OK, it has been awhile, so time one again for the SelectSmart Presidential Candidate Selector. This time around my results were:
63% Match: Badnarik, Michael - Libertarian
46% Match: Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat
46% Match: Cobb, David - Green Party
46% Match: Nader, Ralph - Independent
43% Match: Bush, President George W. - Republican
36% Match: Brown, Walt - Socialist Party
26% Match: Peroutka, Michael - Constitution Party
Now, this puts me in a pickle. Normally I'd be happy to go ahead and vote for the Libertarian. They usually match my views best (although less so than in previous years, my views are evolving on some issues). And Badnarik is the only candidate with more than a 50% match on the quiz. (Which also jives with my gut feelings issues wise listening to and reading about the positions... I would never base anything on this quiz alone, as fun as it is.)
But... unlike the Libertarian candidates in the last three elections, who while clearly with no chance to win and with a few views that were "out there" even beyond my own, basically shared my philosophy and seemed like decent people. Idealistic, unrealistic perhaps, but basically sane even if a bit eccentric. Not so this year. Badnarik is a complete nutcase.
Dark Horse on the Third Ballot
(R. W. Bradford, Liberty)
Badnarik believes that the federal income tax has no legal authority and that people are justified in refusing to file a tax return until such time as the IRS provides them with an explanation of its authority to collect the tax. He hadn't filed income tax returns for several years. He moved from California to Texas because of Texas' more liberal gun laws, but he refused to obtain a Texas driver's license because the state requires drivers to provide their fingerprints and Social Security numbers. He has been ticketed several times for driving without a license; sometimes he has gotten off for various technical legal reasons, but on three occasions he has been convicted and paid a fine. He also refused to use postal ZIP codes, seeing them as "federal territories."At the time of the Libertarian convention back when my blog was dark, there were a number of articles in main stream media echoing and confirming some of the goofyness and the basic information, but this article is the most detailed I have found regarding both this guys unorthodox opinions as well as the crazy politics that led to him getting the nomination over two other candidates that while not ideal either, were at least not this bad. There is no way I can possibly cast a vote for Badnarik.
He has written a book on the Constitution for students in his one-day, $50 seminar on the Constitution, but it is available elsewhere, including on Amazon.com. It features an introduction by Congressman Ron Paul and Badnarik's theory about taxes. His campaign website included a potpourri of right-wing constitutional positions, as well as some very unorthodox views on various issues. He proposed that convicted felons serve the first month of their sentence in bed so that their muscles would atrophy and they'd be less trouble for prison guards and to blow up the U.N. building on the eighth day of his administration, after giving the building's occupants a chance to evacuate. In one especially picturesque proposal, he wrote:
"I would announce a special one-week session of Congress where all 535 members would be required to sit through a special version of my Constitution class. Once I was convinced that every member of Congress understood my interpretation of their very limited powers, I would insist that they restate their oath of office while being videotaped."
One assumes, although one cannot prove, that none of this is an exercise in irony. At any rate, these opinions were removed from the website shortly after he won the nomination, and they didn't come up when he visited state party conventions. Nor did his refusal to file tax returns, thereby risking federal indictment and felony arrest. While many of his closest supporters were aware of these issues, they were unknown to most LP members.
1. Cobb, David - Green Party (73%)
2. Nader, Ralph - Independent (73%)
3. Brown, Walt - Socialist Party (69%)
4. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (58%)
5. Badnarik, Michael - Libertarian (57%)
6. Peroutka, Michael - Constitution Party (15%)
7. Bush, President George W. - Republican (13%)
Okay. See, first I know that there is no chance that there will ever be any one canidate that agrees with me. I also know that just because I think things should be a specific way, doesn't mean that's what's best for the masses. It would be nice to have the Brandy specific perfect world but I recognize that I am a bit, well, warped. So while I might be absolutely thrilled (maybe not...I do like a bit of conflict) the rest of the country would be considerably less so. Not to mention I might not like things so much if it was tailored to what I think I believe in now.
But my point is this: Not only should your canidate share your views to at least some extent, that canidate also requires the proper bearing, the ablilty to speak coherently, some outside semblance of sanity, and diplomacy. Someone who will demand but also DESERVE the respect of other world leaders. So while yeah, it would be cool to find some nutjob that I agree with 100%, that doesn't mean that he would be suitable for president. in fact he would likely be certifiable.
In this race, it's not so hard. I could just fall back on the lesser of two evils thing, and since I am pretty sure that W. will piss off some world leader who happens to have his finger poised over the button to launch all those "Weapons of Mass Destruction" right at us if given the chance to stay in the office he's too crazy and stupid to be in in the first place he would be the greater evil. And the only one who's got a chance is Kerry. OR I could vote for the person I got the highest percentage for in a silly online survey system regardless of their actual ability to lead, which is just as irresponsible.