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Ross Perot Was a Big, Loud, Transformational Crank

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/10/ross-perot-was-big-loud-transformational-crank

Taking in 19% of the popular vote in 1992, Perot demonstrated that there were many dissatisfied with the two-party system. That tally exceeded any other third-party presidential candidate since Teddy Roosevelt in 1912. Perot also spoke to voters in a manner that was direct and truly explanatory of his positions. Yes, he was a bit of a crank, but I not only voted for him, I am proud to this day that I did.

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H Ross was a crank, but he wasn’t really a “self-made billionaire”: He formed Electronic Data Services and stole clients from IBM(which really, got lots of Government data processing jobs,(IBM sort of didn’t want those gigs anyway), and drew nice pie charts for his speeches. That legacy - pie charts and other props - lives on as Congressional reps and Senators have live drawing lessons on CSPAN. My ultraconservative aunt and uncle voted for Ross in 92, to “send a message” to Pappy Bush. The response to that message was two terms for Bill Clinton. I said to my aunt and uncle, when you want to send a message, use a telegram, not the ballot box. My aunt, still around, still wails and gnashes her teeth about Bill and Hillary.

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I remember that EDS was also known for reneging on employee working conditions, with lots of “voluntary mandatory” unpaid ex ess working hours!!

He gained a lot of traction being against NAFTA. I think he knew the country was being sold out by the two parties in control. While weird I don’t think he was as sleazy and corrupt as Trump. Who knows - between Clinton and Bush I - he may have been the best. of course he is another one who claims that everything needs to be run like a business and frankly - that just isn’t so but it sounds good. He was entertaining and had some good ideas but was not the kind of person we need as a leader of all of the people. When are we going to get someone who is not just a business hack but a real person with human values and an agenda to unite and uplift all people?

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Reminds me of another billionaire nut job who ran for president. You know, the guy who claimed that global warming was a Chinese hoax, immigrants at our border were rapists, drug dealers and thieves, journalists were the enemy of the people and so on. Unlike Perot, however, this guy was elected.

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It is unfortunate that in our system when we vote third party it is more likely to hurt our preferred candidate among the duopoly. I like how Maine votes for governor. It allows the citizenry to truly choose their favorite candidate without worrying about tipping the scale in the Republicans’ and Democrats’ competition for a plurality of the vote.

WO, this may be the first time I disagree with you. Perot was a dangerous nut case and had to control all kinds of things, even if he was damaging them with his “idealistic good intentions.” He was responsible for much of the chaos and losses in Texas education in the 80s. He and his goons twisted arms in the Legislature so badly that our rep crawled back home, couldn’t look any of us in the eye, cried in apology for her inability to stop him, and was never the same again. The widely touted HB 72 was anathema to public education. I hope he burns in an especially hot place in Hell, especially if my suspicions on sweetheart deals were correct about all the teacher appraisal sh#@*# and standardized testing.

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I didn’t do a good job of conveying my primary reason for voting for him–to further the cause of “other” parties/candidates into the mix. I never thought he had a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. Bush was, well Bush and Clinton spoke with that Southern Baptist preacher style to attract “folk” while hiding his rather impressive academic bona fides, the contrast of which I found sickening. Yes, Perot was a crank, but at least an honest one–what you saw was what you got. In Bernie I find both consistent honesty and consistent commitment to Progress, which is what I have been seeking since I began pulling levers.

I vote third party when I don’t have a “preferred candidate among the duopoly.”

On the topic of Perot being a nut, someone I was debating was aghast in 2016 when she found out I was voting for that “nut” – and that’s a quote – Jill Stein. The person I was debating voted for Trump.

I understand, WO. Thanks for responding.

It’s pretty sickening when “what you see is what you get,” something that sounds like an honesty principle, actually has that “honest” person being someone seriously mentally ill… Perot, Dump, Dense all included, cherry on top, Bolton.

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