Third Party & Independents Archives

Representative Government

We all can make a difference, one person at a time, an increasingly-louder drum beat of involved, informed citizens who demand again a representative government. Our elected officials will not change unless we make them change. We have to get involved and stay involved…let them know we will no longer tolerate anything short of accountability, an accountability through credibility and transparency.
What can we do, what must we do?

Most importantly we must be informed, informed regarding the issues and informed regarding how those we elect vote on those issues and why they vote the way they do. You can write editorials in your local newspaper; you can call politician's offices; you can even blog. But most importantly you must vote, and don't throw away your vote because you always vote for your party or your total source of information is through political ads. Be informed, be involved.

Let's get together, red and blue and purple, and have some civilized discourse regarding the issues. Politicians know if they can polarize us, they can conquer us. The left and right are much closer on most issues than they realize; but our elected officials have been successful in making us think the other side is crazy and irrational...that every Democrat believes in the radical left and every Republican believes in the radical right. Actually, the vast majority of us are moderates and centrists. So let's open the channels of communication amongst ourselves; let's cut out the middle man who's telling us what the other side thinks.

Did you know the reelection rate in this country hovers around 98%?! How is that possible? One reason is due to the shameless reorganizing and gerrymandering of districts so that in all but the most rural states each district is heavily red or heavily blue. Also, all the special interest money, be it corporate or social or what have you, knows that statistic and will put their money behind the incumbent. Let's show them this fall what a waste of money that was; that the power of an informed citizenry is stronger than special interest money.

We are to blame for the current state of our government. We haven't been involved; we haven't been informed; we haven't demanded change; we've voted party lines over and over again regardless of the issues; we've listened to and believed the clever sound bites that roar from both sides of the aisle. Politicians, political parties and organizations, election experts all know how to feed on our fears, on our herd mentality, on our laziness and that we are a sound-bite, knee-jerk, rush-to-pick-sides public.

So look around at the scandalous activities on both sides of the aisle. It's a feeding frenzy of greed, ego and comfortability. I hope we're proud of ourselves...we allowed this to happen. And we will send a message loud and clear that we don't mind these activities, that in fact we support them if we don't get involved and do something about it.

Posted by Zeb Pike at August 30, 2006 2:15 PM
Comments
Comment #178315

Zeb:

I am happy to read such a great post.

We must be informed and we must vote. You bet. How else can we improve the government we have?

This November throw the bums out!

Posted by: Paul Siegel at August 30, 2006 3:06 PM
Comment #178320

Zeb, your singing my song of three years now! Good to have a fresh voice beating to the same drum beat.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 30, 2006 3:34 PM
Comment #178324

Thanks. Wish I had the same time now that this opportunity’s presented itself as I did when I applied because there’s plenty in my craw but little time now to stay informed, pull it together, and write it.
And I guess a caveat to throwing them out would be to somehow ensure not letting new bums in.

Posted by: Zebster at August 30, 2006 3:55 PM
Comment #178332

Zeb,

I’m not so sure that I’m for a 3rd party as they stand now.

If there were a 3rd party called “The Moderates”, perhaps. As it is now, there are very unattractive aspects of the 3rd parties that are out there.

Posted by: Jim T at August 30, 2006 4:31 PM
Comment #178340

Jim, I’m a lifelong indie and plan to stay that way, which includes 3rd parties (unless the perfect party came along, but still probably not. I like my independence). But therein lies a rub to throwing the bums from both sides out…that’s hard to do w/out a viable option.
We need the kind of election reform nationally that we have here in Maine that makes it possible for true indies to run a significant campaign. That’s something I don’t mind paying for.

Posted by: Zebster at August 30, 2006 5:05 PM
Comment #178346

Zebster,

I understand…and good for Maine!

I guess you have to take the bad with the good with 3rd parties, though. Although I must admit that some of the 3rd parties are pretty scarey.

Greens’ platform is way too far to the left for my taste. Then there is the REALLY scarey Socialist Party.

I guess if I had to commit to a certain party, it would have to be Libertarian. Conservative Libertarian, but Libertarian none the less. It seems to me that they are a good bit closer to the conservative (and liberal) ideas I grew up with.

Posted by: Jim T at August 30, 2006 5:19 PM
Comment #178388

Zebster, most new candidates who win election start out honorable and well intentioned. It is the political parties, their leadership, and the influence of untold sums of reelection money donors that corrupt them by the end of their first year.

The mechanism is simple. Tow the party leadership line or fail to get any meaningful committee assignments or introduce any legislation which will benefit your constituents. That is how the corruption of politicians regardless of character occurs. A few, like Joe Scarborough, simply refuse to allow that kind of corruption of themselves to take place, and they quit. But, most rationalize, that to do a little good, they must play along, because losing reelection affords no opportunity to make it better from within. But overtime, the little good they accomplish is far outweighed by the waste, fraud, and abuse of office which they had to succumb to.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 30, 2006 7:31 PM
Comment #178391

Jim T, the problem with the Libertarian party is they remove compassion from the term “compassionate conservative” making the term an oxymoron.

A libertarian government would easily have saved our nation billions upon billions of waste, fraud and abuse after Katrina. But, at the same time, a couple hundred thousand Americans would have suffered horrendously without federal assistane for no other reason than having erred in judgement in trusting the Army Corps of Engineer’s levies.

Having said that, we are in such dire need of libertarian fiscal philosophy, I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute to vote for a libertarian candidate. Our Congress desperately needs a significant minority of them to filibuster and raise public awareness of the absence of fiscal responsibility of both Democrats and Republicans.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 30, 2006 7:37 PM
Comment #178474

The posts on this article bear out the notion of Caveat Emptor. The electorate must become more informed of the candidates seeking office and where they stand. The other perspective here is that no single party has the answer. As evidenced by miserable performance of both the senior parties, it would be a mistake to hand things off to a “third” party. Vote for the candidate and their stand on issues regardless of party affiliation. The only qualifier I’d add to that is that if they are an incumbent, they better be pretty damn spectacular, or I’m voting against them.

Nice post Zeb.

Posted by: Dennis at August 31, 2006 9:12 AM
Comment #178536

Zeb
Welcome to the anti-incumbent movement. What we need is to throw the bums out like Paul said. And while throwing them out we need to be careful not to put the same kind in office in their place. The best way to avoid that is to get informed and stay informed.
Third parties can offer something to some folks. The problem is I find most to be a bit on the liberal side for me. But others might be comfortable with them. The only one that come close to my beliefs is the Constitution Party. They do have a few things I’m not all that comfortable with. But I could live with them if I was one to join political parties.
I personally prefer to remain independent. They way I can pick the candidate I feel is best without feeling like I’m abandoning my party.


Posted by: Ron Brown at August 31, 2006 1:20 PM
Comment #178542

David,

If for no other reason than to scare the Bejeezus out of our elected officials, there needs to be a strong 3rd voice out there.

You’re right.

Posted by: Jim T at August 31, 2006 2:04 PM
Comment #178564

Ron, the differences and agreements between you and I are a foundation for my belief that, as Americans, our political differences need not undermine our political system’s efficiency, repsonsibility, and accountability.

I probably could not be more opposed to the party platform of The Constitution Party. Their platform is as abhorrent to me as that of the Communist Party, but for diametrically opposed reasons, obviously. Yet, I find so much common ground with your writings and views that I regard you as both ally and trusted acquaintance in the struggle for a far better government and political system than we have today.

I find that immensely hopeful and confidence building that Americans of very divergent political philosophy views can nonetheless, unite as Americans for benefit and sake of our nation and its future.

If I had a choice between a Republican, a Democrat, and a Constitution candidate, I would vote for the Constitution candidate in a heartbeat. Not because I agree with their platform, but, because an anti-incumbent vote is the responsible and duty bound vote for Americans who are not happy with the government’s performance and direction.

And that fact opens doors of unity and cooperation and coalition building between third parties and independent organizations which truly could threaten the Republocrat bureaucracy into reforming government and their own behavior for the benefit of the nation. I recently wrote an article in which I provided links to a couple of coalitions as I describe here. And more are coming, precisely because you and I, with our very differing political philosophies, are able nonetheless, to put love of country, care for her future, and demand for responsible and accountable good governance ahead of our other differences.

Thank you Ron, for the source of hope your priorities for our nation provide me and millions of other Americans who are joining the battle to take government back for the people, held accountable by the people, for the nation’s future and her grandchildren’s.

D.a.n, Adrienne, Jim T, Dawn, Christine, Rhinehold, Lisa, Scottie, Richard R., Wulf, Forrest, Zeb, and many others who participate here at WatchBlog, representing many different political perspectives and preferences, are a true source of inspiration for working even harder to set things right.


Posted by: David R. Remer at August 31, 2006 4:05 PM
Comment #178579

David, I agree that under the current system the newbies need to play along to some degree to get anything accomplished, but we need to ensure that once that bloom is off that rose they geniunely try to fix things from within.
And David, that last comment posted was a thing of beauty.
I too believe, as I said, we’re all closer than the party leaders want us to believe and that our differences, while sometimes huge, are manageable without the added vitriol.
Thanks all for the warm welcome.

Posted by: Zebster at August 31, 2006 5:08 PM
Comment #178683

David
One of the reasons that we can work together even though we’re from almost completely opposite sides of the political spectrum is the fact that we respect each others opinions and have at least one thing in common.
WE WANT OUR GOVERNMENT BACK. And to that end we’re willing to put our political differences aside.
We’ve locked horns in the past and most likely will in the future. But when it comes to something as important as taking control of our government back I doubt we’ll have much if any disagreement.

BTW, I’m now leading my opponent in the school board race by 2%. Not much but encouraging.

Posted by: Ron Brown at August 31, 2006 11:46 PM
Comment #178820

Ron, Outstanding news on your election homefront. More power to you, my friend. The road to a 20% lead must pass through a 2% lead. Go, man, go! Wish I could vote for you.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 1, 2006 4:50 PM
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