Being a "Spoiler" Candidate
Last week, Michigan congressman Justin Amash changed political parties and announced that he is seeking the Libertarian nomination for President. Amash's announcement sheds light on the long-held struggle of third-party campaigns to break through in a society that claims to prefer multiple choices, except when it comes to politics. His announcement has also drawn harsh critical reaction, with pundits trying to weigh which of the Old Party candidates Amash's candidacy would hurt more, and prompting the question "Is Amash a spoiler candidate?" I suppose that the same question could be asked of my candidacy.
"Call each other names, your voice is rude, your voice is rough."
Typically, a spoiler candidate is seen as a shill working for the other side. For instance, my being called a spoiler candidate by a Democrat presumes that my views on the issues are similar enough to those of the Democratic candidate that I will be siphoning Democratic votes away from that candidate, thus assuring that the Republican candidate wins. Republicans feel the same way. This is called 'vote splitting' and happened in 1912 when Roosevelt and Taft split the Republican vote resulting in Democrat Woodrow Wilson winning the election. (I doubt, however, that anyone would ever consider Teddy a shill for Wilson.)
"A world of indifference, heads and hearts too full, careless of the consequence of constant push and pull."
Oddly enough, though, it seems to be ONLY the partisan 'sheeple' who bleat about stealing votes away from their candidate.
Spoiler Alert #1: Some of my views are similar enough to the Republican candidate that I will siphon votes away from her.
Spoiler Alert #2: Some of my views are similar enough to the Democratic candidate (whoever that ends up being) that I will siphon votes away from her.
Spoiler Alert #3: Some of my views are appealing enough to independent voters (those who do not vote by partisan ideologies) that I will get them into a voting booth to finally vote for someone that they can support.
Am I a spoiler candidate? I could tell you, but I don't want to spoil it for you.