An interesting phenomenon is unfolding on the political scene. Most candidates try to be all things for all voters while most voters are primarily interested in only a few issues. Voters’ hot buttons tend to be those issues that they think about now. It is only later and often too late that the voter realizes he did not mean “that issue that way”. Let’s consider:
- For or against Guns (that means for the NRA position or nothing, regardless of how reasonable your not position may be).
- For a woman’s right to reproductive health decisions or not
- For a comprehensive approach to Mexican immigration and guest workers or not
- For gay and lesbian rights that are equal to all others or not
- For Universal Health Care or not.
- For Private Health Care and too bad for those who do not have coverage.
- For national effort to reduce green house gases or not
- For a graduated federal tax system (wealthy pay proportionally more) or some form of flat tax
- For a clear separation of church and state or not
- For death penalty or not
- For pre-emptive wars without Congressional declaration of war
- For massive data collection on each and every citizen or not
- For creationism and flat earth theories or not
It is my guess that most voters are not in favor of each and every one of these, yet one or more may seem appealing. With the current two party system it is difficult to discuss these issue in a bi-partisan manner. It is far easier for one party to claim they are the party of guns or the party of pro-choice or the party of less government (read less taxes). This clearly then defines the other party as against guns, pro-life, and big government. The road to reason is completely blocked. What is the answer?
The answer lies in (1) purifying the current two parties by adopting more restricted and centrist platforms, and (2) augmenting the voters choices with with several additional “3rd parties”. Here are my suggestions:
1. Creationist Party. This would be a tailor made party for all those who defy scientific evidence and believe the world is about 5000 years old. It will include all those who refuse to accept that monkeys or the likes were their ancestors. This party wants pot holes filled, streets free of the homeless, a bible in every school desk, and strick limitations on non-Christian symbols in public places. Most likely they will nominate Mike Huckabee this year after he loses in the Republican primaries.
2. Ron Paul Libertarians. This is a slightly saner version of the long admired Libertarian Party. This party is composed of people who have utilized the “common wealth” and made some money. They are now sure they do not want to share any of it and spend enormous amounts of time reading the constitution in order to find articles and amendments that support their positions. They seek little or no government, flat or no taxes, and a gun in every home. In desperation these voters usually vote Republican.
3. The Pragmatists support common sense solutions to real problems and avoid deliberately creating new problems. Pragmatitists support balanced budgets, fair taxation, and eliminating trade deficits. On social issues, Pragmatitists believe that everyone was created equal and are inbued with inalienable rights. The Pragmatists candidate of choice is Michael Bloomberg but Michael has enough money that he may think up his own name. Regardless his platform will be similar.
5. Reality Thinkers are a new breed that studies the world in cold numeric terms and designs policy and programs that fully incorporate reality. Wars are fought only if there is a dollars and cents justification (and only as a last resort). Economic and political tools are the choice of Reality Thinkers in conducting foreign policy. On social issues, they prefer controlled experiments where data is required before entitlement programs are rolled out to the entire country. Reality Thinkers primary focus is on ending the use of the military, the environment, and adopting fully renewable energy. The ideal candidate for this party is not on the scene right now. Rumor has it that they will coax either Joe Biden or Chris Dodd to become their standard bearer.
6. The North American Union Party is dedicated to “one America” in which a common union is formed with Mexico, Canada, and the US. This party believes in the power of people, education, and a huge common market. This party more than the other is domestically focused and has minimal interest in foreign policy. It’s abandonment of foreign policy will have unexpected positive impact upon the relations of the US with the Middle East, China, Russia, and closer to home, Cuba and Venezuela. The North American Union Party strongly supports the woman’s right to choose, gay and lesbian freedoms, and strong measures to prevent gun ownership from endangering people. The NAUP will reach out for Bill Richardson unless Bill gets the Democratic nod for VP. While Bill fancies himself as a diplomat of the first order, he is a people person first.
7. The King George Party is about security at the expense of individual liberties party. Supported heavily by AIPAC, Neoconservatives, and a lot of voters who simply wish for the good old days when Government told the truth, this party seeks a right leaning military man to lead them. This party does not like to be singled out and is likely to seek reconciliation with the main stream Republican Party.
Maybe the future will not play out exactly as I have suggested, but the chances of one or more third parties is very large this time. The biggest question will be whether these parties can select candidates for Congress too. Our Country desperately needs to return to the center and with the current parties that does not seem likely. Maybe something off the wall like this will work.