An American Third Party
New -- 15 November 2010
Tweedledee and Tweedledum
What the United States desperately needs right now is a viable, and broad-based Third Political Party. It is after all, the 233th birthday of the United States of America. [Yes, yes, I know... but July 4th was actually the date that England was served with the colonies suing for divorce. The "birth" of the United States is when the colonies got together in a formal way... as in the Articles of Confederation.] In any case, it's time for something really worth celebrating two years from now... for the 235th Anniversary... immediately following the 2012 national, state, and local elections (now scheduled for 6 November 2012).
On the one hand -- not necessarily the left or the right:
“Polls show that about 80 percent of voters want the two parties [the Democrats and Republicans] to meet in the middle to solve problems...” 
This is, as opposed to, meeting in the middle to exchange blows.
On the other hand, what are the odds of any such detente happening? How close to zero probability?
On the Long Bets website, there are over 500 predictions of the future, some seemingly a bit beyond rational belief.. But none of these predictions have addressed the really far out possibility that the Re-pubs and De-mocs might actually work together for the benefit of the nation. Longbets.org is actually a serious website.
One should note, for example, that following the 2008 presidential election, President Obama claimed an earnest willingness to work in a bi-partisan fashion. This was in spite of the fact that the Democrats controlled the House of Representatives, as well as the Senate... the latter in which the De-mocs had the added blessing of a filibuster-proof Senate majority. In essence, there was no political reason for a Democratic President to be nice. And while Obama might have pretended nice, he ended up pushing through such things as Obamacare on strictly party lines. You may have heard about that.
You may also have heard that in the 2010 mid-term elections, Republicans won at least 60 additional House seats (the largest swing of seats since 1948) and gained at least six senate seats. And while that might sound like a mandate for change in an opposite direction... it’s probably worth noting that the 2008 vote that swept Obama and a relatively huge number of Democrats into national office represented approximately 61% of the electorate. The mid-term elections, however, that went Republican, constituted closer to 40% of the electorate.  Furthermore, if the difference in control of the Congress is based upon a change of 50 or so House seats, and these seats were won with 55% of the vote, then the shift in control of the House of Representatives is due to roughly 2.5%* of the electorate. Even the entire plurality is only about 12% of the electorate. Not exactly a mandate.
[* 55% x 40% x 50/435 = ~2.529. Also, one might also wonder why 20% of previous voters... or even 60% of the total electorate... didn’t bother to vote in 2010.]
To add further anguish to the 80% of Americans who want to have the two parties work together, the new House Republican leader, John Boehner (who will likely become the new Speaker of the House) “has already vowed that there will be ‘no compromise’ with Obama.” 
Meanwhile, the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, in an interview with National Journal has said :
“After [Republicans took over both house of Congress in] 1994, the public had the impression we Republicans overpromised and underdelivered. We suffered from some degree of hubris and acted as if [President Bill Clinton] was irrelevant and we would roll over him. By the summer of 1995, he was already on the way to being re-elected, and we were hanging on for our lives. The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one term president.”
Okay, most of this might be simply that the Republicans should 'learn from their mistakes'... and maybe even avoid "some degree of hubris". This doesn't sound like the Republican leadership to me, but the message, taken at face value, is clear: Don’t assume omnipotence in what the election meant. This is a reasonable statement.
However... the last sentence -- also taken at face value -- is far more telling. What the Senate Minority Leader... the most powerful Republican in the Senate ... is saying is that: More important than the economy, more important than jobs or foreign policies... as well as being more important than anything and everything that anyone might consider to be important -- the “single most important thing” is for the Republicans to take power. Forget the nation; just fight the President at every turn.
In other words: politics as usual... in the same dualistic, adversarial at all costs, dysfunctional schema.
What can be done?
Well, obviously, AN AMERICAN THIRD PARTY.
Neal Mueller has made his own long bet and predicted “A third party candidate will be elected President of the United States [during the period 2010-2025].” (i.e. not a Republican or a Democrat) 
One can only hope that this one-in-four outside chance, aka political miracle, happens even before 2025. Of course, if George Friedman is correct in his supposition of a fifty year Presidential cycle, the timing might more accurately be delayed until 2028 or 2032. Ending the insanity we currently have should clearly be done sooner rather than later. And speaking of insanity...
Insanity can be defined as doing something over and over again and expecting a different result. Accordingly, it can be assumed the pendulum swinging elections of Re-pubs and De-mocs in a never changing, nightmare scenario... must be, by definition... insane.
George Friedman, writing in Stratfor , before the mid-term elections, predicted:
“Whether the Republicans take the House or the Senate is close to immaterial.” “The Democrats will lose their ability to impose cloture in the Senate and thereby shut off debate.” “Should the Republicans win an overwhelming victory in both houses next week, they will still not have the votes to override presidential vetoes.” “Thus, whether the Democrats do better than expected or the Republicans win a massive victory, the practical result will be the same.”
I.e., in Friedman's view -- and that of most rational realists -- the mid-term elections are “close to immaterial”... “the practical result will be the same.”
Gerald Celente, in his Trends Journal , has voiced similar thoughts... albeit with a bit less political correctness (Mr. Celente being extremely adept at political incorrectness).
"Countless pundit hours were spent dissecting the candidates and speculating what it would mean if who won what. Nevertheless, well before the Election Day results were in, whoever won, it was clear that the voters would lose.
* The wars, initiated by Republicans and ramped up by Democrats, would be continued.
* The failed economic policies dictated by the Federal Reserve (flooding the markets with cheap money, interest rates near zero) would be continued.
* Tax loopholes, token financial regulations, ruinous free-trade policies would be continued.
* The endless debates and empty promises to create new jobs would be continued.
* The promises to hunt down terrorists, bring them justice and win the “War on Terror” without
ever winning it, would be continued.
* Debate about how best to protect the environment, while permitting friends (i.e., campaign
contributors) to ravage it, would be continued.
* Middle East Peace Talks that never bring peace would be continued.
* The abrogation of Constitutional Rights, engineered by both parties over the past three Administrations, would be continued … even though there were few left to abrogate.
"Nevertheless, the liberals and progressives were terrified at the prospect of losing everything they had worked so hard not to get.
"In 2010, regardless of who won or lost, Tea Partiers or Party faithful, it would do nothing to disrupt the course set by the two-headed, one-party system. Indeed, early on the Tea Party itself had been hijacked by a wing of the Republican Party. Most of the Tea Party candidates’ victories would come at the expense of Republican stalwarts. Once again proving that politics makes for strange bedfellows, as Election Day neared, deals had already been cut to “normalize” Tea Partiers back into the Republican fold.
As part of this pointless exercise, according to William Falk ,
“An astonishing $4 billion was spent on [the 2010] midterm election.” “In 2012, it may take $1 billion to run a credible presidential campaign.”
This suggests that in 2012, something of the order to $6-8 billion dollars will be spent in order to... once again... continue the policies of partisanship. Furthermore, with the SCOTUS ruling of no-holds barred in campaign financing, the economic impact will be far greater than a fair number of wars... most of which we actually won... as opposed to having just more of the partisan brinkmanship we have now.
Logically, then, for any viable Third Party to have any hope of being a contender, the party coffers will need probably $5 billion or more, just in order to compete. This is a rather tall order. And yet... the USA really needs a third party, one wholly unlike Tweedledee and Tweedledum!
What is NOT needed is the fire fight that will occur between Re-pubs and De-mocs in order to determine who gets to be “dee’ and who gets to be “dum”. They’ll still be Tweedles!
The Tea Parties are NOT a Third Party
It is essential to emphasize that the so-called Tea Parties are not, in any fashion, a genuine third party. The TPers are in fact a splinter group from the national Republican Party... the former which consists of people, many of whom are as narrowly focused as the religious and social conservatives of your average Re-pub. Many even have a passing resemblance to the intellectual merits of Neanderthals, or their occasional “great minds” being more like “great minds of the Fifth Century”. (You can use either BC or AD; it makes no real difference). The TP is broad based only in the sense that many of its candidates assume all females to be “broads” and therefore to be treated as chattel and/or a subservient species.
The possibly more damning indictment of the TP is that it was strongly supported by such billionaire mega-egos as the Koch brothers, and by the FOX news network (under the iron clad control of Rupert Murdoch). As such, the TPers can be guaranteed to never under any circumstances be fair and/or balanced, intelligent, or worth the price of tea in China.
Thus, for all purposes, the Tea Parties are NOT any third party worthy of the name, and will henceforth be ignored... except to serve as an exceptionally bad example. (They do that really well!)
Note: the yellow flag of “Don’t Tread on Me” is, historically, a rather cool flag. It’s just unfortunate that a group of usurpers -- with even less morals or ethics than your average candidate or elected official from either the Re-pub or De-moc parties -- chose to purloin such an honorable flag.
As things stand now, elections are charades... full of sound and fury and signifying nothing. It might appear to be a contest, but the actors are all part of the same troupe of illusion creators. Nothing changes when the Media simply cannot divorce themselves from the perks of having access to the Powers That Be. This latest incursion into the mind-boggling display of how NOT to spend good money, will not ultimately change much. There has to be a whole new alternative... not just “Same old, same old; bought the ticket to perdition.”
This need for a third choice is in spite of the intellectual merits of:
"The problem with failing to choose the lesser of two evils is ... you end up with the greater evil."
"The greatest frustration in the bipolar insanity of our "two-potty" system is that until we the people find a way to speak in one voice, we inevitably must choose between two unsatisfying alternatives - the shameless and the spineless.
"Well, the choice just became a lot easier, with the revelation that the chief financier for the Republican election efforts, the "U.S. Chamber of Commerce" has its offices in Bahrain. Huh?
"Well, it kind of makes sense. If we're going to outsource all of our jobs, why not outsource governance itself? [See, the crimes of SCOTUS]
"If there has been any doubt that the "new world order" intends to turn the world into one big third world country with the ruling elites safe in gated communities, this should put that doubt to rest. One can only hope that those social conservatives who habitually vote Republican for patriotic reasons will join the upwising and awaken to the realization that Tea Party or not, putting the Republicans back in power will reinforce government of, by and for the power of money - and not necessarily American money."
Amusing as always... Swami... but Siriusly, how exactly are the De-mocs’ gated communities different from those belonging to the Re-pubs? The reality is that both hierarchies live in “gated communities”... and in fact benefit from the gated community of the two party system... where third parties are not allowed through the electoral gates, and instead, are considered as just so much riff-raft.
For example, Gerald Celente  has forecast:
"Trend Forecast: By 2012, less ideologically driven parties appealing to a wider base than anti-tax and anti-big government partisans would form. But the duopoly’s monopoly would not die gently. New legal roadblocks would be added to those already in place to thwart third party competition. As in the past, attempts would be made to rig elections. And with new, fraud-friendly, ballotless electronic voting systems controlled by political operatives, the process would be more efficient and difficult to detect. Nevertheless, with pre-voting and exit polls confirming dissatisfaction with politics as usual in the high double-digits, angry Americans would fight rather than be forced to accept the phony tallies. Election 2012 was not Bush-Gore 2000. It would prove to be a pivotal battle in the 2nd American Revolution." [emphasis added]
Thomas Friedman writing in The New York Times  has reported that:
The current status is "two bankrupt parties bankrupting the country." In the two-potty system, "there is no integrity, creativity, courage, or even willingness to confront our systemic problems." The vested interests are guaranteed the power to prevent any progress, the country trapped in a zero-sum dynamic, where each person’s gains can only be seen as the other’s losses. There can never be in this scenario a “win-win” solution.
“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.
"Just as monopolies are the anathema of a capitalistic society, so is a monopoly on politics. A third party is essential in order to make it clear the two parties are lying, trapped in decades of special interests." 
Among the political cronies and/or aristocrats from the Re-pubs and De-mocs, there are truly no real differences... just changes in emphasis. Between Bush and Obama there is precious little variance... other than, perhaps... semantics, the ability to speak English, and various differences in methodologies on how the reigning politicians can screw the citizenry. On the one hand, VP Cheney pays off his old alma mater, Haliburton, with no competition bids... while Obama sets up the insurance industry by mandating 30 million new customers. And of course, both have lent aid and comfort to the Military Industrial complex.
The fundamental common deceptions of all recent presidential administrations are the statistical lies. The Consumer Price Index, for example, has been manipulated over the last thirty years by administrations eager to make things appear to be far rosier than they are. The con goes like this:
The current level of the CPI in August 2010, for example, is shown to be ~ 1%. But when the CPI is calculated using the methodology in place in 1980, the real CPI is ~ 8%. 
Unemployment go from an “official” deceptive figure of just under 10%... to an adjusted rate of ~ 22-23% (i.e., using pre-1994 methodology, and counting marginally-attached workers as well as part-time workers unable to find full-time employment). Considering that unemployment during the Great Depression was ~ 25%... it’s clear that the Great Recession is earning its name, if not simultaneously being equivalent to the thirties in many locations within the United States.
The latter might explain the Gross Domestic Product Annual Growth going from the “official” ~ 3% rate to a negative rate of more than 1%. The official numbers utilize the practice of over-reporting on any given month for public consumption (making that month look better than the last), and then being revised downward later (based on real data)... whereupon the following month is compared to the revised data! Lo and behold, there’s another gain... despite the fact that over the long term, the GDP ratios look like a jig-jag saw pattern, going essentially nowhere. 
An American Third Party
According to Sean J. Miller  (October 13, 2010)]:
“POLL: Majority of voters say they want a viable third party in American politics."
“Fifty-four percent of respondents in The Hill 2010 Midterm Election Poll said they’d like an alternative to the Democrats and Republicans.’ [...uhhhhh... that’s a majority, isn't it?]
“That number rose to 67 percent for self-identified independents. But even a plurality in the established parties — 49 percent of Democrats and 46 percent of Republicans — said they’d like another choice.” The number of independents is a record number of people looking for a third party... for whatever reason.
“I think there’s a greater potential for a third party than perhaps [at] any time in our history,” said Mark McKinnon, a Republican strategist and former adviser to George W. Bush. “There is a very broad level of dissatisfaction throughout the electorate — right, left and middle.
“I think what’s happened goes beyond general dissatisfaction with the economy,” he added. “They want a new way — they want to feel empowered again.” 
Rick Gaber , has provided some excellent reasons to endorse third parties... and supposedly parties of the fourth, fifth, sixth... and so forth... kind.
"In the United States the founding fathers had no intention of prescribing political parties at all, let alone limiting the number of them. In fact they’re not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. And that's why no fewer than 5 different candidates won electoral votes in each of the first four presidential elections. The dominance of two parties today is mostly the result of the states' using questionable winner-take-all electoral systems with built-in conflicts of interest, which even include allowing the winners to rewrite the election laws and redraw the legislative districts(!)."
Mr. Gaber then goes on to detail many of the good reasons to actively support third parties. For example:
“They give the otherwise ignored, used, abused, betrayed, disgusted, disappointed, frustrated, victimized, insulted, and/or outraged voter a chance to cast a vote without feeling dirty afterwards, a reason to go to the polls AT ALL in the first place, and maybe even to come out of the voting booth feeling GREAT!”
Now, that's an astounding concept... feeling good about voting... knowing that your voice was heard in a form other than Yes/No to two extreme viewpoints.
There is the old metaphor of the: Man drowning in middle of a lake, 100 feet from shore.
A Republican throws 50 feet of rope to the man and then shouts words of encouragement.
A Democrat throws 200 feet of rope, then lets go of his end, and goes off to do another good deed.
A Third Party member throws a hundred feet of rope, saves the man, and then enlists him in going out and helping others... including, for example, teaching them not to go into the lake unless than can bloody well swim!
Thomas Friedman  has written that he continues,
“...to be astounded by the level of disgust with Washington, D.C., and our two-party system — so much so that [he is] ready to hazard a prediction: Barring a transformation of the Democratic and Republican Parties, there is going to be a serious third party candidate in 2012, with a serious political movement behind him or her — one definitely big enough to impact the election’s outcome.
“There is a revolution brewing in the country, and it is not just on the right wing but in the radical center. I know of at least two serious groups, one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast, developing “third parties” to challenge our stagnating two-party duopoly that has been presiding over our nation’s steady incremental decline. 
Sounds great, Tom. But, gee fella... if there really is the potential for a genuine third party movement lurking somewhere on either or both coasts... then how about telling someone a bit more of the details. Or just let me know! Maybe have them contact me! I’m interested! (And I rather suspect that there are a LOT of others with similar thoughts. Call us; don't wait for us to call you.)
Of course... the degree of desirability of any American Third Party is its principles... or its official party platform. Where they stand on the major issues of the day, their philosophy of governing, their preferences for coffee, tea, or milk, and so forth... that's going to be somewhat important.
What is really needed, of course, is A Third Party that Knows How to Party.
 “With a huge win, the GOP challenges Obama”, The Week, November 12, 2010, page 6.
 NPR news, 4 November 2010.
 The Week, November 12, 2010, page 16.
 George Friedman, “U.S. Midterm Elections, Obama and Iran,” Stratfor.com, October 26, 2010.
 Gerald Celente, “Tea Time,” The Trends Journal, Autumn 2010, Vol. XVIII. No. 24, page 23.
 William Falk, The Week, November 12, 2010, page 7.
 Swami Beyondananda (Steve Bhaerman), “Voting Democrat This Year Is a No-Bahrainer”, October 19, 2010. http://notesfromthetrailblog.com.
 Gerald Celente, The Trends Journal, Summer 2010, Vol. XVIII, No. 23, page 9..
 http://www.shadowstats.com/ /inflation-charts
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