Cheap Seats 2016
Smoke Bomb! - 10/05
By Rich Trzupek
The newspaper that used to be the Chicago Tribune announced that it was supporting Hillary Clinton’s run for President of the United States in the most devilishly, brilliant way possible: by announcing that the former journalistic enterprise turned Democrat PR outlet didn’t support Clinton at all.
As political strategies go, this was exceptionally inspired, if unnecessary. Illinois is a blue state and the Trib’s ever-decreasing influence doesn’t extend far beyond the borders of the Prairie State these days. Illinois’ electoral votes are going to Hillary Clinton, no matter what the newspaper that used to the Chicago Tribune recommends or not.
The problem confronting the Trib’s editorial board had nothing to do with reality. They know, as certainly as every other Illinois resident not currently under the influence of mind-altering drugs, that good ole’ Hil has Illinois’ electoral votes locked up as firmly as her hubby’s cigar in … OK, best not to go there.
Anyway, I imagine the problem for the Trib’s editorial board was how to endorse Hillary without actually endorsing her. They’re not idiots – merely journalists – so they surely understand the competing needs of not offending the winning side while simultaneously not appearing to support impossible-to-ignore corruption/incompetence.
One can almost imagine the interchange:
Board Member 1: “So we’re agreed that we can’t actually endorse Hillary.”
Board Member 2: “Not while still maintaining a paper-thin veneer of impartiality and integrity.”
Board Member 1: “I wasn’t aware we had any left. So what do we do, endorse Stein?”
Board Member 2: “As much as we would like to, I think it’s better for the paper if we avoid advising our readers to vote for people not actually born on planet earth.”
Board Member 1: “So what then? Trump?”
Board Member 2: (Vomits). (Loudly). (And repeatedly).
Board Member 1: “But that only leaves…”
Board Number 2: (Sadly) “Yeah.”
Board Member 2: (Happily) “Yeah – YEAH!!”
Board Member 1: “What the hell are you talking about?”
Board Member 2: “Think about it.”
Board Member 1: “YEAH!!”
No, I didn’t actually bug Tribune Tower, but you know that’s the way things went down. By endorsing Johnson, the paper gets to sound reasonable while in fact helping Hillary (to the extent she needs help at all) by trying to reduce the pool of Trump voters.
The Trib says that voting for Johnson will send a message to the parties that we want better candidates. But, there’s only one party that actually chooses its Presidential candidate: the party where “super-delegates” allow party-leaders to overrule the will of primary voters: Democrats.
The Republican Party didn’t choose Donald Trump as their candidate, Republican voters did. Hillary can’t make the same claim. So, if any party needs to be sent a message, it’s the donkeys, not the elephants.
But, by urging voters to vote for Johnson, it potentially reduces the pool of Trump voters, not Hillary voters.
The plain fact is that either Trump or Clinton are going to be elected. Voting for anyone else, no matter how much you might like them (and I do like Johnson) or how bananas they are (like Stein) is just throwing your vote away. That might make you feel about yourself, but it will do nothing to make the nation a better place.