Fertile Ground

Among bipartisan fetishists and apologists of the two party state, it is virtual dogma that compromise between Republicans and Democrats, "the constant push and pull between left and right," results in moderate and effective centrist policy. Yet, as Fear is Tyranny notes, the partisan dialectic paradoxically "never fails to bring more government, more police, more imperialism, and less freedom." With Democrats in control of the executive and legislative branches of government, on the heels of undivided Republican government under the Bush administration, calls for the 'restoration' of the two party system admittedly ring hollow, especially when they are sounded by partisan hacks from either of the duopoly party machines whose primary preoccupation is ensuring the electoral advantage of the special interest groups they represent.

Changing election laws in favor of open primaries to give independents more sway in primary votes, and hence a voice in the choice of duopoly party candidates for political office, as the bipartisans demand, will do nothing but undermine the independence of voters who find that their political views and interests are not represented by the candidates fielded by the duopoly parties. Such voters would be better served by opening up ballot access laws to provide them with a choice other than that between the 'lesser of two evils' in any given election.

The strength of independent affiliation, and the proliferation of new political parties over the past few years (ex. the Boston Tea Party, the Modern Whig Party, the nascent American Moderate Party) lends credence to pleas for the overturning of the two party system. The "realist" response to such proposals (ex. third party candidates are not viable, to vote third party is to throw your vote away, etc.) is often nothing more than a cynical fatalism masquerading as political pragmatism. The most fertile ground for third party organizing today are states and districts which are considered 'safe' for either of the duopoly parties because of a lopsided majority in their favor. Greens and Socialists should be hard at work in solidly Democratic locales while their Libertarian and Constitution Party counterparts chip away at Republican majorities in conservative strongholds elsewhere in the country.


RiderontheT said...

I am the author of Fear is Tyranny. Thanks for referencing me in your cogent piece. I think it may be impossible for a third party to compete because of the stranglehold the current regime has over the political process. Because of this, I try to work within the Republican party to advance freedom. Continue to fight for your rights.

d.eris said...

Rider, thanks for reading and for your comment. While creating competitive third parties may appear difficult, I do not think it is impossible. The appearance of impossibility here is the deadlock of two party politics and duopoly ideology itself. To put it in conspiratorial terms, they want us to think it is impossible because that is how they maintain their stranglehold on power. Might it not also be the case that it is just as 'impossible' to carry out the same project within the framework of either of the duopoly parties?

Anonymous said...

The Modern Whig Party may be the movement to catch on a bit over time in spite of the antiquated name. This party was founded by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and has quickly grown to thousands of members. Perhaps most telling of all is that they seem to "get it" in that they are realistic in where they stand and how they should not just be entitled to members because of their views. This is why Republicans have reportedly been flocking to them in modest numbers.

If nothing else, they have an interesting concept.

d.eris said...

I have noticed an uptick in news and references to them over the last few weeks, and think they have a promising platform. They're holding open meetings this month at least in D.C.