A judge has ruled that the Pennsylvania ballot-access laws were unfair to small parties. No mention of the fact that first-past-the-post voting rules leave small parties hopeless in the first place.
A candidate calling himself “Deez Nuts” polled at 9% against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in North Carolina. The ensuing weeks saw the political views of an Iowa high schooler broadcast around the country and compared, often favorably, with establishment candidates. Respondents’ motivation for saying they would vote for Deez Nuts remains unclear, but we can assume very few people would make such a claim if they were active supporters of either Clinton or Trump. The most important aspect of this story is that it confirms one of the assumptions of the Protest Party strategy: that the media will cover something extensively if it has even the most tenuous relation to the “Presidential Horserace” that Americans are obsessed with. (Maybe because they are thinking “less than two years until things will finally change!”)
Speaking of confirming the assumptions made in the Protest Party strategy, consider what the Black Lives Matter movement has proven to us: when you refuse to be taken for granted by your preferred Major Party, they will scramble for your vote. With aggressive and bold tactics, activists were able to convincingly threaten to withhold their votes from Democrats unless Democrats stopped taking them for granted. In less than a week, every Democratic presidential candidate had produced much more comprehensive plans for promoting racial justice. Of course, the Protest Party will not be satisfied by mere promises, but this does show that withholding one’s vote can get some kind of results, at least. (To their credit, many BLM protesters have remained resolute in refusing to be pacified by half-measures.)
Larry Lessig is attempting a strategy that embraces much of the logic behind the Protest Party. He has launched a campaign for the presidency that has no intention of actually acting as president, instead focusing on fixing one particular problem. To do so, he intends to actually win the presidency as a Democrat and then do almost nothing until his single (campaign finance) is satisfactorily addressed, at which point he will resign. In my view it’d be much easier to just demand that the major parties do your bidding in exchange for giving them the presidency, although I do respect his gumption and, especially, his fund-raising ability.
I am looking into starting a Super-PAC for the Protest Party, because I don’t want corporations to be unable to give us their money if they are so inclined.