Monday, August 17, 2015

Would a third party fix anything?

I think just about all of us here have said at one time or another, "This is why we need a third party?" This is something I continually think about, and while I appreciate the idea in a "Go to my happy place" kind of thinking, I'm not sure it is really the answer we are seeking. For anyone who is further right of center, there already exists the Tea Party. Unlike the Green Party, the Teas have actually gotten something done with grass roots efforts...........and a shit ton of money from people like the Kochs. They have almost single handedly gridlocked congress and are undeniably partly to blame/applaud for forcing Boehner to rely on Democrats to pass anything meaningful. And just to be clear, 50 votes to repeal Obamacare is not meaningful legislation. Still, while they have handcuffed Boehner from openly conducting business as usual, business nonetheless continues to move more or less as usual, meaning that those well connected get what they want while we just bitch about it. 

Bernie and Elizabeth Warren are exciting left of center choices, who I will admit have gotten my attention. They represent, to me, something distinctly different from Hillary, who I find to be running her campaign oddly like a Republican, circa anytime before the Trump offensive. I like what they are saying and while they may be just the start of something refreshing for those left of center, only time will tell if they can cause the kind of wedge the Teas are causing on the right. I'm not sure they will. But the Teas and a Sanders/Warren wing don't really offer a true third party choice. Instead, they are just more radical visions of what both parties used to be. As such, they are just mirror images of each other. They may offer some choice to voters who are committed to either party, but this means they are just diluting each base. 

A true third party, IMO, would have to be one that is truly in the center. Probably along the lines of that mythical voter who is fiscally conservative and socially moderate. That's well and good, and I'd support it, but I keep coming back to a particular sticking point, or several actually. The first is that if we are demanding a third party because we are so disgusted with the two we have, I contend that this implies we WANT our government to function. This means, to me, compromise and the reality that in true negotiations, nobody gets everything they want. A related point, that I always belabor, is that we get what we vote for. Half the people who could vote in general elections chose not to. Those that do go to the polls to vent their spleens only to go home and tune into whatever partisan they favor to listen to commentary on why their candidate won or lost. A third party in this backdrop doesn't seem feasible to me. Put another way, I think it's kind of a hope that those of us who are within arms distance on either side of center, can elect someone who will go and fix everything we don't like. 

Much as I like the idea of a quick a fix, I think we would all be much better served if every one of us went into our community and volunteered our time with someone less fortunate. At the least, this would certainly shape our thinking much better than linking into whatever truly partisan news source we favor. What would a good third party look like to you?


  1. Perhaps a better solution would be to end the current way election/campaigns are run.

    A maximum 6 month campaign.
    A set amount of money for each candidate.
    The end of corporate, PAC, Big money, Labor donations.
    Term limits in Congress.
    There are many things that can be done to fix the system.

    Today neither party serves the people, they serve their money masters. In congress they are on the campaign trail from the day they are elected until they decide to retire. We have numerous political parties however they are marginalized by the big money in the 2 reigning parties.

    1. If I were a one issue voter, this would be it. On board with everything you said except maybe term limits.

    2. With the current profession politician syndrome we have today the only way to end it is with term limits.

      It would end the reign of the Boehner's, Reid's, Pelosi, Mc McConnell. The reason for gridlock today.

      The voters, vote for change and get the same leadership year after year.

    3. What would 1 issue have to do with reform of the voting system? Takes longer for multiple issues?

  2. In Florida all political must register with the state election commission. Here is the list of the official minor parties currently registered. Since the last election the Whig and Surfers Parties have been dropped.

    Minor Political Parties
    America's Party of Florida (AIP)
    Constitution Party of Florida (CPF)
    Ecology Party of Florida (ECO)
    Florida Socialist Workers Party (FSW)
    Green Party of Florida (GRE)
    Independence Party of Florida (IDP)
    Independent Party of Florida (INT)
    Justice Party of Florida (JPF)
    Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF)
    Party for Socialism and Liberation - Florida (PSL)
    Peace & Freedom Party of Florida (PFP)
    Reform Party (REF)
    Tea Party of Florida (TPF)

    Last updated - May 28, 2015

    1. We have numerous political parties however they are marginalized by the big money in the 2 reigning parties.

  3. I always thought the Surfers Party had the best "platform".

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Of course it will never happen, but the real solution would be to make political parties illegal. Make contributions to candidates illegal and fund all campaigns by increasing the tax on legal marijuana by 2or 3 cents.

  5. I was kind of hoping that I might get a few more takers for the last suggestion, which was to help people in out communities. I've come across a lot of people in life who need help. some are "takers" because they have been somewhat trained to be that way. Many in need are people who do not like being in that position.

    Is it a baked idea to suggest that if we actually helped solved problems locally there would be less graft in Washington?

    1. Your last paragraph is exactly what limited government and Federalism is all about.

      Welcome to the Tea Party Max.

    2. I think I have been fair enough to acknowledge Tea Party stances when I see them. The Tea Party, unfortunately, has too much dogma for my liking. We are implying two different things. I'm all for local problems being solved without government support. I don't believe, however, in the "Only the strong survive" mentality of capitalism. Additionally, the tea party is becoming just another group that is dependent on money.

    3. Max

      Why is welfare, medicaid, medicare riddled with fraud, abuse? How can you administer programs from 80K feet end expect to address local problems at the bottom of the financial scale?

      Is a poor persons needs in San Francisco the same as a poor person in Atlantic, Iowa? Are the standards of living the same? Does the welfare go as far in both places?

      The problem with Federal Government is displayed perfectly in the ACA. One size insurance for everyone in America regardless of needs, everyone's the same, everyone pays for everything required or not.

    4. Okay, you can start the LMFAO response now, but I'm going to try and answer this seriously. First of all, fraud exists anywhere there is money. I think there is a very simplistic view out there that fraud exists in government programs simply because it is run by the government. There are scammers out there who target banks, credit card companies, insurance companies and people like seniors. These people are motherfuckers, but they seek the soft target because it beats working. Comparatively, I think we could both agree the American desire to work hard is not what it used to be.

      I think the motivation for fraud is a little different for each agency. In Welfare, it is the poor, IMO, who are doing the defrauding. Their motivation isn't really any different than a CC scammer or a rich asshole cheating on taxes, but I think shitty economics has played a very strong role here. There is little incentive to leave it when there are nothing but shitty jobs. It doesn't excuse the abuse, but I can start to understand it a little better. If you are young, black, and male and you have been busted for possession of drugs, you have just set yourself up for a lifetime of misery and shitty prospects. I guess, for someone like me, I can say, "Too fucking bad, not my problem", but that doesn't make it go away.

      As for Medicare and Medicaid, I have had a pretty interesting year looking at some of that. Many of these people doing the defrauding are not poor, and do not have a "reason" to be defrauding. They simply see a soft target and attack it to make money pop out. My opinion here is like your border opinion, if we spent some money on crackdowns, we could make a difference. However, this would also mean that we are saying we want to keep these programs, and many right of center don't want to see them continue. Is a dogmatic idiot governor really going to make an effort to make their medicare plan work? I doubt it.

      As for the ACA, that was an insurance company give away. I would much rather see a basic level of coverage for basic illness and checkups, a wider gap of uncovered expenses, and then catastrophic coverage that kicks back in. Then let people buy insurance for something in the middle. Nobody ever challenges my main point, which is that insurance is nothing more than a risk pool. spread the risk better, and I think we will have a more affordable system.

    5. Fraud exists in government programs as you cannot manage programs from 80 thousand feet and hope to manage it well.

      There is fraud in private healthcare industry but on a far smaller scale than government. Why? Is it because the money in private business belongs to the business and they take theft a bit more seriously than government? They control the theft as the profits are their existence? No profits, no business.
      Could it be that in government, it's not their money and they are not set up to prevent fraud, abuse? One could say, they don't care. The use it or lose it in purchasing is the perfect example. Business run the direct opposite where money saved is rewarded.

      Yes in the private sector there is waste, fraud but on a far smaller scale than business.

      The ACA is nothing but an attempt to convince people that government cares, look what we did for you. We let you insure your kiddies until they are 26 years old. Free Birth control pills. Nothing but the facade of caring.

      If you look at medicaid, originally started to cover children of the disadvantaged. Expand to cover families. Expanded to cover everyone under a specific number.

      A trillion will be spend by the government for healthcare this year. That number escalates every year. How long before we reach the break point? Today SS/healthcare 2 trillion dollars. Half of all US spending.

      p.s. the Medicare fraud is done by doctors medical companies etc.