Thursday, May 1, 2008

Third Parties

I heard on the radio this morning, a host saying that it's probably about time for a third party to rise. He explained that he hears everywhere dissatisfaction with the existing parties, so if nobody likes Democrats or Republicans it's high time for somebody else to come along and capitalize on that.That's a compelling argument unless you think about it.

I am personally very disappointed with the Republican party, and as I previously noted John McCain was one of my least favorite candidates for President. But that doesn't make me likely to vote for Nader. The problem with the overwhelming disappointment with the two parties is that there isn't a huge number of people who take a single concrete position on some important issue that disagrees with the two parties.

The Republican Party was formed by an almost overwhelming desire in the Northern United States to have politicians dedicated to the "elimination of the twin relics of barbarism — slavery and polygamy." I doubt there is any issue on which a substantial minority would come together to create a new party. Lots of people dislike the current tax code, but some of them want taxes to be more socialist, some of them want them flatter, some of them want to tax something else, some of them just want less taxes, some of them want more user fees... You might be able to find a large number of people who in theory support lowering the National Debt, but some of them would want to cut programs and some of them would want to raise taxes. Nearly all of them would find another issue more important, probably even one that would end up raising the debt. I personally think the debt is unacceptably high and the unfunded future liability of Medicare even worse, but I don't accept that raising taxes is an acceptable (or effective) way to fix that.

People may disagree with the major parties, but they don't agree with each other, either. If they did then one (and probably both) of the primaries would elect candidates who pandered to their desire.

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