Basically the same thing I tell my third party voting friends. They always reply the same, "yeah, yeah, those are great ideas." And then no action.

They're all talk and no action. Too lazy to do the ass-busting work it takes to help get local third-party politicians elected. They only like to complain about shit they do nothing about.
Jill Stein's been running a really awful campaign as well, parroting the same vitriolic (and debunked) points about Hillary as Trump's campaign has instead of telling us what she has to offer.
If you want a choice between a lying Republican poseur and a sideshow circus, that's your choice.

I'm gonna be over here, self satisfied that my vote for the "anti-vaxxer" is a vote for somebody I mostly agree with. And, while you guys can grumble I'm handing the election to the opposing party (opposing being the major party you're not aligned with), it's your fucking job not to have total shitbags rise to the top.

Do you know who actually won in 2012? NONE OF THE ABOVE. More registered voters didn't bother to vote than voted for one part or the other.

Sorry Dan. I will not support your candidate, and I don't even know why we bother listening to you on topics other than lgbtq issues and sexuality. Time and again, you've proven to be insultingly wrong, most glaringly about the Iraq War. Sorry, if I don't listen to Squishbrains like Dan who support Squishbrains like Hillary who are so so wrong on so many topics.
@3: "insultingly wrong"
Big talk from the guy who thinks that the French Revolution made things better for the poor, who thinks that the Terror only killed aristocrats, and who thinks that Napoleon was some kind of reformer. I figure if you're that hilariously misinformed, you don't get to call other people "insultingly wrong", you dickweed.
@3: 1.5 million people died as a result of the Iraq War. That's over twice the population of Seattle, dead. I'm willing to get some slime on me to prevent that from happening again. My sense of moral purity sure as shit ain't worth 1.5 million lives.

And no, it's not "[Dan's] fucking job not to have total shitbags rise to the top." It's EVERYONE'S job, yours included. Absolving oneself of the moral responsibility to vote against shitbags is PRECISELY how they rise to the top.

But I'm sure your sense of self-satisfaction is totally worth the high likelihood that my father and his (MY) family will be deported come a Trump Presidency. Asshole.

"None of The Above" wasn't on a single, solitary ballot anywhere in the nation. It doesn't matter if a majority of eligible voters fail to turn in ballots - because not turning in a ballot DOESN'T FUCKING COUNT. You know what does count? the votes of people who actually vote. Sure, it's shitty we live with a two-party system, and that all those third-through-sixty-fifth parties can't even collectively generate enough support to come anywhere near to matching the Dems and the GOP. But until you-all can actually get a significant percentage of citizens to show up to the polls to support your candidates, they can be 99.9999% "right" on whatever set of issues you choose to align with, but it doesn't mean squat, because they're NEVER going to get elected to office. That's pretty much Dan's point: if you want The Greens, or The Libertarians, or The Socialist Workers, or whomever, to get elected, start with the down-ticket races that don't require 40 million votes to make an impact. Start rolling that little snowball down the hill, and stop whining because you haven't come up with a good enough argument to convince several millions of your fellow citizens to do it for you.
Interesting you don't talk about how Jill Steins stance on gay marriage, it holds up just a little bit better than HRC. Didn't take you long to forget about that one. But manipulating marginalized groups for media gains is old hat for those folks. Well Dan, enjoy your war and environmental degradation, whatever helps you sleep at night. No pro-war, pro-fossil fuel candidate will get my vote. I want to be able to look my children in the eye and tell them I voted for what I believe in. And seriously, mushrooms in shit? These are intelligent and dedicated people trying to be a part of the solution. Get over yourself.
I call bullshit. The only people it will REALLY effect is White Gay Men if DRUMPF becomes president.... Things in the Black community wont change. We are already fucked... That Latino community MAY be effected but because a large percentage consider themselves White sometimes take on the benefits. I DO think a DRUMPF presidency will effect White Gay Men that have spent many years trying to become as equal as straight White men. Ultimately for people who decide not to vote for Hillary has NOTHING to do with THE PEOPLE and everything to do with the candidate.
@4 Psh. Big talk from somebody who has to have an alt to express his darker side. Besides that, only two of the three are correct (I stopped arguing with your dumb ass because you thrust statements like "I believe only the aristocrats were executed" into my mouth).

If you think the Revolution was all bad, you're as un-nuanced as Dan and Dr.Zaius. I'm surprised that sombody who is so hilariously blinded by the shock of bloodshed is willing to support Hillary Clinton.
The people I don't understand are the Bernie Sanders supporters who were so fired up, rallying, proudly displaying their Feel the Bern bumper stickers and yard signs---only to pout like sore losers about Sanders' recent endorsement of Hillary Clinton,--only to suddenly do an about-face and angrily say they're voting for Trump?!? WTF? Trump's LAUGHING at you turncoats for playing into his "divide and conquer" neo-fascist game. We need to solidify! Hillary has the experience and a better international track record as Senator, First Lady, and Secretary of State. Meanwhile, the same ex-Berners are now willing to settle for an obnoxious, spoiled. born-rich blowhard who boasts about his penis size, has filed bankruptcy four times, and has no experience in government office whatsoever.
How many ex-Berners are really male chauvinists who can't stand the idea of a woman in the White House running our country?
Dan is mostly right, but wrong in one critical way.

If you live in a swing state, vote for Hillary. Your vote is important.

If you don't live in a swing state, your vote is meaningless, UNLESS you vote 3rd party.

So, if your state is purple, Hillary. If it's red or blue, vote Larry or Jill, EVEN IF YOU HATE EVERYTHING THEY STAND FOR.

For the record, I don't know anything about Jill, so no opinion on her, but Larry's platform is mostly "more tax cuts for the wealthy", so Hillary is still a better candidate than he is, even though Hillary is a lying sack of self-serving shit.
@6 I did my part in trying to support a reasonable politician. In fact this state did its part. But, it wasn't enough and I won't support Hillary just for the assurance that my cousins won't have a tougher time under Trump.

But, you got that fear going in ya. That's how the two party system keeps you voting for shitbags.
à la Wikipedia:

As of October 18, 2012, there were 134 elected Greens across the United States.[75] Positions held varied greatly, from mayor to city council, school board to sanitation district. Twenty-three states had Greens elected at the municipal level, representing every region of the country except for East South Central. Greens held mayorships in California and New York, and positions on city, neighborhood, or common councils in the West, South, Midwest, and Northeast. Major cities with a Green presence were spread throughout the country and included Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Oklahoma City, and Washington, DC.

The Green Party in the United States has won elected office at the local level; most winners of public office in the United States who are considered Greens have won nonpartisan elections.[76] The highest-ranking Greens ever elected in the nation were: John Eder, a member of the Maine House of Representatives until his defeat in November 2006; Audie Bock, elected to the California State Assembly in 1999 but switched her registration to Independent seven months later[77] running as an independent in the 2000 election;[78] Richard Carroll, elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2008 but switched parties to become a Democrat five months after his election;[79] and Fredrick Smith, elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2012,[80] but re-registered as a Democrat in 2014.[81]


Looking at how things have generally gone the past 7 and a-half years (economy up, stock markets up, unemployment down, 27 straight months of job creation, national debt down, number of people with health insurance way up, marriage equality, repeal of DADT, Bin Laden dead, et al), I think we'll do just fine with 8 more years of a Democrat in the White House, thanks.
@12, if your primary issue is hating the establishment, Trump is a reasonable vote.

My primary issue is, not ending the world as we know it, so Trump isn't a reasonable vote.

Although it should be noted, those who are voting for Trump as the anti-establishment candidate WANT an end to the world as we know it, so they are again voting reasonably, they just have a different idea on how the end is going to go with Trump in charge.
@9: The Democratic Party isn't going to do shit. Which is a fuckton better than a Trump-led GOP royally fucking us over. You want to take Clinton and the Dems down in 2020 and elect someone better, you have my blessing and probably my support. But TODAY, we have only two options. And one is orders of magnitude worse than the other.
@15, thanks for proving Dan's point. The greens hold virtually no local offices.
Ross Perot's ghost can affect more than just the presidency. And just because somebody isn't president doesn't mean the choice doesn't have an effect on our daily lives. Harming democrats at the local level can be just as detrimental to our daily lives as harming Hillary.

And if we take Duverger's Law into account, it's probably critical to move away from a plurality system of government (you get to vote for 1 person, and whoever gets the most votes gets the spot) to either a proportional representational system, or perhaps even a condorcet style system when only 1 person can be elected. We should be focusing on doing this as we're trying to get 3rd parties elected whether locally or nationally

Given there are some 511,000 elected offices in the U.S. that would give them a whopping 0.026% of the total number. Better get to work.
@14: Are you brain dead? If not participating meant we get to redo the 2016 election, or that neither Clinton nor Trump take office, then I'd be not-participating like a motherfucker. But opting out does fuck-all.

Actions are judged by their consequences. And here are the possible consequences we're facing for 2016:
1. Trump presidency.
2. Clinton presidency.

That's it. There are no other outcomes. Since [2] is vastly preferable to [1], the not-shithead does what he can to make [2] a reality. Any other decision is fucking moronic.
Here are a variety of Hillary Clinton's campaign platforms. If you are Bernie-or-Bust, I would appreciate hearing about which of these policies you disagree with.

--opposing Citizens United
--supporting/expanding medicare
--defending Obamacare and adding a public option
--raising the minimum wage
--defend women's reproductive rights
--investing in our country's infrastructure
--thinking immigrants, black people, and LGBTQ people are, in fact, people
--fighting climate change
--expanding access to college and lowering college debt
--Not shitting on the national debt
--opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership

I always aim as viably left as fuck, and have given Bernie lotsa money. But this certainly ain't 2000, when Gore was anti-choice, anti-gay marriage, and in his only presidentially binding decision (choosing a running mate) he chose the most conservative democrat he could find.

That said, The Stranger Election Control Board are a bunch of fuckin' idiots, because they never try and sell Bernie readers on how liberal Hillary is; they just try and sell her based on how dumb they think you still are. FFS, y'all ain't wrong, it's just you're bad journalists and can't read an audience.
@14 I like how in your world noting the fact that the French Revolution caused the death of over 3 million human beings - many by slow starvation - isn't "nuanced." When other people get slaughtered it's always nuanced, isn't it. i guess the Holocaust wasn't all bad, right? I mean rents in Warsaw went down, right?

Sure the French revolution wasn't "all" bad. It was just totally unnecessary.

And you'd know that if you actually read anything except skimming wiki entries between jerking off in your mom's basement.
@22 The only way to revitalize the Democrats is by getting some good people elected under their banner. If we can't do that, the only way to kill the two parties is to not vote for the two parties.

Maybe you didn't read, I'm not opting out. I'm opting in...for a third party. Im going for Green instead of that crazypants Johnson.
I put it this way to Berners. You can't BOTH

[A] be part of a morally driven movement for progressive ideals, equality, and justice


[B] be a political consumer who "has options when you shop" and can blame the Democratic party's failures on their brand not being attractive enough to you personally.

People in moral, political movements have moral, political obligations. And those are mutually exclusive ways to frame your own relationship to politics.

Additionally, I just find you all to be cynical assholes. The quickest way to a vote you can be proud of, that you can "stomach," is to vote for the outcome you actually wish to see happen, as if you're a GGG adult who is honest about their feelings.

People need to own their kinks, and own their desire to see Hillary beat Trump.

But if you literally would like to see Hillary Clinton lose this election to Donald Trump, because she wasn't far enough to the left (on the issue's your limited perspective uses to define the left) AND have her know that's why she lost--and Donald Trump is President, fine. You should absolutely vote for Jill Stein.

But also, fuck you! Because your moral obligation was to do the opposite of that!
@25 So vote Clinton! She helped kill a lot of innocents by authorizing the Iraq War (amongst other military maneuvers). A lot of good she did too, right?
The Greens and Libertarians always want to get to the top without doing the hard work.

When Third parties have state legislatures and a share of congress— then, you bet! I am so there. I'll vote third party tomorrow for city council, state legislature, and congress. But without a coalition base an executive will accomplish nothing. Only morons vote third party in Presidential races.
BS. There are several 3rd party folks serving in local and state roles around the country. There would be more if people took the time to research past the D's and the R's, but no one does, because they think they need to vote D or R in order to defeat the person they really don't like.

I believe that if everyone truly voted their conscience, all races would be 4z+ party races. It's lazy voters that have kept the 2 party system fully intact.
People have been voting against their own self-interest for years. Jill Stein just gives them another way to do that.

Dan is absolutely correct. Building a 3rd party begins at the bottom. Follow the Kshama Sawant model, not the Jill Stein model.
Wrong. I will not vote for Hillary. The argument doesn't hold water and I am not going to waste time on explaining it to closed minded individuals. Let's just say that the media supports this lie that a vote for Jill is a vote for Trump, and that until we start taking back control of our "democracy" by electing third party candidates, the two party stranglehold will continue.
@27: No. Most people already don't vote for either party and stay home instead. The two parties are doing just fine. If 90% of the population stayed home and 10% picked the next president-- who would thus be the choice of roughly 5% of us-- that person would still be President.

The only way to improve the two parties is to elect someone else. If you have an argument that Stein can actually win the Presidency, then I'll listen to it gladly. If not, then it's time for some damage control for 2020.
@29 what happened to nuance? So now you're all absolutist and hyper-principled? You're all over the place.

Look. It's called being an adult. Was Clinton part of the war monger coalition. Yes. Is she better than Donald Trump? Infinitely.

Politics is only tangentially about ideology. It's mostly about the unsavory compromises necessary in a tight electorate to move policy forward. Activism is about ideology - which moves culture forward and changed the balance in the electorate. Quit confusing the two.

If you want to take such absolutist stands — do activism.
@23 She doesn't actually oppose TPP or Citizens United. She just does to get your vote (similar to Obama and Gitmo).

She also LOVES the PATRIOT Act.

Her expansion of Obamacare and Medicare is a joke, and she has no plans to negotiate premiums or other medical expenses (prescriptions).

Her climate change beliefs are also incredulous because of her rallying for Fracking abroad if not at home.

And her foreign policies suck donkey balls.

Basically, I'm good with her wedge issues - women's rights and children's rights...if she's to be believed, also gay rights (has she mentioned Trans issues? I hope she's better on those than she was on gay rights). And, um...that's not very much common ground.
There's no better way to finally convince me to vote for Jill Stein than to have Dan Savage tell me to fucking not fucking vote for fucking Jill Stein.

You've forced my hand.
@36 Now who's being nuanced instead of absolutist and hyper principled? I guess when it serves your candidate, it's best to ignore the blood she helped shed and try to think of the good she did with it. Remind me again of what that was?
@23 here's some more of Clinton's platforms:

--supported the bombing of schools and hospitals in Gaza in 2014, singing the praises of the IDF as they murdered 500 Palestinian children. Criticized Obama for expressing concern about the slaughter
--has vowed unconditional support for the openly-racist Netanyahu regime
--supports the coup regime in Honduras, which is currently hunting down and killing environmental activists
--supports the imprisonment of whistleblowers
--supports warrantless surveillance, government secrecy, and the patriot act
@35 Let me get this through your skull. If Hillary wins, we're looking at damage control in 2024.

There is no way on God's Green Earth, short of a hilarious obviously criminal activity, that the Democrats would even think of letting anybody primary an incumbent.

With Hillary, it's 8 more years of corporate rule...minimum. Better luck in 2024.
@17: Please reread my comments. I support Hillary for reasons @23 cited, and agree with @18 as to why.
For those of you keen on Hillary, take a gander at the following:….

For those who "don't know much about Jill Stein," it's easy peasy to google her name and read about her plan. No spoon feeding here...
@42: So your argument is that not only does Stein have no chance in 2016, but she or the next Green candidate also have no chance in 2020. Why are you voting for them then? How-- specifically-- does that make any difference as opposed to opting out and staying home?

As to corporate rule, we're getting that either way. So it's a non-factor.
There's just one problem with Dan's little diatribe here: he's completely full of shit.

Dan asks rhetorically: "Where are the Green Party candidates for city councils? For county councils? For state legislatures? For state assessor? For state insurance commissioner? For governor? For fucking dogcatcher?" Well, Dan, why don't you take three minutes to get on the internet and find out? Go to the Green Party election database, type in 2014 in the election year box, leave the rest blank, and click search. There they are! Hundreds of them! In a non-presidential election year! Holy fucking shit!

The fact that you didn't bother to go looking for them doesn't mean that they don't exist.
Dan Savage doesn't understand state or federal election laws at all.
At any given time there are between 100-200 local elected Greens and many more than that run. Same for the Libertarians. So they're running well more than 300 candidates a year.

Federal Law (FEC) requires a Presidential Candidate to get 5% of the vote for the Candidate to get additional funding and for the next Presidential election as well. In other words 5% of the vote this time means $5 Million for the next election, making them that much more viable.

Additionally over 30 state laws allow a party to get an ongoing ballot line if the pass a threshold. In most of these states that threshold is between 1% and 5% of the vote. That ongoing ballot line means candidates have ballot access from local partisan races all the way up to congress and governor. THIS is how one can win local elections.

NY alone has had 3 Green Mayors. Cities like Boston, Minneapolis, San Francisco have had Green City Council Members. There are scores more than that in smaller municipalities. There's even been a couple that have had Green majorities in California. State legislative races are tougher but there's been a few Greens in those offices as well. Maine, New Jersey, California, Arkansas come to mind. While Greens haven't won any congressional seats, the better candidates are already in the 10% - 20% range.

Jill Stein herself has been elected to Lexington MA Town Council twice and received 18% when she ran for Secretary of Commonwealth (Secretary of State) of MA.

So either Savage is ignorant of Election Law, Green Party officeholders or, he's lying.
If you vote Stein, you're as white supremacist and racist as the worst of Trump's trolls, you are their moral equivalent, but you want your fucking green cover.

You're the polite Nazis.

Again, fuck you. 1.5M dead Iraqis and September 11th are your fault, for voting Nader, you imbecilic narcissistic stupid cents.

You're friendly fascists with GMO free bread, and you're as much war criminals as Cheney.
I've heard the analysis offered by Savage here a lot. It strikes me as shallow and [I'm so sick of this word] entitled. The Greens and their local surrogates BEG people to run for local offices all the time. If you register with the party, they'll do somersaults to get you to run for office. If there aren't lots of them in office, it isn't because of some moral failing of some screwed up "them," it's because the rest of us are reluctant to step forward and invest our energy in the project until some critical mass is reached and we decide that the likely return on our investment makes it worthwhile. Bitching at the people who have stepped out to help create that critical mass, the first people to take the risk of saying "I am Spartacus," is petty. It's saying you want someone else to create your political movement for you, and if the political movement isn't viable yet, it's their fault. That's not how it works.

If we're not willing to even cast our votes for what we believe in (much less run for office), then we deserve the war-mongering, corporate fellatiating, neoliberal Dem oligarchs that we get. However, the rest of the world doesn't deserve them, so we need to break the two party cycle. And we're not going to break that cycle by continuously voting for whatever shitty Dem the corporate paymasters decide to run against the Republicans.
The Green Party has been around since 2001, yet they haven't done much other than elect a few small-town council member and maybe a few state offices. No Congressmen (that I can recall). They pretty much just show up every four years to scold. This time, they couldn't even go to the trouble of getting a new candidate. They just re-ran their Mitt.
Greens run all the time here in Illinois. In the 2006 gubernatorial race, the Green candidate got over 10% of the vote, giving them "Major Party Status", qualifying them to be included in debates, etc.
They lost it in the next election. America is just a 2 party system and those 2 ain't gonna be liberal and liberal-er, no getting past it.…
Dan, right now I worship the ground you walk on. I have been saying this for YEARS. The Green Party trots out Nader or Stein every four years and does not a Goddamn thing in between. THANK YOU. This needed to be said.
Dunno why people call criticism of Hillary vitriolic when the problems are with her record not the criticism. Yes, I know Trump is saying it too, and so he can win, but can we - FOR ONCE in an election - expect Americans to have a brain that can think beyond basic arithmetic?

She does have a program - she is not "just about" criticizing Hillary Clinton (who deserves lots of it). Out of all the candidates, her proposals and her position on candidate funding ( no corporate dough) most closely emulate Bernie Sanders. Plus, she takes student debt a step further. Just cancel it - bail out the students the way the bankers were bailed out. The President has that power and, as she has discussed, her first act in office would be to vanquish the student debt via appointment to the Federal Reserve.

She is the best candidate - even better than Bernie - on single payer Medicare for all. She (like Bernie) has an A rating from Physicians for a National Health Plan.

She also proposes radically slashing our criminal military funding in order to fund health care and education. She supports a massive jobs program that would actually put 25 million Americans back to work - instead of a job search - a real job with real liveable wages. AND - the U.S. Greens, last I read, also support a universal basic income for all Americans at 10k per year - which would go greatly towards abolishing income inequality and poverty. (May we remind you that 47 million Americans are currently IN poverty and 80 percent of the nation is on the BRINK.)

She supports lifting the cap for social security - and I would bet she also supports a liveable minimum for seniors during a period in our history in which EXTREME poverty is literally SOARING for elderly American women. Where is "feminist" Hillary on that? You have to badger and cajole her on the smallest of advances as Americans continue to sink - she's fully incapable of true empathy - and literally - as so many describe - a psychopath.

M'gad, look at Honduras, Berta Caceres, Libya and Hillary's macabre laughter about a toppled leader being gruesomely tortured to death. She voted for Iraq, she's attracting the endorsements of major conservatives as she continues to move the Democratic Party to the right.

She's taking more money from Wall St than any other political candidate in American history. The Clinton Foundation is a veritable flush fund for foreign governments - including brutal theocratic sexist homphobic regimes - to pay for the U.S. presidency. Basically - the Saudis - who paid for 9-11 - have given her more than 25 million dollars.

Look - I feel the same way about Donald Trump. But when are you neo-liberals going to wake up and understand that "New Democrats" are creating the Donald Trumps of this election? And that - if we can't get Bernie as the nominee - we have to get off this damn train ride and build another party not involved with these monies.

I'd love to think there are "short cuts" - there are "compromises" leading to the left. But this has been going on for decades already - and the only way it's been leading is to the right and to veritable fascists like Donald Trump.

So. Now. Thanks to "New Democrats" like the Clintons, we have a choice between the disaster of neoliberalism or the disaster of fascism.

It's not going to get easier. It's going to get harder the longer ya'all put this off. There are no shortcuts. You just have to start building this party.

We wanted Bernie to do it - but they now have him by the throat. So the Greens are our next best bet.

Also - they DO run candidates at more local levels. But you know what? You "new democrats" are STILL too brainwashed to vote for them. We had a Green running locally ONLY against a corporate Democrat. He was LEGIONS beyond this sell-out with a plastic Wall St face. But you "new democrats" and "politically correct neo-liberal growth-loving rent-raising drones - couldn't vote for him even when there was no big bad Republican in the race - and even when the race was at a local level.

So give us a break with the excuses.

And I"ll tell you what else - almost 100 million eligible American voters didn't vote at all in the 2012 general election for President. So if you have a problem getting your Wall St war mongering candidate elected - try convincing all those people to vote.

We already do vote. We have a right to vote for someone we actually believe in. We're tired of political blackmail - we refuse to negotiate with terrorists. The two parties are ONE party. Bill Clinton ENCOURAGED Donald Trump to enter the race. They are long time old friends. They were at his wedding with plagiarist Melania. Maya Angelou - used to promote HIllary's fake image as a progressive - along with sell-out Dolores Huerta - has partied at Donald and Melania's mansion.

We're not voting for Wall St. We're not voting to drop bombs on people in the Middle East or to brutally topple more democratic governments. We're not voting for insurers and BIG PHARMA blocking single payer Medicare for all. We're not voting for "New Democrats" who don't even believe in FULL EMPLOYMENT. We're not voting for people who need to be COMPELLED BY FORCE to support raising social security to a liveable minimum. We're not voting for people you have to fight with before they support a liveable federal minimum wage. The platform isn't even binding and they have a history of not abiding by anything they put in it.

So -- the game is up folks.
@45 do you think the Republicans would ever nominate a candidate to make you comfortable enough to abandon the Democrats and vote Green comfortable in the knowledge that you're cool with either candidate?
The debates are sponsored and funded by the D and R parties. It is their GOAL to not have other people on the stage. The two party system is very beneficial for maintaining control by the powers that be- look at how polarized we are. Gary Johnson was governor of New Mexico, and he sued for antitrust violations regarding exclusion from the debates.How interesting that this is swept under the carpet. I am voting Libertarian again this time. I dont agree with 100% of his platform because it's not really possible, but he is a real possibility for escaping this gridlock that we are in. He seems like a decent human being.
Ive decided to "learn to ignore the bullshit in the Stranger about political people", and inform myself about what politicians stand for and follow the money that backs their continued seats of power no matter what party they belong to these days because really its the same shit, just a different animal anyway.
I've said it once before but while we're repeating ourselves:
Dan seriously?! Attacking the Greens? I'm an independent and I frequently vote green when I can't support the human refuse the dems parade out as viable candidates. The Greens currently hold more than 100 elected down ballot offices nationally and are running for 100+ more this election season. Just because YOU only pay attention to them every four years doesn't mean they're not working tirelessly each and every day to make our country and political system better. Next time kindly Google it yourself so I don't have to do it for you- a whole list of elected and currently running green candidates are available at I'm so disappointed a usually informed progressive thinker like yourself would demonstrate such party loyalty to a party who, in your own words is merely the lesser of two evils.
There's a basic chicken/egg problem for third parties to overcome. Major left interest groups (Unions, for example) are not going to bail on the Democrats for the Greens unless they think the Greens more likely to deliver the legislation they want. But to do that, the Greens will need to start winning major elections, which they won't be able to without the support of important interest groups like the Unions.

Individual voters simply lack the power to effect changes on this scale. And therefore, the Greens and all the other would be third (and fourth and fifth) parties will remain forever a sideshow.

The "two party system" is the product of the institutions defined in the US Constitution. The way US elections work mean that there will always be two parties. Change the rules of the elections and some other configuration of parties will result. Leave the rules of the elections alone, and you'll always have two parties.

If the Democrats lose this election, the party will not respond by moving to the left. They will react they way they reacted to the collapse of the New Deal/Great Society coalition after 1980 by moving to the right, figuring that's where the median American voter is heading. But if the Democrats can win, there will be room to continue the party's current leftward momentum.

The sun revolves around the earth. Please to toe this line. We wouldn't want to lose our textbook sponsors kthx.

Holy shit!! Old guard: pull over when the panic attacks hit.

PS @10 thank you
I'm *almost* amused by the people pointing to the few hundred Greens elected into local and state positions as proof that the rant is wrong. As someone else already pointed out, that puts the Greens in about 1/4 of 1/1000th of 1% of local and state offices. That's not the foundation of a political party that can demand to be taken seriously.

All of the 'third' parties *combined* account for less than 2% of state and local offices. The other 98% and change? Those are Democrats and Republicans. Strange that *those* parties don't have trouble finding people to run for dog catcher, treasurer, mayor, governor, or senator, but the Green Party you're all claiming as a serious contender will, to paraphrase one poster, do backflips to convince you to run for office if you *register* with the party. The 'serious contender' Green Party is so *desperate* for people at the low levels that their primary criteria for qualification is apparently the ability to *register* to vote. That doesn't signal a healthy party, it screams 'parlor trick', or 'con job'.

Maybe Jill Stein is the genuine article. Maybe she's really what the country needs. But she'll never get elected on a 'protest vote', because the *other* 97% of the votes will be for one of the two big parties that everyone has heard of, and who actually appear on the ballot in all 50 states. There are *county* governments with more political offices than the entire Green Party currently holds NATION WIDE.

Build brand recognition, FFS! That's what Dan has been saying. If the majority of the country has never *heard* of your party, because they have no record to speak of, they're not going to pull of a Presidential election short of someone assassinating every candidate, Senator, and Representative (state and federal) right before the deadline to get on the ballot.

Activism is the realm of pure ideology.
Politics is the realm of the practical.
If you treat one like the other, things break in *bad* ways. ¥

¥ See that German fellow from WWII, for an example. Heck, even the American Revolution built its coalition across deeply divided groups by holding their noses and compromising on major issues in order to be *able* to accomplish the primary, shared goal.
@ #19, 21, 30 - Do your arms ever get tired from lifting all those heavy goalposts?

In addition to that, #59 is absolutely right about the chicken/egg problem with elections. Does anyone honestly believe that it'll just take some good ol' fashioned elbow grease to get multiple Green Party officials elected to congress and state governments? It's funny that all these anti-3rd party people can lament voter suppression at the hands of the Republican party, can go on and on about our terribly corrupt electoral finance system handing all these victories to Koch-sponsored candidates, and then turn around and blame the victims of that system for not trying hard enough to get elected as part of a 3rd party. A lack of self-awareness is not exclusive to Republicans, it seems.

As for this whole, "Nader gave us BUSH!!!111!1! DERRR!!!" nonsense, it seems like no one at The Stranger has bothered to fact check. The truthiness of that statement is through the roof, but more registered Democrats voted for Bush than for Nader - approximately 308,000 to 34,000, actually. So no, people, Nader didn't cost us shit. If anyone can be blamed for the Democrats failure to win in 2000, it's the Democrats.

So far we've been voting for the lesser of two evils. It's been working out great.
Dr. Cornell West is one of Jill Stein's "pasty white supporters". It's one thing to throw abusive language around when you're trying to get someone to recognise the abusive nature of a MF that needs to be dumped. It's another thing to hurl it at people who want a saner more balanced nation. Congratulations on being another voice in our political circus slinging derision and hate. You must be very proud.
The main reason America doesn't have more viable third party candidates is because of our political infrastructure: We currently do voting based on first-past-the-post. Whoever wins the majority wins it all. Almost all other democracies use a propositional representation system. That kind of system allows for more third-party candidates to have representation. As long as we have a first-past-the-post system, we'll have a two party system.
Yep, too much of the anti-Hillary noise we read here reads like it was written by the Trump campaign. I expect the GOP will be promoting Stein like they did Nader in 2000.
Anti-vaxxer anti-science flakes *who support Putin* on Ukraine and Syria and god knows what else. This is not the alternative I want.
pansack dear, thank you for the non-sequiturs. I must admit, I don't remember any of Our Dear Dan's supposed sayings. That may be because I don't file away grudges (remember, a grudge will rot the pocket you carry it in!), or maybe because it just didn't happen and you are a big storyteller. But mostly because I don't live my life by what Dan says. Perhaps you should try that.

I'll reiterate: The Greens just seem to be a whole lot of nothing but professional, quadrennial scolds. And that's true no matter how vexed you may be at Dan Savage.
@55: So no response as to how voting for Stein is unlike doing noting at all. Your silences are more informative than your rationalizations.

As to your question: I can't parse that tangled sentence. But I've given up trying to get into the toxic mindset of the GOP.
#59 Aiden - 100%
Did anyone else notice that this is posted by Ansel? My interpretation is that like most Sanders supporters, he's troubled by a lot of things about Clinton, but now that the primaries are over, he's going to do the sensible thing like Sanders is doing and support Clinton.
Morally consequential voting is a skill, it's an almost incomprehensibly difficult skill, and those who don't see the skill in it have not begun to climb the learning curve.

Except in badly-written fiction, EVERY choice is a choice among lesser and greater evils. Choose the lesser - to the best of your ability - or kindly STFU.
@69 So, the answer is No. You're always going to vote for the Democrats because you're always going to fear the Republican candidate.

If the Republican candidate was Rubio, would you be more apt to vote Green? What about Cruz? Jeb!?

What about McCain or RMoney? Would you be spazzing out against the Green Party if they were the Republican nominees?

My point is, you're voting for Clinton out of fear of Trump. And, in 2020, the Rs are going to nominate another candidate that might be better or worse than Trump. So, no matter how much of a dumpster fire Clinton (or any other Democratic Presidential candidate) is, you'll always vote for Democrats because #NeverRepublican. There is no chance that you'd vote Green in 2020 because Cruz or Christie or Rubio, or any of the other nominees they'll put up that year, will also be dumpster fires, perhaps even bigger than Trump.

But, I'm done parsing your shitty logic for you. Fucking democrats always say "maybe next election. Or the election after that" knowing full well they'll be put through the exact same wringer and have the exact same emotions and logic in four years,

No moving of the goalposts required. If a third party wants to be a contender in this country, then they have to get off their pasty, privileged, morally-indignant asses and get their supporters to run for office - a whole lot of offices, in fact - and then they have to convince a whole bunch of other people to vote for them. It's a pretty simple formula, and it's how the two major parties have been doing it all along. The only thing you're lacking - aside from the candidates, that is - is a compelling reason to vote FOR them.
The Stranger did endorse socialist Kshama Sawant over Democrat Richard Conlin in 2012, and again Sawant over Democrat Richard Conlin in 2013. Went back to Chopp over socialist Jess Spear in 2014, and still with Sawant over Democrat Pamela Banks in 2015.

So they do kind of mean what they say when they want third parties to start local.

Not that Dan Savage's condescending lectures will do anything but harden the resolve of the kind of people who at this point are lining up behind Jill Stein. These are people who were basically given a huge fuck you by a Democratic party who picked the one candidate guaranteed to most offend the left wing of the party. Yelling at them now like their angry dad is not going to help.

If Democrats would actually like some of the votes over on their left wing -- and I don't think they do; they don't act like it -- they need to find somebody very much unlike Dan Savage to sweet talk them.
pansack dear, calm yourself, you're distraught. I would never presume to tell you what to do. That was just a gentle suggestion. After all, you seem a little hung up on Our Dear Dan. That's not healthy. He's a married man.

Let's try to focus on my core message, shall we, and leave Mr. Savage out to it? The Green Party is ineffectual. Jill Stein is their Mitt Romney.

And just what "correction" are you attempting to provide about 2001? That's from their website.

The Nader rally at Madison Square Garden in 2000 was the whitest large gathering I ever saw in New York City. Then I moved to DC where I registered as a Green but never got a mailing from them until long after I'd switched back to being a Dem several years later. In New Mexico in 2000 the Greens were very active -- to the point where they split the vote among liberals, resulting in Heather "Mrs. Strangelove" Wilson going to Congress and to committees dealing with armed services and the US nuclear arsenal. I'm now in Ohio, and I haven't been impressed by the Greens here either. I find them very one-note and insular. I suspect they are more visible in the more middle class suburbs where you find older hippies, but in the blue collar neighborhoods where I've lived? Not a damn thing.
@77 The Democrats are ineffectual too, Dear. At least with regards to almost anything progressive.

Gay rights? SCOTUS
Lily Ledbetter? Weak
Obamacare? Insurance industry's wet dream
PATRIOT Act? They love it!
Foreign military tactics? UNF!!
Unfettered free trade? They're spearheading that bitch

Heck, even our state Democrats are lame. Boeing wants something? Lemme bend over. Cuts to unemployment? Yes sir, Mr Microsoft. Taxes need to be raised? I'm sure there's a sales or property tax around here somewhere that can be raised.

Democrats have no balls when it comes to progressive legislation. They've been absolutely fucked in economic legislation for 2+ decades.

But, Go Blue, amiright?
I'm jerking off in my mom's basement.
@79 - It is disingenuous (at best) to represent Democrats as abhorrent as Republicans. You know this. You know the system is imperfect. You know we are MUCH worse off with Trump than Clinton.

You do realize Democrats are constrained by Republicans in Congress and elsewhere, right?
A vote for a 3rd party is half of a vote for Trump. Remember 2000, hold your nose, and pull the lever for hillz. Fuck the republicans.
@81 Did I say they were as abhorrent as Republicans? Point to me where, in this thread, that I said this. That is a straw man argument and you should be ashamed.

Our dear Catalina said that the Green Party was ineffectual, as if to say the Democratic Politicians were effectual. They're not. They're, largely, the worst kind of spineless economically-conservative corporate whores. Especially when they know their seat is free from being challenged.

(And this state's Democrats had control of both legislative branches and the executive for decades. They only recently lost the house dut to shenanigans. So, the argument that Republicans are the ones doing all the bad shit is demonstrably false. Given the response I get from Chopp whenever something important is on the block, he doesn't give a flying fuck about progressive values)
Over this comment section?
Dan is a moron. The Greens have NOT been running Nader every 4 years like he implies. And they have been doing local elections:…

OTOH, the Republicans didn't wait forever to run Lincoln. He was up to bat the 2nd POTUS Election Cycle. If they followed DS's advice, where would the slaves be right now?
The dynamics under which the Republican Party formed- the disintegration of the Whig Party and the fierce North-South divisions over slavery are very different than the dynamics today. The Democratic Party is not disintegrating. The Repulbican Party might be blowing up but that's not really where the Greens are targeting.

Anyway, Donald Trump is an existential threat. I don't usually fault anyone for voting their conscience for 3rd party/independents, but for this election, anything one does to increase the chances of a Donald Trump victory is a ethical abomination. Red state, blue state, purple state, I don't care. There been too many unprecedented events in this election season for me to feel complacent enough to not vote for the only candidate who is a realistic alternative to Trump. Will Trump win WA? Probably not, but I know my vote isn't going to be one that let him do it.

It's real sweet how you want to tell your grandkids you voted your conscience, but nobody's gonna give a fuck about that if Trump wins.
Still voting for the person I feel would be best for our country - not as a strategic play that perpetuates a culture of incrementalism and concession but as an actual person that I truly believe would be the best choice based on their beliefs and platform. I do not think it's an outlandish idea to demand great change now instead of later. Because if we didn't have these voices demanding exactly that, we would never make any significant progress.

I do believe in much of what Savage observes and demands and I do hope we continue to see a rise in the number of third party candidates in local races, but I don't think that should forfeit support for those same third parties in higher offices. That seems rather bleak to me: to deny viability based upon them not climbing the ladder. One can peddle, only so far, the tale of needing American grit and paying your dues as the only way of reaching the top. There are also plenty of tales of those that went for broke, and came out winners.

But, per usual, I'm veering off course. I'm not going to buy into the rigged system that forced a weaker candidate into the nomination when polls and primary contests reflective of a general election have continuously shown an indication of Sanders being the landslide victor in a "vs Trump" matchup. I'm not going to ignore the compounding evidence that clearly indicates collusion, voter suppression, electioneering, and fraud. I'm not going to bend over and take it up the ass because they tell me it's for my best interest and to ignore all the bullshit they have pulled.

I am not going to have any part of that. They brought this on themselves. If the people were not so cheated at so many points in this race, I would not be so adamantly opposed to their candidate but the people did not pick this candidate. The DNC did.

I'm going to vote for the candidate that I feel is best for the job. Not the one they forced upon the people. I'm not going to stand idly by and let them have their way when I have seen all the wrongs throughout this entire race. There's no way in hell I'm ever voting for that.
Dan, you should actually check the facts before blurting out your errors so forcefully. There are over 100 elected Green Party office holders, at the municipal level on up. Many others in the past too. It's not a lot, I know, but a lot more than the zero you claim.
Amen, Dan! Just one correction, however. Jill Stein has run for local offices in Massachusetts and has lost every time. She is my parents' neighbor, actually. Anyway, she's ok for a local politician but there is no F---ing way she can win the presidency when she can't even get elected as a state representative in Massachusetts!!!!
Several "third" parties -- in recent years MOSTLY the Libertarian and Green Parties -- run lots of candidates for offices lower than president, and sometimes win. Mostly city or county offices, occasionally a state legislative seat.

For those parties, there's a dilemma:

On the one hand, if they run candidates for president, ignoramuses like Dan Savage will piss and moan about how they need to run candidates for lower office for the next thousand years and then maybe think about running a presidential candidate.

On the other hand, if they don't run candidates for president, nobody notices them, their members/donors don't feel like they're ambitious enough, their money dries up, and they either die off completely or become tiny little zombie organizations that just take up space for decades beyond their sell-by dates.
Dan Savage seems to be doing pretty well for himself under the current system, not surprising that he would reject any attempt made by the rest of us to in any way effect the status quo
There are currently "at least" 100 elected officials in all levels of government registered as green party. The party website features some currently running candidates for various offices under the "elections" tab and they provide a searchable database for all green party candidates. There are 31 GP candidates running for the house and the senate this election cycle.

It'd be nice if people actually looked into these kinds of thing before running their mouth with information based solely on biased news sources.
This is what we can expect from a Trump/Pence administration.…

Don't throw away your vote on a third party. It's too critical, especially this year!
pansack dear, since you seem unable to do it yourself, I will state the correction that seems so very important to you. The Green Party USA platform page ( states. "The Green Party of the United States was formed in 2001 from of the older Association of State Green Parties (1996-2001)" I figured you would be able to understand that distinction, but it seems like you're more the literal type.

And yes, there are over 100 Green Party town council people, college administrators and such. They seem to be unable to move beyond that level, yet insist on running blowhards for president. That shows to me that they lack seriousness.

I will say this: If the passion and energy being expended on defending the Green Party in these comments were applied to the real world, they might actually manage to get a Congressperson or something.

For the author(s): Link to current Greens in office

Facts are so damned important. I'm not sure whether this has been pointed out by anyone else on here. But. Wait. Actually the 97th comment does it.

Christ, I don't support electoral politics at all, BUT if you are going to consider yourself a "journalist" you should at least do some basic research. Good lord.

I like Dan's articles on sex. But he could stand to learn a thing or two about politics and how to use the internet. It's a very useful tool to help you not sound like a completely uninformed ass-bot:

As of October 18, 2012, there were 134 elected Greens across the United States.[75] Positions held varied greatly, from mayor to city council, school board to sanitation district. Twenty-three states had Greens elected at the municipal level, representing every region of the country except for East South Central. Greens held mayorships in California andNew York, and positions on city, neighborhood, or common councils in the West, South, Midwest, and Northeast. Major cities with a Green presence were spread throughout the country and included Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Cleveland,Oklahoma City, and Washington, DC.

The Green Party in the United States has won elected office at the local level; most winners of public office in the United States who are considered Greens have won nonpartisanelections.[76] The highest-ranking Greens ever elected in the nation were: John Eder, a member of the Maine House of Representatives until his defeat in November 2006; Audie Bock, elected to theCalifornia State Assembly in 1999 but switched her registration to Independent seven months later[77]running as an independent in the 2000 election;[78]Richard Carroll, elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2008 but switched parties to become a Democrat five months after his election;[79] and Fredrick Smith, elected to theArkansas House of Representatives in 2012,[80] but re-registered as a Democrat in 2014.[81]
As to Libertarians (I call them failed Republicans):

Following the 2002 elections, according to its site,[54] 599 Libertarians held elected or appointed local offices and appointed state offices. Since the party's creation, 10 Libertarians have been elected to state legislatures.

I could go on doing this for all independent politicians. But you get the point.

While I am a fan of Dan Savage, perhaps he should do a little more research. There are quite a few Green Party candidates who run and are elected to local and state offices accross the country.

It took me about 20 seconds to find this:…
champion a corrupt, warmongering duopoly like ours enough times and you end up with dueling Hitlers and Stalins. the wrong side of history is an ugly place to be.
As has been stated, there's plenty of Third Party candidates down-ballot. Dan Savage just hasn't noticed them because he hasn't looked. He's getting old, he's too used to the corporate candidates presenting themselves as the only "legitimate" candidates.

I love how he presents no real solid reason to vote for the corporate candidates except for the fact that they're going to win anyway, or something. That is no reason to vote for them.
Dan, you are a moron. If you didn't read Jill Stein's Twitter rebuttals yet, the Greens run candidates locally every year, which is an easy Google search that you either didn't do, or you ignored. I even helped out a Green campaign, and went to a rally.

It's the lack of coverage all the Greens get that is the issue, if Jill Stein had the same amount of coverage as Gary Johnson this whole time, I am certain the numbers would be much different.

Now Clinton on the other hand, has done many of the things Trump says he wants to do, and Trump is less hawkish than Clinton anyway. That is not to say that he is better than her, but I remember how everyone feared Romney four years ago, and many feared McCain four years before him. Obama was elected both times. What did he do for us? He bailed out the Wall Street bankers out of trillions of dollars, Bush did not do that, Obama's policies led to a huge increase in carbon emissions, Obama has deported more immigrants than any president before him, he expanded the wars, Guantanamo Bay has not been closed, it took him forever to even say anything about it since he was first elected, and Obama had two Democratic houses of Congress during his first two years, he did not push for universal healthcare, instead he helped pass this garbage piece of legislation that empowered the health insurance companies, and made many people pay a lot more for healthcare than ever before.

These were things people expected McCain or Romney end up doing. Why did Obama do it?

What that tells me, is that both parties talk a little bit differently at times, they are bought out by the same people, they have the same donors, after all, and they will ultimately bow to their corporate masters, not any real people.

A new party must be built, and the Greens must run nationally to help with ballot access, funding, and even awareness at the local level. Jill Stein needs all of your help to win this election.
Greens are running for offices all over the country. They even occupy a few local seats in Illinois (my home state), which is really cool. Let's just keep that in mind.

Remember the time that Mr. Savage suggested this remedy for a Green Party politician? :

"Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope."

Yeah, that's really nice. I understand his vitriol when he's talking about Republicans - it's even amusing on occasion. But his irrational hatred for everything not-Democrat is...what is that word the kids are using these days? Problematic. That's it.

If you don't like the idea of Greens "stealing" votes from Democrats, advocate for Ranked-Choice. Otherwise, maybe some silence from you for a change might be called for.
On another, less important sidenote, the 308K+ registered Democrats who voted for Bush in Florida, along with the Palm Beach butterfly ballot made Bush president, not Ralph Nader.

We already covered this long ago (cit ref @21): the number of offices held by Green Party members compared to the total number of elected offices in this country is minuscule to the point of insignificance; a literal fraction of a fraction of a percentage-point. Get back to us when they manage to break into single-digit percentages - I'll make it easy for you and suggest they do so in even a single state - and then perhaps your comments may have some slight relevance, because right now, and in the foreseeable future, the Green Party (or any other so-called "third party" in this country) certainly doesn't have any.
I just morally cant consider voting to avoid a candidate instead of voting to elect a representative... I'm maybe throwing my vote away, but it is still better than not voting at all (I think so anyway ...) If the American people vote-in Trump... that is their debocle and their tradgedy. I will be able to say that I did not. And I can't agree with the line "not voting for HClinton is electing DTrump". That is stupid. It is ridiculous to say that anyone not voting along the system lines is in anyway accountable for the poor choices of others. It's like saying, "you chose to vote for peanut butter, instead of choosing a sh*t burger or a piss panini. Now we are all earting piss and sh*t and it's your fault...". Im sorry, but, no. The fault lies with those that chose sh*it or piss. I wanted peanut butter...
This year, Americans are wishing like never before that they could vote for someone outside the two major parties, without fear of making victory more attainable to whichever candidate they consider the very worst.

Most have not heard of ranked-choice voting, a.k.a. instant runoff, which solves this dilemma and basically makes elections spoilproof. (You can learn more about how RCV works at

Virtually none of our elected officials are talking about this solution. After all, Republicans like being the only game in town when it comes to opposing Democrats, and conversely, Democrats like being the only game in town when it comes to opposing Republicans. If they occasionally lose an election on account of the spoiler effect, they figure that's better than opening the system up to increased competition.

You're also not likely to hear about ranked-choice from TV pundits, newspaper editorial boards, op-ed columnists, talk radio hosts, etc. For some, this may be out of loyalty to the major party they identify with. At the same time, media institutions are pretty attached to the simple red-vs.-blue narrative, which third party and Independent candidates don't fit into. RCV would fundamentally and permanently change election dynamics, making them more complex and unpredictable. That could be a difficult adjustment for the Fourth Estate.

We need more than two choices! While it may be too late to implement RCV for the 2016 ballot, it's imperative to have a sustained national conversation on how to level the playing field for future elections. The sooner it gets underway, the better.

Once again, for more information see
Sheesh, with 108 comments, this one is but a drop in the bucket.
But here's my drop, since every drop counts.

I agree that 'third parties' need to work from the grassroots up, and field candidates for City Council, and local races, etc. That's where most of the good stuff happens anyway. Even if you don't vote federally (or write-in NONE OF THE ABOVE consistently), you should definitely vote for local races. Otherwise GTFO.

BUT--- The American political system (especially at the federal level) is geared towards keeping other parties out. So no third party will ever be viable, based on the rules of the game as they are written.

In France, a nation of ~60m people, they have 7 political parties represented in their Sénat & Assemblée Nationale (very equivalent to our Senate and House of Reps). ((And another dozen smaller parties in various municipalities)).

In the USA, a nation of ~330m people, we have 2 political parties represented in our Senate and House of Representatives.. Two.

It's a crock of shit. We could easily have 7-10 parties if "we" (ahem "They") wanted to.

So yammer on all you want about how third parties need to start at the grassroots if they ever want to grow up to be president some day, sure. But after 250+ years of nationhood and only two (2!) parties dominating all politics, it should be a teensy bit obvious that the rules are rigged to keep it that way.

Fix the rules.
Strange that this hasn't been mentioned yet, but I'm on a write-in in part because I live in a very safe state and in part - for the not-yet-mentioned bit - because Mrs Clinton with what she'll likely call a womandate is Very Scary Indeed - to me, at least.
Typical write up from a from a Clinton backed, politically climbing writer who has become increasingly irrelevant and boring within the local LBGT community. What a smear job! Slow hand clap... Check out " Sane Progressive" on YouTube. her post dated today.

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