Tuesday, April 3, 2012

On a third-party in America

The effectiveness of the Libertarian Party and almost all other third-parties in U.S. history in promoting their policy positions has usually been counterproductive, because running a third-party candidate reduces the vote for the least undesirable (aka, lesser of the evils) among the major party candidates.

A disciplined group of grassroots activists and organizations that are prepared to take incremental improvement and political motion in the right direction over some irrational notion that somehow we can recover 100 years of political motion in the wrong direction in one or two election cycles could have a considerable and ongoing effect on the issue positions of both major parties and their candidates.

After all, to win an election—in almost any jurisdiction—requires that the candidate pull a significant portion of the votes from the so-called "swing" voter (the voters in the middle).

According to Cato Institute, about 20 percent of voters have generally libertarian political preferences, but few Libertarian Party candidates win more than one percent of the popular vote. This is because the whole gamut of libertarian policy changes is too much for the general public to swallow in one fell swoop.

Let's get reasonable, shall we?

Despite the upsurge in strongly conservative thinking, in most political races, it still makes fare more sense for grassroots conservatives to search out, recruit, work-for and support conservative candidates with integrity and strong Constitutional grounding within the context of the Republican Party (GOP) than to try to make political gains fielding radical candidates in a third party.

I believe this will remain true until such time as the GOP collapses and becomes virtually totally irrelevant. Unfortunately, I believe that time is approaching at a rapid pace.

The unwillingness for the GOP establishment to embrace the upstart Tea Party movement proved that GOP party leadership was truly out-of-touch with the grassroots of conservatism, libertarianism and the increasingly broad acceptance of Austrian economics. It cannot be disputed that the GOP has no brand and the party’s establishment seems intent on keeping it that way.
My guess is that it will not be long before the Republican Party goes the way of the Whigs unless the party’s leadership wakes up to smell the coffee and learns that the Tea Party movement can help them rebrand the party.


Rebecca Gebhardt Brizi said...

I go back and forth on this point. I used to agree completely with your view here, then I disagreed strongly and now I confess I can't see which is the better approach.

On the one hand, yes: the third party never garners enough attention to truly make a difference, and if all us who vote that way put our efforts into a main party candidate maybe we could make more of a difference. We saw this begin to happen with Ron Paul running with the Republican party, a few ripples were finally seen.

On the other hand, sticking with the above Paul example he was still somehow kept a marginal candidate, and for those less familiar with him and of left-leaning persuasion, was dismissed as just another Republican, thwarting chances of his message being properly heard.

The GOP has no brand, I agree, and is in a shambles. It is a good time to drastically change it from the inside, and I know some who are trying to do so. But what of the barriers of "Us" vs "Them", in which reasoning is connected merely to the party name rather than policies?

elliesbooks said...

I left the Democrat party long ago, then I left the GOP. We need a new party. We are in a Cold Civil War. The republic needs leadership. 15% of the conservative voters stayed home because Romney was a Mormon. We do not need the regressive right pulling the republic to just an Obama on the right! We require reason and while the 3d party is a difficult choice I now am totally of the belief that it is either that or a hot civil war ... The Democrat Party-Public Sector/Service Union Money Laundering Scheme has got to stop. And the time is now ... !

RDCushing said...

Since I wrote this post quite some time ago, I have come full circle. I think it is time for the largely "ear-elephant" GOP to go the way of the Whigs. We need a new, more vital, party that really stands for something quite apart from what either the Democrats or the Republican stand for today.

Thank you for your comment.

elliesbooks said...

I have just finished Richard Viguerie's book 'Takeover". As a principal in the last 3d party election to garner [win at ballot box] any electoral votes [39 for G.Wallace] it is an interesting read ... the question in a 3d party is always a leader who can transfer that leadership beyond their personal campaign.

Read and let me know ...