Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
Feel the Johnson!
You Must Feel the Johnson!
“I wholeheartedly agree with Donald Trump in his number-one issue in this campaign; and I wholeheartedly agree with Clinton in her number-one issue in this campaign: DON’T vote for Hillary Clinton… and DON’T vote for Donald Trump.”
- Governor Gary Johnson

First things first – let's address this Aleppo stupidness. Everybody loves a gaffe and a gotcha. Trump wants to torture people, destroy our economy by crushing free trade, and enjoys sexual assault; and Clinton ought to have been prosecuted for willfull mishandling of classified information and destroying evidence (but wiggled out, as Clintons do), gives $275k speeches to bankers while holding public office, and probably abetted sexual assault. But Johnson said something stupid – “We can't elect this moron! Ha ha ha!”

And of course Governor Johnson knows what Aleppo is. (And I expect you already know that.) He merely blanked, as we all do in life – and we haven't been campaigning 16 hours a day for months – on one of a thousand issues that could be thrown at him. And he doesn't have an army of flacks and handlers around him, nor party vice-chairmen slipping him the questions in advance, like the major-party-cabal candidates do. Johnson slipped up on the name of a city and its location, and he admitted it live instead of bullshitting. Hillary Clinton's disastrous foreign policy has cost thousands of lives, and she's doubled down on that disaster:

Trump genuinely didn't know what the nuclear triad is, so he started ranting about how the devastating power of nuclear weapons is what's important to him. Johnson didn't catch the reference, so he admitted it and asked. I defy you to watch any of the interviews at bottom of my Johnson endorsement and maintain that either of these guys aren't super-smart and incredibly well-informed. But it's possible all you know about Johnson is that "he didn't know what Aleppo was" because that's all the media is interested to tell you. "Gotcha! Ha ha ha!" Welcome to our rigged two-party system, and the largely complicit media.

Governor Johnson not only knows what Aleppo is – he's got well-thought-out positions on Syria and our foreign policy, and withering criticisms of how Clinton has addressed both.

No sexual assault, no FBI investigations, no nativist fear-mongering, no $275k speeches to bankers, no vitriol and character attacks. Sane, serious, principled, reality-based solutions to serious policy issues. ("Oh, but did you hear the one about Aleppo, har har har!")

But – on to the fun stuff!

Third-Party Candidates Can Win

Think there's no possibility of Johnson & Weld winning? Think again! And think it's never happened before? Two words: Abraham Freaking Lincoln.

The First Debate

Jesus Christ. That's about all I have to say about that. What a shit-show. I know you don't disagree. Ross Perot was allowed to debate when he was polling where Johnson is now – and afterward, he was polling at 20%, and briefly led the field. This is probably why the Republicrat-cabal-controlled Commission on Presidential Debates – which the Johnson campaign is currently suing – is terrified of letting him in.

From Governor Johnson’s statement on the first debate:

“I heard Donald Trump describing a country I don’t recognize, and I heard Hillary Clinton writing checks we can’t possibly cash. We deserve better, but what we saw tonight was a promise that the bickering, the pandering and the polarization will continue. America is already great. It’s great leaders we are lacking, and I don’t think we found them on the stage tonight. Maybe that's why Google searches for Gary Johnson are off the charts right now.”

Oh, yeah – he wasn't even there, and he won!

Polls show 62% of Americans want more/other/decent voices in the debates (and, for the record, I absolutely support Jill Stein being there), and 1.14 million Americans have signed a petition to let Gary debate. (Add your name here.) There's still a chance he can get into the third one. And when he does, and the roughly half of Americans who don't know who he is get to see who he is and hear a voice of reason, everything changes.

Editorial: Let Gary Johnson debate

Few points in politics are are undebatable, but here’s one that is: If the National Commission on Presidential Debates – which claims that its core mission is to educate voters – refuses to allow Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson onto the big stage with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, tens of millions of Americans will miss an opportunity to form their own impressions of the former New Mexico governor and his policy proposals. The commission should reverse the decision it made Friday to exclude Johnson.

Presidential debates matter. And the commission that runs them wields quite extraordinary influence for an unelected, private organization. It is not, in truth, a nonpartisan body.

As a two-term governor, Gary Johnson has spent more time in elected executive office than Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump combined. His views on fiscal policy, the size and scope of government, social tolerance, and international affairs are in many respects more in line with the views of most Americans than those of his opponents.

More Johnson Awesomeness

Governor Johnson has summited the highest peaks on all seven continents – including climbing Everest… with a broken leg.

Character, fortitude, and work ethic count. Resilience and resolve!

Here he is, compellingly making his own case in the New York Times (good job printing this, NYTimes):

Take a Deep Breath, Voters. There Is a Third Way.

Americans want to be able to choose a president who is capable of reason, of learning from failures, and of telling them the truth. Most of all, they want to choose a president who will adhere to the Constitution and will make government live within its means. I’m offering that choice. Contrary to the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates, Bill and I don’t believe the United States is a polarized nation. When it comes down to the basics, most Americans really aren’t that far apart. But our two-party political system is an entirely different story. Hyper-partisanship may be entertaining, but it’s a terrible way to try to run a country. We’re the alternative – and we’re the only ticket that offers Americans a chance to find common ground.

Clinton Ain’t Trump – But She's Bad

Trump is a catastrophe, but Clinton is a deeply flawed candidate at best, and I think honest people admit that. Even people who think she's great ought to admit that it's a problem for America that the likely next President has a record-shattering 59% disapproval rating.

A record number of Americans now dislike Hillary Clinton

Americans' views of [Clinton] just hit a record low. If you look at registered voters, the new poll shows Clinton's image is about as bad as Trump's, with 38 percent having a favorable impression and 59 percent unfavorable. If it weren't for Trump, in fact, Clinton would be the most unpopular major-party presidential nominee in modern American history.

I don't see anyone else making this argument, so I'm just going to throw it out there: we are in this dire existential peril of a Trump presidency in large part because of Clinton – because she has insisted on running despite being the most divisive and disliked politician of her generation; because she had her political machine steamroll the primary campaign of a good and honest populist (Sanders); and because winning a Senate seat as a carpet-bagger, being crowned Secretary of State, and eight years of Clintons in the White House just weren't enough for her.

Tens of millions are going to hold their noses and pull the lever for Trump because they just can't stand Clinton, and the entrenched political class and rigged political system she epitomizes – and I can't imagine a race this tight with any other plausible Democrat at the top of the ticket. Maybe all those Clinton-haters are jerkasses, fine. And of course the Republican Party and America's xenophobe class are to blame for Trump. But it's still the case that Clinton and the DNC had it in their power to avoid this, if they'd put the country first. But, as usual, nothing matters to the Clintons but the Clintons. This is the two-flavor shit sandwich the two-party system has handed us, and what we're expected to reward with our votes.

The Rigged System Fights Back

And now that Johnson & Weld are surging, Clinton's targeting the new threat to her hegemony.

Democrats target Libertarian ticket

Democrats panicked by third-party candidates drawing support away from Hillary Clinton are ramping up their attacks against Gary Johnson and warning that a vote for a third party is a vote for Donald Trump. That message is being amplified on social media by liberal celebrities like Cher, George Takei and Seth McFarlane, who are seeking to shame young voters away from the Libertarian ticket.

A vote for Governor Gary Johnson is a vote for Governor Gary Johnson (and Governor Bill Weld). And it's an insult to dismiss it, as many in the two-party-cabal system are trying to do, as "a protest vote". Americans are free to vote for the candidate they prefer and who best represents their interests (goddammit), and ought to be encouraged to do so.

There's a Better Choice, People!!!

The Chicago Freaking Tribune endorses Governor Johnson:

Editorial: A principled option for U.S. president: Endorsing Gary Johnson, Libertarian

With that demand for a principled president paramount, we turn to the candidate we can recommend. One party has two moderate Republicans – veteran governors who successfully led Democratic states – atop its ticket. Libertarians Gary Johnson of New Mexico and running mate William Weld of Massachusetts are agile, practical and, unlike the major-party candidates, experienced at managing governments. They offer an agenda that appeals not only to the Tribune's principles but to those of the many Americans who say they are socially tolerant but fiscally responsible.

When someone tells you that you are wasting your vote by supporting Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, here’s a list of 15 reasons why a vote for them is the most meaningful vote you can make.

4. We Can Make History By Creating More Competitive Elections
Imagine if a third party makes it into the debates this year. That alone will change the entire political discussion. No longer will voters believe that our democracy is a simple choice between two unpopular options. If we get in the debates in 2016, we could win the whole thing. But even if we didn’t win the election, a viable third party would finally qualify for the same ballot access that the Republican and Democratic parties receive every election. Finally, we would have more competitive elections.

Here's an analysis of a plausible scenario where all Johnson has to do is win his home state of New Mexico to block both Clinton and Trump from the White House.

Does the Road to the White House Run Through Gary Johnson's New Mexico?

We live in a country where Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction by a two-to-one margin and large majorities or pluralities hate the major parties, dislike Clinton and Trump, and think the government is trying to do too much that should be left to individuals and businesses. To such people, Clinton isn't any kind of solution to what ails us, and neither is Trump (if nothing else, both are talking about spending more money than our currently historically high levels during peacetime). Each of them is part of the problem and a figure like Johnson may come to be seen as a true alternative: an experienced non-professional politician who promises a smaller but more effective government. The question is, what's the smallest victory it will take to show just how weak and foundering our political duopoly really is?

More, and Worse, Debates

Jesus F'ing Christ. How did we get here? How does the following pass for a national political discourse?

Will Donald Trump Play Infidelity Card at Debate? Clinton Camp Girds

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is preparing for the possibility that Donald J. Trump, reeling from harsh criticisms of his performance at the first presidential debate, will unleash a personal assault related to her husband’s infidelities at their next face-off in a week. It is an attack that her campaign aides have been aware could come since 2015, when Mr. Trump’s aides raised the impeachment battle that defined Bill Clinton’s second term as president to criticize Mrs. Clinton’s character. Now, with Mr. Trump’s advisers struggling to refocus the race away from his critiques of the appearance of Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe winner who was invoked by Mrs. Clinton during the debate, the Republican nominee’s campaign has signaled a slashing effort going forward.

Not at all incidentally, the VP debate was a total shit-show, as well. Bill Weld is – by far – the smartest, nicest, most articulate, and most principled man running for VP. (Watch below if you don't believe me.) So he could, perforce, by no means be allowed by the cabal to participate in the debate.

And evidently the second presidential debate was even more of a shit-circus, though I declined to watch anything but highlights.

In Second Debate, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Spar in Bitter, Personal Terms
Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton collided in an almost unremittingly hostile debate on Sunday night, a 90-minute spectacle of character attacks, tawdry allegations, and Mr. Trump’s startling accusation that Mrs. Clinton had “tremendous hate in her heart.”

Thank you, two-party system, you catastrophic train-wreck. Let's all stick with it no matter what - lest the more hated and hateful candidate win - and by no means vote for a decent candidate, because he can't win, because no one will vote for him, because he can't win. It's fun being your own jailor!

It Doesn't Have to Be This Way

It doesn't have to be this way, people. We have it in our power to begin the world over again.

Poll Shows Gary Johnson Beating Trump In A Head To Head Matchup
For the first time ever, a national poll of registered voters has found Gary Johnson is beating Donald Trump in a head to head matchup.

Yep, that's right – Governor Johnson beats Trump in a head-to-head match-up - and is competitive with Clinton (trailing her by only 8.5%, just 1% more than her lead over Trump). If this sounds fantastical, given the national three-way polls, I'd suggest it's because Clinton voters are voting against Trump and Trump voters are voting against Clinton. And they keep doing so in a two-way match-up with Johnson - even though half of them don't know who he is or don't know enough about him to form an opinion. (Thanks, rigged two-party system and complicit media.) Or equally, without the terror of letting the other guy get in, they feel free to vote for a better option…

And finally (this has been shared over 700,000 times)…

Get matched up with another sane person, to help take our country back, at BalancedRebellion.com.

  america     feel the johnson     hope     politics     rescued from facebook  
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eight - Empire of the Dead by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : NEMESIS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Nine - Cataclysm by Michael Stephen Fuchs

ARISEN, Book Ten - The Flood by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eleven - Deathmatch by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Twelve - Carnage by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Thirteen - The Siege by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Fourteen - Endgame by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Fickisms
ARISEN : Odyssey
ARISEN : Last Stand
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 1 - The Collapse
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 2 - Tribes
Black Squadron
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 3 - Dead Men Walking
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 4 - Duty
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 5 - The Last Raid
ARISEN : Fickisms ][ – This Time, It's Personal
ARISEN : Operators, Volume I - The Fall of the Third Temple
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