Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ballot Shock: When Do We Vote For A Third Party?

From the 1985 film, Brewster's Millions, the None of the Above Ticket is a viable concept in the United States, and throughout our history.

As if you couldn't tell from the dueling headlines, according to the political philosophy that meets your particular needs, either Seth Rich was a DNC employee whose leaks to Wikileaks were due to his dissatisfaction with the Clinton Crime Syndicate, or Trump is in bed with the Russians; whom through some Gopnik Voodoo, somehow rewarded him with the presidency, provided he keep the stream of classified material flowing. It's not hard to tell that there is a lot of crap passing into the media lately. And that crap is feeding the public until the public is fed up...

But its all we have? Right? Well, that's not necessarily the case. We have a number of political parties in the US, but we don't hear about them as often. Also, we have a history that predates the current two-party dominance which is also, rich with the colorful frustration that is the modern politic.

Though almost always a collection of ideals from their times, the history of the United States is replete with parties other than the Democrat or Republican Parties. And they relate a story of the nation, the hate, the love, the shame, and the glory. These parties wind around issues until they are conquered. If not, then these parties merge with others, and once unified, they confront the issues. But they all, all ninety one parties, of which, seven still tick, all of them are either Libertarian (liberal), or Authoritarian (conservative).

The parties that are still alive and kicking are the Democrat, Republican, Independent Democrats, Independent Republicans (which embrace the platform of their namesake, but have no affiliation), The Green Party, The Libertarian Party, and the Constitution Party.

The thing is, with each century, the roles of whom embraces Authoritarian and Libertarian philosophies tend to change, or evolve, until it appears that, by the year 1932, and the election of Roosevelt, that the two largest parties, still intact, had taken on entirely contradictory viewpoints from their earlier beginnings.

Why is this important?  Well, one obstacle to the vitality of third parties has always been the tendency that they have to coalesce conceptual ideals with the larger two parties. In essence, the third party can get some of its dogma onto the ticket by merging with one of the two major parties, or by the process of endorsing them. A good example of this is the attempt by Green Party Candidate Jill Stein to invoke a recount which she believed would prove Clinton, whom was her rival, too, had won the key state of Wisconsin. This would keep Green Party dialogue open in the Democratic Party Forums, or so she hoped.
The 2016 Green Party Presidential Candidate, Jill Stein. Though a fellow libertarian, she ran against Clinton on the national ticket.

Obviously The Green Party is a libertarian, liberal party. It is an offshoot of the international Green movement, which was ardently pro nature and against nuclear arms, and opposed the usage of military force in conflict resolution. There is a Green Party in over ninety nations worldwide.

In the US, the current Green Party was founded in 2001.

The Libertarian Party, with nearly 500,000 members, is a far left organization whose obstacle to merging with modern Democratic Party ideologies is an ardent opposition to the existence of welfare. The Lib Party was founded in 1971.
Best remembered for his Governorship of the State of Arizona, Gary Johnson was the 2016 Libertarian Candidate for the presidency. His state's 1997 UFO sightings in Phoenix were the subject of his public ridicule, though later he would confess to having seen the phenomenon himself.

Since 1991 the Authoritarian and heavily conservative Constitution Party has emerged. This party objects to regulation of industrial standards, and occupies a position on the far right. But more about this, later.

These come lately parties, such as the Independence Party of Minnesota, seem to only last as long as their particular raisons D'etres exist unaddressed by the larger two, thus they are often regarded as "a ship of fools".
But traditionally, third parties in the United States go way back....

In 1828, the politics of Jackson, considered tyrannical and dictatorial, resulted in the founding of the very first third party in America, the Anti Masonic Party. This party addressed its grievances against Jackson via the fact that he was a high ranking Mason, and at the time in America, Masonic influence was coming under fire.
John Quincy Adams, American Fascinating. Began his career with his dad's Federalist Party, then defected to the Democratic Republican Party, and later became an Anti Mason Party mover and shaker. Always a man of his times, he helped launch the Whig Party, which is arguably the most successful third party in The United States.

The Anti Masonic Party later merged in a larger national effort called The Whig Party. This party was formed as a far wider reaching Anti Jacksonian political machine. If not for the Republican Party, this would be the largest and most successful third party in American History, provided that we are not ignoring the Federalists' connection to modern Republicans. Although it is often cited as the origin of the Republican Party, the fact is that the Republican's tradition of distrust of areas of concentrated power just happen to emerge on the scene with Lincoln's distrust of slavery as an institution, and his belief that forbearance of it had altered the natural course of democracy.
The Whig Party was named for its political semblance to the British party of the same name, though no veritable affiliation existed between them. The British Whigs tended to reject the pretention of autocratic royalist authority, so the Americans, in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, named their anti Jacksonian platform as if to further insult his dictatorial view of the presidency. 

The Whig Party consolidated the national revulsion for Jacksonian politics, and cite William Henry Harrison, Zachary Tyler, and Millard Fillmore among their successful bids for the US Presidency. Key members were John Quincey Adams, whose presidency was as a Democratic Republican, (in defiance of his father, who had been a Federalist), and Daniel Webster, the famous revolutionary.

The issue of slavery dominated party formations, and the politics of the United States in the appearances of parties whose particular political tastes either opposed it, as the Opposition Party (1854-1858), or defended it, as the Whig-splitoff American Party, or the Know Nothings, whom actually ran Millard Fillmore in 1856, though he famously kept his membership a secret.

The Know Nothing sentiment still lingers today in the politics of Donald Trump, whom shares an anti-immigration platform with the American Party. Indeed this sentiment would resurface occasionally, in the Segregation Party of Wallace and LeMay of the famously contested 1968 election, and during the second world war, where suspicion of immigrants from Axis nations stirred national anxieties.

Famously still in existence, the Republican Party began as a methodology against the Democratic Party's promotional defense of the institution of slavery. This issue gave us Nixon and the Bushes, until Globalist ideologies have merged the two major American political parties.

Although Jefferson personally denounced slavery, and believed it would become the divisive issue that it did, it is hard to reconcile that Lincoln was against it in similitude with Jefferson, but ran against John Breckenridge, a Democrat, so-called Southern Democrat, but nonetheless, Democrat, whom was defending the dialogue from Congress of that era, which appeased both sides of the argument. The Kansas/Nebraska Act, which held slavery would exist by voter suffrage, was seen by Lincoln as a direct contradiction of the earlier Missouri Compromise, which banned slavery in states located north of 36°30 parallel. These are the very headwaters of the Republican Party.
John C Breckenridge, Democrat, pro-slavery, and former Vice President of the United States of America. His party's pro-slavery platform was considered moderate, at the time. The Southern states considered the Kansas/Nebraska Act the final authority, whereas Lincoln, confirmed abolitionist, and his newly formed Republican Party, was considered very radical, for the times. In modern terms, the Trump candidacy shares a lot with Lincoln's. 

When a London shop worker realized that he couldn't support his family despite his arduous labors, he receded into his study and wrote, "The Communist Manifesto".
The year was 1848, and though it snowballed slowly, there are fifteen or more parties in the US which directly trace their ancestry to Karl Marx's seminal work. Though it is based in the flawed views of GWF Heigle's, "Dialectic", which presuppose that history occurs in repeating cycles, Communism, and its less-astringent sibling, Socialism, were born from his views.

At the state levels, parties were also organized to combat it, as during the early twentieth century little virtue was seen in labor unions, thus too many obscure parties to name arose, then merged with either pro union or pro owner dialogues, and this helped to shape the ever changing platform of the larger Democratic and Republican Parties. The Democrats tended to favor the labor unions, while the Republican Party tended to side with the owners, redefining American Authoritarian views, and their more publicly consumable versions called Egalitarian views, as pro Law and Order, which was a party later absorbed into the Republicans, as well as anti union. In this unique case, the matter was resolved by non governmental organizations, like the AFL CIO, Democrats, pro union, Republicans, anti union. This position holds to this day, in spite of Republican Nixon's personal endorsement of union organizer Jimmy Hoffa, whom was imprisoned by the Kennedy Administration for his ties to organized crime.

If you were sick of it all, you were welcomed from 1915-1956 into the Non Partisan League, a political party whose agenda is clearly stated by the name.

A division from within the Republican Party caused the brief resurrection of the Progressive Party, (1912-1914, 1924-1924) whose famous splitting of the Republican vote against Woodrow Wilson in 1914 bearing the nickname The Bull Moose Party, elevates yet another point of contention about third parties: they split the vote.
An election poster for the election of 1912, in which historians would later claim that the course of history was altered by the Bull Moose Party having split the vote. Roosevelt had retired, and coming back from retirement, would face his hand-picked Republican successor, William Howard Taft. Woodrow Wilson would win by a large enough margin as to forever haunt the notion of third parties in The United States. 

As exemplified by the 2016 US election, which saw Sanders voters, disillusioned with the power brokering of the Clinton machine, cast their vote for the opposition, or for a compromise, as in Jill Stein's Green Party, this splitting of the vote is the number one reason American politics have evolved with an automatic displeasure at the notion of a third party, it breaks up the unity of a people, of a party, or the system.

There are two Constitution Parties, the modern one, which I only mentioned earlier, and the original one. The original Constitution Party, 1952-1968, was formed to run another Authoritarian/Egalitarian conservative candidate, Douglass MacArthur, for president, against the Democrat, Adelai Stevenson, and Republican, Dwight Eisenhower.

The modern Constitution Party combines elements of the Tea Party platform, which was an ultra conservative movement within the Republican Party, with more emphasis on its "Seven Guiding Principles of the Constitution Party's Platforms and Candidates", which re imagines the conservative viewpoint from the signing of the US Constitution until this current era.
In 2016 they ran Darrell Castle, a Salt Lake City, Utah politician, for the presidency.
Salt Lake City, Utah's own 2016 Presidential Candidate, Darrell Castle.

So, if you should grow tired of the dueling headlines between the Chicago Tribune and Washington Post, NBC and Fox, remember that your particular viewpoint has a place in the fragmentary assemblage of American views, but it just may involve compromise, merging, and evolving at some point.

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