In his latest piece at The Daily Beast, John Avlon mulls whether it is finally time for a major centrist third party to emerge:
Independence Day came a few days early this year, as columnist and author Tom Friedman declared his support for a third party at the Aspen Ideas Festival.
“We need a third party. I am for a third party,” Friedman said to applause. “We are trapped in a corrupt duopoly.”…
Expressing disappointment with President Obama, dismay with what passes for Republican policy debates, and frustration with the culture of hyper-partisanship in Washington, Friedman sees a reckoning coming, pushed by new technology. “One thing about the Internet and the hyperconnected world—it has flattened every hierarchy in the world from The New York Times to the banking industry. It’s flattened every hierarchy in the world except the two-party system, and that will not remain. That is a prediction that I will make.”
He’s right. Professional partisans are still playing politics by analog rules—they have not woken up to information-age reality. Politics is the last place where people are expected to be satisfied with a choice between Brand A and Brand B.
Avlon thinks things like the social networks make now a better time than when Perot and company made a go of it several years back. This may be the case, but I still think we’re at least one more election cycle away from much of the country to be ready to accept something like that.