Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Origin of the Third Party

So today Rush Limbaugh made a point on his radio show that voting in a third party President does not help because Congress would still be composed of opposing parties on both sides.  The net result would be Congressional gridlock (something which I approve of since the bureaucratic machine pretty much works with or without Congress).
Putting aside that notion, I think it is funny how so many people dismiss the concerns of third party voters and tend to label them as kooks and wackos.  But when those voters cause one of the main parties to lose, then look out.  Suddenly third party voters cause the downfall of society because they clung to their worthless ideals and refused to compromise.
Instead of blaming the third-party for the woes of the current state of any particular mainstream party, maybe that mainstream party should look inward.  If a third party causes enough of a disruption to cause a mainstream party to lose its election rounds, perhaps the mainstream party should rethink its own policies and representatives.  After all, enough people who have voted for your party in the past now believe that there is something wrong with it, right?
Take Ross Perot in the 1992 election year.  He rose up largely because the elder President Bush abandoned the Reagan conservative movement and instead governed from the center-right.  The Republican party made the correct response and brought out the Contract for America.  It is unfortunate that such a collection of ideals was quickly abandoned within a few years of Republican control.
Ralph Nadar is another example.  He grew in popularity largely because Al Gore was viewed as a center-leftist and not radical enough for the 5 percent or so who were radically left-wing.  It can be argued that Nader’s presence in the election cycle contributed to Gore losing enough votes to lose out to Bush Junior.  As a result, the Democratic party moved more left-wing than they usually were, supporting the radical anti-war protestors and disrupting everything that George Bush did, unless it was a left-wing policy, like prescription drug benefits or education reform.
Now this past year the Republicans suffered huge losses in Congress and lost the Presidency.  A huge factor in this loss was a large number of dissatisfied conservatives who were tired of the Republican party’s misbehavior and the nomination of John McCain, who was not a conservative.  I count myself among that group of individuals who was able to look past the immediate fear of an Obama administration (even as he now classifies me as a potential terrorist) and vote for someone that would not leave me feel like I compromised my ideals.
I remember Rush Limbaugh commenting last week on how the charges against Ted Stevens had been dropped and how we always through “our” own under the bus.  I am sorry to burst your bubble Mr. Limbaugh, but Ted Stevens was not one of us, which is why he was thrown under the bus in the first place.  If Rush Limbaugh does not understand this simple fact, I very much doubt the Republican has learned its lesson from the past election.
I have yet to hear of any significant Republican leader in Congress or from the RNC coming out and acknowledging the concerns of the TEA party protestors.  This is a bad sign for a party that once held up the ideals of Ronald Reagan and actually lived them as well.