By Tim Baldwin
Like Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton just picked a “safe” choice for VP, Sen. Tim Kaine. “Like Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, his Republican counterpart, Kaine brings a steady temperament and unpretentious personality to the campaign,” as USA Today put it. Now what?
As much as some Republicans dislike Trump, they fear the thought of Clinton becoming president and thus will vote Trump. On the other side, many Bernie Sanders supporters vowed never to vote for Clinton, but Trump’s potential success will drive them to hold their nose.
While the idea of voting against a candidate, as opposed to voting for a candidate, is not new, the choices in 2016 highlight this political survival instinct. Of course, this gives third parties, particularly the Libertarian Party, a chance to rise and set a stage for future success.
In truth, the Libertarian platform fits a large portion of Americans’ political preferences, but the media controls which candidates get exposure, which makes the difference at the end of the day. Thus, while many voters who vote for Trump or Clinton would rather vote for Gary Johnson, they will choose either Trump or Clinton because they know the chances of Johnson getting the popular vote are slim.
Kaine will help Clinton’s chances of winning, but ultimately, 2016’s political upheaval should awaken people to the fact that media’s control of politics is unsafe for a democratic republic.
By Joe Carbonari
Tim Kaine should help the Democratic ticket. The Virginia senator is intelligent, well informed, and stable. He can provide good counsel, and he can get things done. Should the need arise he could take over as president and maintain order and confidence. He is generally respected and liked. He knows Washington and serves on the important Foreign Relations Committee. He is well-versed in international issues, their complexities, and the players. He is steady.
Steady counts. When we vote in November we will be electing a team with a vision and a mission. The views of the two parties differ. The teams that they would build and the approaches they would take differ. It is the team as a whole and its manner of play that we should be deciding on. Which team, which approach, is most likely to advance our prosperity and our security, both at home and abroad? As in baseball, it is more than the pitchers that decide the game. It is the team as a whole; the way that it functions, and the support that it gets.
The personalities of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton do matter. They set a tone. Both candidates have been disappointing of late; Clinton unwilling to admit error in a convincing way and Trump affecting a combination of machismo, petulance, and demagoguery. Full support for either requires the willing suspension of disbelief. In this circumstance, I find Tim Kaine uninspiring but calming. Thank you, Hillary.
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