Three’s a Crowd

Due to some of my political positions, I notice trends in two distinct crowds.  Libertarians and Christian Conservatives.  Most in each group are will adjusted, rational human beings who realize that this is not a perfect world, most especially when it comes to politics.  They agree that sometimes, the lesser of two evils is the only choice, even if it is not the best one.  Yet, as there is in every group, there are always the nuts out there.  During Presidential Election years, they seem to come out of the woodwork with such vengeance that one can barely see the ground before you.

One the libertarian side, let’s call them “Paulbots”, you have folks who are near militantly devoted to a few key issues.  Destruction of the Fed, end of the drug war, end to virtually all government spending, ect.  This group is all or nothing.  If Ron Paul is not the Republican Candidate, they will not vote, unless Paul runs third party/independent and then he gets their vote.  To them, the Republican Party is the enemy just as the Democrat party is (how this is if Rep Paul is a Republican I don’t know).  If anyone does anything that might seem like opposing Ron Paul, then that person is anathema.  Just look at what the Paulbots said about Paul’s own son Rand Paul after the younger declared his support for Romney this past month.  He was quickly labeled as a traitor (or worse).  These folks believe the only way to save this country is to elect Ron Paul, and that HE and ONLY HE can do anything about it.

On the other side we have some conservative Christians.  They also are mostly a one trick pony, in that their focus is on abortion.  Reagan, Bush, neither did enough to stop abortion, thus the Republicans are evil pro-choice liars who only pretend to be pro-life to get votes.  Never mind that President GW Bush pushed for and passed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban.  Never mind that a president, on his own, cannot overturn Roe v. Wade.   For this group, if the Republican Republican Candidate will not promise that they will end all abortions, nationwide in the first second he is elected, he cannot be supported, and they will either not vote, or vote for some group like the Constitution Party.

Both groups complain about the lack of a “third” (or more) party in presidential elections.  And there in lies the biggest problem with groups wanting “third” parties, they start on focusing too high.  Each group thinks that the only way they will enact change, is by electing a president that agrees with them.  Yet they overlook one minor detail.  Despite on how the office is used today, the Office of President of the United States was not meant to be THE definitive power of this country.  That was reserved for the United States Congress.  There is a reason why Article 1 of the Constitution deals with Congress.  There is a reason why the Bill of Rights says “congress cannot…” not “The president cannot”.  Congress is suppose to be the power of this country.  And yet these silly folks on both sides just ignore that, they want the big prize right away!

Compare this to the Tea Party movement.  This group also wanted change.  Yet instead of rallying to support one presidential candidate, and to threaten to not vote if they don’t get who/what they want, they went after Congress.  They ran candidates in Congressional elections, many times against republican incumbants, and won.  Then they won the full elections.  Today there is an entire Tea Party supporting caucus in congress with several dozens of members.  And it is not over.  Just recently, Richard Murdoch beat long time Republican incumbent Richard Lugar for one of Indiana’s Senate seats.  And there are many others just like it.  Whether you like or hate the Tea Party, you must admit that their plan for change works.

Now let us look back at the two groups that I mentioned.  Neither side puts any effort into electing congressmen or senators that they agree with.  They put all their eggs into one “small” basket, and then huff and puff when the inevitable happens and they don’t get their way.  Suppose that the Constitutional party with all the money they collected for a presidential campaign instead spent it on congressional races in areas of high support.  If their message is sound they may end up with 2 or 3 members in Congress.  Then people go, “Who are these guys?  They have people in Congress.”  They get their word out more, and next election maybe they get 40 or 50 more seats.  50 seats in the House may not seem like a lot until you consider times when the Republicans and Democrats may be evenly deadlocked and those 50 votes decide the fate of the bill.  After 4-8 years of this with more added each election, one of two things are going to happen, either the Republican Party completely opens up and sides with this group kicking the moderates out; OR they side with the moderates and the conservatives of the party leave and join the new party.  That second part is basically happened with the death of the Whig party and the birth of the Republican Party.  Consider that the first Republican Party Convntion happened in 1854.  By 1858 they had control of most northern states.  By 1860 they had a man in the White House.  For the record people, that is 6 years.  6 years from nothing to everything.  Not bad, not bad at all.

My message is this.  If third parties really want to be considered in this country, they need to stop being tunnel visioned on the White House.  A third party without wide national support, will always fail in a run for the presidency.

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