The Third-Party Deficit

I haven’t written about politics for a while because it’s just too depressing.  Now that the recent primary results make it increasingly look like we are in fact going to see an election in which Hillary Clinton leads the Democratic ticket and Donald Trump carries the Republican banner, I can only ask, where the hell are the viable third-party options?

deez-nutsWith choices like those that apparently are going to be provided by the two major parties, you’d think this might be the year when America starts to look more like Europe, and third parties could fill the awesome void that now looms before us.  Well, forget it.  There’s no sign that any one of those down-ballot parties that you see on your presidential ballot every fourth November — the Libertarian Party, the Green Party, the Constitution Party, etc. — has been taking advantage of the opportunity that 2016 presents by raising more money, drawing more supporters, or gaining media attention about their candidates, policies, or platforms.  Does anyone have any idea, for example, who might be the leading contenders for the Libertarian Party nomination, or even how or when the Green Party will pick its candidate?

(In case you’re curious, the Libertarian Party’s convention is next month in Florida, and you can see the names and pictures of the people “currently recognized by the Libertarian Party” as potential candidates here.  The Green Party, on the other hand, has recognized five candidates identified here and will hold its nominating convention in August in Houston, Texas.  I’m sure the press coverage of both conventions will be epic.)

Don’t hold your breath that one of the other “parties” might actually nominate a meaningful candidate who could attract enough support in the polls to participate in debates come fall or offer a plausible alternative to Clinton and Trump.  That leaves the issue of whether we might have a quixotic bid by some relatively well-known figure.  It’s happened in my adult lifetime, with Ross Perot and Ralph Nader, and I’ve even voted for a third-party candidate for President before, when I voted for John Anderson in 1980.  We may still see a rogue Republican who can’t stomach Trump or a Democrat who loathes Clinton’s Wall Street ties, of course, but right now the only buzz seems to be about an effort to draft a former Marine Corps general I’ve never heard of before.  And the problem is that, without an established party apparatus, it’s not very likely that a third-party candidate can even get the signatures necessary to appear on the presidential ballot in every state, much less mount a credible campaign.

So if, like many of us, you think the looming choice for President will present us with the worst choice in a lifetime, don’t just blame the Rs and the Ds — blame the little guys, too.  No one is offering us credible alternatives.

Hack List

Several polls came out this week showing Donald Trump in the lead over a large pack of Republicans nominees running for president. This should really come as no surprise to anyone because I think it goes without saying that the current Republican field is a very weak one. In fact by Webner family standards they all would probably make the top ten “hack” list.

Maybe it’s just me, but the idea of having someone run for president that has not come up through the normal political channels would be a refreshing change from current robo-politicians not to mention the thought of having a successful businessman (this is debatable in Trump’s case) win the presidency and make an effort at running our country like a business.

In 2012 it will have been twenty years ago since Ross Perot a successful Texas business man made a run for president and I have no problem admitting that I was one of the 19% of Americans who voted for him. Remember that giant sucking sound of jobs leaving the United States, seeing what has happened he had a good point.

The Donald so far has struck a chord with voters laying it on the line with statements demanding that our rich allies who have benefited from our security guarantees actually start paying for the security our military provides them (nothing wrong with this) and saying that Arab nations better reduce the price of oil or else they will be fighting their own battles (yep no problem here), but the proof will be in the pudding when he begins talking about more substantive issues, especially creating jobs if that’s even possible these days.

If he does run I would almost bet money that he will be good for plenty of gaffes that will be exploited and dirty laundry about him will be aired. I read one article where a female columnist in New York made a negative remark about him in one of her columns and he sent the column back to her with her picture circled saying she was a talentless hack with the face of a dog. Don’t you agree this is the kind of candidate that we need to spice up the presidential campaign ?

Hmmmm …. perhaps he may still need a little work on his diplomacy !