left doesn’t understand their own ‘upside down” logic.

      • texan5142 says:

        Thought this was interesting kabuzz.

        “The way your brain reacts to a single disgusting image can be used to predict whether you lean to the left or the right politically.

        A number of studies have probed the emotions of people along the political spectrum, and found that disgust in particular is tightly linked to political orientation. People who are highly sensitive to disgusting images – of bodily waste, gore or animal remains – are more likely to sit on the political right and show concern for what they see as bodily and spiritual purity, so tend to oppose abortion and gay marriage, for example.”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        it means they hare black people?
        Cap, I don’t care about your hare. 🙂

      • texan5142 says:

        hare krishna black people?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Texan. Very interesting. When I see animal remains, I react, but with sadness and compassion, not disgust.

        That’s the one thing I don’t like about my road trips with Cap — seeing so many dead animals on the road, killed by vehicles.

      • texan5142 says:

        I hear you, the worst part of seeing dead animals on the road is when I can not avoid hitting them again, dose not happen very often and I know their spirit is free and can not feel the pain, but it still gives me a sinking feeling to be, (for lack of a better word) desecrating the body. Then you have the ass hats who go out of their way to run em over again.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Worse yet is hitting the animal while alive. I have slammed on the brakes many times in Houston to save a squirrel that changed its’ mind in the middle of the road to go the other way.

      • texan5142 says:

        I hear you kabuzz, I have done the same. Lot of wild turkey around here, just last spring I stopped on the highway to let a flock cross, most people will stop if safely possible. I take a certain route home where on several occasions I run across a flock of turkey crossing the road. I go that route so if I see them I can just stop and watch them cross, magnificent bird they are.

      • texan5142 says:

        I do shoot squirrels around the house, otherwise they will eat holes in the cedar fascia and soffit of my house.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Hare-de-hare-hare, Texan. My typos are bad enough on a regular keyboard. Using an iPhone is much worse, even when I do try to proof read my comment.

        I am with y’all on seeing dead animals on the side of the road and trying to avoid hitting or running over animals, already dead or not. Sadly I have not always been successful in avoiding them.

        There was a squirrel a couple of weeks ago that darted out in front of me at the last second, no way I could avoid it. Amazing thing happened, the critter split my front tires and made it out before the back tires got to the spot. I watched the side mirror as it made it across the road safely. Happy ending for both me and the squirrel.

  10. Crogged says:

    Well I had my own younger rebellion and wrote in Barry Commoner of the Citizen Party in the 1980 election.

    It seems the Republican’s should have been ‘smarter’ about the rules–which if I’m reading between the lines correctly, will probably be changed in such a way that the Very Silly Party will be able to get on the ballot next time.

    Heck, if Ayn Rand can inspire a political party, why haven’t the Bokononists and other peaceful idiots organized via Kurt Vonnegut?

  11. CaptSternn says:

    You could go further back with Perot helping Clinton get elected in 1992. But there are some from the LP that have been elected at local levels. So it isn’t always about trying to mess things up.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Another thing about voting for a third party, sometimes it is to vote FOR something instead of AGAINST something else. I voted the LP ticket three elections in a row because of Bush43 and how republicans were behaving under his administration. I have no regrets for having done so.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Doesn’t that sound a lot like voting AGAINST Bush43 and the GOP rather than for something else.

        You are in Texas, your vote against the GOP doesn’t really have an impact in any real sense for any moderately large election.

        If you had lived in Florida in 2000, would you have voted LP instead of Bush, when your vote conceivably could have given the election to Gore?

      • CaptSternn says:

        I voted for Bush in 2000, so that wouldn’t have made any difference. It was because of Bush and republican behavior under his administration that I voted the LP ticket in 2002, 2004 and 2006. Now I am backing the tea party movement and participating in the primaries.

    • rightonrush says:

      I voted for Ross Perot and I’m not ashamed of it.

  12. Firebug2006 says:

    “Libertarians and Greens deserve to be loathed because they are sanctimonious political vandals, monkeying with elections for publicity, distorting the democratic process to ‘make a point.'”
    Is a sizable portion of the GOP not also guilty of this? (Albeit, they have a different motivation for monkeying with elections.)

    • CaptSternn says:

      Do you mean the tea party movement, Firebug? We work through the primaries to get people we support nominated, not trying to draw votes away from any party during the general elections. We tend to be libertarian leaning conservatives and have been much more successful working in the GOP primaries than actual libertarians and the Libertarian Party, and there are things in the LP Platform that most of us just can’t agree with. Not that we agree with everything in the GOP Platform either.

      The movement isn’t based on racism no matter how many times the left claims it is. It got started while Bush43 was president. It started gaining steam when the democrats won control of the federal government in the 2006 elections.

      I still do not see any problem with voting for a third party. Even if they don’t win many elections, just getting a percentage of the vote sends a message to the rest of the politicians. Republicans seemed to have missed that message when the LP was getting votes, but enough people have had enough that the tea party movement got started and grew to really have an influence. But democrats do seem to have gotten the message and went to the extreme far left to take votes away from the Green Party and push that agenda.

      There has long been an agenda by the left to grow the federal government, expand their powers, do away with our liberty and rights, make us more dependent on the federal government and gain more control over every aspect of our lives. And by “the left”, I don’t mean just the far left known as the DNC, but also include the GOP Establishment and neo-conservatives like the Bush family and even Reagan.

      The tea party movement is working to bring back a constitutionally limited federal government and some fiscal responsibility. If the republicans win the majority in the senate and keep the house, things will start changing for the better, for the people and for the nation. We will know in a few more days. I don’t make predictions, but I don’t think our voctory will be as sweeping or as big as it was in 2010. Then again, it just needs to be enough, and that could mean real changes coming in 2016. Changes for the better for people that valuse their liberty and rights.

      • johngalt says:

        Just a quick question here: if the GOP does win control of the Senate next week so that it has majorities in both houses, will you then agree that the GOP has taken control of the federal government?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yes, John, I would agree that if the republicans win majority control of both houses of congress, they have control of the federal government, just like back in 1994 the GOP had control until January 2001 when democrats gained the senate, and then regained control in January 2003 until January 2007.

      • johngalt says:

        OK, I guess, as long as you ignore one-third of the federal government. At least you’re consistent in this regard.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        JG, you do know the difference between execution of laws and legislating laws don’t you? The congress has oversight and regulatory power, that is why even if the president vetoes a bill, congress can still pass it with the necessary votes.

      • CaptSternn says:

        They won’t have absolute power, John. They won’t have even the super majority the democrats enjoyed when the PPACA was passed. They will not have any control over executive decisions. But they will control what legislation is brought to the floor for debate and to be voted on. Bush43 couldn’t have bailed out the car companies had democrats not given him the power and funds to do so.

        What I would like to see happen if the republicans get control of both houses of congress is pass as many of those over 300 bills sent from the house as possible, as fast as possible, and let Obama wear his veto pen down to a nub. That will set the republicans up for a big victory in 2016, probably gaining seats in both chambers and winning back the oval office.

        Early voting turnout is up for the midterms, similar to 2010. It could be that democrats have been successful with their lies, propaganda and name calling, making their base terrified of conservatives and republicans. We know democrats are very afraid. If republican win control, the economy and employment pictures will start improving, and they just can’t have that happen

        Or it could be another “shellacking” for the democrats. But I honestly don’t see the drive behind the right that we saw in 2010, so I am not counting the chickens just yet.

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