Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Viable Third Party?

I think I've ranted on occasion re: the need for a viable Third Party here in the United States. Primarily on two points:

  • The Democrats are led by spineless self-serving wimps who couldn't enforce discipline if their lives depended on it (and it does);
  • The Republicans are batsh-t insane sociopaths obsessed with tax cuts, killing abortion doctors, and insulting or degrading anything they deem 'foreign' or 'Socialist', and willing to purge their party of anyone who doesn't toe the line 100 percent.

The pity of Third Party attempts is that the system is rigged: the two established parties (R and D) may hate the sh-t out of each other, but they're terrified of voters getting pulled to other choices. I still believe Pat Buchanan's takeover of the Reform Party in 2000 was an attempt by the GOP to sabotage Ross Perot's pet project of shaking up the status quo. By making the Reform Party a top-down system, where they focused on the Presidency and failed to push local, state and congressional candidates, Perot made that party vulnerable to a takeover by a name candidate who could then run it into the dirt. You don't see the Reform Party mentioned much anymore anywhere. Pretty much any other Third Party program out there - Greens, noticeably - tend to be single-issue parties obsessed with far-wingnut (left and right) issues, nothing that would attract moderate and centrist voters disgusted with the ideological calcification of the existing Bigs...

An interesting article on Slate's website by Andrew Dubbins, that I saw earlier this morning, offered something promising: The Modern Whigs. Formed by returning war vets, but opening themselves to non-vet voters, the Whigs seem promising. While their platform is as vague on some topics as you'd expect, they don't come across as batsh-t insane (which is a big criteria for me right now). They also seem to be going about this party construction the right way: they're fielding candidates at local and state levels, rather than gambling on a big-name run at the biggest target (the White House) out there.

I'm intrigued. They've got Congressional candidates lined up in my home state of Florida. I'm going to give them a closer look.

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