In response to “Third Party Rising” by Thomas L. Friedman, an Op-Ed printed in the New York Times on October 10th, 2010 issue.
“…A president who won a sweeping political mandate, … [with] about as much power as any president could ever hope to muster in peacetime — was only able to pass an expansion of health … a limited stimulus … and a financial regulation bill … . Obama probably did the best he could do, and that’s the point. [It is] the best our current two parties can produce today.”
I beg to differ.
Obama failed because of a massive awakening and outcry of the citizens, coupled with the checks and balances provided by the US Constitution, not because of a flaw inherit in the two party system.
I don’t want a smoothly working machine that can ram anything down our throats quicker than we can say “Internal Revenue Service.”
Friedman concludes that “a serious third party” is needed “to look Americans in the eye and say: ‘These two parties are lying to you. They can’t tell you the truth because they are each trapped in decades of special interests. I am not going to tell you what you want to hear…’” — in other words, a party not beholden to the almighty dollar wielded by special interests.
Pardon my asking, but how will a “serious third party” do this? Will they not still need money to get elected, and thus be vulnerable to the very same corrupting influences that got us here to begin with?
Furthermore, our undoing has primarily been in the last century, beginning with the creation of the Federal Reserve as a source for unlimited Federal spending (and thus vote-buying) and the passage of the 16th and 17th Amendments. It is not a systemic product of the two-party political system that existed long before 1900.
The GOP and the Democrats have become increasingly unified ideologically. To prove my point, isn’t it true that whenever long-overdue reforms like universal parental choice, private accounts for Social Security, term limits or spending caps are proposed by “Tea Party types,” the political elite of both parties unleash a cacophony of “no?”
So with this in mind, if (or when) a third party enters the scene, it seems to me that it would have to capture a majority of the House and Senate in order to get anything done, because in a three-way split, the third party will be outnumbered by a supermajority of the corrupt elites that are the problem.
I propose that a more effective way out is to elect principled, courageous state leaders who will assert the sovereignty of their citizens and of the state and actively resist Federal tyranny via Nullification and Interposition and even economic secession (which will be the topic of a future post). There are many gutsy measures before our state legislative bodies just waiting for statesmen with spines to vote for them.
Are we now so far from our Constitution and The American Ideal as to believe that our solutions must come from Washington, instead of our backyard? I hope not.