Sunday, February 24, 2008

Why Are People Scared of Third Parties?

Have you noticed there's something that most Americans, and especially conservatives, find - I don't know what the word is - creepy - about third parties.

Oddly enough, when they form around an individual, people relax. Ross Perot was somehow okay. People keep whispering about Huckabee going out on his own and taking the religious wing of the GOP with him.

Of course, there are real short-term reasons why, in specific situations, you don't want a third party. I sure as hell don't want Huckabee going out on his own and handing the White House to the Democrats, even though apparently Rush and Coulter do (there will be a future post about this). Perot definitely helped lose the '92 election for Bush 1.

But those are tactical concerns. I'm talking about the gut reactions of every day voters to third parties. Every day voters, who are often ethnic Democrats or ethnic Republicans. You know what I mean - those people that have absolutely no idea what their party stands for, and maybe its positions are directly counter to their interests, but they always vote straight ticket - and why? "My dad was a strong union guy, so I always vote Democrat."

It's almost like we've forgotten that political parties are there to advance our individual interests into government. You shouldn't support the GOP because it's the GOP. You support the GOP because it serves your interests better than other parties out there, I hope. When your party starts to drift, you make your voice heard, and when it's foundering because it's been invaded by people openly hostile to its real values - like Ralph Reed and James Dobson - then, you find a new home, and that could be a third party. Adhering to your principles is what matters, not blindly supporting a party that has the same name but different values. Seems simple enough! Unless, of course, you'd like to tell us that loyalty to the Party is a value in and of itself. If you really believe that, Kim Jong Il is always looking for new Party members.

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