Republicans Jumping Ship?

How I came across this piece, from The Lantern (student paper for Ohio State University), but I did just the same.  In it, the author argues that more Republicans will be jumping ship for the smoother sailing of the Democratic party, namely Olympia Snowe of Maine.  Well, that’s all fine and good.  The author, Mr. Jack Millman who is a junior majoring in political science, argues that Republicans need a massive disaster to the economy to retake their place of dominance in the American Legislative and Executive branches.

What Mr. Millman seems to not understand is that there is a third option.  You see, people can easily blame this current mess on the Republicans, and the Democrats will hammer that into people’s heads over the course of a campaign.  When this mess isn’t better, and I don’t think it will be, Republicans can hammer the concept that Democrat ideology won’t get us out of this mess either.  They will sling mud until the cows come home, blaming one another for the economy, and God forbid we have another terrorist attack, because they’ll blame one another for that one too.

Meanwhile, there’s the Libertarian Party and our candidates.  You see, we had no hand in this mess.  Our hands are clean on this, and anything else that people are mad about when the elections roll around.  We can honestly point out how none of the things we are proposing were actually done prior to this mess, so how can anyone say they won’t work?

People are mad at the Republicans.  I feel they’ll soon be mad at the Democrats as well.  When that happens, the alternative parties such as the LP, the Green Party, and the Constitutional Party have a much stronger chance of making inroads against the Big Two.  Alternative parties haven’t screwed things up yet, and when elected they have this annoying tendency to do exactly what they were elected to do.  Novel concept, isn’t it?

Right now, people are sticking to the two party system because that’s what they know.  However, once people start understanding that there are alternatives, things can change for the positive.  We can go after these politicians and remove them from office, and do so in a way that they won’t be replaced by someone who may actually be worse!

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6 Responses

  1. Tom: I think still another option is independence; not the formal Independent Party. If a congressman or woman does not neatly fit into any party, that person might serve as an independent.

    During the last election season, I wrongfully rode Congressman Jim Marshall (technically a Democrat but more conservative in his voting than several House Republicans) for not endorsing Clinton, Edwards or Obama, and skipping the Democratic National Convention. Marshall gets Macon Democrat votes because he was a good mayor there and he gets Republicans votes because he is actually a conservative. But, can you be a conservative and vote for Pelsoi for speaker.

    So, Rep. Marshall you have a right to be yourself and should blow off all parties and be an “I.”

    Republican Austin Scott of Tifton should leave the governor’s race and beat Marshall for congress like a drum.

    Your L.P. is becoming the element that tips the balance in tight general elections. That gives you guys leverage to push reforms with all candidates.

  2. True, running as an independent is definitely an option. Unfortunately, with ballot access laws as they currently are, it’s probably prohibitively expensive or time consuming to really make a good run without a party behind you.

    As for the LP tipping the balance, we’re hoping to do more…like tipping the whole two party dichotomy over and opening up a whole new world ;)

  3. I think you are ignoring the obvious impact of Single Member Districts on the chokehold the Two Party System has. People would likely vote for third parties if we used a system more akin to the United Kingdom, but we don’t.

    I don’t buy into “people are not aware” routine. Ross Perot made people aware. The people who do vote are typically more aware of third parties than those who do not vote. The problem isn’t so much with people, but ballot access and methods of election.

  4. I don’t think it’s so much not being aware of third parties in general, but more of a lack of awareness on what the various third parties represent. There’s people who don’t understand the Libertarians are significantly different from the Greens on a great many issues. That, plus a great many think we’re the JV squad for the Republicans, hence their lack of understanding about third parties. Make any sense?

    However I agree with you about ballot access laws being a major hurdle. They’re designed to keep out certain elements (often communists) but serve to keep out any party besides the big two.

    As for the single member districts, I’m not so much ignoring them as accepting them as they are. Like it or not, that’s how we do things here, and proportional representation isn’t likely to be coming to a Congress near us any time soon.

  5. I agree that the GOP is going to lose a lot of support in GA after people find out that they cut the funding for the Homestead Exemption Tax Credit – this will cause property tax bills to jump $300+ or more all across Georgia. There will be a lot of angry citizens. The Libertarians may be able to fill the void.

  6. Roger: I certainly believe that as well. We just have to convince them ;)

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