Monday, January 2, 2012

My Third Party Rant

Happy New Year!

"It's getting to the point where I'm no fun anymore.  I am sorry."
 -  Crosby, Stills, & Nash.

Gosh I really like that line, at times it seems like it was written for me to use, and use, and use.  When it comes to some political arguments, I gotta fall back on those words because I'm not entertained by the thoughts I'm hearing and I'm no fun in responding.

What got me riled up late last week was the stoking of that age old American quandary of what are we going to accomplish by voting third party.

There may of been a time, but I doubt it, when I was such a party guy that the idea and action of voting for someone outside the two main parties was ridiculed by me.  I have been Going Rogue  longer than Sarah Palin's  been Sarah Palin and I've yet to be persuaded by any opinion that it is contrary to my best interests.  I believe voting third party is appropriate and I'll use the line "so be it" in response to the thought that its a vote for the incumbent or the Democrat, whichever the worse case may be.  So be it.

I've heard all the reasons,  too numerous to recite, but I welcome any that you may have to challenge me and persuade me to vote as you deem fit.

The talk on the radio, where I was stoked, was regarding rumors swirling around Donald Trump.  If we are to believe them, those who know The Donald say he is seriously considering a run at President as a third party candidate.  Great!  Doesn't mean I'm voting for him, but I love the idea.

And so the natural response by GOP operatives and ardants is that he is only going to take away votes from the Republican candidate, thus enabling if not assuring a victory for Mr. Obama in November.

Its sounds plausible and frankly, likely.  Buts its not my problem.  Well O.K.  it is a problem but I'll be darned if I'm going to put my principles and thoughts, well honed over thirty years, aside to vote for someone I don't believe in so that someone else I equally don't believe in will be denied a victory.

Why should I?  I don't believe that these two parties are that far apart on so many issues, that having one in office over the other is such a stark contrast.  If I did feel that there was such a difference in candidates, I'd be voting for one or the other despite the third party candidate.

If, for example Mitt Romney, can't persuade me to vote for him, a candidacy of Donald Trump is going to persuade me to vote for Mitt Romney either.

I have this crazy idea that when a citizen enters the voting booth, he or she should be selfishly voting for his or her's best interest.

We live in a representative Democracy with yearly elections, weighted every four years with the Presidency on the line.  The system is set up so that on those yearly occasions we all migrate somewhere, pull the level or punch the card or hit the button for the candidate we believe will represent ourselves as well as we could represent ourselves.

Collectively, the will of the people is filtered this way,  the winner lays claim to be representative of his constituency.  Within a representative democracy, it is incumbent upon the office holder to champion his voters positions, but ultimately decide and govern.  Compromise if need be to get things done.

But for this system to work well over time, we need to be selfish in the voting both, otherwise we don't get office holders reflecting our values.  We get office holders reflecting the muddled values of being electable.  

For my part, I'm voting once a year,  only once in four do I get a say at the high office.  I'm not compromising my views in this context.   If I do, that is a conscious decision  meant to indicate my displeasure in some way, perhaps as a protest vote.

If I'm displeased with a candidate from the GOP but yet vote that way its a capitulation on my part of my principles.  The Democrats win either way because its demonstrating to future GOP candidates that THEY, THEMSELVES, can be positioned  nearer to the left and still garner support from the electorate that pretends to be diametrically opposed to the Democrat ideology.  Thus future elections are between two candidates that are closer in views than even today's politicians, and thus providing no real choice in the final place.

And in four years we'll hear the same arguments as to why we need not to vote third party all over again.

I've also said a thousands times, we got two parties in this country, a corrupt party and an inept party.  Relatively speaking of course.  I've come to believe they aren't so different.

Presently, one of the only true distinguishing characteristics of the two parties is the predilection of the conservative block to retain their principles and vote accordingly, even outside the GOP if they are forced to.  When that value changes, we will no longer need to worry about having one corrupt party and one inept party.  There will be no difference.

I actually enjoy being different from the left.  Those critical of voting third party are right in this, the left doesn't splinter.  I'm somewhat proud and smug at the thought that I still retain the liberty to vote freely, in my own best interest.  I think taking up the argument that we got to get behind the GOP candidate no matter who is boring and reflects a loss of liberty.

To buck the establishment is fun, maybe there is some fun left in me after all.

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