Friday, November 05, 2004

What's Next? I just got this e-mail from a reader:

So I've been reading your blogs for awhile now, and I have no one to blame but myself about how I voted this year. I don't have my own party, and I'm sick of it.

How does one start a political party? I know several people who don't fit in with Dems or Reps.

I think the time to do this is post-haste.

Thanks for any advice.
I wish I had an easy answer, but I don't think anybody knows how to break the two-party oligopoly at this point. It's been tried, but it is rarely successful. However, that doesn't mean we shouldn't keep trying.

Historically, successful new parties have centered around a popular individual that attracts national attention (Andrew Jackson and the Democratic Party) or sprung from a popular issue and later evolve (stopping the spread of slavery and the Republican Party).

While there are many of us centrists, moderates, and independents, the hard part will be finding enough central issues for us to agree upon in order to form a cohesive party. Recently, it seems, whenever new parties are formed, people from all walks of life latch on, initially thinking that this is the one that finally matches their views. Unfortunately, that usually isn't the case.

You then end up with what happened to the Reform Party. It gets started by a fiscal-conservative/social-moderate like Ross Perot. Then a fiscal-moderate/social-libertarian like Jesse Ventura becomes its most successful candidate. Finally, a social-conservative nutjob like Patrick Buchanan takes control of the party and crashes it into the ground.

While the decks are stacked against us, it's not an impossible undertaking. Hopefully we can get something going that, at the very least, will reform both major parties so they won't stay so extreme.

Update: Once again, Centerfield is on top of the issue. Apparently membership at the Centrist Coalition has shot up since the election ended. Perhaps as more people decided to participate in the election this year, they're realizing more than ever that neither party adequately represents their views.


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