With Crist's Announcement, Movement Toward Political Independence is Finding Traction Up and Down the East Coast from Maine to Florida

As expected, Florida Governor Charlie Crist has declared his independence from the Republican Party, and indeed from party as such, having announced that he will continue his run for US Senate without a party affiliation, rather than fight his way through a GOP primary election that he was all but certain to lose to fellow career politician Marco Rubio. The New York Times report on Crist's announcement emphasizes the radical uncertainty that his independent bid will inject into the race, thwarting the Democratic-Republican duopolist narrative so beloved by the political class, their stenographers in the corporate press and their cheer-leaders in the independent media:
even the most experienced strategists here are uncertain about what to expect. Perhaps never before, they say, has there been a three-way Senate race in a major swing state, with each candidate well financed, and so much at stake in terms of the balance of power in Washington. The usual campaign script — with candidates playing to their base in the primary, then moving to the middle in the general election — aren’t relevant anymore.
Politifact breaks down the voter registration numbers in the Sunshine State:
Florida currently has slightly more than 11 million registered voters. Of them, 3.97 million are registered as Republicans (36 percent), and 4.62 million are registered as Democrats (42 percent). That leaves 2.47 million people that are registered as a member of a minor political party, or registered to vote with no party affiliation . . . You can see the registration statistics for yourself here . . .

The two major Independent parties -- the Independence Party of Florida, and the Independent Party of Florida -- make up 2 to 3 percent of all registered voters. The lion's share or non-Republican or Democrat voters are registered as no party affiliation (19 percent). . . . [the] threshold to win in November could be as low as 34 percent of the vote.
In his announcement Crist sounded a common theme among newly declared independents, and indeed, among Democrats and Republicans themselves, namely, that "our political system is broken." Likening the Republican and Democratic Parties to mere "clubs" and "clubs within clubs" he emphasized the importance of choice on the general election ballot. From TPM's transcription of the speech:
As someone who served the people in Florida more than 15 years, from the state Senate to the governor's mansion, I can confirm what most Floridians already know. Unfortunately our political system is broken . . . Now I could have chosen to stay in the primary, but frankly for me, it's your decision. It's not one club's decision or another, or even a club within that club. It is a decision too important, it is a decision for all the people of Florida to be able to make. And so that's why we go straight to November, we give you the chance to make that decision. It's your decision to make. Now I know, I know this is uncharted territory. I am aware of that. And I am aware that after this speech ends I don't have either party helping me.
Crist is right to emphasize the difficulty of his task. As Darcy G. Richardson writes in a piece surveying the history of third party and independent candidates for political office in Florida over the course of the twentieth century: it is a "hard road to success outside the major party system." Indeed, though the media will now portray the contest as a three-person race, there are in fact more than eight declared candidates in the contest aside from the stooges of the Democratic and Republican Parties. Among them are Libertarian Alex Snitker and Constitution Party candidate Bernie DeCastro. Snitker's candidacy is itself historically significant: he is "the first Libertarian to qualify for the US Senate ballot in the state's history" as reported at IPR. Decastro is vying for the state's conservative vote, arguing that Rubio's primary allegiance will be to party rather than the people or principle. From Sunshine News, via IPR:
DeCastro questioned Rubio’s conservative credentials. “Marco Rubio is just more of the same-an attorney, a professional politician and a lobbyist,” said DeCastro. “His allegiance is going to be to the party.”
Coincidentally, Crist was not the only candidate for elected office in the southeast to declare his independence from the GOP this week. In Georgia, Ray Boyd declared that he would wage an independent campaign for governor after refusing to sign the party's loyalty oath. From Politico:
Real estate magnate Ray Boyd, who had announced plans to run for governor of Georgia as a Republican, plans to proceed with an independent campaign after refusing to sign a GOP loyalty oath. Boyd had pledged to put $2 million of his own money into the race, and must now collect more than 51,000 signatures by July 13 in order to make it onto the ballot.

Tea Party Protesters Confronted By Riot Police, the True Face of Democratic-Republican Party Government

Numerous commentators are shocked today that riot police would be called in to confront a large group of protesters outside an event where the president was slated to speak. Via Memeorandum, Jim Hoft writes at Big Government: "Unreal . . . Unbelievable . . ." Of course, anyone who finds it "unreal" and "unbelievable" that peaceful protesters would be confronted by riot police is seriously out of touch with the realities of the surveillance society and national security police state that has been constructed in the United States over the course of recent decades. Militarized police units are the very face of Democratic-Republican Party government. Left Coast Rebel writes:
I wonder if we will be seeing more of this kind crackdown on Tea Party events? After scanning several stories, I sure as hell could not find an 'incident' that provoked authorities to the point of calling in riot police.
If there is any question here, it is the following: why hadn't we already seen such shows of force by the police at tea party protests? As I wrote last July in a post on a tea party protest that drew unwanted attention from local police:
Since many Tea Party organizers admit that they are new to the forms of protest they have begun to employ, it was only a matter of time before they realized that protesters are often not looked upon kindly by members of the law enforcement community, to put it mildly.
At political protests in the United States, the deployment of riot police to confront people exercising their constitutional rights is the rule rather than the exception. At future events, keep an ear out for the following announcement regarding your freedom of speech and assembly:
To those who remain, by order of the chief of police, I hereby declare this to be an unlawful assembly. I order all those assembled to immediately disperse, you must leave the immediate vicinity. If you do not disperse you may be arrested and/or subject to other police action.
In practice, such declarations are followed by the deployment of tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets, all on the tax payer's dime, of course.

If You Buy What the Democrats and Republicans are Peddling, You're Probably in the Market for a New Bridge as Well

In an article for the New York Times from 2005 reflecting on the history of an infamous New York con game, Gabriel Cohen summarized the plot of "Every Day's a Holiday," a comedy from 1937 featuring Mae West:
The year is 1899, and a saucy con artist named Peaches O'Day is trying to sell the Brooklyn Bridge. She succeeds, too, passing it off to a gullible fellow who pays her $200 and receives a bill of sale reading, "One bridge in good condition." As punishment, she is run out of town, but she returns in triumph, disguised in a black wig as the French entertainer Mademoiselle Fifi, and goes on to be elected mayor of the city.
If you're in the market for a new bridge, you might also be interested in what the Democrats and Republicans are peddling this year. Let's take but one easy example. Republican Congressman Eric Cantor writes at Big Government: "It's not the same GOP." He concludes his call to support the Republican Party with the following lines:
I am under no illusions – both parties have helped to create a debt that everyone knows is dangerously high. But only one of them is going to keep going down that path and taking our country with it. The other has learned its lesson and has reformed itself.
If Cantor is under no illusions, it seems he is counting on the fact that his readers are under at least one. Fortunately, not all Americans are gullible enough to fall for this particular con year after year. From a letter to the editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
If the Republican Party is this country's only hope for limiting government, then the country is doomed to ever-expanding government. The best that can be hoped is that Tea Party supporters are serious about voting against all incumbents, whether they are Democrats or Republicans. The country needs to throw out all incumbents at all levels in 2010.
Of course, nothing will be achieved by throwing out Democratic and Republican incumbents only to replace them with their Republican or Democratic analogues. At Veterans Today, Sherwood Ross quotes extensively from Lawrence Velvel to make the case for the urgency of third party opposition to the Democratic-Republican global warfare and corporate welfare state:
both parties are “incapable of doing the right thing. They are too beholden to big money—money is virtually all that our politicians care about,” writes Velvel, dean of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover. The political parties “have gotten too used to the ethically crooked, morally criminal ways of our system, (and) cannot even envision serious change in the political and electoral system.”
If you recognize Democratic-Republican Party government for the problem that it is, but nonetheless continue to vote Democrat or Republican, then you are the problem you seek to resolve. Fortunately, the solution to this problem is relatively simple: stop bailing out the two-party state, vote third party and independent.

Update: At Washington Monthly, Steve Benen comments on Cantor's article at Big Government, writing:
For voters who remember the last several years, it's awfully difficult to take the GOP seriously. The party that's running on a platform of fiscal responsibility was fiscally irresponsible. The party that's running on a platform of shrinking the size and scope of government grew the size and scope of government. The party that's running on a platform of competence, maturity, and integrity was incompetent, immature, and corrupt.
If Benen spent half as much time critically reflecting upon the hypocrisies of Democrats as he does those of Republicans, he might have to declare himself an independent. For those who remember the last several years, it's awfully difficult to take the Democrats seriously either. The party that ran against "Bush's war" has expanded it. The party that ran on openness and transparency continues to claim the privilege of secrecy. The party that ran against the erosion of rights and liberties continues to chisel away at them. The party that promised to combat the corrupting influence of lobbyists continues to endorse their proposals and accept their massive campaign contributions. The party that claims to fight for the interests of "the little guy" never fails to privilege the interests of multinational corporations. And so on. Support for the Democratic or Republican Party today appears to be predicated upon either willful ignorance or reckless irresponsibility or both. Or is it something else?

New "Tool" for Police is New Weapon Against the People: Libertarian and Green Parties Stand in Opposition to the Creeping Police State in Arizona

So long as the fourth amendment continues to be blatantly disregarded by the ruling political class, law enforcement officials and the public at large, no one in the United States is safe from the abuses of power and authority that result from the non-symmetrical relations of power inherent in all interactions between the people and the police, the individual and the government. Arguing in favor of Arizona's new immigration enforcement regime, supporters of the measure return to two main talking points: the new law is a "good tool" for law enforcement, and the new law "takes the handcuffs off of law enforcement" allowing them to "do their jobs." The sponsor of the State Senate bill, Russel Pearce, brought the two memes together in an interview with Greta Van Susteren, stating:
Enough is enough! We're a nation of laws. This doesn't change any -- all I've done, very simple, is I removed the handcuffs. Now, I've been in law enforcement most of my life, have two boys in law enforcement. I believe handcuffs are a great tool when they're on the right people. We're going to take them off law enforcement.
Of course, the apologists of the surveillance society and national security police state are always keen to obscure the real nature of their proposals. Every such new "tool" in the hands of law enforcement is, first and foremost, one more weapon that will be wielded against the people of the United States by the agents of their government. It is a tool of harassment and intimidation. Consider, for the sake of comparison, the uses to which the taser has been put by police since this new "tool" was put into the hands of law enforcement.

The Green Party and Libertarian Party have come out strongly against the new law. In a statement on its website, the Arizona Green Party decried the creation of an "apartheid state" in the American southwest:

The Green Party-US stands firmly for social justice for all those living in this country, regardless of their immigration status. Above all, policy and law must be humane. Anything less would be inconsistent with our Green Values, and with our nation's values. . . . The signing of Senate Bill 1070 has created an apartheid state here in Arizona. The Arizona Green Party (AZGP) will organize with others to help overturn this legislation.
Similarly, the Libertarian Party has taken a strong stance against the new law and the creeping police state. On Monday, the Executive Director of the LNC, Wes Benedict, warned against what we might call a "blame immigrants first" mentality. Numerous Libertarian Party officials and candidates for elected office in Arizona have also come out strongly against the law. At IPR on Sunday, I relayed a statement from an Arizona Libertarian candidate for nomination for governor, Bruce Olson, applauding the law in no uncertain terms, which quickly provoked staunchly critical comments from other Libertarians. Among them was Barry Hess, who is also seeking the Libertarian nomination for governor in the state. Hess wrote:
Bruce displays the thought process I see all the time in disgruntled Republicans. He makes it clear that he has no interest in forwarding the libertarian philosophy, but decided to ’sign up’ for easier ballot access.
I have since contacted two Libertarian candidates for US House in the Grand Canyon State, Nick Coons and Joe Cobb, to inquire as to their positions on the new law. Coons is running for Congress in Arizona’s 5th Congressional District. Queried via email, Mr. Coons writes that he "adamantly opposes" the new law, and that it “doesn’t address the problem, which is the lack of a reasonable legal immigration process." He concludes:
As a Libertarian, I adamantly oppose SB1070. Like most legislation, it doesn’t actually solve the problem and it causes a whole new set of problems that we’ll soon have to deal with.
I relayed Coons's response in full at Independent Political Report. Joe Cobb is the Libertarian candidate for US House in Arizona's 4th Congressional District and the Treasurer for the State Party. Contacted via email, Cobb states: "the recent law criminalizing Federally-undocumented residency in Arizona . . . is contrary to the prior rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court, which held such State laws as invalid." Cobb previously addressed this issue in his run for Congress in 2008, and holds that illegal immigration is effectively a "victimless crime". Cobb has written that the immigration issue is the very reason he is running for office:

I am running for Congress this year to change America’s immigration laws. Our congressman, Ed Pastor, has not done anything I can detect to solve this problem, which centrally affects Arizona’s 4th Congressional District.

We need to repeal the immigration quota system for workers who want to come to Arizona to get jobs and produce more services, more goods, and more prosperity for all of us.

The only thing “illegal” about “illegal immigration” is that it violates the racist quota system. Read my essay, “Surely, this is a victimless crime!”

Cobb notes parenthetically: "Actually, it is not a crime – not even a misdemeanor! It is a civil violation of Federal immigration laws."

On Socialism, Corporatism and Democratic-Republican Party Government: Of the Corporations, By the Corporations, For the Corporations

Partisan Republican propagandists of the corporatist two-party state and duopoly system of government continue to press their long-standing talking point that the Obama administration and Democratic-majority congress are on a steady "march toward socialism". In the last week, for instance, Newt Gingrich has offered an explanation for "How America became a secular-socialist-machine" in the Washington Post. In Commentary Magazine, Jonah Goldberg asks, "What kind of socialist is Barack Obama?" and concludes:
Still, the question remains, What do we call Obama’s “social-ism”? John Judis’s formulation—“liberal socialism”—is perfectly serviceable, and so is “social democracy” or, for that matter, simply “progressivism.” My own, perhaps too playful, suggestion would be neosocialism.
One might predict two potential unintended results of this rhetorical-political tactic: 1) supporters of the Democratic Party and the Obama administration may become more comfortable with the term itself, if not also more supportive of an explicit, aggressive socialist agenda; 2) opponents of the Democratic Party and the Obama administration may compare their policies and proposals with those of the Republican Party and draw the conclusion that the GOP is also to be rejected for its socialism. Glenn Beck, for instance, recently denounced George W. Bush for his progressivism. Via Think Progress and Memeorandum, Beck states:
What has [Obama] done that is different? I think he’s done exactly what George Bush was doing, except to the times of a thousand. I mean we’re talking about a progressive. And George Bush was a progressive. It’s the difference between a steam train and the space shuttle.
A recent post at the American Conservative argues that Barack Obama is the most socialist president since George W. Bush:
Barack Obama is the most socialist president in American history. Before Obama, George W. Bush was the most socialist president in American history. Before Dubya it was Bill Clinton, then Bush, Sr., Reagan, and so on . . . Conservatives who continue to make the case that Obama is worse than Bush are right, but that Rush and like-minded pundits and politicians still can’t find fault with the last socialist Republican president, is a pretty good indication as to what you can expect-and what they’ll tolerate-from the next one.
Of course, not all Republicans are in agreement with this take on socialism. Ron Paul, for instance, has consistently argued that, like those of the Republican Party, Democratic Party policies are more appropriately termed 'corporatist'. At the SRLC, Paul stated:
The question has been raised about whether or not our president is a socialist…. I am sure there are some people here who believe it. But in the technical sense, in the economic definition of a what a socialist is, no, he's not a socialist . . . He's a corporatist. And unfortunately we have corporatists inside the Republican party and that means you take care of corporations and corporations take over and run the country.
Paul elaborates on this position a bit more in a post today at Lew Rockwell on "Socialism vs. Corporatism." Interestingly, actual avowed Socialists would seem to agree with Paul's assessment. CNN recently interviewed Billy Wharton, co-chair of the Socialist Party USA, who stated that Obama "isn't even a liberal":
Wharton, co-chair of the Socialist Party USA . . . [has] seen people with bumper stickers and placards that call Obama a socialist, and he has a message for them: Obama isn't a socialist. He's not even a liberal. . . . Obama's opponents have long described him as a socialist. But what do actual socialists think about Obama? Not much, says Wharton. "He's the president whose main goal is to protect the wealth of the richest 5 percent of Americans." He and others say the assertion that Obama is a socialist is absurd.
In a recent interview with John Michael Spinelli of the Examiner, Socialist Party candidate for US Senate in Ohio, Dan La Botz, concurs, stating that the Obama administration has followed the Bush administration's lead in privileging the interests of multinational corporations over the interests of the people of the United States. I contacted Mr. La Botz by email, asking for his response to the claim that the Democrats are on a "march toward socialism." In his reply, Mr. La Botz writes, in part:
The Obama administration, which came to power in the midst of a severe economic crisis, has demonstrated that its principal preoccupation has been to save American capitalism, the banks and corporations. Billions of working peoples’ tax money has been redistributed to banks, insurance companies and corporations, but we have not gained any control over those institutions. On the contrary, they continue to exploit working people and to block the road to reform.
This excerpt, however, cannot do justice to Mr. La Botz's lengthy response, which I have published in full at Third Party and Independent Daily.

No More Bailouts for the Democratic and Republican Parties: Break Up the Corporate Bipoligarchy, Declare Your Independence

The Democratic and Republican Parties are too small to succeed: no more bailouts for the politically bankrupt. With the Senate poised to consider financial and banking reform, over a year and a half after a handful of politically connected multinational corporations successfully looted the US treasury with the help of their criminal co-conspirators in the leadership of the Democratic and Republican Parties, perhaps it is only appropriate to ask how long it will be before the people of the United States break up and dismantle the corporatist oligarchy that is the Democratic-Republican Party. The Democratic-Republican two-party state and duopoly system of government poses a systemic risk to constitutional government in the United States and represents a threat to individual rights, civil liberties and the rule of law.

Though the people of the United States continue to bail them out election after election, there is no sense in which the Democratic and Republican Parties are too big to fail, at least if we define success as facilitating representative, democratic-republican constitutional government. Indeed, in this regard, Democratic-Republican Party government is nothing less than a catastrophic failure. On the other hand, if success is defined as the reproduction and expansion of the global warfare and corporate welfare state, in conjunction with the ongoing centralization and monopolization of political power in the hands of the ruling political elite, not to mention the maintenance of the reactionary corporatist bipoligarchy that has become synonymous with Democratic-Republican Party government, – well, then the Democratic and Republican Parties are indeed too big to fail.

And this is why they need to be broken up and dismantled: they pose a grave, systemic risk to constitutional government, human rights, civil liberties and the rule of law. How different is the atmosphere of everyday Democratic-Republican politics from that which dominated the country at the height of the financial crisis? The professional propagandists of the Democratic and Republican Parties are always effectively in a state of hysterical overreaction, framing the opposition between one reactionary faction of the ruling corporatist elite and the other as that between life and death, good and evil, reason and insanity. Yet the result of Democratic-Republican Party government is always the same: the expansion of the global warfare and corporate welfare state, the further empowerment of the ruling political class, the trampling of rights and liberties for the rest of us.

It is long past time that the people of the United States cease bailing out the Democratic and Republican Parties, which are nothing more than the intellectually, morally and politically bankrupt organs of narrow corporatist interests. We must cease returning them to power election after election, cease donating hard-earned dollars to fill the slush-funds of the party committees and the campaign coffers of professional politicians, cease buying the cheap arguments sold to us by the hysterical propagandists in both the mainstream and independent media.

Today, political freedom and independence begins with freedom and independence from the Democratic and Republican Parties, from the politics of the two-party state and duopoly system of government. Support third party and independent alternatives to the reproduction of the status quo.

UK: Independent Network Supporting 47 Candidates in General Election

Earlier this month, in a post on independent political strategy, I profiled the UK's Independent Network, which aims to promote, support and facilitate the election of independent candidates to public office. This week, the group officially launched its campaign in the run-up to the general election next month. The BBC reports:
with the loosening of traditional party allegiances and widespread anger and disillusionment about the traditional parties, there is a growing hunger for MPs who are not beholden to party machines and the whipping system . . .

Mr Bell believes the time is now ripe for more independents - "If not now when?," he says in an open letter to independent candidates . . . The volatility of the electorate, as evidenced by the sudden surge in support for the Lib Dems, is a symptom of a "sickness in the body politic", he says at the network's campaign launch at the Frontline Club, a West London watering hole . . .

The Independent Network aims to provide credible independent candidates with the sort of support their big party rivals routinely expect from head office - although on a much smaller budget . . .

They are a disparate bunch. Some are disgruntled former members of other parties, others are entirely new to politics. All share an earnest sense of public duty . . .

Essentially, what the Independent Network is offering is a kind of "kite mark" for election candidates. It has no policies of its own, beyond being non-racist and non-discriminatory.

But the 47 men and women it has endorsed (on the strength of the 20 or so at the launch it is mainly men) have all been checked out and certified as being of "good character". The have also signed up to the "Bell Principles", which means they agree to the "spirit and letter" of the Nolan committee's standards in public life and to be "guided by considered evidence, their real world experience and expertise, their constituencies and their consciences".

Third Party and Independent Blogosphere Roundup

It's been a while since I've done a third party and independent blogosphere news and opinion roundup. To a great extent, this has been because I now relay those items in the Poli-Tea News Share or at Third Party and Independent Daily. However, there are so many interesting pieces out there today, some quick links and excerpts are in order:
Randy Miller, founder of the Utah League of Independent Voters, writes in a guest post for The Hankster: "The two parties in their successful quest to dominate elected positions and policy conversations, have established an accurate portrait of an out of touch aristocrcy with 2 factions. The independent paradigm that is taking shape today is both epic and historic. We are confronted with the task of completely changing the way we do politics and conduct elections. We are charged with returning to a government by and for the people.

• At Economy in Crisis, John Shriver argues that "the two-party system must go": "As the money flows, the two party system continues. It is time to change the status quo and it will be difficult to do. It is clear that neither party has the best interests of America at heart and it is time for change and to end the two party system. It is time to go with the individual instead of a party platform that does little to address the pressing issues of America."

• At Whiskey and Gunpowder, Nelson Hultberg, author of The Conservative Revolution: Why We Must Form a Third Party to Win It, argues that "America must be saved from the corporate statism" of the Democratic and Republican Parties.

Jay Henderson writes at Annuit Coeptis that the only wasted vote is a vote for a Democrat or a Republican: "If one thing should be crystal clear, it is this: The “wasted votes,” the votes which are “thrown away,” are those cast for Democrats and Republicans . . . If the major parties were running Satan and Beelzebub for office, would you vote for Beelzebub because he is “the lesser of two evils?” Not this citizen; if those are the choices, I’m a write-in for Jesus."

• At The Think 3 Institute, Sam Wilson considers the possibilities of a conservative-progressive alliance against the creeping national security state and global warfare state: "The good news about efforts to build antiwar coalitions across partisan and ideological lines is the truth they reveal about our political system. They pit people of the left and right against a "center" that pretends to be both at the same time and stages very convincing combats to prove the claim."

• BuelahMan's Redstate Revolt argues that it's "time to clean house": "until Americans stop voting for either of the two complicit corrupt and criminal “Parties”, we are nothing more than a dumb ole ping pong ball being hit back and forth . . . if we put the two ruling “parties” on the road by cleaning house; by swearing to NEVER VOTE FOR ANOTHER REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT, we could make change. Even if 50% of America did this, it would end the stranglehold."

The Democratic-Republican Two-Party State is Inimical to Representative Constitutional Government: Declare Your Independence

The extent to which the ideology of the two-party state warps and distorts the thinking of so many Americans is evident not only in the contradictions generated by duopoly ideology, but also, and more significantly, in the fact that these contradictions are often not even perceived as such. For instance, a recent post at Government is Not Your Daddy appropriates the worn out slogan that it is time to "take our country back" to argue in favor of supporting the Republican wing of the ruling political class. Consider the logic employed in its opening paragraphs:
If we truly want to take our country back, and restore it to the Republic that our founding fathers intended, we need to do it within the framework established by our founding fathers. That means we do it by voting. Voting alone is not sufficent, however. We need to get actively involved. Setting aside wishful thinking, and acknowledging the reality of our two-party system, if we want to effect change in our government, we need to control one of the two major parties.
So, the goal is to "restore the Republic intended by the founding fathers" but the immediate imperative is to infiltrate and gain control over one of the two major parties. The contradiction is readily apparent: representative, constitutional republican government cannot be achieved by means of the Republican and Democratic Parties because Democratic-Republican Party government and the political apparatus of the two-party state are literally at odds with, and actively undermine, any and all efforts toward representative, constitutional republican government. The reason for this is simple: the centralization and monopolization of political power in the hands of the Democratic and Republican Parties serves only to empower the narrow factional interests served by the Democratic and Republican Parties, namely, those of the ruling Democratic-Republican political class, and these interests are diametrically opposed to those of the people of the United States. At This Has Got to Stop, John Constitution comes to the same conclusion by means of a different argument. He writes that "voting out libs will not win our country back":
Those of us who wish to return our country to its constitutional roots have a lot of work ahead of us. We all understand the necessity of voting the libs (or socialists, communists, whatever your cup of tea) out in November and making certain that Obama is a one term president in 2012. But saving our nation from the Democrat Socialists in power right now and handing her over to the GOP is kind of like saving your prize laying hen from the wolf and returning her to the coyote for protection . . .

It seems obvious to me, the GOP is much more concerned with the status quo than they are with electing principled conservatives who will vote those principles rather than the party line. It seems obvious to me that the GOP wants to make sure that they will have the votes next time they want to pass a multi-trillion dollar unfunded entitlement or to write a check for a trillion dollars or so to bail out their friends . . .

The Republican Party is no more the friend of the Constitution than are Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. I do not include all Republicans in this statement, but what I am saying is definitely true of a large number of the Republicans who currently hold positions in the Senate and House of Representatives. The message here is caveat emptor! Buyer beware!

It is likely that anyone who seriously commits to critical reflection on the nature and history of the Democratic-Republican two-party state and duopoly system of government cannot help but conclude that it is a threat to Constitutional government, individual rights, liberties and the very rule of law. It is no wonder that John has declared his independence:

Today, April 22, 2010, I, John Constitution, signed my personal Declaration of Independence! I have been a registered Republican ever since I first registered to vote in 1972. For many years I voted along party lines and was always proud when a Republican was elected over a Democrat. But for quite a few years now, I have found myself voting for the Republican candidate, not because they represented my beliefs, but because they were the lesser of the two evils . . .

Today, I officially changed my voter registration from the Republican Party to the Constitution Party. That is what I meant when I said that I signed my personal Declaration of Independence today. I vow today, never again will I throw my vote away by voting for a candidate that does not represent my views. I vow today, never again to believe the lie that a vote for a third-party is a vote for the opposition. I know, if I’m the only one doing this, then my vote is truly wasted, but at least I will have voted my conscience. But, what if everyone did it?

That is certainly an interesting question. If everyone who voted for the lesser of two-evils between the Republicans and Democrats simply stayed home, how low would voter turnout be? We have already reached a point at which 54% voter turnout is considered high or heavy. If habitual lesser-evilists stayed home, one would be left only with die hard duopolist dead-enders. And what percentage of the eligible voting population do they constitute? 40%, 30%, 20%, 10%? On the other hand, if all eligible voters were to cast a ballot, but did so for the candidate who best reflected their views, is it not likely that the majority would vote for someone other than the Democrat and Republican in any given race? Today, political freedom and independence begins with freedom and independence from the Democratic and Republican Parties, from the tyranny of the two-party state and duopoly system of government. Vote third party and independent.

Poll: Half of All Americans Have Voted for an Independent Candidate

Rasmussen has just released the results of a survey that contained a number of questions inquiring as to respondents' views on third party and independent politics. A positive effect of Poli-Tea's "pressure the polls" action alert directed at Rasmussen? Not likely. The possibility that Charlie Crist may run for US Senate as an independent served as the report's lede. Among the findings:
Fifty percent (50%) of U.S. voters have voted for an independent candidate at least once in their life. Forty-one percent (41%) have not . . .

In March, 36.2% of Americans identified themselves as Democrats, while the number of Republicans inched up to 32.9%. The number of adults not affiliated with either major party dropped to 30.9% . . .

Only 32% of voters nationwide believe Republicans and Democrats are so much alike that an entirely new party is needed to represent the American people. That’s down three points from early February. Fifty-four percent (54%) disagree and say a third party is not needed . . .

Men feel more strongly than women that a new party is needed. Forty-two percent (42%) of voters 18 to 29 agree . . .

Roughly one-fourth of GOP and Democratic voters see a need for a new party. Among unaffiliated voters, 46% say a new party is needed, but 39% don’t share that assessment.

To reiterate: half of all voters say they have voted for an independent candidate; just over one-third identify themselves as Democrats; about one-third identify themselves as Republicans; and just under one-third desire an independent or third party alternative. Given the stability of this tripartite partisan breakdown, one wonders how much longer the myth of the 50/50 Democrat-Republican political and ideological divide will be able to dominate the thinking of commentators, analysts and everyday folks.

Democratic-Republican Party Government: Unnecessary Wars, Recession, Unconstitutional Legislation, Rampant Corruption etc.

How many more reasons to vote third party and independent do we really need? In an opinion column for the News Record, a student newspaper at the University of Cincinnati, Jeremy Davis argues in favor of supporting third party and independent candidates for office in the voting booth this November. Some choice excerpts:
We’ve given the Democrats and the Republicans more than enough chances to get it right. In return, they’ve given us numerous unnecessary wars, a recession, unconstitutional legislation that we didn’t want and a corrupt two-party system that ran its course long ago . . .

The monopoly that the Republicans and Democrats have over elections, both local and federal, is quite undemocratic. Those who choose to run as a third party have had to traditionally jump through so many hoops they’d be better off working for Cirque du Soleil rather than with the political clowns in office all around the country . . .

I’ve heard so many times that a vote for a third-party candidate or a candidate who isn’t thought of as viable is a wasted vote. More often I’ve heard that some will go and simply vote for someone they view as the “lesser of two evils.” I don’t accept that argument because if you’re voting for the “lesser of two evils,” you’re still voting for evil.

To me, voting for a candidate — even if they seem like they have no chance of winning — is not a wasted vote. A wasted vote is voting for someone simply because they’re not the other guy . . .

Its time the Republicans and Democrats get their wake up call and voting for a third party in this years’ elections is one of the most effective ways to do it.

When hypocrisy is the rule rather than the exception, does anyone really have any reason to vote Republican or Democrat?

Among the many manufactured political scandals over which the professional hysterics in the Democratic-Republican commentariat are hyperventilating today, one swirls around recent statements made by RNC Chairman Michael Steele, who said that African Americans "really don't have a reason" to vote Republican. The Chicago Sun Times reports:

Why should an African-American vote Republican? "You really don't have a reason to, to be honest -- we haven't done a very good job of really giving you one. True? True," Republican National Chairman Michael Steele told 200 DePaul University students Tuesday night.

Steele is, of course, entirely correct. Indeed, one might rather quibble that his statement is far too timid. Why should anyone vote Republican or Democrat for that matter? We really don't have any reason to, as the Democratic and Republican Parties represent, first and foremost, the interests of the ruling political class, which are diametrically opposed to the interests of the people of the United States. Consider, however, the response of Faiz Shakir at Think Progress to Steele's comments:
anytime Democrats make similar arguments, Steele is quick to accuse them of issuing “blind charges of racism, where none exist.” Steele himself claims not to “play the race card,” but in addition to his comments last night, he has said that he has a “slimmer margin for error” because of his race and that white Republicans are “scared” of him.
With this specimen of race-baiting duopolist gotcha politics, playing the race card in the guise of the partisan hypocrisy card, it is difficult to imagine a more concise demonstration of the inanity of Democratic-Republican Party politics. Shakir's response perfectly demonstrates how duopolist politics systematically avoids confrontation with the primary political problem facing the people of the United States, namely, the problem that is Democratic-Republican Party government. As the legions of professional propagandists for the Democratic and Republican Parties themselves demonstrate on a daily basis, hypocrisy is not the exception but rather the rule in the Democratic-Republican political class.

When you say you would vote for a "viable" third party or independent candidate, just what do you mean, exactly?

Among the greatest paradoxes to result from the ideology that sustains the two-party state is the fact that though a majority of the public reject both the Democratic and Republican Parties, refusing to identify themselves with the aims and ends of either, only a small fraction of that same public support third party and independent alternatives to the representatives of the ruling Democratic-Republican political establishment. While browsing the news yesterday for reports on the recent LibDem surge in the UK, I came across a video of John Cleese's "party political broadcast for the Liberal Democrats" from 1997 (via Robert Mackey). In the video, Cleese hones in on this precise paradox, effectively framing it as a constitutive but completely irrational element of the viability hurdle faced by all third party and independent candidates for political office. The comedian states:
People like our policies, so what's the problem? The problem comes because you like our policies. The polls show that half of you prefer LibDem policies and would vote for the Liberal Democrats if you thought we could win. Do you see the problem? Half of you prefer LibDem policies and would vote for the Liberal Democrats if you thought we could win.

That means if you did vote for us, we would win. Right? I mean, not just do well, but actually win. In fact, half the votes would give us the biggest landslide this century. We should be so lucky. So look, when you say that you would vote for us if we could win, I'm not being rude, but what do you mean, exactly?

UK's LibDem Surge Leads to Calls for Inclusion of Third Party and Independent Candidates in US Political Debates

In the run-up to the general election scheduled for early May in the United Kingdom, Nick Clegg, the leader of the UK's largest third party, the Liberal Democrats, has quickly become the most popular figure in British politics, having soundly defeated his rivals from the ruling duopoly parties in the first of three televised debates. The Guardian reports:
A week ago Clegg was in third place as the leader "campaigning best for the votes of people like you". Now he has leapfrogged his rivals to first place, on 33%, up 20 points. Cameron has dropped 14 points, from 40% to 26%. Brown is down four points, 22% to 18% today. Men are marginally more impressed by Clegg, and women still more impressed by Cameron, than on average.
As the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Clegg has been an outspoken critic of the ruling Labor-Conservative Party duopoly. Last August, I excerpted an op-ed he had published in the UK Independent arguing that "the duopoly that dominated British politics in the 20th century is dying on its feet." Clegg's sudden popularity has led to some noteworthy revelations of explicit bias against independent and third party political activism in the British media. In the Guardian, David Yelland writes that coverage of the third party Liberal Democrats has long been effectively "banned" in the British press:
At the Sun, we deliberately ignored the Lib Dems. The cosy pro-Cameron press may now be left floundering . . . in my five years editing the Sun I did not once meet a Lib Dem leader, even though I met Tony Blair, William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith on countless occasions. (Full disclosure: I have since met Nick Clegg.)

I remember in my first year asking if we staffed the Liberal Democrat conference. I was interested because as a student I'd been a founder member of the SDP. I was told we did not. We did not send a single reporter for fear of encouraging them . . .

It gets even worse. While it would be wrong to say the Lib Dems were banned from Murdoch's papers (indeed, the Times has a good record in this area), I would say from personal experience that they are often banned – except where the news is critical. They are the invisible party, purposely edged off the paper's pages and ignored. But it is worse than that, because it is not just the Murdoch press that is guilty of this. [Emphasis added.]

Clegg's surprise victory in the televised debate and subsequent bump in the polls has already begun to affect the political discourse on this side of the Atlantic. Writing in the Cap Times, a progressive news and opinion outlet based in Wisconsin, John Nichols argues that American political debates are "robbed of life and meaning by the exclusion of credible third party and independent contenders." An excerpt:

Unfortunately, as Jeff Cohen, the founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, notes, what made the British debate exciting -- the inclusion of an alternative voice -- is exactly what the two major parties in their U.S. and their media allies work so hard to prevent with debate commissions and ridiculous rules for who is and is not “credible.”

American political debates are robbed of life and meaning by the exclusion of credible independent and third-party contenders. This year’s campaigns for U.S. House and Senate seats, as well as for three dozen governorships around the country, will feature candidates from many parties and perspectives. Moderate Republicans such as former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee are mounting exciting independent campaigns. There’s talk that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist may exit the GOP and seek a Senate seat as an independent. Tea party activists are preparing third-party bids, as are Libertarians, Greens and others.

In Wisconsin, a state with a long third-party tradition, there are lots of rumblings this year. Cumberland City Councilman Rob Taylor is running for the U.S. Senate on the Constitution Party ticket, and the Greens are busily recruiting contenders. Perhaps most significantly, there been some buzz about the prospect that former Congressman Mark Neumann might switch from the Republican primary and run for governor as an independent. And the possibilities don’t end there. If we open our debates up, as Britain has begun to do, we’ll open up our politics. And that’s the best tonic for democracy.

Update: In a similar vein, Henry Olsen writes at the AEI Blog that American politicians should be paying very close attention to the Clegg phenomenon:

American pols should take notice. As I wrote recently in National Review, American polls and election results going back nearly 30 years have shown growing popular support for Independents with growing distrust of government. . . . If America’s broad electoral and demographic middle continues to feel unrepresented by both major parties, an enterprising politician can run and win as an Independent in 2012.

Democrats and Republicans Control 99% of Public Offices, but are Only Supported by 48% of the Public: Demand Alternatives

A new public opinion survey by the Pew Research Center finds public distrust of government and the ruling parties at all time highs. From the report's introduction:
A new Pew Research Center survey finds a perfect storm of conditions associated with distrust of government – a dismal economy, an unhappy public, bitter partisan-based backlash, and epic discontent with Congress and elected officials . . .

The public’s hostility toward government seems likely to be an important election issue favoring the Republicans this fall. However, the Democrats can take some solace in the fact that neither party can be confident that they have the advantage among such a disillusioned electorate. Favorable ratings for both major parties, as well as for Congress, have reached record lows while opposition to congressional incumbents, already approaching an all-time high, continues to climb.
The report devotes an entire section to the "Tea Party and Views of Government Overreach," which also relays the results to a question inquiring as to what group best reflects the views of the survey's respondents, offering a choice between the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, the Tea Party, the Green Party, "Some Other Group" or "None of These." The findings are worth pondering:

According to this poll, a majority of Americans refuse to identify with either the Democrats or Republicans, with only 48% of respondents stating that the Democratic or Republican Party best reflects their views! One is justified in wondering how many of these folks would go on to admit that the Democratic or Republican Party does not in fact reflect their views if they were pressed on the issue. Given that Democrats and Republicans control 99% of elected offices, but can only garner the explicit support of 48% of the population, it is no wonder that one finds an "epic discontent" among the public.

It is noteworthy that the Green Party was explicitly included in this selection of choices. Of late, most polling organizations that have ventured to gauge opinion relative to groups other than the Democrats and Republicans have not stepped beyond questions regarding the tea party, offering a choice of the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, the Tea Party or "some other group." Perhaps the Green Party was included simply as a gesture signaling political balance, as a third party alternative to the Democrats on the assumption that the Tea Party represents an independent alternative to the GOP. One might also question the inclusion of both "Some Other Group" and "None of These" for its redundancy.

Nonetheless, if we read those who identify with the Republican Party and the Tea Party as a single bloc, the overall breakdown into three ideological groups is quite familiar, with 31% in support of Democrats, 31% in support of a perceived conservative alternative to the Democrats (i.e. GOP or Tea Party) and 28% who identify with none of the named options, otherwise known as independents.

In related findings, respondents were more likely to agree with the statement that "the political system can work fine, it is the members that are the problem" (52%) rather than the assertion that "most members have good intentions, it's the political system that is broken" (38%). There is widespread agreement that elected officials are: not careful with the government's money (83%), influenced by special interest money (82%), concerned only about their careers (81%), unwilling to compromise (78%), and out of touch with regular people (76%).

Conclusion: Democrats and Republicans are rigidly ideological careerist elites, and profligate spenders of taxpayer dollars, who have been bought and paid for by the interest groups who benefit most from their policies. But the question remains: how much longer will Americans continue to support the Democratic-Republican two-party state and ruling criminal-political class?

OH: Political Freedom of Choice Promises the Possibility of Freedom From Democratic-Republican Party Government

This year, voters in Ohio may be surprised by the choices afforded them on their primary and general election ballots, as six parties have qualified for ballot access this November. Back in January, John Michael Spinelli reported on the state's new ballot access regime at the Examiner, writing:
The Republican and Democratic Parties in Ohio will no longer have a lock on access to the ballot now that state election officials, making good on a court decision in the fall of 2006 that found the laws for political party formation and ballot access were unconstitutional, have enabled candidates running under the party name of Libertarian, Green, Socialist and Constitutional to join in the fun that is our representative system of government.

The good news for these outsider parties came in a state directive to all 88 county Boards of Election (BOE) that given that the General Assembly has not yet enacted a new ballot access statute following the September 6, 2006 court decision, and given the high likelihood of success on the merits of any new lawsuit to obtain ballot access, they are "hereby instructed to continue to recognize these political parties and to grant candidates of these political parties ballot access in the 2010 election cycle."
There are now four declared candidates for governor, including Green Dennis Spisak and Libertarian Ken Matesz. The most crowded race at this point appears to be the US Senate contest to replace Republican George Voinovich, who is retiring this year. Aside from the stooges of the Democratic-Republican political establishment, voters will choose from a wide array of candidates, including Eric Deaton of the Constitution Party, Socialist Party candidate Dan Labotz, and five independent candidates for the office, among them Stephen Lahanas, whose articles I have excerpted here at Poli-Tea before. (See Politics1 - Ohio, for a complete listing.)

Needless to say, many Ohioans are quite pleased that an unconstitutional law, once supported by the ruling Democratic-Republican political establishment, will no longer force them to choose between the lesser and greater of the two admitted evils that constitute the Democratic-Republican two-party state. At Veterans Today, Robert Hanafin profiles the Green, Libertarian, Constitution and Socialist Parties of the Buckeye State, in an article that asks: "Is the two-party system doomed?" Hanafin writes in part:
Since neither established political party has been able (or willing) to get us out of Iraq or Afghanistan except for lip service, promises, and more deceit, I’ve dreamed of the demise of two party political control over the American political system, because I see that having a multi-party system would be preferable to the one party dominance that the two party system represents.

For example here in Ohio, at least until NOW, the only way a third party or independent minded candidate (one not blessed by the Ohio state Democratic or Republican party apparatus) could get on the ballot was by running as lets say a Libertarian/Republican or Green or Socialist running as a Democrat. Now finally a slew of independent candidates from Tea Baggers to Socialist have gotten enough signatures to break dual party hold over the ballot box . . .

In Ohio for the longest or first time that I can remember, now that I’ve lost interest in supporting any of the two party candidates, because I can tell little difference between them, I’m thrilled to see the emergence of more than two parties making it on the ballot. My wife and I have not decided yet which party or candidate to support (well really candidate) but it will not be a Democrat or Republican nor some yahoo running as a Dem or Repub claiming to be an independent. We now have from the Independent, Socialist, Constitutional, Libertarian, Green, Democrat, and Republican parties to choose from . . .

Suffice it to say, at least from Ohio, I feel a warm and fuzzy that not only do I now have freedom of political choice, I’m finally seeing more than one flavor to register as. I for one plan on registering either as an Independent or Socialist. Socialist some of my former conservative friends would say, how could a retired military officer even think that way.

When all is said and done I am not arrogant enough to tell anyone how to VOTE, but only to ask our readers to VOTE SMART regardless if you endorse or worship the status quo of the two party system or are a anti-incumbent like me.
Political freedom and independence today begins with freedom and independence from the Democratic and Republican Parties. Vote third party and independent.

Liberty Ticker: Democratic-Republican Ballot Access Regime Rigged to Reproduce the Status Quo

The Liberty Ticker is a new blog, begun just last month to keep tabs on "liberty candidates" for office, including "libertarian, constitutional, third party and independent" political hopefuls. One might quibble, however, with the Ticker's underlying presupposition that individual representatives of the Republican and Democratic Parties can legitimately be said to stand for liberty as they literally stand for the tyranny that is Democratic-Republican Party government. Nonetheless, the Ticker seems to recognize this as well, judging from a recent post calling for reform of the ruling Democratic-Republican ballot access regime, entitled: "Legalized Monopoly: Ballot Access Laws in America." Some excerpts:
Incumbent elected officials, in the guise of Republicans and Democrats, have managed to secure a monopoly on our political process. Their access to less stringent ballot restrictions, a friendly bureaucracy, and favorable court decisions has created a situation where independent or minor party candidates have an institutional disadvantage in politics which subverts the concept of democracy in our society . . .

Beyond the mechanics of the bias in our political system toward the two major parties, there is a substantial bias in implementation of election law . . .

There is a substantial bias in favor of the major political parties in the American court system . . .

Our current conception of ballot access law is antithetical to the concept of democracy. True self-rule is not found in the victors curtailing the options of the electorate. Instead, we find only the silencing of minority parties and independent candidates, who are largely excluded through such coercive measures.
Read the whole thing for supporting arguments and individual examples from a number of states.

FL: Tea Party and Whig Party Challenge Democrat-Republican Rule in the Sunshine State

Given this week's tax day tea party protests, it is worth reiterating that any movement intent on fostering constitutional representative government is doomed to failure if it works within the confines established by the Democratic-Republican two-party state and ruling political class. Like untold numbers of anti-war activists during the Bush administration, many in the tea party movement have, unfortunately, been duped by the propagandists of lesser-evilism in the corporate media and the major parties. However, others nonetheless recognize that Democratic-Republican Party government is a threat to representative constitutional government, the principles of republicanism and the imperatives of democracy. As Jack Kenny writes for the New American, the two-party system is a "big government con-game." Recognition of this simple fact informs the efforts of two new third party opposition movements in the state of Florida.

The Ledger profiles Doug Guetzloe, a consultant and strategist for the new Tea Party of Florida, which has recruited its first candidate, Peg Dunmire, to challenge Democrat Alan Grayson in the state's 8th Congressional District. From the Ledger:

The Tea Party, which recently opened an office in downtown Orlando, just recruited its first congressional candidate. Peg Dunmire is challening U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, in the state's 8th Congressional District, which includes parts of Orange, Lake and Osceola counties, the theme parks and Lake Buena Vista, and the community of Celebration. Dunmire is running on a platform of scaling back on the reach of the federal government and eliminating the budget deficit – a platform that Guetzloe thinks could send her to Washington.

“If you look at the district, it's 41 percent registered Democrats and 38 percent registered Republicans,” Guetzloe said. “You've got a significant amount of non-party voters.” . . .

Between the Democrats being on the defensive about the soaring budget deficit and high jobless rate, and the GOP still trying to explain why spending rose so quickly under their own watch, Guetzloe says a third party has a better chance today than at any time since 1860 . . .

The Florida Whig Party hopes to capitalize on this situation as well, which is running six candidates for congressional and county offices. Craig Porter, who is running for Congress in Florida's 25th CD recently became the first Whig to qualify for federal office in over 150 years. From the party's press release:

Craig Porter filed on Monday as the first Whig to qualify for federal office since the 1850s. Mr. Porter, 49, is a contractor, lifetime resident of Miami, is married and the father of three children. With over 25 years of business management and ownership experience, community involvement, and a man who has the core values of “We the People” where principles come before a political party, the Florida Whig Party Executive Board welcomes the leadership and fortitude that Craig Porter brings to the Florida Whig Party, the State of Florida, and the 25th Congressional District.

There is no lack of third party and independent alternatives to the stooges of the Democratic and Republican Parties in the Sunshine State this year. Politics1 lists over 40 third party and independent candidates for governor, Senate and Congress in Florida this year, including Libertarians, Greens, Socialists and numerous independents.

The Failure of Political Representation is the Success of Democratic-Republican Party Government

One of the most common criticisms of Democratic-Republican Party government states that our political system is broken, that the Democratic and Republican Parties are incapable of adequately representing the interests of the American people, that the two-party state has been captured by entrenched factional interests, that the Democratic and Republican Parties are more concerned with expanding their power than reigning in the rampant abuses of power to which we have become accustomed from the Democratic and Republican Parties. But, arguably, this critique is fundamentally misguided because it is based on a misapprehension of the system's function, aims and goals.

The fact that the Democratic-Republican two-party state does not represent the interests of the American people, but rather those of well-connected corporatists and interest groups, the fact that Democratic-Republican Party government aims first and foremost at the centralization and monopolization of political power in the hands of the parties and their functionaries and hence seeks always and everywhere to expand rather than limit the power and reach of government authority – this is not evidence of the failure of the Democratic-Republican two-party state and duopoly system of government, rather, this is evidence of its success. This is not evidence that the political system is broken, it is a well-oiled machine and this is how it has been constructed to function: to the benefit of the ruling criminal-political class.

Consider in this context the language that has come to dominate the debates between the gubernatorial hopefuls in Massachusetts. Independent Tim Cahill argues that the two-party system is broken because it exists only to advance the interests of the parties. From the Boston Globe:
Timothy P. Cahill, the state treasurer who won office as a Democrat and is running for governor as an independent, reached out to voters of all stripes yesterday in a live chat on Boston.com, defending his decision to run as a fiscally conservative independent instead of a libertarian or Republican.

“I am running as an Independent because I believe that the two-party system is broken. I don’t think either party has a monopoly on good ideas,’’ he wrote. “I am looking to do what’s best for the people of this state, not advance the tired agenda of a political party.’’
Interestingly, at a recent forum featuring Republican gubernatorial front-runners Christy Mihos and Charles Baker effectively agreed with Cahill's assessment:

"Charlie Baker and I are gonna work to rebuild this party and the two-party system," Mihos concluded. "The first thing is to stop spending money we don't have," said Baker in closing

One hears this sort of rhetoric from Republicans and Democrats all the time: "our political system is broken, but we will fix it." The ironic thing, of course, is that Republicans and Democrats are the problem; and so, by definition, their election represents either the reproduction or exacerbation of that problem. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to the problem represented by the Democratic-Republican two-party state: vote third party and independent.

Poll: Less than 50% of Americans Support the Democratic-Republican Two-Party State and Duopoly System of Government

The recent NYT/CBS poll comparing the opinions of tea party activists with those of the general public asked respondents whether they agree with those who support third party and independent alternatives to the ruling Democratic-Republican two-party state. 46% of all respondents answered in the affirmative, compared with 40% of tea partisans. The poll inquired:
Some people say the country needs a third political party – a new party to compete with the Democratic and Republican parties. Do you agree or disagree?

Tea Party: Agree 40%, Disagree 52%, Don't Know 8%
General: Agree 46%, Disagree 48%, Don't Know 6%
To reiterate: among the general public, only 48% of those surveyed support the Democratic-Republican two-party state and duopoly system of government. Taken together, the Democratic and Republican Parties do not garner the support of a majority of Americans, but they control 99% of elected offices! Is it any wonder that more Americans choose not to vote than vote for Democrats or Republicans, for the corporatist oligarchy that they represent, for the continued empowerment of the ruling criminal-political class?

While the propagandists of the Democratic and Republican Parties, in conjunction with the corporate media, seek to persuade us that roughly half of Americans support Democrats while the other half support Republicans – according to the myth of the so-called Red State-Blue State divide –, in reality, only about 50% of the public supports the Republican or Democratic Party, while roughly 50% desire something other than the dictatorship of Democratic-Republican Party government.

The only wasted vote is a vote for a Democrat or a Republican. Political freedom and independence today begins with freedom and independence from the Democratic and Republican Parties. Support alternatives, vote third party and independent.

The Two-Party System is a "Catastrophic Failure"

From a letter to the editor of the Lawrence Journal (KS), via TPID:
In an April 11 editorial, the Lawrence Journal-World states that “a strong two-party system may be considered the backbone of American democracy.” The two-party system is not called out in the Constitution, and there is no evidence that it is the backbone of anything. The truth is both Republican and Democratic policies have been catastrophic failures for American democracy. A responsive and accountable government requires a variety of viewpoints and participation by several entities — not two.
A better option is a multi-party system that results in true compromise and coalitions that represent voter interests more effectively. It is telling that while the two major parties have been losing voters, Libertarian Party registration has held steady. The current movement of voters to the independent rolls does not show they are upset with the lack of bipartisanship; it shows they are upset with the system itself.

What are the odds of an independent sweep in the northeast?

In the northeast, three prominent and promising independent candidates for governor continue to attract the attention of commentators who recognize the latent power of those who have declared their independence from the two-party state and the politics of the Democratic-Republican political class. In the Providence Journal, Froma Harrop reflects on the regional trend in a profile of Chafee's candidacy in Rhode Island:

They make less of a ruckus than the Tea Party people, but independents in New England are brewing their own revolution. Third-party governors may have been elected elsewhere -- Walter Hickel in Alaska (1990) and Jesse Ventura in Minnesota (1998) -- but in New England, such candidacies have become almost routine.

Independents are making credible runs for governor in Massachusetts, Maine and Rhode Island. The strongest contender, Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee, is a former U.S. senator and former Republican. Polls show Chafee comfortably ahead of his likely Democratic and Republican rivals.

This regional trend preceded the Tea Party phenomenon. The U.S. Senate's two independents are Connecticut's Joe Lieberman and Vermont's Bernie Sanders, both of whom caucus with Democrats. Connecticut's former governor, Lowell Weicker, had been a Republican-turned-independent. And if elected, Eliot Cutler would be Maine's third independent governor . . .

The third independent running for governor is state Treasurer Tim Cahill in Massachusetts. He and Cutler were Democrats. A recent Rasmussen poll shows Cahill with 23 percent support, putting him a reasonably close third behind incumbent Democrat Deval Patrick's 35 percent and Republican Charles Baker's 27 percent.

The Boortz Affair: Libertarian Politics and the Evils of Democratic-Republican Party Government

Unless you're a fan or a connoisseur of talk radio, you are probably not very familiar with Neal Boortz. Though he holds a number of Libertarian-leaning positions, the radio entertainer and political commentator is a staunch supporter of the global warfare state who allies himself with conservative Republicans, justified on the basis of a misguided analysis of Democratic-Republican Party politics. On April 2nd, Boortz announced that, though he is a Libertarian, he is against any and all advocacy of third party politics. Boortz stance is conditioned by his hysterical embrace of lesser-evilism:
I'm a Libertarian. I'm a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party. I've voted for Libertarian candidates on the federal and local level for the past 15 years. Now what I'm going to say here is going to earn no small amount of rage from fellow Libertarian Party members . . .

I believe with every fiber of my being that the survival of our Republic is dependent on removing as many members of the Democrat Party from the Congress as possible. The Party of Big Government must be removed from power. I'm not at all confident that America could survive another two years of Democratic control. This means that we must say no to third party movements. No doubt, the Republicans have been a huge disappointment. They vastly expanded government size and spending during the years they ran the show. They promised to get rid of the Department of Education. Instead, they doubled it's size. Not good. The Republicans say they've learned their lesson. Have they? Don't know. What I do know is that the Democrats are hell-bent on destroying economic liberty in this country.
Boortz was right in thinking that Libertarians would not be pleased with his capitulation to the logic that sustains the Democratic-Republican political establishment, the two-party state and duopoly system of government. Many Libertarians have long been uncomfortable with Boortz's positions relating to both foreign and domestic policy, see for instance the Boot Bortz Blog, which was maintained throughout 2003 and 2004 in opposition to Boortz's scheduled appearance at the 2004 Libertarian Party national convention.

Boortz was also scheduled to speak at this year's Libertarian convention. On April 5th, three days after Boortz stated his opposition to third party advocacy and his reactionary embrace of duopoly ideology, the Libertarian Party announced that Boortz would be moved from his scheduled speaking slot. From the LP Blog, via Independent Political Report:
Our speaker lineup continues to evolve and is always subject to change. One recent change is that Neal Boortz has been moved from the Sunday evening banquet dinner speaker position. We do expect Mr. Boortz to speak in a different time slot.
Five days later, a press release from the Libertarian Party of Texas announced that Boortz had in fact been removed from the speaker's lineup. From Independent Political Report:

Syndicated radio talk show host Neal Boortz, a Libertarian Party member, has been uninvited as a speaker to the Libertarian Party’s national convention in St Louis the weekend of May 28 -31. Boortz stated on April 2 that voters should not support third parties in the 2010 and 2012 elections in order to get Republicans elected.

Boortz had been a regular national convention speaker for the Libertarian Party through the 2004 convention in his home city of Atlanta. In 2008 he cancelled his appearance shortly before the convention to schedule some medical treatment. When the Libertarian Party removed him from the 2010 convention schedule due to his recent comments, Boortz removed himself again claiming he had medical treatment scheduled. [Emphasis added. Rumor has it that Boortz used the same excuse to get out of serving in Vietnam. -d.]

“We do not need an unreliable and reluctant individual promoting the Republican Party to be given a speaking slot at our convention” said Texas state chair and national party committee member Pat Dixon. “We will have a great convention in St Louis and continue to offer voters a choice that neither the Republicans nor Democrats offer.” . . . .

Dixon concluded “Neal Boortz has a very entertaining show has has been a great supporter of our party. Of course we respect anyone’s decision to support the candidates or party of their choice. We also get to choose who speaks at our convention, and at this time Neal is not a good choice.”

Incidentally, it is worth noting that aside from a few warfare statist Republican Party trolls, the response in the comment thread at IPR is overwhelmingly in favor of Boortz's removal from the speaker's lineup. Yesterday, however, Boortz defensively emphasized that he withdrew from the speaking position and was in no way "removed" from the event, stating in reference to the press release at Independent Political Report:

Sorry Mr. Butler, but you have this a bit wrong. Last week I instructed Belinda to inform the Libertarian Party that I would be unable to keep this speaking engagement for personal reasons." According to Butler The Libertarian Party "removed me" from the schedule because of comments I made regarding voting for a 3rd party this November. Whatever, Mr. Butler. If you want to say that I was "booted" from the schedule, have at it. It's your credibility that suffers, not mine.

Boortz also reiterated the logic that motivates his support for the Republican wing of the professional political class and ruling establishment, but attempted to salvage his reputation among Libertarians with an addendum:

We cannot afford a 3rd party effort this year if it is going to leave one single Democrat in office who otherwise might have been removed. I still plan to vote Libertarian in local elections

Next he'll be telling us that some of his best friends are Libertarians! Nonetheless, Boortz has done a service in providing such a succinct articulation of the reactionary political practice that is lesser-evilism. His support for the Republican wing of the ruling corporatist party is not predicated on support for the Republican wing of the ruling corporatist party – indeed, he admits that Republicans cannot be trusted either –, but rather on rejection of the Democratic wing of the ruling corporatist party. So long as American voters continue to allow themselves to be manipulated by the imaginary calculus of the greater and lesser evil that is Democratic-Republican Party politics, we will never be free of the evil that is Democratic-Republican Party government.

Taking Our Country Back from the Democratic-Republican Party and Ruling Political Class

Over the past ten years, one of the most common political slogans employed by the supporters of the ruling parties exclaims that it is time to "take back" the country, or the levers of power, or the party itself. During the Bush administration and Republican majority Congress, the rallying cry of liberal Democrats was that it is time to "take our country back from theocrats, neocons and fascist Republicans." Under the Obama administration and Democratic majority Congress, the rallying cry of conservative Republicans is now that it is time to "take our country back from radical leftists, socialists and fascist Democrats." Isn't it about time that the people of the United States finally stand up to "take our country" back from Democrats and Republicans, from the inane politics of the ruling parties and political class, from the corporate oligarchy that they perpetuate and the coalitions of reactionary activists that support them?

In this context, consider two recent articles, one by a conservative leaning independent candidate for governor of Colorado, the other from a Libertarian activist based on Florida. At the Tenth Amendment Center, independent candidate for governor of Colorado, Rich Hand, writes "Independent Thinkers Needed":

There are 1,078,896 Colorado residents that have chosen to be unaffiliated voters. Compared to people that have chosen the Democratic Party, 1,058,785 and 1,048,669 in the Republican Party. The Unaffiliated voter group is bigger than either party. These statistics from the Secretary of State’s office tell a story that must be told. We need to ask ourselves as voters why we continue to invest our votes in a party when we have chosen not to associate with that same party organization. This year I am doing my part to represent the unaffiliated voter; the largest group of voters in Colorado.

This is NOT a third party movement; it is a movement to elect candidates that are not tied to the special interests of either party. In the traditions of one of the greatest political thinkers of all time, Thomas Jefferson, I am reaching out to individual voters of every party to stand as Coloradans against the tyranny of an out of control federal government. We must rally around our founding principles and stop the division fueled by our party system.

At Libertarian Viewpoint, a site dedicated to forwarding liberty and Libertarianism in opposition to "our current two-party system," Jonathan Raof takes a similar rhetorical tack, arguing that the rise in independent voters and increasing calls for alternatives to Democratic-Republican Party government is evidence not of a "third party movement" but rather a "third option movement." Via Third Party and Independent Daily Raof writes:

people are starting to dismiss the Political Party system and turn to a Unique Grassroots system. This Unique grassroots movement is one driven by the politics of a community; it implies that the creation of the movement and the electorate supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between themselves and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures . . . people are dismissing the Party Name, the silly Cliches, and becoming one common Electorate in search of one common goal, Liberty . . . elections are starting to finally be about the electorate, not the Party, or the Establishment entirely . . .

What is going on in the Status Quo is NOT a Third Party movement, but a Third Option Movement, and it has never been more robust. Candidates realize they cannot engage in the typical, mundane campaign – a campaign in which candidates feel they are guaranteed their base and a percentage of undecided voters; in which candidates can no longer exploit voter ignorance; in which candidates are accountable to their word; in which candidates are called out on a campaign of rhetoric. This phenomenon is the future of the political pseudo-game.

Perhaps the people of the United States would only ever support what is in effect a third party movement if they believed that it was not in effect a third party movement. After all, Americans have long supported a political establishment that is overtly hostile to constitutional republicanism and popular democracy but calls itself Democratic and Republican. On the other hand, once the people of the United States recognize, en masse, the folly of continuing to support the Democratic and Republican Parties in any way, shape or form, and begin to vote for superior alternatives to the stooges of the ruling political class, it is none other than the Democratic and Republican Parties that will be dismissed as the lunatic, fringe, third party groups that they are.