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Monday, April 30, 2012

An Open Tactical Appeal to the Libertarian Party

As you begin your national convention you are faced with a great dilemma as well as more than one grand opportunities to grow your party's influence.You should be a major political party but one of your former candidates has been scaling the wall to political acceptability in a way that may eventually threaten the need for your existence. Ron Paul's effort to change the GOP into the de facto libertarian party has thus far failed. He apparently is unwilling to abandon this effort and is hopeful that with each coming election, actuarial numbers and electoral defeats eventuate this reality.

He may be right but perhaps there is a way to speed up this process or redirect it in your favor. I, for one, do not see any near term triumphalism of any third party, but I can foresee a splitting of the two major parties into five, global corporatist (I'm sure they will call themselves something deceptively different like Democratic Republicans), cultural conservative, libertarian, labor and green peace. But that's a long term project as well. A short term strategy beginning with your convention goes something like this:

1.) Nominate Gary Johnson without a running mate, giving him the option to be either the presidential or vice presidential candidate in the general election.

2.)Schedule a second convention to coincide with the Democratic party's convention in Charlotte for the purpose of nominating a running mate for Johnson.

3.) Since it is probable that Paul will lose the nomination at the GOP convention, offer him either the presidential or vice presidential spot after he gives his prime time speech at the GOP convention.

4.) At your current convention, prepare an alternative coalition platform to serve as a basis for offering a progressive candidate the vice presidential slot on your ticket if Paul refuses the first offer.

5.) In this alternative coalition platform you should put the common ground planks in , of course. However, you should also offer the following pledges:

       A.) Move 3 trillion dollars out of the federal government through reductions in current spending levels and elimination or consolidation of non-essential programs and departments, with most of the cuts coming MIC, corporate welfare, drug wars and other areas progressives agree need deep cuts.

       B.)Raise 1 trillion dollars through the following measures: Reforming and/ or replacing the current income and payroll tax system in a manner that significantly reduces the overall tax burden on at least 90% of the population while raising taxes on not more than 2% of the populations. Reforming our tariff system to base rates on human, civil, labor, consumer and investor rights and on environmental stewardship and justice. Legalizing socially dubious behaviors, products and services while strictly regulating,  tightly zoning and substantially taxing the like in non-prohibitive ways. All reforms should move us toward a simple, clear and transparent tax system with greater real progressivity oriented  toward collections based more on consumption and less on savings and investment

       C.) Take the 4 trillion gained from A and B and apply half of it to debt reduction and the other half to block grants to the states based solely on populations of the states to be used as each state chooses with each state publishing online in open, clear and transparent detail how every penny is allocated.

       D.) Appoint an inclusive and balanced coalition cabinet.

These 4 planks are the basis for progressives and libertarians advancing their economic agendas simultaneously: lower taxes, less federal government  and more states' rights for libertarians, more money  made available to the states to do what progressives have wanted the federal government to do while not destroying the social social security, medicare, medicaid and other economic safety nets, and substantial job growth and debt reduction for both.

6.) If Ron Paul decides not accept your offer or to run as an independent, write-in, or other third party ticket, offer the vice presidential slot along with the above coalition platform to Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson. If both are on come on board, offer a prominent cabinet spot or chief of staff to Rocky Anderson.

This plan is not an ideal one for you or for progressive parties and candidates. It is, however, the basis for a winning strategy which advances your cause and ours. The coalition platform necessary to win the presidential election and to secure the requisite support of congress is not a permanent commitment and may or may not be abandoned or renegotiated after 4 years.

Most of all this a plan which provides a politically realistic path to a peaceful overthrow of the corporate duopoly which holds our nation hostage to a privileged elite who seek to make their sovereignty permanent through increasing the powers of big government, big business, big labor and big military.

Such a plan calls for political guts and heroism. Nothing less will save our nation from permanent tyranny. Please do this difficult task before its too late! You have nothing to loose but your chains.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Beyond the Bad News of 2012: Getting it Right Next Time


The likelihood that Ron Paul will not be a contender in the general election is not an encouraging prospect. The debates between President Obama and Governor Romney are likely to focus on rhetorical rather than substantive disagreements.  Where there are significant policy differences, neither party will be able to claim a mandate given the nature and rules of the US Senate.

The most likely outcome of this campaign is an Obama victory given the fact that many of Ron Paul’s followers will vote for Gary Johnson or write in Ron Paul.  I would like for that to be encouraging since I voted for Obama and support much of the agenda his rhetoric espouses (at least as we get closer to election time). However, I do not believe that much will change during Obama 2.

If Obama is reelected, 2016 will have a about two dozen candidates to choose from. Surely there will be at least one or two libertarian candidates in the Republican field and a similar number among progressive Democrats. This makes it even less likely that a either a libertarian or a progressive will be nominated since the coalition needed to get close will not be available during the primaries and caucuses.

I would therefore propose that the top progressive Democrat and the top libertarian Republican should get together for an independent run not long after Super Tuesday. 
In anticipation of this trans-partisan ticket several conferences in a variety of locales ought to be convened for the purpose of building a coalition among cultural conservatives, libertarians and progressives. 

I add the first of these three because they are as much victims of corporatism as the other two. Even though they are more theologically disposed to supporting such political sadomasochism, we should not give up hope that cultural conservatives will see the light, that libertarians and progressives threaten their values much less than do corporatists.

Participants in such conferences ought to be encouraged to create and consider legislative proposals which bridge their ideological divides in the most mutually empowering ways. The goal need not be creating a new party or political synthesis (although such an outcome might be very much welcomed).  These conferences ought to aim at composing a coalition platform and recruiting congressional candidates to support it. Before the midterm primaries we ought to agree to a list of candidates to endorse at least at the federal level.

When we compile this list we are likely to find candidates from both major parties, alternate parties and among the growing non-aligned. While such candidates may have good reasons to stay with their current affiliation, they should be encouraged to register to run in the most opportune primary. Additionally voters among the coalition should be encouraged to register to vote for the candidates in their respective districts who endorse the coalition platform. 

What we most want to avoid is running two coalition candidates in the same race. Diluting the vote is a sure way to undermine our cause. Caution should be taken to ferret out posers working in conscious or unconscious concert with establishment parties and campaigns.

It is unlikely that we would get a large number of candidates who would endorse a coalition platform, but where they are found they should receive ample support locally and nationally, taking care to match candidate with districts more likely to go coalition. This may or may not be a swing district. It is more likely that we stand our best chances in districts without an incumbent in the race. A shorter list of candidates also means that resources can be more focused.

Avoiding the typical wedge issues as litmus tests is essential. Whether a candidate is pro life or pro choice should be tertiary in importance, considered mostly for demographic fit. Emphasis should be placed on issues of debt, jobs, war, peace, and civil liberties. 


Here's the basic theme for this coalition to contrast with the duopoly's corporate platform: The corporate establishment believes that war means more jobs and they would be right except that the jobs of war create more costly destruction. Peace frees up money to pay down debt and invest in the infrastructure of a green economy. A green economy is a life giving economy which reduces costs and frees up more money for more debt reduction, savings and spending. 

This message and platform could evolve over time into a new synthesis but that should not be the aim, at least not before we are successful in overthrowing the corporate beast. My guess is we will eventually move forward not to a post-partisan era but toward a multi-partisan mix of competition, cooperation and transitory coalitions.

Making this plan before grieving the current loss may be unrealistic but we must head off the easy and much expected tribal reactions. Corporatism has won this battle; they can only win the war if they keep this coalition from happening. Their ultimate goal is just enough stability to keep those on the edge hopeful, afraid and powerless.

I'd like to try again to bust their agenda if anyone is interested in doing what it takes rather than retreating to our tribal sects.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Libertarian Party, If You Are Interested in Victory....

Dear Libertarian Party,

Your national convention will begin in two weeks. I am one of a number of voices which may come your way to ask you to delay nominating a presidential ticket until after the Republican convention.

I can imagine this would be difficult logistically and tactically. Getting the convention together for a second time is costly and you, no doubt, want your candidates out the door, on the campaign trail getting name recognition and convincing voters to move them up in the polls so they can get into the debates.

While there are real risks in doing this, if you wait until after the GOP convention, Ron Paul may be willing to accept your nomination, provided you choose to do so. I know candidates like Gary Johnson have been working faithfully to obtain the Libertarian nomination. It is understandable why you would want to reward those who sojourn with you in the wilderness.

However, it might be advantageous in moving into the promised land of party electability if you do endorse former candidate Ron Paul. Pulling in at least 17% nationally would help the LP get on the ballot in all states and boost other LP candidacies down ticket running in local, state and national elections.

I am also almost certain that Paul supporters would increase financial contributions to the LP and happily agree to Gary Johnson as Paul's running mate. His name on the ticket would probably get a Paul/Johnson ticket close to 25% of the national vote. If you nominate in May, it is likely that the  LP will poll less than 5%. A Paul endorsement, made more likely if you hold the nomination until September, might get you above 20%.

I imagine that the LP is leaning toward nominating Johnson and leaving the VP slot open. Johnson has already said he wants Paul as his VP and this may be a more acceptable tactic. Ron Paul agreeing to be Johnson's VP is not a certainty. He has a great number of supporters who are cultishly determined to write him in even if he does not run in the general election.  Granted, allowing Johnson to delay picking his VP vastly increases the LP's electablity; however, a Paul/Johnson ticket is probably going to fare better than a Johnson/Paul ticket.

I, of course, would like to persuade you toward a more radical course. Delay the convention and invite the Green Party  to join you in a trans-partisan convention to nominate a coalition ticket. I have been encouraging a Paul/Kucinich or a Paul/Sanders ticket. At such a convention you might choose one of my suggestions, or if they are not available or you so desire, a Johnson/Stein ticket.

A coalition ticket may not be appealing to the pure at heart, but there are ways to form a binding trans-partisan platform that, while not ideal, can simultaneously advance both libertarian and green agendas without violating anybody's conscience.

I am not sure how a Johnson/Stein ticket would do, certainly better than either separate partisan tickets, but it is almost certain that a Paul/Kucinch or Sanders ticket will garner over 30% of the vote after they mop the floor in the debates.

America is weary of unaffordable, unending wars and the stale, vacillating rhetoric of shallow bipartisanship and tribal partisanship. We are in a mood for real, creative and deep trans-partisanship to vanquish the empire building and maintenance of the military industrial catastrophe and their corporate cousins in the complex of prisons, insurance, pharmaceutics, energy and communications.

We need a team of progressives and libertarians to deeply diminish federal debt and counter-productive government intrusions We need leaders from outside of the prefabricated duopoly to free up funds from wasteful sink holes and use it to pay down debt and empower the American people to build a peaceful, prosperous and green economy.

You are meeting in Las Vegas. There are a lot more risky ventures that will get you a lot less than the long desired and much deserved recognition and respect of the American people. Here's hoping your wager is a big winner.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

I've Changed My Mind (Sorta)

Following my last post, I have done some more thinking and talking with other Ron Paul supporters and I have change my mind (slightly).

I now believe that a third party candidacy may be viable.  I do not rule out the independent course but only if and where it gets Ron Paul on the general election ballot.

Different states have different laws and deadlines concerning third party and independent candidates.  Where getting Ron Paul on the ballot is easy, it should be done.

The problem is it is easier to run independent only after the candidate makes up her or his mind. And then there is the additional problem of putting a vice presidential running mate on an independent ballot before such the presidential candidate chooses one.

I therefore am endorsing an effort by Ron Paul supporters to secure his name on on third party tickets across the US. The dilemma remains the timing. If a party holds a national convention and announces a national candidate, reversing course is going to be very difficult if not impossible.

For example, the Libertarian party meets next month and if they choose Gary Johnson, Ron Paul loses that opportunity. If the Libertarian party could be persuaded to wait until after the GOP convention to choose their nominee then Ron Paul could throw his name in the ring.

To state my newest position (do I sound like Romney?), get Paul on the ballot ASAP, but if there is a party or a state which will allow him to go through the GOP convention and still have the option of getting on the ballot afterwards, then go that route.

I still think it would be preferable for Paul to drop out of the GOP race now and hand his delegates over to Rand Paul at the GOP convention while Ron Paul pursues an independent coalition candidacy. However, it does not appear that Ron Paul will give up on the GOP before the convention, so we work with conditions as they are.

If Paul chooses to go independent now or third party later (after Libertarians, Greens or some other party agree to delay their decisions until after the GOP convention), I do hope he will see the wisdom in going coalition with a progressive running mate.

Regardless, we progressives need him on the debate stage with Obama and Romney to force them to talk about issues they both wish to avoid.

PS: Here is a link to sign a petition calling for Ron Paul to run third party: http://www.rp2012.org/

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ron Paul: Bait for Long Term Strategy

It is becoming clearer that Ron Paul's campaign goal is not to win the presidency but to change the Republican Party. This is a 16 year strategy to elect William Paul president.

This Goldwaterian strategy may have merit but it begs the question: Do we have 16 years to fix America?

Let us suppose we do, maybe even make it a 20 years strategy so Rand's son will be in his 40s rather than his 30s  when he is elected president. Does this mean Ron Paul needs to give up on being in the general election now? Let's be clear: continuing to pursue the current strategy is a declaration of electoral defeat. Ron Paul will not be nominated and if he really wants to have an IOU from the GOP, he will have to endorse Romney this year. In the least, he needs to refrain from running in the general election and from endorsing Gary Johnson this year.

In other words, his campaign has set a trap and Ron Paul is the bait. Allow Ron Paul to die a permanent political death by endorsing Romney or at least not running himself or endorsing anyone else so that Romney might become president. It then becomes crystal clear that the youth libertarian vote is the future of the Republican party because they will be the ones who bite into Obama's base and defeat him. More libertarians in the GOP apparatus and eventually you get a growing number of libertarians nominated by the GOP at all levels.

Admittedly, this may in the end turn out to be a great strategy. The cost, of course, is 20 years of corporate control of our government and economy.

I and a number of other Ron Paul supporters are saying, "To heck with procrastination disguised as patience!"  Corporatocracy will only grow more deeply entrenched through sponsorship, patronage, marketing and surveillance. Who will dare oppose an omniscient corporate government? If not a coup now, then probably never.

Some within the immediate coup community believe that Ron Paul should run a concurrent campaign as both a Republican and a Libertarian. I am not sure that is even possible. Others think he ought just drop out of the race now and seek the LP's nomination and make Gary Johnson his running mate.

You might guess why I oppose this tactic. It narrows Ron Paul's appeal. Early on this blog I advocated Paul running a coalition candidacy all the way to the convention where, after becoming a martyr, he could announce a third party candidacy with a progressive running mate. I was right about the coalition strategy. I was wrong about going all the way to the convention. 

Why was I wrong? I failed to check the calendar. Nearly all states have pre-convention deadlines for filing as a third party or independent presidential candidate. I now advocate him running independent immediately and if he can do this concurrently as a Republican candidate, then by all means do so.

In the likely circumstance that the GOP will not allow Paul to continue as a candidate for their nomination should he declare his independent  candidacy, what needs to happen is that the campaign continue to encourage his supporters to run for delegate and party positions so as to continue the long term coup attempt. Since the official campaign's coup strategy is long term, it should not matter as much that Ron Paul does not get prime time speech in Tampa. Yes...it matters a little but the main key to taking over the GOP is not a personality but an ongoing recruitment of ideological soldiers to gradually capture the reigns of power.

However, this actuarial coup strategy need not prevent an immediate full scale electoral war in the general election. Can the idea of a Libertarian or Constitution party endorsement now! It not only narrows his appeal, it imposes a shorter window of opportunity to garner the supporters he needs at their conventions and takes these supporters out of the actuarial struggle.

It is far better for him to gather requisite signatures to get him on the ballot as an independent where he can develop the coalition strategy that he needs to win the election while continuing the long term project of reforming the GOP.

I know the same old sectarian heads will come against this idea. To which I say, you belong in the camp of the current strategy. If Ron Paul is going to run outside of the GOP, he should run to win, not to make a statement. He wins only in coalition with progressives.  No one has or can challenged this observation: No coalition, no victory in November. And with all due deference to Robin Koerner, by coalition I do not mean libertarian hospitality, as nice and as helpful as that may be.

Here it is in a nutshell: Keep the quest for delegates and an actuarial coup up with or without Ron Paul and in the mean time....DR. PAUL, DO THE ONLY THING YOU CAN TO WIN THIS ELECTION: FORM AN INDEPENDENT COALITION CANDIDACY WITH PROGRESSIVES NOW!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Elephant in the Campaign: An Unnecessary Major Conflict


A major divide is beginning to open among Ron Paul supporters. On one side are those who advocate with his campaign that he continue to stay in the GOP race and win delegates. On the other side are those like myself who advocate Ron Paul going independent or third party now. ( I advocate the former as a better means of reaching a broader audience.)

While some who advocate the delegate strategy believe that he can still win the GOP nomination, most probably Ron Paul will finish second in the delegate count and Romney will fall short of a majority. That's a doable and I would say likely outcome. His campaign should be commended for this outcome and if they mange to pull off a plurality of delegates, they will make history. What they hope for is probably not that Ron Paul will win a brokered convention but that with enough libertarian delegates in place, the party can be changed over the next two or three elections, especially as demographics catch up with the greatly old party.

As wrong as I believe this strategy to be, it is not without merit. It calls for patient endurance rather than apocalyptic urgency, and that may be the best course. However, advocates of the delegate strategy go astray in assuming that if Ron Paul drops out of the race and runs independent or third party,  his supporters will quit trying to get elected as delegates and local and state party officials. Is there a rule that says once a candidate suspends or ends his campaign, he can no longer have any of his supporters run to become a delegate?

The two strategies need not be mutually exclusive. Ron Paul can decide to run as an independent now and get his name on ballots nationwide. While he does this, there is nothing to prevent his supporters from continuing their quest to vote for him in the primaries and pursue opportunities to become Republican delegates and leaders at local, state and national levels.

Ron Paul needs to say to his supporters, "Run for office, run to be a delegate, run to become state and precinct chairs. Do this while I do what is necessary to get my name on the general election ballot in all states. I have not given up hope on reforming the Republican party. Your participation in the process is vital to returning this party to its roots in liberty. However, our nation cannot wait through a another 4 years of warfare and corporate welfare and passing on debt to future generations. This purpose of liberating our nation from the shackles of corporate cronyism is bigger than any party or ideology. Many Americans who do not share my economic views know that something must be done now which neither party is willing to do. I therefore today announce my intention to run for the presidency of the United States of America as an independent candidate. I will seek out a coalition partner to run with me and form a trans-partisan alliance to regain our country for its people."

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Apology

I just want to apologize to all of you that I have failed to respond to or been tardy in the same. I am disorganized and I also have only recently learned that I can reply directly to a comment. I guess this is proof that I am an idiot as so many have told me in one way or another. LOL!
Peace to all and thanks for your participation on my blog.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Difference between Principles and Ideals: Vive la France


I wrote this in response to a Paul supporter who is very proud (and rightly so) to stand on principles. The problem with her and other principled Ron Paul supporters who think that any compromise is a compromise of principles is that that they confuse principles with ideals. Such persons might think that we could have won the American Revolution without allying with France. But let's not get into an argument over counterfactuals:

I can respect Ron Paul supporters for not voting for Romney. What I question is many of them being unwilling to form a temporary coalition with progressives to oust the two-headed corporate beast.

The American Revolutionaries made an alliance with France (not a bastion of liberty at the time). If you want this revolution to happen you can't just think you can do it alone. Think of us progressives as the French.

If Ron Paul were to get his name with that of a progressive like Kucinich, Sanders or Warren on the general election ballot in every state and every territory, he could win this election and be our next POTUS. If he does less (write-in, Libertarian party run with Johnson), he will not win; although, he might do as well as Perot and give Obama a second term.

I think a great number of Paul's supporters would rather be martyrs than deal with the reality of winning and governing. This all or nothing mentality is what will keep libertarians (and progressives as well because I know that many of us are just as tribal and sectarian)on the sidelines forever.

Now I know that several of you will mention Blue Republicans and as much as I respect Brother Koerner, the Blue Republican movement has neither advocated nor condemned a real coalition candidacy. What it has done very well is create a positive atmosphere of hospitality in which a coalition might develop.

If you really want progressives to be the French in your revolution, you have to be willing to make concessions on economic policy. Now I am sure there are  hundereds of high minded folks crying, "We will not compromise our principles." No one is asking you to.

Ron Paul has not compromised his principles by promising to fully fund entitlements in exchange for an opt-out for young  people. If he were a bit more obstinate about his ideals as well as his principles, he would insist that all entitlement funds be returned immediately to the people who have paid into them. Thankfully, he sees this libertarian ideal policy as political unrealistic and counter-productive to actually advancing his libertarian agenda.

Once we make this distinction, as Ron Paul does, between ideals and the realistic enactment of principles, we can move toward coalition policy that will really draw progressives in.

Here is the deal that I have been advocating for a the past 14 months: Progressives agree to give Ron Paul's opt out proposal a fair hearing. Maybe a deal can be struck such as an opt out combined with a public option, but after the deal is made or not, take that money which was intended for subsidizing the transition and the opt out and apply half of it to debt reduction and half to population based block grants to the states with no instructions on how they allocate it and only one condition: report the details of how each state chooses to allocate it.

This would be a 4 year deal that could be renegotiated or not. If it is renegotiated, there could be a gradual transition for moving the funding responsibility back to the states themselves.

I think this is a very reasonable deal that violates no one's principles but advances both libertarian and progressive principles and goals simultaneously.

Now I know there are voices here who hate me as much as neocons hate the French, but just forget that this idea comes from a progressive. We'll invent some conspiracy theory that I stole it from a libertarian if it makes the pill go down.

Sorry about the parenthetical jabs. Felt the need to preempt  all the knee jerk responses I could so we might have a real conversation.

The bottom line is not: shall we lose with our principles intact but rather are we willing to win with less than our ideal?

Peace.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Give Ron Paul a Chance with Americans Elect



If Ron Paul remains in the GOP race through the convention in Tampa this August, he will not be allowed to have his name on the general election ballot in the vast majority of states. One way to possibly remedy this situation is to get him on the Americans Elect ballot.

Right now Ron Paul has the most supporters on Americans Elect's web page.

Ron Paul is not a declared candidate but over 7000 people are trying to draft him. In order to qualify for nomination he has to have 1000 supporters in each of at least 10 states vote for him. One has to join the site before one may vote for a candidate.  As of today here are the top 10 states supporting Ron Paul and the current number of supporters who have voted to draft him as a candidate for Americans Elect:

California           706
Texas                 552
Florida               441
New York         353
Pennsylvania      307
Ohio                  293
Michigan            245
Washington        245
Virginia              231   
North Carolina   225

If Ron Paul qualifies he may choose whether to have his name in the Americans Elect nomination through an online convention. If he decides to declare his candidacy for Americans Elect, he may or may not win. Given the enthusiasm of Ron Paul's online supporters, it should be easy to get those 1000 votes in each of 10 states and he would definitely be competitive in the online convention.

I have been very critical of delegate strategy currently pursued by Ron Paul's campaign.  I hope and pray that I am proven wrong in my prediction that he will finish no better than second in the delegate count and that the GOP will not allow his name to be on the ticket for either president or vice president no matter how many votes he gets on the convention floor. 

My criticism of the current strategy aside, participating in the Americans Elect campaign will not interfere with anything the Ron Paul campaign is doing now. It provides a backup option should Paul fail to be nominated by the GOP.

If he were to win Americans Elect's nomination he would have to choose a running mate from among Democrats. Some of Ron Paul's supporters will not be willing to support a transpartisan ticket; however, it may be Ron Paul's best option should he not win the GOP nomination. He could run a write-in campaign and no doubt do well but I think it is fair to say that he would do a whole lot better if his name were actually on the ballot in all states and territories.

No need for me to rehash the list of my preferred Democratic candidates but my 3 favorites would be: Dennis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Should Ron Paul run on a nationwide ticket with a progressive, I believe he could be elected. The election of a libertarian/progressive P and VP would be truly revolutionary and give the American people a fighting chance to be reclaimed our government. 

There is one caveat to all of this. No one can say for sure how honest Americans Elect is. Some critics are arguing that the Americans elect board of directors may not agree to follow the will of the people and will instead put  their preferred candidates on the ballot. If they do, they will fail miserably and be totally discredited by the American people.

If Ron Paul fails to win the GOP nomination and Americans Elect rejects him, he can still run a write-in campaign or endorse the Libertarian Party candidate. There is really nothing to lose by signing up to Americans Elect and attempting to get him that nomination. I would love to hear from anybody a good reason for not pursuing this alternative.