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The Vietnam War

  • Vietnam war was opposed by higher and higher percentage of the American public the longer it continued, with over 50% against by 1967 and about 70% by 1969.
  • But in the 1968 presidential election, both Nixon(R) and Humphrey(D) were pro-war. The only possibly-viable candidate with a genuinely anti-war record, Eugene McCarthy, lost the Democratic primary and abandoned the race.
  • Thanks to two-party domination, anti-war voters had nowhere to turn, and McCarthy had no useful way to continue running.
  • With range voting, an anti-war candidate could have run with (in view of the polls) a real chance to win, and without triggering "spoiler" voting pathologies. Even without winning, genuine presure would have been exerted on his opponents to address antiwar concerns.
  • Had the American public gotten to end the war in 1968, 1-2 million lives would have been saved. (Deaths after 1968 slightly exceeded deaths before 1968; the war's total death toll was about 4 million, i.e. about 13% of Vietnam's population, and there were a comparable number wounded.)
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