Thursday, April 17, 2008

An alternative strategy for Third Parties in the General Election

Let's start with the obvious: no matter how much I would prefer otherwise, one of the following three individuals (Clinton, McCain, or Obama) is going to be the next President of the United States.

To me this means that no matter whatever else happens, none of them are going to do anything serious about dismantling America's worldwide military empire or reducing the grip that the military-industrial complex has on our government and our economy. If you don't believe me, go here, here, and here.

That said, what the Ron Paul phenomenon proved earlier this year is that there are a hell of a lot of discontented voters out there willing to challenge the two-party system.

The Libertarian Party. The Constitution Party. The Green Party. The "I'm Ralph Nader and I'm back again" Party.

Of these, only the Libertarians have the ballot access to mount a truly nationwide campaign--which in large measure explains the opportunistic conversions of Bob Barr and Mike Gravel.

And nobody is likely to crack that 15% threshold necessary to get into the MSM Presidential Debates.

But the polls are consistently showing that, across the country, 2-5% of the voters are disaffected enough to consider voting third party this year. In key states, like Michigan perhaps, that percentage is significantly higher: maybe even 6-8%.

Some people of have suggested a third-party-fusion ticket, but that's an unrealistic pipe-dream for a whole lot of reasons.

What I'm thinking about is making a statement by throwing the largest possible monkey wrench into the works, by unifying the third parties to try to influence the outcome in key battleground states. I've written before on just how interesting the polls suggest Florida could be for John McCain with Bob Barr in the running, or Michigan for either Democrat with a strong Nader effort.

Maybe what the Greens, the Libertarians, and the Naderites should do is to split up the map, and concentrate their meager resources each in two or three key states, asking all third party people to pool their votes into a massive protest statement.

Under this scenario, Nader would concentrate in Michigan and maybe Florida. The Libertarians would go after Arizona or New Mexico, while the Greens focused on the Pacific Northwest. I'm honestly not sure about the states, but here's how it would work: sort of like betting the field in the Kentucky Derby.

The three or four largest third-party efforts would pool their resources for media, polling, and similar issues. Ralph Nader would agree to ask his supporters in, say, New Mexico, to support the Libertarian candidate, while the Libertarians returned the favor in Michigan.

The slogan would be: "It only took 5% to launch the first American Revolution. Let's see if 5% can kick off the second one."

The entire strategy would be to achieve a 5% protest vote in as many states as possible, skewing the election results virtually at random between the Democratic and Republican candidates.

What's the unifying theme to tie together Greens and Constitutionalists: Ballot access and free elections.

Imagine the chaos (with absolutely no apologies to Rush Limbaugh) that could result from this strategy just affecting one single battleground state enough to throw the election one way or the other.

Chaos is unfortunately necessary before the American political system will open up and become a real democracy.

I make no apologies whatever for not being able to predict in advance whether this strategy will lead to the election of a Republican or a Democrat. Since I truly believe that both parties are fundamentally harmful to the cause of freedom and the long-term survival of the United States, on a very real level I don't care who wins.

If that's callous, or unpatriotic, sue me.

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