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Comments of the Day: Getting Real About Third Parties in the Merry Old Land of Oz

November 30, 2009

From Swemson’s Open Thread yesterday which highlighted how little private sector experience Obama’s cabinet has:

2009 November 29

I think it’s important to have some solid private sector experience AND not be crazy. Otherwise you get Ross Perot, Ron Paul, or some Libertarian candidate.

This entirely sensible comment from one of my favorite NewsReal regular commenters was met with an entirely predictable response from the Emerald City. Tar and Feathers should known better than to casually drop the Good Doctor’s name:

2009 November 30
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So you believe that Ron Paul would be a bad choice for the country? He’s one of the very few solid, honest, common sense patriots currently in our congress or any other branch of the federal government. I suppose we’ve gotten good results from either the republicans or democrats (non-capitalzed intentionally) for the past 50 years, so it makes no sense to consider Libertarians (capitalized intentionally) or any freedom-centrist, constitutionalist candidates. Get real tar & feathers.

And Tar and Feathers returned with a solid retort:

2009 November 30
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Hey, I’m as real as the next schlub. The Libertarian party is not currently viable. While wacky fringe group parties like American Independent, and the Greens increase their ranks, the Libertarians lag behind both. It took me ten years as a LP member to realize their lack of political savvy, and inability to be a genuine political force.

And as I often say, two things can be simultaneously true. One can be a patriotic constitutionalist AND be nuts at the same time. (Present company excluded.)

Of course it’s very difficult for me to resist using the C-word when the Good Doctor comes up in discussion. It’s just too much fun watching his followers’ heads spin around. (I recently got an email from a reader who said that I wasn’t particularly good at ridicule. However he seemed mainly irritated that I had ridiculed Paul whom he admired…)

My views are pretty well known here

But on this basic point Tar and Feathers is correct. At the national level third parties are ineffective. One needs to work within one of the two dominant parties (or both of them) in order to actually make things happen. Here’s what so many third party advocates don’t understand: within the GOP and the Democratic Party there are more than just the two parties. Each party is actually a coalition of differing ideological interest groups and constituencies. So if you want to be a libertarian you’re far better off just being part of the libertarian wing of the GOP than being part of the Libertarian Party — unless your interests are purely at a local level.

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11 Comments
  1. Tom Stephens permalink
    December 1, 2009 7:49 am

    I totally agree that we have to work within our 2 party system. Working outside the system got us Bill Clinton. While I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Ron Paul is a nut, he sure has a few nutty ideas to go with his principled fiscal conservatism. Even further, those that say throw all incumbents out of the Republican Party throw a real monkey wrench in the workings of our power base in the house and senate. The dems, (Pelosi and Reid for example) know how to work, (abuse) the system. When we go out of our way to put forth and support candidates that we know have not a chance in hell of winning a popular national election against the Republican Party, we doom our chances of enhancing conservative change in our country. As a Republican with a Libertarian leaning, I really respect, for instance, my current Republican representative, John Culberson who had the foresight to vote against Bush’s first ludicrous giveaway, then against the following giveaways of B Hussein Obama and has the courage to introduce himself to a 1000 person town hall I attended as John Culberson, a Republican/Libertarian. He also stood with Mike Pense and other principled conservative house members in the House when Nancy Pelosi turned out the lights and continued to report in the dark via his cell phone what was transpiring there.

    Let us not let first impulses ruin our chances of converting our current socialistic leaning house and senate into a conservative, principled body of true patriotic conservative Americans.

  2. kim permalink
    December 1, 2009 8:11 am

    Working together? what a joke..I have been saying for a long time, both sides put together is one big bird..now we see the right foot showing..just handing the reigns to the next puppet with the big boys or family working and pulling strings to get their one world gov. Not to say there are not good ones on both sides but have not got the courage to make a bold stand, beating around the bush to keep from giving up their great paychecks and pensions and free charge cards. and then there is the death list. communism thru the masons is calling it their day while the sheepe follow the evil with blind eyes. how many stop to see or think or go to gov web to see who votes for what? the lazy American people are to blame and until they get up off their blessed assurances and stand on the laws of the land and hold them all accountable it is over. even the churches who have been warned for yrs are bowing to personality instead of the word of the L-rd..so like G-d told Jeremiah..give the people what they want. just like in the Hitler days..same game only the last push to bring it world wide..just as scripture says it will including throwing Israel under the bus, challenging G-d on HIS HOLY LAND which is a everlasting Covenant with the Jews..but guess what the Jews will rule and they will win and I am not talking about the ones who call themselves Jews but are not,,that is what G-d says..now because of evil and denial, while I can speak freely I will say, time is up and war is coming and it will be terrible to be in the hands of Almighty G-d..as fear is the beginning of WISDOM and to go against HIM..it won’t be pretty. The land is to stay in Jewish hands no matter what and they are the ones G-d will be in the mist with forever..no one sits on the fence and HIS word is true whether the world likes or believes it or not..and everyone will say..HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

  3. Jack Samwell permalink
    December 1, 2009 8:19 am

    The reason third parities aren’t taken more seriously is that they are vying for power with the establishment and their control of all the major media outlets. They decide who gets good press, bad press and worst of all — no press at all. Ron Paul must be a real threat to the establishment elites because when he is not the subject of ad hominem attacks he is being ignored altogether. Even in the age of the internect this make a difference as media coverage still confers credibility on canidates. Without their blessing one is seen as an untrustworthy outsider.

    Take his bill to audit the Federal Reserve (H.R.1207 & S.604) for example. It is as important as Obama’s impending health care legislation and has the support of 313 sponsors that span the political continuum yet one rarely hears about in on the news.

    What’s wrong with the 2 party system is that both parties ultimately do not compete but appear beholden to the same group — and it’s not the american people. The american public is slowly waking up to the fact that this country is being controlled by transnationalists and that they are cosmopolitan in their strategic approach in politics. Newt Gingrichhttp://www.vimeo.com/6445068 is the paradigm example of how this problem manifests itself in the socalled republican alternative to the democrats.

  4. The Inquisitor permalink
    December 1, 2009 8:49 am

    Work within the two parties? Most likely so, but maybe not. An unprecedented awakening is taking place in America just now.

    Come 2012 and the choice is between Obama and a McClain clone, I’m voting for Obama. America will deserve him.

  5. December 1, 2009 10:14 am

    Complaining about the two-party system is a little bit like complaining about gravity. Both have distinct disadvantages, but it’s the reality in which we currently live. I’ve yet to see a practical plan that challenges either.

    Setting aside the gravity problem for a moment, I’ve noticed that third-party supporters tend to be wound up a little too tight. Zealotry, no matter how noble the cause, is no substitute for workable solutions, especially those that have been demonstrated to work in the past. And you simply can’t ignore the element of popular appeal. It’s a PR world.

    I suggest that if a third party were to begin endorsing major party candidates based on their own particular platform, you’d have big time players beating a path to your door.

    And on more thing. You’ll have to discard stuffy words like “transnational” from your political lexicon if you’re going to create a popular mandate. Hey, just getting real.

  6. Wayne permalink
    December 1, 2009 11:22 am

    Most reasonable people today have no trouble recognizing the abject failures of socialism and communism. Recognizing the nature of the most influential economist on the planet today, John Maynard Keynes, is another matter, though. Some would erroneously consider Keynes to be some sort of middle ground between capitalism and socialism — but they’d be wrong. Keynes himself was a long time member in good standing with the English Fabian Socialists. Keynes advocates for a system in which interests rates and the currency are manipulated by a committee or individual within a regulatory system which creates laws to interfere and control business. At best Keynesian economics may be considered a bridge from capitalism to socialism — and this would considered consistent with the method of Fabian Socialism since they advocated “gradualism” to achieve Marxist ends. Keynes himself supported the Lenin and the October Revolution they both desired the same ends only pretending to disagree on the way to get there.

    Today every “free” country on planet uses the theories on Keynesian economics manipulating currency and interest rates within a framework of government interference in the economy —this is called the “free market system”labeled as “FAILED”, while calling for more government interference and control.

    Keep your eye on the ball — Keynes = socialist, an avowed enemy of capitalism and let’s not pretend socialism does not call for the destruction of free markets and individual liberty.

  7. Wayne permalink
    December 1, 2009 11:26 am

    Since the topic here is The Wizard of Oz here is a link to something relevant …

  8. Wizard of Oz permalink
    December 1, 2009 11:38 am

    Getting real can mean looking squarely at issues needing reconsideration, as in the direction our two-party political system has taken us, particularly since 1913. If both party members have their strings pulled by the same puppetmasters, does that not defeat the purpose of choices in elections? I’m only advocating finding sensible alternatives to the disgraceful actions of elitists in both party’s today. It seems naive to think that one can do battle with the power bases in either party and receive the backing necessary to win major elections. If that were the case, Ron Paul and others of his ilk might have had a reasonable chance of support, rather than being effectively shut out of the contest. Media coverage and money, the things that truly can determine election outcomes simultaneously, are absolutes for success in national elections. Is either party likely to open their treasure chest to a candidate running on a personal platform rather than the party format? Doubtful, at best. If, in fact, the public is awakening to political realities, we should be seeking ideas that provide solutions to the problems we’re encountering….not, as in the past, merely reshuffling the deck of good old boy politics, platforms, and rhetoric. I’m not a Libertarian; I’m not affiliated with either major party, but neither do I consider myself a zealot. The only way for me to ‘vote my conscience’ is to cast my vote for one who most represents my beliefs. My belief system is based on the U.S. Constitution, which seems to have been forgotten, or at least ignored, by most of our currently elected representatives and judges.

    I am curious about the standards by which one would consider Ron Paul a ‘nut’. Is it because he’s a ‘doctor’ rather than a true ‘politician’? Perhaps because he actually believes that we can change the course of the past 96 years of ‘progressivism’…..and believes it strongly enough to publicly advocate it? If that idea constitutes craziness, you are probably correct. That type of belief and advocacy is sometimes termed ‘political suicide’, but he has been continually reelected since the 70’s. There are obviously many who will defend his sanity and support his political vision.

  9. Kenneth Gareau permalink
    December 1, 2009 11:49 am

    To: Tar and Feathers and Tom Stephens.

    Combined you have each hit the nail squarely on the head. If the awakening, as evidenced by the growing numbers of TEA PARTIERS, is effective and we observe your advice, the respective parties will be changed from within. First at the local level and then ultimately at the top where most of the problems are. Then the libertarian/conservative viewpoints will each get the exposure and credibility they deserve and the effectiveness on policy desire.

    We, the electorate, seem to think that change happens overnight. Big misstake, it doesn’t. Especially in this sound bite and instant pudding world we have come to believe in. What liberals know and have implemented is a SUSTAINED ATTACK approach. We need to do likewise and not get discouraged if we do not get the “Whole ball of wax” at our first meeting!

  10. Jonathan permalink
    December 1, 2009 1:05 pm

    Two parties? What a myth. One party controls this country.

    Within 50 years, this country, if it survives as a nation, will have at least 5 major parties. Guaranteed. At least two will be ethnocentric. Black and Hispanic. Both of these demographics will form their own parties once they have the numbers to win elections.

    A third party can and will ultimately succeed. The fact that it hasn’t done so yet is merely testimony to the lack of leadership, vision, courage and grassroots saavy that the MSM politicians have in this country. They all wear blinders and think inside a tight box. They can’t function without money and without television. They are either too stupid or too lazy or too afraid to go out and speak to the people directly, in the villages and in the churches.
    They think it’s all about THEM personally and THEIR political ambitions. The concept of building a movement that may take longer to build than they occupy the spotlight is alien to them.

    The GOP is a dying entity. Moderates and RINOs make it a pointless redundancy to the Marxist Democrat party. If not redundant, at least guilty by association. The GOP is WORTHLESS because it does not recognize the problem, has no willingness to face the problem, has no plan to deal with the problem and last but not least, is 99 percent sold out to globalism itself.

  11. Samuel permalink
    December 1, 2009 4:33 pm

    “I think it’s important to have some solid private sector experience AND not be crazy. Otherwise you get Ross Perot, Ron Paul, or some Libertarian candidate.”

    This tends to setup a strawman implying that Obama is a better alternative since his only fault is lack of private sector experience.

    When it comes to discussing Ron Paul we seem to eat our own, and look what is left on our plate. What we have is someone with no private sector experience and is crazy bad, Ron Paul would have been much better, and likely better than McCain. Regardless of Ron Paul’s failings in foreign policy, as most here tend to believe, it would be a heck of a lot better than socialism and big government.

    Samuel

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