As frustration builds with many (should I say, most?) voters, the call for a third party gets stronger. With hypocrisy, corruption, and empty headed thinking abounding with both Republican and Democratic parties, the idea of a third party absent these qualities seems alluring. Is this real or simply a mirage?
The odds against a third party winning a US national election are staggering. Individual State requirements work to restrain any national candidacy. Given today’s campaign financing expenditures, where would the money come from to support a third party.
Some simplistically suggest the individual voter will abandon the major parties and flock to the third party with votes and money. And, if your name is Bloomberg, why worry.
Pundits say that President Obama will spend over $1 billion on his reelection. A third party candidate will be lost at sea.
So is that it for third party power?
I do not think so. A third party candidate can have a powerful impact. Here is how.
First the third party candidate must wipe his/her mind clean of ever expecting to win. That is not where the power really lies.
Second, the candidate must not go near any social conservative issues or advocate for human or civil rights. That is a nobel path but also one to distraction.
Third, the candidate needs one major campaign proposition and a maximum of two additional minor ones. These propositions should be centered on quality of life for America and Americans.
And, fourth, the candidate should spend his/her public exposure time outlining the propositions of the other major party candidates as they really are. The emphasis should not be on his/her candidacy but on exposing the limitation and out right mistruths of the major parties. He/she should go to great detail in debunking campaign propaganda… with facts. He/she should especially reveal the major parties’ funding sources and estimate the amount of money being spend by the major party candidates.
As a legitimate candidate, the press should cover the third party candidate and report what he says as news. To ensure press and TV coverage, the third party candidate must combine witty sound bites with generous advertising buys from various newspapers and television networks. Twitter and Facebook management would also be essential.
While most of the press already knows the distortions the major political party candidates make daily, the news media suffer from two handicaps. First, they are also recipients of generous contributions from the major parties and do not wish to jeopardize this revenue. Second, the nature of reporting demands they must report factually what the candidate actually says. That’s news reporting even though the major candidates’ speeches are hardly ever fact checked. Analysis of those comments belong only on the “opinion” or editorial pages, and that is someone else’s job.
So, how would this third party candidate be different than the numerous campaigns Ralph Nader has run?
Nader ran as a quasi legitimate candidate. He has had a position on most everything. His message has been too complicated and contains too much information. He has also been seen as an extreme consumer/green party person. If you like these positions, he was your candidate. Most people were far more centrist and tuned Nader out.
The third party candidate I am seeking will keep the light shining brightly on his/her opponents. The goal would be to do the job each voter should do for themselves, and lacking that, the media should do for its own credibility. Neither is done today,
Today Americans vote for either (1) the person they dislike the least, or (2) the one who has promised the most. Following the election, Americans are then dumbfounded that their pick has no intentions to do what they thought he promised.
Who will be that liberating third party candidate?
Read more of Jack’s work at Regaining the Center