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Where Is The Next Third Party?

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Towards the end of 2010 radio shows and TV shows hosts asked: where is the next third party? When are we going to see another party go against the Republicans and Democrats? I do not understand these questions, because there are many third parties in our nation.

From the Green Party to the Constitution Party, to the Socialist Party and the Libertarian Party, plus everything in between. These organizations have been in existence for decades, if not centuries, however the major media outlets have failed to properly expose them. None of the media sources have brought in the rank-and-file of these organizations into their respective studios to talk about the issues. Day in and day out, you see nothing but the same two major party voices preaching on what is going on, and how to solve the issues at hand.

Why not bring in someone on-air like Rich Whitney of the Green Party, who in 2006 received 10.7% of the general election vote in the Illinois Gubernatorial race? It was the first time a third party has done so well in Illinois in over 40 years.

The Daily Cape Cod, a blog site for those living in Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, mentioned the following:

“We need a third party. We already have a progressive party that is up and running, but something new is needed on the progressive side. We need a progressive party that will move forward at a pace both acceptable to conservatives and liberals.”

Hello, it is called the Green Party. The Greens are liberal on the social issues, and conservative on the fiscal issues. For example, the Green Party wants to repeal No Child Left Behind, and wants single-payer universal health care. On fiscal issues, the Greens want to cut line-by-line in order to eliminate wasteful spending.

Another example is the Libertarians back in 2004. When George W. Bush was seeking re-election for the presidency, there were rumors that the Libertarians could cost him his job. Don Devine, Vice-Chairmen of the American Conservative Union and GOP insider, said the following:

“I think [the Bush campaign] should be concerned. I don’t know how concerned…They need to work on it and I think they know they need to work on it.”

So why are third parties not prevailing like they should be?

Not only media, but several organizations in communities do not allow third parties to participate in events, including candidate forums, endorsement interviews, debates, and the like.

On the federal campaign level many third party candidates get left out from the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Debates. Most of the time, third party candidate have their own debate, which is not televised. At the state level, many third party campaign get left out of forums, endorsement interviews, and get left out from the press.

The simplistic response to all of this would be, “A third party can never succeed in a election”. How did we lose track of our American Political History?

I recall a man that was well known in his community, and was also a respected lawyer. He managed to get elected to office at the state level. He was then approach by a third party to ask him if he would run for president. The man had never thought about higher office, but after talking with his advisers and family, he took up the challenge and began campaign across the country. Where ever he went, the two major parties would criticize him and the party he was affiliated with. After much campaigning in 1860, Abraham Lincoln became the 16th President of the United States as a Republican.

Yes, the Republican Party was the third party, during the time period when Whigs and Democrats were the two major establishment parties.

Another example is the Socialist Party from 1920-1940. The Socialist Party held a strong base in Milwaukee, WI. Frank Zeidler was the longest serving Socialist Mayor Milwaukee had. Thanks to Mayor Zeidler he brought in mass transit, better sanitation, annexed the city of Milwaukee for tax purposes and offered services, and much more.

So for all of those in the media who asking where is the next third party, do some research. Google and learn about parties like the Green Party, Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party. Look further and find other parties that are out in the political fray trying to get heard. There are third parties out there, you just need to do more searching.

Join the discussion Please be relevant and respectful.

The Independent Voter Network is dedicated to providing political analysis, unfiltered news, and rational commentary in an effort to elevate the level of our public discourse.


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