As this election cycle makes its way through its last furlong, I’ve spent some time reflecting on the events that are poised to usher us across the finish line one week from today. I won’t recount the oddities of the two frontrunners, because there simply have been too many, nor will I regale you with my belief that this cycle has set a precedent that says anyone can enjoy success, which will give rise to campaigns by Bill O’Reilly and Flavor Flav.
I really want to talk about the third party system and why it is and why it will remain an idea with a sub-mediocre ceiling potential. The problem with the third party is that it is no more than Protestantism to the two party system’s Catholicism.
Now that that’s percolated for a moment, I suppose I owe you an explanation.
Let me ask you – what is the greatest advantage Catholicism enjoys over Protestantism? Length of service; am I wrong? From the time the priest enters the sanctuary to when you’ve made your way back to your car, there may still be some heat left in it. Wait….. I didn’t say that was the only advantage, I said the greatest advantage. You don’t agree?
2. At least you have something to take to confession this week.
So like I said, it’s not the only advantage – Catholicism has an unrivaled history. Beyond that, there is a central structure, which if you’re like me, you enjoy. The most salient problem with Protestantism is that there are 800M denominations doing things just different enough. My biggest gripe with the workings of the non-Catholic Church is that there are announcements that take up what would be half of a Catholic service. If that’s not enough, it’s all so rowdy – the pastor calls on people endlessly who are waving their hands as if Bob Barker were inviting them to ‘come on down’. It’s unnecessary, and somewhat disrespectful to be talking about the brownie sale inside the walls of God. Either way – use a corkboard for Pete’s sake; it’s just good business.
This, of course, is the problem with the third party. They have strayed so far from their successful parent to even be taken seriously. The campaign of Jill Stein and the campaign of Gary Johnson are glaring examples of this reservation abandonment.
The centerpiece of Jill Stein’s campaign is a Green New Deal poised to reverse climate change immediately. A noble cause, sure, but a platform it is not. Hell, it’s not even a wedge issue anymore. It’s what you yell out if you’ve started to lose the crowd and need the cheap seats to get them back.
Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party have enjoyed more success than Jill Stein and co., but that doesn’t make his candidacy any more viable.
The Libertarian model is just an awful idea. It’s strangely akin to what you would develop at the schoolyard but realized by 7th grade how unrealistic it was over a laugh or two. What’s the central message of the Libertarian Party? I mean, it’s right there in the name – liberty! Give the people the power. Sure, sounds great…. at least until people realize that under this approach, they may have to pay for things the big bad government pays for now. No street lights – you and your neighbors have to kick down to pay for one, or many. New road or existing road repair – you guessed it, time to fork it out.
The greatest mistake Gary has made, well, outside of having no idea what Aleppo is, is that he is a proponent of the free market and makes sure he gets that in there at every opportunity. Unfortunately, America, it is my solemn duty to inform you that there is no such thing as a free market – it simply does not exist. Sorry. If you disagree with me on this one:
- You’re wrong
- Look just a touch into the airline industry (gate preference, fleet development etc.) and then;
- Circle back to item 1
Gary Johnson and his crew also really hate regulation. They think people can regulate themselves. The problem with this, unfortunately, is that people cannot. Regulations are set in place for exactly this reason. They don’t see it that way, though, they apparently think regulation is arbitrarily assigned rather than on the back of necessity. Under this model, we would all have the same water as Flint – coal mines would care less about safety, (if that were possible), and banks would be free to bet against you to great profit, but that won’t happen; after all, when given the opportunity to self-regulate, they would do what is best for everyone.
So, as much as you may believe a 3rd party vote is not a wasted vote; it is. That’s not to say you shouldn’t vote for one of them if they marry up to your values, but if you intend to cast a 3rd party vote because you refuse to vote for either of the leading 2 parties, you’re misplacing your anger – you should be angry that the 3rd party has drifted so far beyond the pale of relevancy.