The persistent American fascination with third parties and fringe candidates defies every lesson of history, logic, human nature and common sense. No minor party candidate has ever won the presidency or, for that matter, even come close. For the most part, these ego-driven “independent” adventures in electoral narcissism push the political process further away from their professed goals, rather than advancing their agendas or ideas.
Nevertheless, a clear majority of Americans (58%) in September, 2007, told the Gallup Poll that the two major parties “do such a poor job that a third major party is needed”, while only 39% agree with a statement that the established parties “do an adequate job of representing the American people.” A Rasmussen Survey (May, 2007) produced similar results, with 58% agreeing with the statement that “it would be good for the United States if there were a truly competitive third party,” and only 23% disagreeing. Among religious conservatives, prominent leaders talk openly of backing a kamikaze candidate if Rudy Giuliani becomes the GOP nominee, and a Rasmussen telephone survey shows a striking 27% of Republicans willing to back a “Pro Life Third Party” in the event that the former New York Mayor heads the ticket. In his illiterate and all-but-unreadable new book “Independents Day,” CNN’s fatuous fraud Lou Dobbs expresses similar eagerness to abandon the traditional two-party system. “Now I don’t know about you,” he harrumphs, “but fundamentally I don’t see much of a difference between Republicans and Democrats…The creation of a third, independent choice, one that has the concerns of American working people as its basis, is the way we must proceed.”
This unquenchable enthusiasm for new parties and marginal, ego-driven candidacies rests on a foundation of profound ignorance and unassailable historical illiteracy. Even a nodding acquaintance with the American past reveals uncomfortable but incontrovertible facts about independent or minor party campaigns.
1. ON A NATIONAL BASIS, THIRD PARTIES ALWAYS LOSE – AND RUIN THE CAREERS OF THE LEADING PARTICIPANTS.