It seems that a lot of Americans – dissatisfied with the candidates of the two main political parties – are talking about voting for a Third Party this year as a protest. But is that the best thing?
Before anyone starts yelling, I personally want a strong Third Party in this country. Hell, I want strong Fourth, Fifth, even Sixth Parties. But notice I used the word “strong.” One Third Party a lot of people are talking about these days is the Green Party. According to their Wikipedia page, there are “over 100” Green Party members holding elective office from serving on school boards to being mayors. Members have even been in state legislatures, although there apparently are none right now.
Not to diminish the importance of school boards and mayors, but would you be comfortable with your mayor becoming President? We have this fantasy that anyone can become President, but really it takes a very special person to be able to put up with the rigors of being President. You know how they’ll show photos of Presidents during their first year and their last year and it looks like they’ve aged thirty?
What does that have to do with Third Parties? If by some chance a Third Party person won the Presidency, who would work with them in DC? Remember, Obama won two elections, but that didn’t mean the Republicans would work with him. It’s possible that some Third Party momentum would bring in a few representatives or maybe a senator if they’re really lucky, but that’s hardly a governing block.
It seems that a lot of the drive for a Third Party victory is less about that Third Party being a better choice and more as a way to blow up the current system in the hopes we could rebuild it better. You know, kind of like what Bush did to Iraq. Because that worked so well.
Again, I support a strong Third Party, but to me it seems that Third Parties that run candidates for President are doing it just for the show, to get in the news because there isn’t any other way for a candidate to connect to millions of people across the country in some sort of social network. My advice for people wanting a strong Third Party is to forget about the Presidency until you’ve won some big elections. I’m not talking about school boards or mayors, more governors or senators. Do the hard work of connecting to the people and showing that you have better solutions than Schmuck A or Schmuck B. Become an actually Third Party before going for the Presidential Gold.