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Avatar: a blueprint for an independent, third party candidate in 2012?

by Ryan Jaroncyk, published

Avatar's pro-environment, anti-war ideology has been thoroughly scrutinized by political pundits on both sides of the aisle.  One aspect of their critical analysis that has been missing, however, is the prospect of an Avatar-type, 3rd party candidate in 2012.  At first glance, such a proposition may seem implausible, even repugnant to the Right, but it may not be as far fetched as some believe.

As I covered in my December piece Is the Second American Revolution on its way?, one leading trends forecaster has predicted the rise of a viable third party by 2012.  At this early stage, he is identifying the prospective party as "Progressive Libertarian".  A seemingly odd couple, the progressive component, he posits, will advocate a platform of clean food, top notch healthcare, high quality education, green technology and anti-war principles.  The libertarian component, on the other hand, will advocate a platform of strict fiscal conservatism, civil liberties, states' rights, and a more non-interventionist foreign policy.

Most would deem such a scenario highly improbable, even out of touch with mainstream America, but consider the "mainstream" track record in the last decade:

Monolithic budget deficits

Exploding national debt

A much weaker US Dollar

$1 trillion+ open-ended, overseas wars

5,000+ US troop deaths

Approximately 40,000 maimed US soldiers

Record suicide rates and an intensifying PTSD epidemic in the US military

Record number of private war contractors

Strong financial dependence on China (about a $1 trillion debt)

No healthcare reform

Underperforming education, despite more spending

Rising healthcare costs that could leave Medicare Part D insolvent by 2017

Two recessions, the latter of which has been devastating

Rapidly rising obesity rates

No climate change reform

No immigration reform

Clearly, both major parties have proven unsuccessful in steering this nation toward greener pastures over the last ten years.  Whether it's a Democratic President, Republican President, Republican Congress, or Democratic Congress, America is not prospering.  In fact, it is trending in the opposite direction.

In addition, American politics has become increasingly polarized.  George W. Bush left a nation deeply divided, and Obama has been the most polarizing first-year President on record.  And while the Tea Party movement may be a force to be reckoned with in the near term, all signs point to it being assimilated by the GOP.

So, imagine for a moment, an Avatar-type, independent, 3rd party candidate in 2012.

He/She proposes something long forgotten by Washington DC and the American public:  a balanced budget.  In this budget, he/she focuses on domestic spending that addresses infrastructure, healthcare, education, the environment, manufacturing, and better quality food.  On the foreign policy front, he/she focuses on a more efficient national defense, while ending the current policy of pre-emptive 'wars', nation building, and a global military empire.  Not everyone is pleased with the specifics, but most everyone is thrilled with less debt and a balanced budget.  Both the economy and the nation begin to heal.  The foundation for a genuine, long-term recovery is finally laid.

If America is still bogged down overseas, running trillion dollar deficits, and mired in high unemployment by 2012, look for an Avatar-type candidate to emerge and make a serious run.

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