If you have taken the time to look at the ballot for the November 6 election (or if you have perhaps voted early), you will have noticed that—gasp—there are more than two sets of candidates running to be President and Vice-President of the United States.
I thought we’d start at the bottom of the list and work our way up in a brief series of posts on the lesser-known candidates, since (one would hope) everyone knows who the Republican and Democratic nominees are.
Rounding out the Tennessee ballot’s list of seven presidential candidates is one that I had never heard before seeing it on the Secretary of State’s website: Merlin Miller. The first thing to know about Miller is that he is associated with a political party, even though in Tennessee his party does not have ballot access and therefore he is listed as “Independent.”
As you know, “Independent” can mean a lot of things. This is why it’s a good idea to identify the political party with which a candidate affiliates.
The American Third Position Party (or “A3P” for short) has been described as promoting white supremacy. When I looked up Miller’s website I noted that, like many a candidate, he was hawking a book he had written. There was another (new to me) name on that book as the foreword author. Ah, I thought. Better look up that guy. Who’s promoting this candidacy?
So I encountered some writings by A.H. Krieg. I will not do him the service of linking or quoting, but suffice it to say that he does not look kindly on the Jewish people. I read a bit about some other A3P leaders and found their positions on immigration, race, and nationalism equally off-putting.
My next bit of research was on Virginia Abernethy, who is Miller’s running mate. Lo and behold, she is a “professor (emerita) of psychiatry and anthropology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.” So there is a Tennessee connection, although candidates can get on the ballot here far easier if they’re willing to go “Independent” than if they were to try and gain party ballot access.
Readers, I sometimes stridently break from the mythical “pure objectivity” that journalism types adore (we often forget it’s unattainable). This blog is both “straight news” and “editorial page.” In 2008, I openly endorsed now-President Barack Obama. I haven’t yet decided whether I will endorse a candidate in this election.
But I wanted to make sure that voters know what Miller’s “Independent” label means in case they were looking to cast a vote along the lines of “I don’t care for either of the major candidates, so I’m going to vote Independent.” If you are an angry white right-wing populist, an anti-Semite, a vociferous anti-immigration activist, then this is your ticket. (Honest assessment: I can think of several people who self-identify as “Tea Party” that hold similar views to those espoused by the American Third Position Party. Hmmm.)
Otherwise, this information likely will steer you away from Miller-Abernethy as a choice.
Either way, you have been informed.