Libertarians are kinda like the Celtic tribes hired by the English kings of
old to fight their wars. Loyal, fierce as hell, and absolutely fearless.
You just wouldn't want them to actually, you know, RUN things.
The "independent" (i.e. Libertarian) voter is actually the most dependent of
all. He gets to choose between, as you say, two evils. He has no say in the
platform, policies, or promises of any candidate or party. Further, after
the election, he has no influence with the office holder.
People get involved in politics for one of three reasons: power, pride, or
profit. If you worked for a city council candidate and he saw you knocking
on doors and putting up signs, you have power! After the election, the
pot-hole in front of your house gets fixed first.
Really, the most effective thing that can be done is to pick the major party
that's closest to your views and work from within. Raise money, do the leg
work, recruit candidates (or be one yourself), hold party office, be a
convention delegate, and so on.
As a practical example, the last credible third-party candidate for
president was Teddy Roosevelt on the "Bull Moose" party ticket. He split the
Republican vote, allowing Woodrow Wilson to become president (which
precipitated WWI, the United Nations, and all manner of assorted nastiness).
You don't beat the Borg by joining them. We don't have a 2-party system,
we have a 1.5 party system at this point. More alike than they are
different, and a pox on both their houses. They both think my money
belongs to them, and they know how to spend it better than I do. If I
was benign dictator of the universe, party affiliations would not be
allowed on the ballot, and power in congress would not be parceled out
on party lines. People could still have parties if they wanted, the law
would just take no notice of it. Primaries would merely be to pick the
top 2-3 candidates for whatever office, to keep the ballot uncluttered
for the real election. Voters would actually have to learn about what
the candidate thinks.
I realize it will never happen, of course. I'm not delusional. It'd be
nice if they at least got rid of the 'straight party ticket' option, so
people actually have to read the entire ballot.
Maybe in their soundbites- not in how they run the store. I've worked
for the feds 30 years, and the 'stupid' tap was about as wide open no
matter who is in power. When they occasionally get something right, it
is by accident.
They can associate with whoever they want. I just don't think the law
should enshrine such associations in statute, and give them power to
ensure no other association ever gets power. The man or woman should be
the one running for office, not the damn party.
When you get to Washington, it matters little whether you're conservative or
liberal. What counts most is what side of the aisle you sit on.
My state still has a smattering of "conservative" Democrats. Yet each, on
his very first vote in the House of Representatives, will vote to elect
Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. This one vote determines committee chairs and
committee membership, and those, in turn, determine which bills even come up
for a vote.
This is also the easiest division for the members. C. Northcott Parkinson
put it best when he said: "When a member of your party says something on the
floor, you shout 'Hear! Hear!'. When the opposition says something, you
shout 'Shame! Shame!' "
And that is why I think party labels should be banned from the house and
senate. There shouldn't be a damn aisle in the first place. Seat them
and assign committee memberships based on alpha order or random drawing,
or a full-house or full-senate vote, or some system that would give
everyone a shot. The party heads in each chamber have WAY too much power.
Like I said, I know it will never happen, because the duopoly in charge
likes being in charge. Like the mafia families in the old days, or the
Five Families in old Hawaii, or the old robber baron groups of pretend
Our founding fathers did not anticipate political parties. They were thinking
in terms of honest, independent men coming together to do what's best for the
country. Why they thought that, after their experiences with the Continental
Congresses and their own convention, is a mystery to me. But they did.
But political parties formed almost immediately, for the reasons that HeyBub has
been discussing. Note that these are the same reasons street gangs form.
Nonsense yourself. The Federal government began operating on March 4, 1789. The
Federalist party was formed in 1792, largely led by Alexander Hamilton. The
Democratic-Republican party was formed the same year, largely led by Jefferson
and Madison. They spread to the state level by 1794-5.
Adams was the first president with a party affiliation (Federalist). Washington
was an independent.
The clearest example of the drafters of the constitution not anticipating
parties lies in the process for selecting the vice president. They specified
that the presidential candidate with the second largest number of votes would be
vice president. This led to the disastrous election of 1800 and the 12th
amendment, which established the current system.
And because they have more power together than as individuals.
Heh. You assume the average American can actually read. Add in "show up to
the polling place" and actually "read what is posted" in the voting booth.
Ain't gonna happen. Most people belong to either the Illiterati, the
Ignoranti, or the Moroni, the three lost tribes. Have you really not heard
of this? It's certainly not new, although it certainly sucks. :(
I'm with you all the way. If I happen to be voting for a candidate
from one of the 1.5 major parties & they are endorsed by another party
I vote for them on that line. So my ballots are usually a mish-mash
of Liberal, Right to life, Conservative, Family Values Party,
In my county a voter has to decide (depending on the election)
* National offices
* County judge and commissioner
* Justice of the Peace
* About twenty Courts of Domestic Relations
* About six Probate Courts
* About thirty County Courts at Law
* State Supreme Court and State Court of Criminal Appeals
* School board
* Mayor and city council
* Proposed Constitutional Amendments
and so on
There are at least 300 names on the ballot. To vote for the "individual," a
voter would have to devote an amazing amount of time reading literature,
attending rallies, and so on, to be able to cast the most intelligent vote
for all offices.
Having been involved in politics, I can tell you it doesn't work that way.
Since voting is free, most voters want to get their money's worth by marking
SOMETHING for every position. This mindset is aided by public service
screeching "If you don't vote, you're no better than a retarded weasel!"
Meaning, of course, Meg "Moneybags" Whitman.
After her recent disastrous remarks on a SoCal radio talk show,
conservative Repulsivecrats are saying they're going to follow her
example and not vote for her ...
The fashion in killing has an insouciant, flirty style this spring,
with the flaunting of well-defined muscle, wrapped in flags.
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