Political Homelessness and Circus Tent Politics

While moderate and conservative partisans of the Republican Party continue their ideological tug-of-war over the future of the GOP, many of their former co-factionalists from across the political spectrum have liberated themselves from the trappings of duopolist ideology (for the present, at least), arguing in essence that if the two-party system is the form of our political alienation, then third party activism should be the content of our politics.

Mark West at Renew America urges support of the Constitution Party, arguing that the Republicrats' duopoly must be broken if the political system is to be fixed:
Our Federal government has been prostituted for political benefit. Republicans spent like crazy when they controlled Congress. The Democrats use that as an excuse to spend even more now that they are in control . . . Americans deserve the Republic their fathers left them. Not the Oligarchy the Republicrats are building for the financial elite.
Pronk Palisades wants to pull together an "American Citizens' Alliance Party - ACAP on government spending, taxes, debt and regulations," writing:
More and more I am convinced that a third party based on limited government would be successful in getting both Republican and Democratic voters as well as independents as party members.
And The Legal Satyricon sees an opportunity for the Libertarian Party in the fragmentation of the former Republican coalition:
Libertarians need to strike now – while the iron is hot. The Republican Party was, at one time, the refuge of Libertarians . . . Today, the Libertarians have no home.
Such political homelessness is quite common in the United States, a symptom of the duopolization of our civic discourse by the representatives of the bipoligarchy. The tents of the major parties, however, do not provide shelter. Instead, they offer only the sorry spectacle of circus mastery.

4 comments:

Samuel Wilson said...

Is a third or fourth or even fifth tent the answer? I wonder whether the necessary solution is a more radical one: a no-party state in which each legislator represents a state or district and nothing else; where legislative committees are filled by lot rather than by majority-party rule; and which reinforces the role of the Electoral College in order to subvert both the main rationale for national parties and the image of the President as "sole representative of the entire American people." But even if you find this desirable, can we have it without revolution?

d.eris said...

I like the idea of the "no-party state," and it certainly doesn't appear that it could be accomplished without a revolution. But I think the first step in that revolution would be breaking the two-party state, and in that sense, third fourth and fifth tents are a move in the right direction.

Samuel Wilson said...

The current Bipolarchy (or duopoly) has been in place for approximately 150 years, and hasn't really been challegned seriously since the Populists in the 1890s. At what point would anyone reading this concede that it is unassailable by conventional (i.e. electoral) means? And what follows from such a conclusion?

d. eris said...

I was just re-reading Federalist No. 60, which I plan to post on at some point in the near future, and in which Hamilton dismisses the idea that elected office would become monopolized by a "favored class of men" on the grounds that, if it happened, it would result in a "popular revolution." I'd say we're past due.

 
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