The Mythical Third Party Has Already Emerged

My Republican friends, fellow registered Democrats, Independents, and Greens- let's just all of us say it out loud together: The people who lose most playing Red vs Blue are me and you.

We've been playing this game- with catastrophic global consequences- for years. We've gotten caught up in the scandals, weighing candidates not by individual merit, but by small degrees of corruption as compared to the other (perceived through an insanely sponsored lens of your preferred media network). This is a vicious circle money game we're not invited to, yet their outcome determines the course of our lives. In 2016, that system sold us the two most hated, divisive millionaires ever polled in America's history as "Democratically Selected Choices."

Friends, it doesn't take conspiracy theories or Russian trolls to make us doubt that in fact this is the best we can do. Come on. I'll say it. The emperor has no clothes. These people I am told are my representatives do not remotely represent me in word, action nor ethically in more ways than I can count. And I can assume I'm the outlier- except polls have shown the things I care about are actually majority-held viewpoints. So, why aren't those things being done? If most people want them, doesn't democracy mean we just steer this country, together?

It should... but no. Our political system dictates Coke or Pepsi to a nation of diabetics so the corporations that fund their vicious circle money game will keep doing so. In fact, most politicians spend more time fundraising than legislating. In 2016, the DNC was so reliant on Hillary's money that they couldn't run a fair election. They were forced to blatantly ignore poll numbers (including all the ones showing Sanders would beat Trump by much larger margins than Clinton) and stack the deck with (paid) "Superdelegates" to put a thumb on their scale.

How do we get around that? How do you or I, average citizens, get our agenda passed? How did the lesser of two non-representative evils become an acceptable choice? How many times have I watched politicians break their word after getting elected, start wars based on bad evidence or business opportunities, claim to care about us but then increase the problems we face? If the two existing parties didn't block competition, we could have other choices. But it is in their mutual best interest not to break up a normalized, even celebrated profitable duopoly.

Which brings me to my title. How did we get a third option? Well, first I would ask we define what good third options would be. They would have to represent majority-held viewpoints for most Americans. They would have to not be caught up in or beholden to the current sponsoring money games, instead driven by principles and respect for the weight their position. I guess Civil Service would better describe their role, instead of the current Self-Serving model. I would expect verifiable consistency of character, and maybe favoring intellect over bravado.

Yesterday, Sanders appeared in a Fox News town hall. If you haven't seen it, I encourage you to watch it, if only to see every one of those "third option" principles proudly on display. Note the (I) after his name. He caucuses with the Democrats, but has remained an Independent politician. Note that he's primarily funded by $20 donations from individuals, yet still got more than corporate politicians so far this year. Both parties dictated that this is a money game, so the people are applying for real democracy- directly- with whatever they can spare.

This is it, everyone. Sure, the DNC's new Superdelegate rules will still try gaming results. There's two dozen candidates running from key states to try and split the vote so nobody can reach a 50% majority- which (you guessed it!) lets the favored party insiders decide instead of Democracy. I've got a gut feeling, though, that we've got a lot more in common than we do differences, no matter what the money-game team-sport contestants say. And I believe we must at least try for better, or else what's our point? Making a handful of people insanely rich?

Let's take these guys on. Let's find common ground between military pride and ending endless war for profit. Let's stop settling for what a privileged minority insists is "centrism" and find our own medium that works for everyone. Let's make this a real political revolution for the history books, and write our own chapter. To be clear, while I highly respect Bernie, I don't agree with him on everything. That would be a bit unrealistic to expect. However, I find that I agree on all his basic principles of respect and fairness- so can really ask no more.

Let's have the courage to admit that this Red vs Blue thing in no way represents the public. Bernie has stepped outside those imposed lines and behold- it appeals to the public! Parties on the corporate teat can only keep power through sponsorships, gatekeeping or media control (pick your sponsored network and pick your sponsored candidate). It took Sanders becoming an oddball, often overlooked face in the background until his 'old-school' class and integrity was a breath of fresh air, letting him step into the spotlight as We the People's inside man.

Let's stop playing rigged games and make our own, where losing won't cost people their lives. The point of advancing civilization is to continue acting more civilized, not less... right?

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Alligator Ed's picture

So currently we're trapped with two parties, opposite sides of the same coin plus dust mites of opposition such as the Greens and the Socialists, plus the Libertarians. To the big boys and girls of team Red or team Blue, those are annoying afterthoughts, worth no more attention than than twitch of a tail.

Reform within this political system is impossible. Even when the "people decide", i.e., vote, their wishes are usually overlooked. Just view the Brexit disaster, engineered by an elitist and succumbed to by cowards. The UK vote was 51% leave, 49% remain.

In the growing sense of disenfranchisement by the common person, a desperation is steadily gathering a reactionary response, possibly involving violence perpetuated by political parties, PACs, NGOs, Antifa etc. This is an inflection point in human civilization. In Amerika, we're well into the slide.

The only thing which will change this political system of wealthy elitists is violence. This violence need not be physical but will include large-scale disruptions in many societal sectors.

The Demonratic party will die due to internal disruptions which are uncontainable by the Old Guard, and I do mean OLD. This the Dems will Whiggify, leaving no countermeasure for an opposition Republican Party. The odds and sods of the minor parties will not obtain the money to upset the status quo even if the Dems disappear (as they should and will).

Thanks for the thoughtful essay.

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16 users have voted.

@Alligator Ed Just attempt a coup, during the convention maybe. Get the neolibs to call the cops to beat the piss out of people chanting for fair wages, M4A and get out of (name your war). Make them look like the law-n-order republicans they are. Passive resistance, stupid pranks, guerilla theater. Have a mass cook out. With beer. Maybe the cops will beat up some journalists. It worked before. The dems always fall for the Lucy/football thing.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Snode

That's what all those warnings from Ed Rendell to Bernie Sanders about keeping his people in line really were. That's what making Sanders supporters look like thugs in NV was, too--getting some insurance.

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3 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

Brilliant metaphor!

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20 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

lotlizard's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat  
ceremony here in Dresden.

https://blogs.transparent.com/german/tradition-how-germans-celebrate-the...

Lest people get the wrong idea, I should mention that they used quotations from many writers, including Hermann Hesse and Oscar Wilde.

When I was in school, people’s idea of inspirational writing about childhood drawing to a close was the chapter “The Coming of the Ship” from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet:

And in the twelfth year, on the seventh day of Ielool, the month of reaping, he climbed the hill without the city walls and looked seaward; and he beheld his ship coming with the mist. Then the gates of his heart were flung open, and his joy flew far over the sea. And he closed his eyes and prayed in the silences of his soul.

But as he descended the hill, a sadness came upon him, and he thought in his heart: How shall I go in peace and without sorrow? Nay, not without a wound in the spirit shall I leave this city. Long were the days of pain I have spent within its walls, and long were the nights of aloneness; and who can depart from his pain and his aloneness without re-gret?

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9 users have voted.
QMS's picture

CharredPC, seeing the ghost of real choice floating on the horizon. Just hope it can get traction. Folks are getting pretty fed up with the same old game.

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12 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

Cassiodorus's picture

are still trapped in the reformist mindset, with no clue about the future. They believe that the human race will be saved through some minor tinkering around the edges of a civilization bent upon eventual self-destruction but they can't even promise the minor tinkering because the strategy they're advocating involves voting for representatives of a political party which behaves like an organized crime syndicate.

Their primary defense is the conformism of electoral politics: "everyone else is doing it so you should do it too." They don't have the guts to sit out elections in order to, eventually, get what they want from the system. They probably don't even want what they proclaim they want.

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14 users have voted.

"The degree to which liberals are coming to inhabit an alternate reality, impenetrable by facts or reason, is actually frightening." -- Steve Maher

@Cassiodorus
ever explains to me how sitting out elections gets me more of what I want. It seems to me that it gets the smaller number of people who vote, or at least the people they elect, more of what they want.

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2 users have voted.
Cassiodorus's picture

@FuturePassed Too bad for anyone else who doesn't understand. It means that if you want my vote you're going to have to appeal to it by enacting policies that I want. No policies, no vote, and I sit out the election.

Oh but please -- go ahead -- feel obliged to vote for politicians who suck sh*t for breakfast because "sitting out the election doesn't work."

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1 user has voted.

"The degree to which liberals are coming to inhabit an alternate reality, impenetrable by facts or reason, is actually frightening." -- Steve Maher

I have said that I will vote for either Bernie or Tulsi in the primary, depending upon whether it then looks as though Bernie may possibly win my state's delegates. But I will not do so on the basis of idolatry or mythology.

Green is the "third" party of the left that has already emerged. Bernie is not a third-party Presidential candidate, much less a third party. He is a man running for President as a Democrat--and not for the first time.

Bernie once urged Jesse Jackson to run for President as an independent, after Jackson lost the Democratic primary. However, that is not the course Bernie chose for himself after he lost, nor was running as a Green. Rather, he did what he has done since 1991, when Bernie made it to Congress after a Democrat soundly defeated him in a gubernatorial race: He endorsed and campaign for nominee of the Democratic Party and condemned "spoiler" candidates, "spoilers" meaning to Bernie any candidate not running as either a Republican or a Democrat. He even considered honorable public servant Nader a spoiler when Nader ran against Trojan Horse Clinton.

Bernie has now twice run for President as a Democrat. Before and after that, he has had various agreements with Democrats as to voting, in return for which Democrats support him when he runs for the Senate, that support including not supporting any Democrat who challenges him. Not only that, but the Vermont Democratic Party has a number of times nominated him as its candidate.

Inasmuch as a Democrat is the only variety of candidate with any chance of beating Bernie in Vermont, those things are "a very big deal." And. before Bernie ran for President, the deal spared Bernie from fundraising, campaigning desperately, etc. I don't consider that independent of Democrats or of their Party.

Even Bernie's agenda and political philosophy are Democratic, borrowing much from New Deal Democrats. He is not even the one who pioneered Medicare for All, that one being John Conyers, since dispatched from public life by the #metoo movement.

Had Bernie been truly independent of Democrats in 2016, he may actually have "taken it to the convention," as he promised his donors repeatedly in his fundraising emails after it had become clear he was not going to win pledged delegates in a way that media or the DNC or anyone in power would ever admit. I could say more in this vein--and have here--but this is enough for now.

I hasten to add that I also cut back against those who would relegate Bernie to the trash heap of US political history. I don't think either extreme is accurate.

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Wally's picture

@HenryAWallace

Excellent, sober assessment.

Thing is, could Bernie have lived to fight another day (today) if he didn't swim with the tide somewhat... and get rid of the superdelegates voting on the first ballot and attain a few other reforms?

Would he have garnered enough support to win via a third party effort in 2016?

If he lost, would he have been able to be fight again today?

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6 users have voted.

@Wally

posters who write about Bernie as a traitor because I don't know if that is so, either. My responses on this thread, especially about our system offering only very limited choices to politicians--not only to voters--being perhaps the most recent example. https://caucus99percent.com/comment/413674#comment-413674 I have also posted that, whatever his faults, he is still among the best politicians out there.

A great deal of the content of all my posts depends upon what it is that I am responding to. My reply to the OP was not an assessment of Bernie in general. Rather, it contained some of my direct responses to specific things claimed in the OP.

In direct response to your post, though, my prior post did say there was more I could say, his support of the Afghanistan war, RUSSIA!, Maduro and Assange being among them, but not everything. It's possible that Bernie believes his positions on those things. If so, they are big negatives for me. It's also possible that he is adding his voice on those matters to the voice of the Democratic Party, without entirely believing those things. If so, they are even bigger negatives for me.

Overall, as one of the essays I posted here stated, it's time we stopped making idols of politicians.

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Wally's picture

@HenryAWallace

Mr. Greenjeans on Captain Kangaroo:

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Bisbonian's picture

@HenryAWallace .

It's possible that Bernie believes his positions on those things. If so, they are big negatives for me. It's also possible that he is adding his voice on those matters to the voice of the Democratic Party, without entirely believing those things. If so, they are even bigger negatives for me.

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1 user has voted.

"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

Eagles92's picture

@Wally This is what makes 2016 -- and now, 2020 -- so fucking frustrating for many of us.

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5 users have voted.
Wally's picture

@Eagles92

. . . but I gotta say I'm skeptical he could have pulled it off running third party.

My sense is that Trump would have won and Bernie would have been blamed for it (although he still gets blamed for it not having run third party).

Then again, I've often noted here my pessimism which is what makes it weird and surprising to me that I'm actually a teeny bit and very cautiously optimistic now.

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6 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Wally

"live to fight another day?"

I mean, I see that he's alive, a political candidate, and it's another day.

What I don't see is how it's a fight to drive your car into a wall twice.

The first time, well, maybe you didn't know the wall was there.

The second?

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1 user has voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@HenryAWallace

I have said that I will vote for either Bernie or Tulsi in the primary, depending upon whether it then looks as though Bernie may possibly win my state's delegates. But I will not do so on the basis of idolatry or mythology.

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1 user has voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@HenryAWallace

He is not even the one who pioneered Medicare for All, that one being John Conyers, since dispatched from public life by the #metoo movement.

To quote GalaxyQuest, "I'm so sick of being right!"

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1 user has voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Wally's picture

Much better than Quaaludes! Thanks so much for the morning pick me up!!!

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7 users have voted.

Kind of preaching to the choir here, but it's become a favorite "classic". I agree with many here it should go beyond personalities. What is needed is a platform that attract honest candidates. Bernie fulfilled that by pretty much saying the same thing for 30 years. He made his own.

The problem is the dem/neolibs can point to an 80 year old platform and say "See, we're already for that". When in reality they want to ignore most of it in favor of power and money.

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11 users have voted.