Third Party & Independents Archives

3rd Party Choices

Bob Barr (former Republican) announced he would be joining a widening field of Libertarian candidates for President. Ralph Nader among others is running an Independent campaign. And Cynthia McKinney is the most well known name of a short list of Green Candidates. None of them have a prayer of winning (despite their hokey rhetoric to the contrary), so what’s up with that?

I don't propose to provide a comprehensive nor in depth analysis of all the candidates of all the Independent and Third Party races. That may come later as the fields are winnowed down. It is important at this time however, for folks like me supporting in general the Independent movement or one of the 3rd Party platforms, to get acquainted with who the likely players are, and ask that all important question, "Why should I care?"

The Libertarians:

The latest entry to the Libertarian race is Bob Barr. He is probably as well known, if not better, than the anti-tax Texan Michael Badnarik, who also ran in 2004. Bob Barr is most widely known in the media as the the arch-conservative Republican who was the House manager of President Clinton's impeachment trial. He has reportedly shifted to becoming the chief critic of the Bush Administration amongst conservatives, and reversed his GOP role as staunch anti-illegal drug warrior to favoring the Libertarian view, announcing in 2007 his joining the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project as a lobbyist.

Barr's claim to coattails in the Libertarian Party is his constant tirade against the loss of Constitutional individual liberties under the current Bush Administration. It rallies not just Libertarians, but some liberals and moderate Republicans as well when he speaks before them. Barr attributes his shift in Parties to "my core philosophy of working to minimize government power and maximize individual liberty." Actually, this brings him closer to Democrats than Republicans as a reborn idealist, though the policy implementation between Democrats and Barr remain very wide apart. Here is an eye opening interview with Barr in 2007.

Miichael Badnarik is running again this year too!. His anti-taxation and sometimes myopic view of the Constitution's value resting on the Bill of Rights, have garnered a great deal of support amongst Libertarians. His remarks about buying the president can be viewed at at this Center for Public Integrity interview.

The Independents:

The Independents are a varied lot, with the most well known of them being Ralph Nader. He has 12 front and center issues for 2008 with appeal. Among them are:

1) Single Payer Nat'l. Health Care
2) Solar Energy 1st, No nuclear power
3) For a Carbon Pollution Tax
4) End Corporate Personhood

A lengthy list of Independents (anyone can run as an Independent) running for president who have not achieved ballot status in any state can be found at Politics1. All are linked to candidate web sites. One however stands out in the crowd of socialists, fascists, and kooks, Frank McEnulty.

Frank McEnulty is very much worth investigating as an Independent alternative to Ralph Nader. His very centrist, moderate, and in my opinion, level headed issue positions should be getting a whole lot more attention as they would meet many Americans expectations for a solid presidential candidate. In fact, though I am a Green Party advocate, I will be watching McEnulty closely as a potential winner of my vote as a write in candidate if he is not on the ballot. The Green Party's candidates this year have not yet won me over.

The Greens:

The Green Party's most notable candidate is Cynthia McKinney, the U.S. Representative with a mouth that has got her in the negative political spotlight on a number of occasions. She once was quoted in Jet Magazine as saying ""white, rich Democratic boys club wanted [her] to stay in the back of the bus."

Restraint and judicious public relations are not her strong suit. Confrontational politics is her background, raised by a father who was an activist in the Civil Rights movement, her unabashed manner of taking people and issues head on, is lauded by many and despised by others. Rep. McKinney however, is not just a Joan of Arc wannabe for women and African American causes.

Her education with a BA in International Relations and Master of Art Degree in Law and Diplomacy, give her sound intellectual qualifications for championing a foreign policy agenda in direct opposition to that of the Bush/Cheney administration. If you are a died in the wool liberal disappointed in the Democratic Party, this Green Party candidate may just be your cup of tea after reading her March, 2008 interview with Wikipedia.

Kent Mesplay who gave a strong showing in the Green Party nomination process in 2004 is running again this year. He is, in my opinion, the Jimmy Carter of the Green party with a background in engineering and big heart for Green Party platform issues.

Kat Swift, Green Party candidate and progressive activist is a novice to presidential politics and her web site demonstrates this amply.

Why should we care who these people are?

Why should I care whose running Independent or Third Party and what they are saying if they can't win? Michael Badnarik answered this best in an interview in 2007 when he said of his 2004 run: "However, I am very proud that once I did win the nomination we were able to raise just over $1 million. We were able to use that money to bring the Libertarian message to an estimated 70 million people during the five months leading up to the election."

Folks can debate whether that message was legitimate or resonating. He is absolutely right however, that running is the only way to get a different voice heard by the people; especially people that don't read books, pay attention to politics and news between elections, or care what government does unless their monthly budget, family, or liberty is impinged upon. That covers about 75% of the poor and middle classes which make up the majority by far, of the voters.

All Americans have their beefs with government and at least some of the people running it. Election time is when a majority of Americans tune in to see if any candidates have the same beefs, and perhaps some idea of how to rectify them. Its a horrible way to run a universal suffrage democratically elected republic. But, that is the American way, for better or worse, at this point in time. We should take an interest in what these candidates have to say, because one or more of them might just be singing our tune.

Don't like the way government is currently run? Vote, and vote differently than before, because the way we have been voting hasn't moved America forward. In far too many ways America has moved only sideways, or in some respects backward these last 20 to 30 years. Voting the same way and expecting a different result is illogical as D.a.n and Remer are justifiably fond of saying in the comments here at WatchBlog.

Posted by Jeff Wyans at May 26, 2008 12:14 PM
Comments
Comment #253678

Bob Barr is trying to resurrect the far right wing base i think he would have better luck trying to resurrect Jesus, he thinks he will be a spoiler like perot if he gains some steam Mac will make some deal with him. I can’t fault Nader he believes in what he’s doing .

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 26, 2008 5:42 PM
Comment #253680

Thank you for writing another article, with informative non partisan links.

Bob Barr proves that even the Libertarians can nominate someone who would be my last choice among their candidates. I would never vote for anyone under any circumstances who was involved in any way in the impeachment process of William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the United States. When did he call for the impeachment of GWBush on more serious charges? Two different standards for impeachment? That smacks of hypocrisy. I like the Salon article referring to him as former Clinton inquisitor Bob Barr. In that article he goes back to Goldwater associates, which I would think JMcC would also claim. Many people think Barr’s 180 degree on the drug war is disingenuous. If he has a large enough following in his old congressional district, he could help BHO win that state.

Ralph Nader is an Independent if he doesn’t win the Green Party nomination in Chicago. In Illinois, Howie Hawkins was on the ballot as a placeholder for Nader, and Nader has delegates, mostly from CA, because of the draftnader movement. Other state Green parties, like Ark and TX, say he will not be on their ballot under any circumstances.

Cynthia McKinney, also from Georgia, got into racial issues just like BHO, in her case on account of the Sean Bell verdict, which many people regard as legalized lynching. Her mouth is fine by me. She’s more Andrew Jackson than Joan of Arc.

On the issues mentioned from Nader’s website:
Single Payer Nat’l. Health Care will only work if people are smart enough to tell their doctors what they need, not what drugs were advertised on TV, or the doctors are not part of that same process of product promotion.
Wind Energy First, Solar Energy where the skies are not cloudy all day, More nuclear power where we already have it. No corn for ethanol.
Frak the Carbon Pollution Tax, instead adopt the California emissions controls standards nationally, and require an increasing percentage of all fleets to have no emissions at all. Electric cars are more necessary than anything, but we also have to generate the power.
To End Corporate Personhood would require the removal of several meembers of the Supreme Court, Scalia especially. Sounds good to me.

I would also mention these two:
Aggressive crackdown on corporate crime and corporate welfare
and
Adopt a Wall Street securities speculation tax , to which I would add an advertising tax, and a federal property tax on residences over 5000 square feet, to be paid into the social security fund for the benefit of those employed there, who do not participate in it, but will eventually receive benefits.

People vote differently than before, because they are dissappointed with the candidates that the duopoly puts forward. The duopoly’s useless candidates, like Dukakis/BHO for me, actually free people from their loyalty to the major party which resembles most of their views the closest, and allows them to think of other possibilities.

From the article linked buyingofthepresident.michael_badnarik about 2004: “David Cobb of the Green Party and I were actually arrested in St. Louis, Missouri, trying to attend the second presidential debate. We crossed the police line. We were arrested, handcuffed, [and] put into a police van. And 20 minutes later, a police officer opened the back door of the van and said, “Which one of you guys is a presidential candidate?” And I said: “Well, we are both presidential candidates. We are at a presidential debate. And you have us in handcuffs.” I said, “Can you explain that to me?” And the officer looked very perplexed and said, “Well, let me get back to you on that.” And he closed the door again. ” and

“I went to visit a university…to speak…sit face to face and be more informal. And they said: “No, you can’t do that. You are a presidential candidate. You have to talk in the auditorium, because the auditorium is a free-speech zone.” I nearly fell off the stage. I said: “What about the hallway? What about the rest of the campus?” And I was informed that that was probably a “speech-free zone.” And so I told the students then, and I’ll tell you now, that anywhere I happen to be standing is a free-speech zone because the government doesn’t have the authority to tell me what I can say or where I can say it.”

and my favorite:
“How can the American government protect private property when the Supreme Court, in 2005, issues the Kelo v. New London decision, saying that government is authorized to take your land away from you and give it to someone else who is going to develop it and pay a lot of taxes. I mean, that’s the antithesis of the American dream. It’s the antithesis of what this country is founded on.”

Posted by: ohrealy at May 26, 2008 7:25 PM
Comment #253686

Jeff, well done. Please post this one at PoliWatch too. Nader’s positions are so right. And as a public speaker he is SOOOOO wrong! Hard to decide whether to vote for him or shoot him when he steps away from the lectern for putting the audience to sleep. :-0

I am not Hillary; I can say things like that. :-)

Thank you for bringing McNulty to my attention. I will look into him further. His interview comes across as eminently reasonable and rational - and well positioned for bi-partisan support.

McKinney is kind of the opposite of Nader in every way as a candidate. She riles people up for or against her when she speaks, and she speaks from the heart, not from the legalese dictionary mind as Nader does. Which in many ways gives each entirely different sets of issues. I am pretty much a nuts and bolts person so I favor Nader between the two.

But, your entire article begs a dilemma and Catch-22 for many voters. Once they pay attention and learn of these candidates, should they find one more to their liking than BO or HC, do they “throw their vote away” on a candidate who can’t win because they perceive their vote will be thrown away, or do they vote for the third party candidate anyway and if enough others do too, an upset is put in motion on election day. What an act of faith that latter is.

Unless, one views one’s vote as directed by the issues and policy proposals most aligned with their own, regardless of what the polls and tradition say will be the outcome.

As a Buddhist, I am big on a little faith, and committed to vote very pragmatically for the candidates most likely to facilitate the better path for my daughter’s life as an American. That forces me at this point to lean toward Obama, but, my interest is now piqued by Frank McNulty. I remain uncommitted until I learn more about him, and thank you for the introduction.

I have to rule out Badnarik simply because he endorsed Ron Paul some time back. That communicates volumes to me about Badnarik, the weightier part of which is negative.

Ron Paul is a doctor. I am curious, would he pay an economist to perform an appendectomy on him? If not, I see no reason to vote for him as president professing expertise in economics. Especially when his remarks on the subject are a chasm of failure to think things through to their logical conclusion, like returning to a commodity based monetary system without a plan to force or convince the rest of the world’s nations to follow suit, which ain’t going to happen.

Our accelerated economic growth after WWII was facilitated by a later abdication of the gold standard, which acted as a constraint on our economic growth. China, India, Russia, Malaysia, and the Middle Eastern oil money aristocracies would not undertake a commodity based standard today for the same reasons we got off it in the 1960’s and nailed the coffin shut in 1971.

Getting off the gold standard allowed the U.S. to assert itself overseas and in foreign affairs, and in turn build extensive overseas export markets. A path that emerging capitalist nations are now pursuing as we did. They will not accept the constraints of a commodity based financial and monetary system. Ron Paul is chasing a fool’s gold dream here. If we adopt a commodity back monetary system again and the rest of the world doesn’t, our economy wanes as theirs accelerate taking up the slack from our own. And that is the long and short of it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 26, 2008 8:27 PM
Comment #253689

I think, though these people have every right to show up on the ticket, the real reasons they can’t or won’t win cut in two different directions.

The first is the lack of a base. Third Party candidates have not, in great numbers, won national office anywhere else. Unless they win over those voters and set up a decent presence in the state houses, the governors mansions, and Congress, we will be unlikely to see any of them make the White House.

So why do the two parties remain dominant over time? It’s pretty simple, in an election where those with the most votes win, a majority political faction can lose by splitting its votes between two different candidates. more candidates sharing the vote is not better when those with the most votes win, even if they don’t have the majority.

When Perot split Bush’s vote, he lost. When Roosevelt split Taft’s vote, Woodrow Wilson won. When Lincoln’s opponents split the Democrats, the first Republican president won.

Or to put it another way, the strong likelihood is, when you lead a campaign to split the vote, your side tends to lose, the better you do. The average person, even if they may be dissatisfied with their party, doesn’t want to lose.

Nader did nothing to prove that principle wrong. Nader’s policies and goals were not exactly the beneficiaries of the Republican’s Largesse when they won Florida.

Most people are pragmatic about how they vote. As long as things got done, the candidates remained in power. When they stopped getting done, people got their asses kicked.

I’d say that if the current movement in the Democratic Party fails to do the needed work, that would be the time for third parties to start campaigning in an organized sort of guerilla campaign to start adding significant numbers in the state governments and Congress.

The key will be creating a substantial party base, from which future operations can be facilitated. If it is to be done, though, I don’t think third parties work as well as four parties, which is to say that the coalitions of both sides have to be broken at about the same time in order to lessen the disadvantage to ones general political slant.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 26, 2008 9:17 PM
Comment #253734

What’s a voter to do?
So many choices and all of them stink.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 27, 2008 11:58 AM
Comment #253755

Steven,

Hmmm, a coalition of conservative and liberal fringe groups to break the two party system? Interesting thought. I wonder if campaigning on that theme might work.

Posted by: googlumpus at May 27, 2008 4:47 PM
Comment #253766

Stephen D., much of what you say is very valid. One thing though. The Civil War, the Race Riots of the 1930’s in the North, the counter-culture decade, and the Civil Rights demonstrations, and the burning of cities across America in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. These are consequences of too many not having a political voice representing them in a supposed democratically elected government. A two party system cannot possibly represent ALL the people in perpetuity, which is one of the reasons these historical events happened.

The folly of this current 2 party system is failing to permit a sufficient minority representation of minority views in the halls of federal government. And both the duopoly parties are responsible.

Bob Barr’s crossover to the Libertarian Party and Ron Paul’s creation of his own brand of Libertarian views as a Republican, and the Green Party’s many inroads to local government offices should be a tell-tale warning for your Party and the GOP. But because your Party and the GOP are not about governance, protecting the future, or insuring the democratic freedoms and rights of the people except as an afterthought to acquiring and keeping power, that warning continues to go unheeded. And that fact paves the way for yet another popular uprising or civil disobedience movement to potentially occur.

Obama recognizes it, and speaks to it. Clinton hasn’t a clue, like her counterpart, McCain. I detest Bob Barr’s history as a politician. But, I now have to listen carefully to the man, because his words peel from the bell of truth about individual liberty erosion amidst his hidden agenda lies and half-truths.

He has been given his message of truth by the Republican corruption of conservative principles, and the deaf ears of the Democratic power structure who continue to assert that spending is the way out of the downward tunnel the duopoly parties have us moving in. Independent thinking voters will listen to the truth wherever it comes from, even from the likes of Bob Barr.

“…The times they are a changin…”, and the power structure of the Democratic Party will neither “get out of the way” nor “lend a hand” in bringing about those changes, making it the next target of the people, and deliverer of failure in America.

It is very possible I will be voting for Obama, but, how much good can one Democrat amidst all those Democratic incumbents in the Congress who will, without any doubt, see their resurrection as the majority party as a license to take, not give, what they have been denied while in the minority wilderness?

There is an opportunity for the Democratic Party to deliberately and in a controlled fashion shed its incumbent dead weight and backward looking power brokers of the last century and renew itself and America’s future by bringing into its majority the kind of forward looking managers of the future that are willing and capable of resolving the challenges our nation and children face, without the encumbrances of wealthy special interest obligations or usurping future national security and welfare with State special interest power brokers.

The sad fact is, except for a few like Obama and a handful of Blue Dog Democrats, the Democratic Party incumbents currently in Congress offer not even a hint of thinking like this.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 27, 2008 6:45 PM
Comment #253767

googlumpus, any partial breakup of the duopoly system will come either from within one of the parties of the duopoly system, or from a new Independent’s Party not yet formed. The liklihood is very small, but growing.

Like D.a.n says, things will have to get very tough on voters economically to motivate voters to alter their way of thinking and acting at the ballot box. $4+ dollar/gallon gasoline for months on end could be one of those events that make things very tough on increasing numbers voters.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 27, 2008 6:54 PM
Comment #253805

A number of years ago, I used to be of the opinion that most of our problems (growing in number and severity) were mostly the fault of irrepsonsible incumbent politicians.
That is no longer my opinion.
I now believe that the much larger group of 200 million eligible voters are equally culpable.
After all, as long as the voters can vote, and get an accurate vote count, the voters have the government that they elect, and therefore, deserve.

In time, when the consequences of repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful, enough of the 200 million eligible voters will (hopefully) do as they have done in the past, and vote out a lot of bad incumbent politicians (as they did around the Civil War and the Great Depression).

It takes time.
It’s a slow process.
It’s 2.00 steps forward, and 1.99 steps backward.
Nations come and go, but society as a whole has made some progress over the past millennia.

So, on the bright side, there is (usually; not always) a built-in self-correction mechanism, and that mechanism is starting to work, as evidenced by growing anti-incumbent sentiments.
Education is a key part of the solution, and we are going to get our education one way or another.
Unfortunately, we have to learn the hard way (often, repeatedly), but pain is a good motivator and educator.
Sometimes, it takes a lot of pain and misery before the lesson is finally learned (if ever).
And sometimes, the lessons are forgotten and must be re-learned.

However, our education will probably come later than sooner, since pain and misery must first provide the much-needed motivation and education.
It’s simply the unfortunate order of events, as history has demonstrated to us over and over.

The problem is simple, and so is the solution, but simple does not mean easy or painless.
Unfortunately, it is our human nature.
Most of us seek comfort and security with the least effort and pain.
There’s nothing wrong with that, until it leads to too much pain as a result of too much apathy, greed, complacency, ignorance, irrational fears, irrational hatred, misplaced loyalties, and laziness.

However, with the growing threats of over-population, and potential environmental ramifications of a world population growing by 211,000 per day, we may not always have the luxury to learn so slowly, or forget previous lessons.

And these 10+ abuses of the past 3+ decades did not all come about by mere coincidence.
It takes a long time, but those abuses are now causing some of the worst economic conditions ever and/or since the 1930s and 1940s.

As a result, anti-incumbent sentiments are growing again (amongst voters of BOTH main parties), and the numbers of independent voters are increasing.

Start _ End _ Congress _ Re-Election _ Party Seat-Retention
Year ___ Year ____ # ______ Rate ________ Rate
1933 ___ 1935 ___ 073 _____ 61.2% ________ 78.7% (206 of 531 incumbents ousted)
… … … … … … … …
1989 ___ 1991 ___ 101 _____ 90.1% ________ 99.6%
1991 ___ 1993 ___ 102 _____ 87.7% ________ 98.3%
1993 ___ 1995 ___ 103 _____ 73.5% ________ 98.1% (142 of 535 incumbents ousted)
… … … … … … … …
1999 ___ 2001 ___ 106 _____ 89.2% ________ 99.3%
2001 ___ 2003 ___ 107 _____ 89.2% ________ 98.7%
2003 ___ 2005 ___ 108 _____ 87.9% ________ 98.1%
2005 ___ 2007 ___ 109 _____ 88.6% ________ 98.7%
2007 ___ 2009 ___ 110 _____ 84.9% ________ 93.1% (61 of 535 incumbents ousted)
2009 ___ 2011 ___ 111 _____ ??.?% ________ ??.?% (?? of 535 incumbents ousted)

SOURCES: One-Simple-Idea.com/CongressMakeUp_1855_2008.htm

Regardless of who the next Presidenté is, little progress (if any) is likely as long if the next president is saddled with the same irresponsible, FOR-SALE Congress, whose campaign war-chests are funded mostly by the wealthy (i.e. 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters are VASTLY out-spent by a very tiny 0.15% of the voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more: Source: OpenSecrets.org).

So, we’re seeing the voters growing unhappy again (with BOTH main parties).
Unfortunately, what enough voters have not yet learned is that letting the two parties take turns doesn’t help that much.
Perhaps, they will some day … when failing to do so finally becomes too painful … perhaps when enough of the voters are jobless, homeless, and hungry?

The sooner, the better.
And for those that think $4 per gallon gasoline ($126 per barrel oil) is painful, consider what it will be like with $8 per gallon gasoline ($250 per barrel oil)?
Unfortunately, we have forgottent the lessons of the oil shortages of the 1970s.
Hence, the importance of history (i.e. education).
We can get our education the smart way, or the hard way.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 28, 2008 12:56 PM
Comment #253812

P.S. Jeff Wyans, Thanks for a well-written article, and list of other candidates.

Jeff Wyans wrote: Why should I care whose running Independent or Third Party and what they are saying if they can’t win?
Excellent question.

That is one of those questions/arguments some partisan loyalists commonly pose, who dislike anything-anti-THEIR-party.
I used to be one of those people (for many years), and commend the many independents that rejected it and became independent so long ago, and at much earlier ages.
However, we were never supposed to vote for someone else because the most qualified candidate can’t win the election.
Also, this is possibly a self-fullfulling prophechy if there ever was?
Part of the problem here is “herd mentality”, as evidenced by 90% of elections that are won by the candidate that spends the most money (which is usually the incumbent politicians, who have many unfair incumbent advantages).
Voters were never supposed to vote for the candidate that spends the most money.
Voters were never supposed to NOT vote for who they believe is the most qualified candidate because someone else tells them their favorite candidate can’t win.
Voters were never supposed to be so obviously manipulated by the Main Stream Media (MSM) and polls.
Voters were never supposed to vote for anyone but the most qualified candidate.
Voters were never supposed to blindly pull the party-lever due to an irrational fear or hatred of the OTHER party (fueled by THEIR own party’s incumbent politicians).
Voters were never supposed to be so easily manipulated by the Main Stream Media, their polls, and the 0.15% of all voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more).
If so, then the Main Stream Media and the weatlhy control the government, don’t they?

Not the majority of the 200 million eligible voters (40% to 50% that don’t even bother to vote at all).
Apparently, it isn’t that hard to controll 200 million voters when 90% of all elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money (usually the incumbent politicians).
HHHHMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmm … so it’s safe to say some manipulation is occurring, and there are big-money forces behind it.
That is because we have perverted the entire process such that our government is FOR-SALE.
However, if most voters realized that 99.85% of all 200 eligible voters were so vastly out-spent by a tiny 0.15% of voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more), would they bother to make their measely donations of $200 or less (especially to incumbent politicians)?
Why, when the majority of voters polled give Congress dismally low approval ratings?: pollingreport.com/cong2008.htm

Therefore, voters would be wise to ignore who the Main Stream Media tells them the winner or loser is, and do what the (voters) were supposed to be doing all along, and vote for the candidate they believe is most qualified. Otherwise, we have what we have, where the Main Stream Media and big-money control the elections (as evidenced by 90% of elections won by the candidate that spneds the most money; usually the incumbent politicians).

Unfortunately, here’s what most voters polled do.

    When asked (Pew Research, Feb-2008): [1] “Would you like to see your representative in Congress be reelected in the upcoming congressional election, or not?”
  • YES: 60%

  • NO: 22%

    And when asked (Pew Research, Feb-2008): [2] “Regardless of how you feel about your own representative, would you like to see most members of Congress reelected in the upcoming congressional election, or not?”
  • NO: 49%

  • YES: 36%
Obviously, this makes no sense, but there you have it.

So, most voters seem to think THEIR incumbent politicians are better than most OTHER peoples’ incumbent politicians.
Again, it doesn’t make sense, but helps explain why voters repeatedly reward irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election.
Oh well … that’s the voters’ choice, and they will be who lives with the painful consequences (many of which are on they way; some of the pain is only now becoming obvious, and it will probably get much worse before it gets better).

Jeff Wyans wrote: Don’t like the way government is currently run? Vote, and vote differently than before, because the way we have been voting hasn’t moved America forward. In far too many ways America has moved only sideways, or in some respects backward these last 20 to 30 years.
While the U.S.A. is still one of the top 26 nations in which to live, it has been slipping in many ways for about 30 years (a number of things started to go wrong starting in the 1970s, and BOTH of the main political parties are culpable too; along with the voters), and it can do much better.

Unfortuately, it will probably take another decade (maybe longer) before the consequences of these 10+ abuses of the past 30+ years become painful enough to finally motivate (and educate) enough voters to stop repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election.

Amazing how something so simple can be so elusive, but it is.
Another one of the reasons is is so elusive is because of the long time lag (sometimes decades) between the root causal behavoirs and the eventual painful consequences.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 28, 2008 3:08 PM
Comment #253822

Cynthis McKinney seems to be taking the Green Party on a Wild Ride via Politically Conscious Sisters and Brothers of Black America, complaining about how long Black America has been at the mercy of political pimps and usurpers, particularly of the Democratic Party. The first thing that came to mind on this, is that she is running interference for BHO, hoping to divert attention away from him on controversial issues, and build a base of support for herself among people. Other than that, it makes pretty disappointing reading.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 28, 2008 4:27 PM
Comment #253836

Ive just got to say one thing about Bob Barr. I respect him for his stance on the patriot act and his opposition to the Bush administration. When the rest of the so called conservatives we elected cut and run these past 7 years he was there calling them on it. I respect him for that.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 28, 2008 7:39 PM
Comment #253872

ohrealy, B Obama and Cynthia McKinney are chasms apart on their philosophies and educational backgrounds. It is a stretch to say the least that McKinney and Obama have any kind of arrangement for mutual benefit.

Then there is the obvious! Obama is likely to become our next president, and McKinney hasn’t an ant’s chance in an elephant herd stampede of even getting close.

The affinity between the Green Party and Democratic is like that between the Libertarian Party and Republican. A non-cooperative affinity with a very competitive posture in years of close competition between the Asses and Elephants.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 29, 2008 8:10 AM
Comment #254060

You missed my point. Cynthia McK is available for BHO to disavow, being more moderate, but at this point I would doubt that she will be nominated. She’s promoting her own agenda instead of the Green Party. I was looking into canvassing for them, or finding a way of getting into the convention, but my schedule varies so much, depending on the lives and deaths of my clients, that it’s hard to plan even a month ahead.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 31, 2008 5:46 PM
Comment #254077

ohrealy, sorry to hear about your clients. Yes, I did miss your point, my apology. I agree, McKinney is not in the race for Americans, only for a segment of Americans on issues she has tunnel vision to see. Which in my book could make her an OK House Representative, but, president? Not a chance. And I agree with you she is not supporting the whole of the Green Party platform.

It is interesting that Western Europe has been leading the way inexorably toward Green Party positions in fits and starts. Was a time 4 decades ago, I though it would be the U.S. that would lead the world in that direction. Youth has its naivete’.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 1, 2008 12:21 AM
Comment #254078

j2t2, I can’t find any respect for Bob Barr, but I do appreciate his pulling Republican supporters away from the Republican Party and weakening it, so it poses no more threat to America’s future. Every little bit helps.

Likewise, I appreciate Nader and Bloomberg keeping the pressure on the Democratic Party to perform significantly better or face the same fate as the Republican Party. With Nader’s continued campaigns and Bloombergs threat to, I have hope that the Feingolds and Conrads of the Democratic Party will continue to remind the D. Leadership that Independent voters outnumber Democratic voters and their numbers are growing with each election.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 1, 2008 12:26 AM
Comment #254130

The Green Party should come up with a different name, in order not to seem European, usually a liability here, or just go by the names of different local parties, like the Mountain Party in WV. They could be the Prairie party in Illinois, the Hoosier party in IN, the Cheesehead party in WI, etc. The national party could be the Clean Party, or the Clean Air party. I don’t particularly like their position on “palestine”, but they are right about most everything else.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 1, 2008 4:38 PM
Comment #254131

Jeff,

Nicely crafted article. It’s good to see writing which can fairly represent views different from those of the author, without feeling the need to denigrate them. It helps to promote intelligent discussion as we we in this thread.

Posted by: Walker Willingham at June 1, 2008 4:40 PM
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