The Choice is Clear: Independence from the Democratic-Republican Party or Subjugation by the Democratic-Republican Party?

Perhaps the only thing ideologues of the Republican and Democratic Parties fear more than one another are credible independent and third party challenges to the two-party political status quo. Though it is a mystical dogma of duopolist ideology that the two-party system is a quasi-eternal condition of politics as such, does not the palpable fear of an active, engaged and independent citizenry among partisans of the Democratic-Republican Party reveal the fragility of the reigning two-party state and the duopoly system of government? At America Blog, Democratic huckster John Aravosis worries that in 2010 progressives and liberals will act on the knowledge that the Democratic Party, like the Republican Party, stands for nothing other than the reproduction of the the global warfare and corporate welfare state:
Democrats may not vote for Republicans. But in their minds they'll assume the Dems will retain power even without their vote - after all, most people think that an individual vote doesn't matter - so people will vote their conscience. I think a lot of Democrats will simply not vote in 2010, or they'll vote for Mickey Mouse or some other third party candidate, simply to register a protest - not realizing that collectively their no-votes could add up. [Emphasis added.]
Arguably, the greater portion of political activity among partisans of the Democratic and Republican Parties is aimed precisely at inhibiting recognition among nominal independents – be they liberal, progressive, conservative or libertarian – of their power as a collective by maligning the most direct expression of that independence in the voting booth. For instance, though partisan ideologues on both sides of the duopoly divide sought to tie the tea party movement to the GOP as quickly as possible, Republican Party apparatchiks continue their assault on independent conservatism. In Hernando Today, the chairman of the Hernando County Republican Executive Committee, Blaise Ingoglia, makes "the case against a third party." Predictably, however, the only thing he proves is the bankruptcy of duopoly ideology. Ingoglia is incapable of coming up with anything other than the old spoiler argument:
independent voters have been clamoring for years for the formation of a third party. With the "Glenn Beck Effect," it may be as close as it has ever been . . . most of these citizens attending these tea parties and town hall meetings consider themselves conservatives. Conclusion: The formation of a third party would inevitably eviscerate the Republican Party, not the Democratic Party. Talk about unintended consequences! The biggest beneficiaries of a third-party movement would be Democrats!
Actually, the biggest beneficiaries of a third-party movement would be the people who successfully liberated themselves from the dictatorship of the Democratic-Republican Party. Nonetheless, one wonders how effective the spoiler argument can be among individuals who have determined that the Republican and Democratic Parties function as a unit. As I noted yesterday, the conservative critique of the two-party state, which maintains that there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats, is experiencing something of a resurgence. The Chairman of the Greg County Republican Party, Keith Rothra, takes issue:
In 1968, Gov. Wallace of Alabama trumpeted, “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties.” Glenn Beck uses the same mantra, like a modern Wallace, calling for a third party . . . There is a world of difference between the Democratic and Republican Party platforms . . . while not every candidate walks in lockstep with their party platform, the public perception of party affiliation is that you share the world view of the party you choose.
Clearly, at the county level, Republicans are worried about Glenn Beck's increasing hostility toward the two-party state. But there is another point I wanted to touch on here. Rothra continues:
This is true of local as well as state and national candidates, which is why Republicans get elected in this highly conservative area. People perceive Republicans to be conservative and Democrats to be liberal, whether or not the candidate agrees with their national party goals. [Emphasis added.]
How are we to understand this claim with respect to the introductory statement above? Arguing against the proposition that there is no difference between the Republican and Democratic Parties, Rothra implies that this is a mere appearance, as it were, that in reality there are significant differences between the Republican and Democratic Parties, and he thus points to their platforms. But then he goes on to state that the difference between actual Republicans and Democrats is also nothing more than an appearance: people perceive the Republican as conservative and the Democrat as liberal, whether or not this is true in the given instance. Yet the presupposition of the piece undermines this assertion. Ironically, many people no longer perceive Republicans and Democrats as opposed in this fashion, but rather correctly view them as a single functional unit, the aim of which is to do nothing more than maintain the political establishment's grip on all levers of power and representation. From this, we may conclude that the ideology of the two-party state has eroded the distinction between the real and the apparent to such an extent that the distinction itself is no longer apparent. The alchemical ideology of the two-party state transforms political thought into conspiracy theory. One theory circulating among duopolist Republican ideologues basically asserts that independent conservative activism does not exist, rather, what appears to be independent and third party conservative activism is actually a liberal Democratic attempt to destroy the GOP. I noted this theory yesterday, now it seems to be spreading in some quarters. Punk Rock Republican writes:
A move is afoot within the Democrat Party to foment a ‘Third Party Split’ within the Republican Party. A move to split the gullible away form the Party of Abraham Lincoln and turn them into unwitting Democrat Fellow Travelers. Its rallying cry is the utter nonsense that ‘There is really no difference between the two major parties.’ Talk radio is already full of callers spouting this nonsense.
Of course, I would never doubt the mendacity of Democrats or Republicans, as both are known to advocate third parties if the one perceives it will negatively affect the other. But it is absurd to assert that grassroots conservative activism is actually a Democratic Party astro-turfing campaign. The inability to draw a distinction between the conservative critique of the GOP and liberal Democratic duopolist strategy is yet another sign of political and intellectual exhaustion. Indeed, this is one more argument in favor of third party and independent activism. The Libertarian Blog makes the case for third party opportunism:
The idea of “fixing” the Republican party is absurd without having any real way to accomplish this. It is well and good to say that we should simply vote in real conservatives or freedom lovers or supporters of small government into the Republican party, thereby taking advantage of the party name, voter loyalty, resources, etc. to win an election. It is true that a third party has a massive uphill battle trying to win an election without those things. The problem is, the system that is in place does not offer any persons up for election that fit the bill of reforming the party. There is no motivation for the RNC to change its candidates or for the candidates themselves to change their ways without a threat that has teeth. Thus, it is as much a pipe dream that we can “fix” the major political parties without a real threat as it is that a third party will suddenly take over Washington. Part of the point of voting third party is to take votes away from the leadership that is bad. I refuse to waste my vote by not casting it, since that does not send a clear message, and I refuse to vote for the other major party simply to punish the other party since that sends a message of support to the opposing party. The only way to send a real message to our representatives is to vote for a candidate whose positions on the issues we actually like, taking votes from the party we want to fix. This process may take some time, but it is the only way to effect any real change. Anything else is an empty threat or a confusing message.

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