The Difference Between Two-Party Politics and the Politics of Independence

It is a veritable cliche that Democratic-Republican party politics long ago degenerated into a charade in which the major party candidates and their surrogates traffic and trade in nothing more than substance-less soundbites and prefabricated talking points.  And, of course, the drones in the corporate media eat up the bullshit shoveled by these campaigns and spoon-feed it to a more or less unwilling public.  In order to differentiate themselves from their Democratic and Republican opponents, third party and independent candidates are effectively forced to engage in substantive policy discussions and debates.  Ironically, it is probably for this very reason that third party and independent candidates are not taken seriously by the mainstream media and a significant number of voters.  The opposition between the politics of the two-party state and the politics of independence could not be more clear than it is in the race for US Senate in Connecticut.  The Hartford Courant has begun to notice the difference:

Republican Linda McMahon and Democrat Richard Blumenthal are waging an ugly, multimillion-dollar battle for a seat in the U.S. Senate, but lost amid the noise and heat generated by that contest are the political ambitions of three other candidates.

John Mertens and Warren Mosler are each affiliated with minor parties; write-in candidate Brian K. Hill is running on his own. Yet each man has devoted a considerable amount of time to his quest. Mosler and Hill have invested thousands of their own dollars as well.

Instead of snappy sound bites and glitzy ads, Mertens and Mosler have websites packed with position papers. While the sniping between Blumenthal and McMahon has focused on character and personality, Mertens and Mosler favor wonkish assessments of monetary policy or arcane discussions about the politics of cellulose-based ethanol production.
John Mertens recently received endorsements from Connecticut Citizens for Ballot Initiative and Christina Tobin, the Chair and Founder of Free and Equal.  Check in at John Mertens for US Senate.

No comments: