Content in their Chains, Partisans of the Two-Party State Oppose Liberation from the Ideological Prison that is Democratic-Republican Politics

In recent weeks, there have been a number of calls for third party and independent activism geared toward building a moderate or centrist opposition to the Democratic-Republican two-party state and duopoly system of government. Upon announcing his retirement from the Senate, Evan Bayh suggested that the current state of Democratic-Republican politics has created an opening for independent and third party contenders for public office. Reflecting on Bayh's announcement in an op-ed for the New York Times, independent candidate for governor of Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee wrote:
I can certainly understand Senator Bayh’s remarkable decision to leave, but I also suspect that he’s not willing to give up on Washington. When he suggested recently that a third party could be a viable contender for the White House in 2012, my first thought was that he was focused on a future as an independent — and the exciting new avenues for public service it offers.

In 2001, John Zogby, the pollster, told our Republican caucus, “There is a burgeoning centrist third party waiting to be formed.” Either party could make a strategic decision to capture the center, he said, or both could wait for a third party to fill the vacuum. . . . I say to Senator Bayh: Welcome to the club of independents who are looking for a better way to serve. Before long, we centrists may even come together to define the third party that Mr. Zogby foresaw in 2001.

Two days later, the Independence Party of Minnesota called on New York's independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg to seriously consider running for president in 2012 as an independent:

Jack Uldrich, chairman of the Minnesota Independence Party, has issued a formal call for the Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent mayor to "give serious consideration" to a White House run. "The two-party system has catastrophically failed America," Uldrich said. "America needs a serious, credible independent to right our sinking ship and get it back on track to a prosperous future."

Whether it comes from Lincoln Chafee, Michael Bloomberg or (speculation about) Evan Bayh, all this 'What America Really Needs Is a Third Party' talk of late is hooey. Absolute hooey.

In the rambling article that follows, Bohrer appears to forward the absurd argument that what America really needs is more politicians who are willing to support the reproduction of the Democratic-Republican global warfare and corporate welfare state on the Democrats' terms. Similarly, Born Again Redneck highlights a post from Mark Schmitt at the American Prospect asserting that independent politics is nothing more than a fantasy that "protects the status quo." Schmitt concludes:

Because the independence projects fade so fast, the idea never quite goes away. It's always available as an imaginary alternative to the actual political choices before us. As the intense battles over direction of the country in the Obama era heat up, expect more of these well-financed gestures toward yet another independent alternative. Make no mistake -- they are not a path to new politics but consistently a reinforcement of the old.

As independents continue to organize against the two-party political status quo, we should expect to see more attacks against them from partisans of the Democratic-Republican two-party state and duopoly system of government. Moreover, we should expect to see attacks in this precise vein, arguing that the Democratic-Republican two-party state is the absolute horizon of all political reality, that the Democratic-Republican two-party system will exist in its present form until the end of time, that consideration of alternatives to the dictatorship of the Democratic-Republican Party is nothing more than fantasy, that we are and will always be the prisoners of the ruling Democratic-Republican political class.

The partisans of the Democratic-Republican two-party state and duopoly system of government are the ideological prison guards of the political process, who seek to convince us that all attempts at liberation are futile. In an interview with a reporter for the Providence Journal, the new chair of Rhode Island's Moderate Party, Robert Clark Corrente, argues against this precise mindset because it creates an "atmosphere of inevitability" that suffocates our politics. Comparing independent with third party strategy, he states that both are needed now more than ever, but makes a strong case for the latter over the former:

It needs to get done, Corrente said, because single-party rule is not healthy for Rhode Island. The biggest problem is that single-party dominance creates “an atmosphere of inevitability” in which people figure it’s not worth running for office, getting involved in politics or even voting because the outcome is inevitable, he said. “And as soon as that culture of inevitability sets in it necessarily creates just an enormous amount of apathy.” . . . Corrente said independent candidacies offer one alternative, and he has “a lot of respect for” former U.S. Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee . . .

But, Corrente said, “By definition every independent candidate is a one-and-done. You run and you either win or lose, but you don’t leave anything behind. You don’t leave any foundation, any structure behind for the next person to build on.”

So he’s putting his oar in the water to help launch a new party. “Where is it written in stone that there can only be two parties?” Corrente asked, arguing that the country contains a greater degree of political diversity than that. “You have people all over the spectrum on every possible issue and what do we have for political choices? We have this binary system. You are either a Democrat or a Republican. You can only be blue or red.” . . .

So he’s hoping the Moderate Party “will grow into the force which will allow these people with new and different ideas to coalesce into a credible and viable party.”

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