If you take a close look at the two candidates who will be the only choices on the Presidential ballots in most states in November you will find more and more reasons to say: “Is this all there is?”
Sadly, in most cases, we get just two choices. In a system controlled by two political parties, a third choice is all but impossible.
In some states, other choices may be possible: A Libertarian candidate in some, another minor party in others. Write-ins are either discouraged or difficult in an era of computerized voting machines.
Not much of a choice. A good analysis by Associated Press reporter Donna Cass notes:
Will voters prefer the man waving with his left hand or his right?
Blame it on two cautious candidates with more traits in common than their disparate early biographies would suggest.
No Drama Obama is panned as professorial and aloof. Romney is deemed boring when he’s not being awkward.
Distrusted as too moderate within his own party, each is demonized as a radical by the other side. They don’t get specific about the tough stuff, like budget cuts or taxes, that would invite more precisely calibrated negative ads.
Which showcases the problem many voters face when they go into the voting booth in November. While their philosophies may be different, there really isn’t much difference between the two men offered up as a choice to lead the nation for the next four years.
Here at Capitol Hill Blue, we don’t see much difference between the two political parties. Both serve hidden agendas that have little to do with what they say in public. Both pander entirely too much to the special interests that control those agendas. Both offer pabulum as candidates. Leadership is a lost art, honesty an archaic concept and individualism a missing ingredient.
A lot of dissatisfied voters out there are unhappy as well. Some flock to the maverick candidacy of Ron Paul, who offers some salvation with a theme of less government and stricter adherence to the Constitution but while Paul continues to soldier on and captured majorities of delegates over the weekend in Maine and Nevada, it is mathematically impossible for the Libertarian Texas Congressman to capture the nomination.
The 2012 election probably highlights the need for a viable third party candidate for president more than at any other time in American history. Third party candidates have come and gone over the years: John Anderson, Ralph Nader, Ross Perot. Each had small but loyal groups of hard-core supporters but none had the organization or enough widespread voter appeal to have a realistic chance at election.
Is there a need for a real third party movement in America? Yes. Can one succeed? Not under the rules of the current system. Some hoped the Tea Party would provide the core of a viable third party but that effort fizzled – torn apart by extremism and a lack of coherent leadership.
So what do we do? Can we reform the system from inside, as Ron Paul has tried to do by running inside the GOP political system? In today’s political reality, probably not. The system is too controlled by special interests and establishment leaders.
Perhaps the answer lies in scrapping the present system and trying something else.
Sounds like a good idea but it also could be too simplistic to work in a complex political system where good ideas get lost in a bureaucratic maze.
The answer is out there…somewhere. We just have to find it.
Copyright 2012 Capitol Hill Blue
- Does America really want a third-party candidate? (blogs.reuters.com)
- Libertarian National Convention Nominates Gary Johnson for President (misbehavedwoman.wordpress.com)
- If Americans really want change, why don’t they vote for it? (capitolhillblue.com)