On: The Cataclysmic Realities of a 3rd Party
The origins of the GOP:
The Third Party System was dominated by the Republican Party (it lost in 1884 and 1892).
The Republican Party emerged in 1854, growing out of a coalition of anti-slavery Whigs and Democrats who mobilized in opposition to introduction of the Kansas-Nebraska Act into Congress.
When new issues of nativism, prohibition and anti-slavery burst on the scene in the mid 1850s, no one looked to the fast- disintegrating Whig party for answers. In the north most ex-Whigs joined the new Republican party, and in the South, they flocked to a new short-lived “American” party.
The new party put forward a vision of modernizing the United States—emphasizing free homesteads to farmers, banking, railroads, and industry. They vigorously argued that free-market labor was superior to slavery…
Whig Representative Lewis D. Campbell of Ohio was particularly distraught by the defeat, exclaiming, “We are slain. The party is dead—dead—dead!” Increasingly politicians realized that the party was a loser. Abraham Lincoln, its Illinois leader, for example, ceased his Whig activities and attended to his law business.
In the presidential election of 1860, the Republican Party, led by Abraham Lincoln, had campaigned against the expansion of slavery beyond the states in which it already existed. It oversaw the saving of the union, the destruction of slavery, and the provision of equal rights to all men in the American Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877.
Such is the horror and cataclysmic failure of third parties in the United States, if you listen to some people. However, they never tell you that the 2nd of our two parties was a third party, nor would they admit to you the irrevocable positive changes to our nation as a result of its creation as a response to the inadequacy of the two reigning parties of the day: the Whigs & Democrats.
A Picture of John Gray
One of my favorite works of art is by the American painter Ivan Albright, entitled “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” inspired by an Oscar Wilde story of the same name.
I bring up the painting & story as to me they have become representations of both political parties, but Democrats in particular. For those not familiar with the story, a young man sells his soul in order to maintain his handsome appearance & hedonistic lifestyle. In exchange for this, a portrait of himself would morph & reflect his true nature with each act of sin. In the end, the picture is of a horrifically disfigured old man. Enraged, he destroys the painting, which causes him to die.
Albright’s image of Gray signifies what the most influential portion of the party has become: a maimed, old, disgrace of its young former self. And unfortunately, it has metastasized, and spread to base of the party, and the Left in general.
An instructive case of this was the AR senate race, won by John Boozman-R . After the departure of Bill Halter in the primary, many on the left were dejected as there was no progressive candidate to support in the general election; the Republican cruised to victory with nearly 60% of the vote.
That’s probably how the history books will be written, but that is not true at all. There was a progressive candidate in the AR senate general election who had legislative experience, supported Medicare for all, curbing corporate abuses, and all the ideals we hold dear. I think you know where I’m going with this: John Gray-G, the complete opposite of the Dorian Gray-esque Lincoln who lost the race.
There is a lot of censorship in the media regarding independent candidates, so there is not much coverage on him. But he more than held his own at the AR Senate debates, where most of his focus was not about environmental issues, but economic ones, despite what most Green Party detractors believe & expect.
So, how did progressives in AR react to having a sensible alternative to the reprehensible corporatist Lincoln?
Progressives preferred the corporatist Democrat, Lincoln, who also had no chance of winning, by a factor of 20. Gray got less than 2% of the total vote. 100% of the people in the Democratic party found this man’s message abhorrent.
Think about that.
And yet these same “progressives” complain that they have no candidates on the ballot to vote for. They claim they cannot find a single payer advocate who is against austerity and ending corporate strangleholds in our lives. So they either stayed home, voted for Lincoln (by a factor of 20), or dismissed the candidate that is a single payer advocate against austerity and ending the corporate stranglehold in our lives. Can someone explain to me how that is supposed to work? Is this really democracy in action?
What about the 2010 SC senate race between DeMint & Greene? No options for progressives?
Tom Clements supported single payer, a foreclosure moratorium, banning of sub-prime mortgages, oppposes offshore drilling, mountaintop removal, and has spent over a decade working to end nuclear proliferation. He even won the endorsement of long time Democrat John Nichols.
But apparently, this was not enough & progressives preferred Alvin Greene by a 3 to 1 margin.
Though Clements’ case is an interesting one as he almost got 10% of the vote in South Carolina, of all places, and got some Democrats to side with him.
But the reason for not voting for him?
People would not vote for him because people would not vote for him. Such is the ironic state of the American “Left” today; this is the logic coming from the segment of society that prides themselves on acting on logic & reason. The amount of hippie punching from Dems to their own allies on the Left is staggering, and it needs to stop.
Greens can and DO support Democrats
I really don’t understand why this is so difficult to comprehend. It is possible to vote Green and still be a Dem. It is also possible to vote Dem and be a Green. You can vote Dem in the national election, while voting Green in a local. Try it some time. I’ve done it, and I haven’t lost a limb or anything. It’s not that hard:
Though John Gray supported Bill Halter in his run against Democratic incumbent Blanche Lambert Lincoln, he was not surprised that Halter lost. “The American system these days seems to be the one with the deepest pockets is the one that’s going to win. There were plenty of factors behind Blanche with plenty of deep pockets. And she’s very faithful to the people that support her.
Moral of the story: we can and have to work together, especially if we will be outspent.
Bernie Sanders: 3rd Party Harbinger of the Left Wing Apocalypse
The Democratic Party has a 3rd party menace hell bent on its destruction. I give you the face of Pure Evil Incarnate.
The Prince of Darkness openly defied the President and Democrats. As I recall, his treachery resulted in the Democratic base hating his ensuing 3rd party, non-DLC approved, 8.5 hour speech, and nearly left the party in shambles, like the aftermath of Bush v. Gore. Jon Stewart now hates his guts, and ripped him a new one on his show over his blatant disrespect for the president, and the destruction of the other party’s values.
Such is the threat of the 3rd party candidate.
There are undoubtedly more examples of Bernie opening the other seven 3rd Party Seals of Revelation, due to his mere existence and success. Needless to say, the Democratic Party has suffered mightily from the torrential onslaught of his attacks, his subversion, and his tyranny, resuting from his third party maelstrom. But they still manage to stagger to their feet and soldier on, while keeping taxes on the rich low, banning the horrors of socialized medicine, letting unfettered capitalism work its magic, drilling in the wilderness, and keeping other signs of the apocalypse from manifesting.
Courage, my friends.
3rd party progressives would have no choice to but to caucus with Dems anyway
OK, even if the world comes to an end and a few 3rd party progressive Congressmen make it in, they still have to caucus with the Democrats. So in the end, there is nothing to fear from a progressive 3rd party candidate. They would still vote for a Democratic House leader, or Senate leader. The committees, caucuses, etc. would all remain in Democratic control, *except* they would take more progressive votes, and initiate more progressive bills. If you need proof, read about the antics of Satan, above. It’s a win-win for everyone, except corporate Democrats, which is why they will fight tooth and nail to make sure this never happens.
Sanders: ‘Giving Up is Not an Option’
You will get no comradeship and no encouragement… You will have to get used to living without results and without hope. You will work for a while, you will be caught, you will confess, and then you will die. Those are the only results that you will ever see. There is no possibility that any perceptible change will happen within our own lifetime. We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future. We shall take part in it as handfuls of dust and splinters of bone. But how far away that future may be, there is no knowing. It might be a thousand years. At present nothing is possible except to extend the area of sanity little by little. We cannot act collectively. We can only spread our knowledge outwards from individual to individual, generation after generation. In the face of the
Thought PoliceDemocratic Party there is no other way.
— From “O’Brien” George Orwell, 1984
Again, this will not be easy. The objective of the modern 3rd party is not to win.
Libertarians have hijacked the GOP to great success, and have somehow convinced 3rd Way Dems (such as Obama) that their ideas have superiority over yours. They have not one seat in Congress. They have lost every major election possible. Yet they have tilted the playing field in their favor.
They have won without winning. We need to lose without losing.
A victory for us would not be winning the 2012 Presidency, or even some Congressional seats. Victory would be changing the debate, and shifting the issues. Victory would simply mean being viewed as a legitimate threat, or an obstacle to success towards those we are challenging.
The creation of the Republican party did not end slavery, but it sure as hell got the ball rolling. Unions organizing in Wisconsin are a prime example of this. FWIW, Wisconsin has elected more Green Party candidates than most states in the country; Madison has more elected Green officials than any city in the country.
Third parties are an inevitable result of social and political tumult. The third party brought us arguably our greatest president and helped end slavery. It is a necessity for progress & change. And I have no doubt history will repeat itself.
But the key is that Giving Up is Not an Option: