As regular readers know, I reserve the right to regale you with my third party rant every four years. Today I modify that imposition to once every two years. There was a great op-ed piece in the NYTimes about the potential for a third party candidate in 2012. I want to quote extensively from that article but first let me just say to my Tea Party relatives and friends:
"Don't chicken out at the last minute and vote for the republican because the evil democrat is just too far left to even consider having as your representative or senator."
To my left wing, liberal friends and olde college alumni -- ditto. That Palin clone on the right side of your ballot is really no more evil than the long term democrat living in the pockets of lobbyists and blue dog sentiments.
Remember my great and wise friend Bill, who hath said: "We all believe one party is evil and the other is stupid; all we are arguing about is which is which."
It's not too early to step up and say to the two parties: Neither! No! Not Again! And 2010 is a good year to try out the pulling of a third party lever. Just pick the third candidate in a congressional or senate race and give them your vote. It won't hurt that much and you will be sending a message to all your fellow voters that it really is time for a change, a big change. Let's start having the major parties win with 48% of the vote, then 45% then a couple of seats go to third party candidates. Come 2012 we can have a full fledged uprising and a third party candidate in the White House in our lifetime.
From the NYTimes article:
“We basically have two bankrupt parties bankrupting the country,” said the Stanford University political scientist Larry Diamond. Indeed, our two-party system is ossified; it lacks integrity and creativity and any sense of courage or high-aspiration in confronting our problems. We simply will not be able to do the things we need to do as a country to move forward “with all the vested interests that have accrued around these two parties,” added Diamond. “They cannot think about the overall public good and the longer term anymore because both parties are trapped in short-term, zero-sum calculations,” where each one’s gains are seen as the other’s losses.
We have to rip open this two-party duopoly and have it challenged by a serious third party that will talk about education reform, without worrying about offending unions; financial reform, without worrying about losing donations from Wall Street; corporate tax reductions to stimulate jobs, without worrying about offending the far left; energy and climate reform, without worrying about offending the far right and coal-state Democrats; and proper health care reform, without worrying about offending insurers and drug companies.
“If competition is good for our economy,” asks Diamond, “why isn’t it good for our politics?”
We need a third party on the stage of the next presidential debate to look Americans in the eye and say: “These two parties are lying to you. They can’t tell you the truth because they are each trapped in decades of special interests. I am not going to tell you what you want to hear. I am going to tell you what you need to hear."