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?