First, props to Larry King for jumping in and moderating, RT for broadcasting and all the journalists who participated. It’s important to have people lend their weight to this. And I post this so that everyone who says “we just need a third party” knows there are third, fourth, fifth and more parties.
My Rant on People who think third Parties:
When people, especially pundits but also fellow voters I talk to, angrily or urgently say there’s a need (not just room, but a need) for a third party, they mean not these third parties…they mean third parties that agree with them almost fully and will win the election. They want it shrink wrapped and delivered to their doorstep. The little secret: people undecided in the middle or folks who say both sides do it and they are all the same still like to vote for winners, they don’t like to get fed up and get organized and strike out on their own. They just like to get fed up and make some noise. See the “Tea Party”, Astro-turf yes, but a movement that pulled in a bunch of angry right wing voters and was summarily relegated to a Republican Caucus and Occupy Wall Street reduced to a public nuisance because it had to be all things to all liberal causes. You know why there aren’t third parties?
The founders of our country and legislators in states made organizing a party hard and sustaining a party hard on purpose. It’s a small “c” conservative endeavor. You don’t marry the first person that catches your fancy, we don’t marry our political system to the first person that gets fed up with their party and says: we need something else. Look, Gary Johnson, for instance, ran as a Republican. It was good for him to be a Republican until he realized that he was an outlier in his own party due to the fact that he hails from a more libertarian Republican electorate in New Mexico. Ron Paul fancies himself an independent, but runs as Republican for congress so he can “surprise” actually be a part of the government he feels is so awful. Kind of odd for a guy to run around and say: I hate my job, have another fine profession he can practice (Paul is a doctor) and not leave the job you supposedly hate (hint: I bet Ron Paul likes the power).
It takes time, dedication and yes herculean efforts. This is so in any given year Tea Baggers (led by folks who sound like ex-Birchers with the temperament of an anti-integration rally) and Occupy Wall Street Squatters (led by folks who sound more like ex-WTO/G8 protesters and vaccine deniers) couldn’t just walk up say: we’ve got signatures and some angry people with us and be enfranchised for decades and cause irreparable damage without trying too hard. To liberals who think this doesn’t make sense, I would ask do you think it’d be easier for Palin, Bachmann and Allen West to get together and find like minded folks (e.g. Todd Akins legitimate rape blessings from god politicians and maybe a Ron Paul thrown in) for a modern Palinite party or would it be easier for Jill Stein, Nader and the like to make a nationally viable Green Party? Being better, I think a national Green Party would be fine, but I really think that the Palinite/Paulite party would coalesce and ascend to popularity first. If you think Stein and Nader, answer me this: why is it Palin, Bachmann and Allen West seem to get elected more. Either way, the need for a third party isn’t in the middle, it’s on the edges.
Want to start a party? Good. Dedicate yourself, convince others to dedicate themselves to organizing your party, then keep showing up, keep proving, keep reproving your worth to the American public and then you have to repeatedly convince voters to put you on the ballots for a series of elections until you get the benefit of the doubt. That’s intentional. Not just because of “corporate interests” because of the interest of survival of the country. The great thing about our democracy, as you seek higher levels of power over more people, it becomes harder to ascend to and assert that power. Self Government must be preserved by the elected, the appointed and the electorate. Part of system of self preservation is our increasingly stringent access to higher tiers of our multiparty system. You shouldn’t be in a national debate if you can’t get on the ballot in 50 states and none of these parties have been able to do it. We don’t need to make ballot access easier. We need to make access seekers harder. Want a third party? Posse up and get to it. But it won’t be easy.