The reality in America today is that we have a two party system. The Republicans and Democrats run the show, not because they’re the best and brightest, but because they have “electability” on their side.
So, what do you do if you don’t like either of the two nominees? What if you think we’d be better off with another option? Is that even possible?
As I said before, I’m a realist when it comes to these things. As it stands, either Sen. McCain or Sen. Obama will win this election unless something catastrophic happens.
That being the case, how do we change this?
Have a Big Name Candidate
The last time that we had a viable third party candidate was Ross Perot. I know that Ralph Nader did get some votes a few years back, and some people voted for Pat Buchanan—or didn’t, depending on who you ask—but the last time people actually believed that a third party candidate could win was with Ross Perot.
Because he was self financed. Because he was a character. Because the two other options, at the time, did not seem that far apart. Because America was looking from someone from the outside.
While it’s true that he only had an impact in taking away votes from the main two (I do not believe he won a single state), he was able to capture the imagination of many. That’s a big step toward 3 or more parties.
Concentrate on the Lopsided States
There are blue and red states that are not going to go for the other guy no matter what. These are where the third party candidates should concentrate. If it’s a Libertarian, he should focus on meeting with Republicans in blue states where the Republican candidate is going to lose anyway. If it’s a Green candidate, focus on the Democrats in red states.
The importance of this cannot be overlooked. Part of the problem with “electability” is that the media want you to believe that a third party candidate cannot possibly get enough votes. However, there are also a great number of people whose votes essentially don’t count.
I’m a blue state conservative. Even if I did vote for Sen. McCain, I know it wouldn’t matter. I’m a prime target for a Libertarian or Constitution candidate because I have core principles that Sen. McCain violates.
Leave the Big Party
One of my problems with the whole argument that wanted (and still wants to) vote for Ron Paul was that this “man of principle” would not leave his party when his party decided that it didn’t want him. If he truly believed that he was part of a movement (and his counter convention, etc. says that he does) he would have given the American people an option this year and followed my plan above.
As it is, he’s doing some of it, but by refusing to leave the Republican party he’ tied himself to it.
What must happen, however, is that people must realize that this could mean that the “wrong person” gets into office. However, I believe that if you had an attractive, electable candidate you’d soon find that what was left of the other two parties would lose to a group that was actually committed to principles and looked like it was growing and could take on the world.
- The Pilgrims that believed they had to leave the church of England because of heresy.
- That believed they could reform the Anglican church from the inside.