Matthew DesOrmeaux

Recent Posts From Matthew DesOrmeaux

Libertarians choose electability over purity, immediately reap rewards

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If nothing else (and there’s a lot else), 2016 has been a story of the struggle between sanity and any number of other alternatives.

Republicans chose…well, you know. With the biggest, deepest bench of fresh-faced, experienced, diverse candidates in a generation, maybe ever, Republicans instead have chosen…again, you know. Not sanity, that’s for sure.

Democrats, forced to choose between a fire-breathing democratic socialist and a very experienced but very under-investigation stick of margarine. Everyone tells you it’s better than the alternative, but it’ll probably end up the opposite. Ironically, as the corruptocrat has neared her inevitable nomination, it’s the socialist who’s become more electable.

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Libertarians faced a similar choice this past weekend at their national convention. Gary Johnson was the frontrunner for president, and Bill Weld his choice for vice president, both experienced former Republican governors. Ironically it was exactly their extensive experience that became a liability at the convention.

More radical delegates vocally opposed Johnson and Weld in favor of ideological pure and consequently less well-known candidates. One of those candidates, Darryl Perry, who actually favors the dissolution of the United States, argued that increased media exposure and election funding for the Libertarian Party would kill it.

You’ll never guess who’s tied with Hillary among independent voters

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As the everlasting presidential primaries give way to the possibly even more grueling general election, polls take on a new irrelevance, and coincidentally a new furious pace. Now that pollsters don’t have to ask about two different races with a dozen different candidates in any number of primary states, they can ask about the all-but-certain general election contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump more often.

In the latest of these polls, Morning Consult finds Clinton leading Trump by just 2 points, 42 to 40.

The consensus just a month ago was that Hillary would soundly defeat Trump in November; Trump’s alienating of everyone from women to disabled people was unsustainable. But polls already show the race closing to a statistical tie, just in the last week.

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It’s going to be a long five months.

As I’ve implored, third party candidates should also be included in these general election polls. There are going to be more than two options on everyone’s ballot in November, so it does little good to make people choose between only two options in polls designed to show the state of that election.

Fortunately, the Morning Consult poll does just that and includes likely Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson along with Trump and Clinton. With all three options, they still find a Clinton lead, but by 3 points instead of 2.

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In case you missed it, the presidential primaries are over

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UPDATE: Trump has officially clinched the Republican nomination as of today.

It seems like it took five gruelling, facepalm-inducing years, but it was blink-and-miss-it news that the major party presidential primaries came to an all-but-official close this week. The result that we all predicted and dreaded six months ago: Trump vs Clinton vs …?

Although Bernie Sanders has not yet ended or suspended his campaign, the Democratic primary came to an arrangement this week that serves the same purpose. Hillary is less than 100 delegates away from clinching the nomination, and she seems content to coasting to victory.

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That victory will officially take place with California, New Jersey, and the final round of state primaries next month. In the meantime, the Clinton campaign has shifted ad spending from the primary battle to the general election, now focusing on Donald Trump’s lifelong parade of horribles.

The likely Libertarian ticket is more experienced than any party in decades

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Let’s be honest. When most people think of Libertarian candidates, they picture nutjobs. Your local conspiracy theorist ranting against various American institutions doesn’t often rally voters, which is why there are so few elected Libertarians across the country, despite the party’s 45-year lifespan.

2016 might finally change all that. Libertarians are going from metaphorical lone gunmen to experienced leaders in very short order thanks to the likely presidential and vice presidential nominees.

Gary Johnson, the party’s frontronner and previous nominee, has announced his preference for his running mate, Bill Weld. Like Johnson himself, Weld is a former Republican governor of a deep blue state, Massachusetts. The two also share a proven fiscal conservative record despite governing in such hostile territory.

If Johnson and Weld do win their respective nominations at the Libertarian National Convention in just over a week, the party will be able to claim the most experienced ticket of any party in decades.

Weld’s resume is impressive enough on its own:

 

  • House Judiciary Committee counsel during Watergate
  • US Attorney, appointed by Reagan
  • led Criminal Division of Justice Dept, promoted by Reagan
  • two-term Governor of Massachusetts
  • nominated for Ambassador to Mexico by Clinton, but withdrew over political opposition
  • Libertarian nominee for Governor of New York

 

Now we find out if #NeverTrump truly means anything

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After a crushing defeat in a two-man contest that everyone had begged for all year, Ted Cruz suspended his campaign in Indiana, effectively coronating Donald Trump the Republican nominee for president.

“We left it all on the field in Indiana. We gave it everything we’ve got but the voters chose another path,” Cruz said. “So with a heavy heart but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign.”

Though Trump has maintained 50-60% support in most recent primary votes, he is still woefully unpopular among a significant minority of Republicans, many of whom vow to not support him in the general election.

That pledge will now come front and center as the only viable alternative in the primary drops out. #NeverTrump Republicans have a decision to make. Fortunately, they have options.

As I outlined even before the first primary votes were cast, the November election is now almost certain to be between the two most unpopular candidates in modern history.

We will have a new president this time next year, one way or another. But on the current trajectory, he or she will take office hated by most of the country and with no mandate to impose much of a platform. What a waste that would be.

7 Reasons Harriet Tubman is a perfect replacement for Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill

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Thanks largely to a successful social media campaign and a smash hit musical, Alexander Hamilton will remain on the $10 bill for the forseeable future. Instead of a woman replacing him, Harriet Tubman will replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. This is good news for several reasons, and beautifully poetic justice for several more.

1. The $20 is used much more than the $10.

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As of 2015, there were 8.6 billion $20 bills in circulation, but only 1.9 billion $10 bills. Having a woman, especially one as historically important as Harriet Tubman, on the $20 will mean more than 4 times as much visibility.

2. "Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?"

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As the insanely successful Broadway musical has reminded America, Alexander Hamilton was one of its most important and praiseworthy founding fathers. A penniless immigrant from the Caribbean, Hamilton fought in the Revolution and rose with sheer intellect and will power to be the first Secretary of the Treasury. He's basically single-handedly responsible for ensuring the financial solvency of the republic for its first generation. If anyone should be on American currency for the duration of the republic (or at least its fiat currency system), it's Alexander Hamilton.

Federal ban of “LSD Ale” shows corporatist consequence of overregulation

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The hallucinagen LSD has been illegal in the United States since the 1960s, and apparently in the fatherland of free speech, that means you can’t even name things “LSD” either.

From the Pioneer Press by way of Reason comes the story of “LSD Ale”, or at least that’s what it used to be called.

Call it what you want, but Indeed Brewing Company can no longer market or label its seasonal spring honey beer as LSD Ale.

The feds made the brewery change the name of its Lavender Sunflower Date (that’s where the acronym came from) Honey Ale so that the acronym was no longer apparent.

The brewery did not face federal regulation until it started to cross state lines, and for a while, when Indeed was selling only in limited Wisconsin markets, they kept that particular beer in Minnesota. Regulators were concerned that the name implied there were drugs in the beer.

It’s unclear what federal agency mandated this sophomoric overaction, likely the FDA or ATF. Regardless, the insanity and hipocrisy is self-evident.

Why is the federal government concerned about products that might (but definitely don’t) make people think there are illegal drugs in them? If the products don’t have illegal drugs in them, what is the harm done by that (entirely mythical) suggestion?

Stossel’s Libertarian debate highlights the good…and bad of the third party option

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A stoner, an outlaw, and a teenager walk into a television studio. Not the start of a terrible joke, but the latest Libertarian Party debate, hosted by John Stossel on Fox Business, the first half of a two-hour forum. The second half airs next Friday, April 8.

Participating in the debate were former New Mexico governor and previous Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, software entreprenuer John McAfee, and Libertarian Republic founder Austin Petersen. Each demonstrated plenty of knowledge about liberty issues, but also plenty of idiosyncracies that, while largely unnoticable among the Libertarian faithful, might hinder their appeal in a general election.

Helpfully, Stossel himself pointed out some of these issues and had the candidates address them.

Petersen is only 35 years old and inexperienced in the campaign and television world. He was very animated and forceful in his answers, but has a very freshman debate club tone that would need to be refined over the campaign.

It’s time to start including another name in polls and campaign coverage

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Twice in the last week I’ve had to personally update candidate comparison articles or memes that left out perhaps the most important name on the ballot. It’s time the professional media did their job up front instead.

As we’ve discussed, a Trump-Clinton election will likely be a historic low in terms of turnout and enthusiasm. It also opens a unique opportunity for another party candidate to make inroads in the national political landscape. So why are people ignoring that there are other candidates available?

You may have seen this candidate issue flow chart on social media in the last couple weeks.

flow

I noticed that it was missing something, so I updated it.

flow2

Similarly, Vox’s income tax calculator showing how each candidate’s plans will affect your wallet only has four results.

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LOL @ “mostly on the rich”.

Definitely-Not-Super Tuesday 2016: The night the GOP tapestry was torn in two

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I was going to write a detailed post comparing the final polling averages of the Super Tuesday primary states with the final election results. Decision Desk HQ is a brilliant grassroots resource for live updated results at a glance, and Real Clear Politics’ polling data is second to none. But then I realized, as we all have at some visceral level this year, that lol nothing matters.

But Rubio won a state! lol nothing matters. But my candidate can unite the party at the convention! lol nothing matters. But Trump dramatically underperformed in several states! lol nothing matters. But thresholds were reached and delegates split, keeping Trump from sweeping! lol nothing matters.

The polling data has been decoded, analyzed, spun, and compared to primary and caucus results in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada to try to justify various candidates’ continued viability in the wake of the Trump juggernaut. It’s beyond apparent that it all amounts to slightly less than Ben Carson’s chance of being elected to anything ever.

As of this writing, Marco Rubio has won a single caucus state (not just tonight - ever), Ted Cruz has added Texas and Oklahoma to his previous Iowa victory, and Donald Trump has won literally everything else. Every debate, every candidate exit, every Twitter campaign, every attack ad, every PAC strategy has failed to slow the budding fascist’s momentum.

Matthew DesOrmeaux

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married, father of two, atheist, libertarian, introvert.

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