I’m always heartened to see third parties, of any stripe, get more attention in the news media. Such as this story from the Daily Caller:
The Occupy Wall Street protests have attracted significant support from Democratic Party politicians. But two of the country’s most significant third parties say that the message of the protests is that the two-party system is broken.
Green Party Media Coordinator Scott McLarty told The Daily Caller, “the claim from some people that the Occupy Wall Street and related ‘Occupy’ protests express support for the Democratic Party is more than disingenuous, it’s plain dishonest.”
“Organizers have made it repeatedly clear that the protests are not partisan, to the point of barring representatives of political parties from speaking publicly at the protests,” McLarty said. “The protests aren’t only driven by anger over the Wall Street’s greed and recklessness, but also by the two party political status quo that enabled Wall Street’s theft of the country’s future.”
Now, I may not agree with the Green Party on a lot of things, but I completely agree that it was both parties that led us to where we are today (and if we look at the unemployment trends for the next decade, then yes, I also agree that they “enabled Wall Street’s theft of the country’s future,” via bailouts, bad regulation, and out-and-out collusion.)
Matt Miller of the Washington Post thinks we need a third party. He doesn’t feel that Democrats or Republicans are doing the job he feels needs to be done, so a new part needs to come in. For example, Miller writes:
Three reasons, mainly. First, both parties’ chief aim is to win elections, not solve problems. Second, both parties are prisoner to interest groups and ideological litmus tests that prevent them from blending the best of liberal and conservative thinking. Finally, neither party trusts us enough to lay out the facts and explain the steps we need to take to truly fix things.
Wow. Truly insightful.
Here’s the thing, Miller writes this in a nation where there are a plethora of political parties dedicated to various ideologies. Ralph Nader, for example. Ross Perot’s Reform Party is still around. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Miller’s call for a third party is typical, but ridiculous. Not because he thinks there needs to be a new party to fill his particular ideological niche, but because it wouldn’t be a “third” party. There’s to many who’ve beaten him to the punch.
Of course, as Matt Yglesias points out, Miller’s positions are exactly the same as what President Obama has expressed himself. Greg Sargent, also of the Washington Post, points it out as well using different examples. Sargent also goes so far as to hint that perhaps this is all just a way to get on the talk show circuit for a couple of weeks. Who knows.