The Inevitable Quadrennial Third-Party Shooting Star

Posted by & filed under 2012 Election, In the Press, The IVA Angle


Our political system is rigged to keep most people from being able to run for office, and especially for anyone who’s not a Democrat or a Republican from getting on the ballot.  As former Independent Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura used to say, Democrats and Republicans are like the Crips and the Bloods– two street gangs selling drugs who fight over their very profitable territory, but don’t ever want to let anybody else in.  

From the piece in The Atlantic:

Even worse is that when a new party arises, candidates from the other parties quickly incorporate any popular new ideas into their own platform, and the new third party suddenly finds itself without a distinctive platform. At the same time, as the new party tries to draw support from disaffected voters from both major parties, they discover that any position they’ve taken on critical issues that are not in their narrow wheelhouse is certain to alienate some potential voters — just because a set of voters agree on taxes or spending issues doesn’t mean they can’t be driven apart by wedge social issues. As the two major candidates hammer away at a serious third-party contender for what seems to be these political inconsistencies, more voters retreat back to their traditional parties. The result is that third-party candidate support dims and the candidate ends up just playing a spoiler role.

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