Replace Third Party Delusions With A Political Boycott


Recently, Jonathan Cymberknopf wrote a very upbeat article where he makes it sound like third party presidential candidates in 2012 achieved remarkable, even historic, success.  He provides considerable data on how a number of third party candidates did better in 2012 than in the previous presidential election.  For many years I strongly advocated third party options and even was a state chairperson for a major third party. But over time I realized what a fool’s effort third parties are for presidential elections and also for nearly all congressional ones.  Why?  Because anyone who thinks clearly and understands the US electoral system should know that the system is so rigged against third parties that they are mostly a wasted effort.  Worse even, and this is my major point, because third parties provide a kind of high pressure escape valve for very unhappy Americans to express their anger and frustration.  In so doing, they perversely help to sustain the very corrupt, dysfunctional two-party system they reject and want to change but cannot possibly do.

Let me further explain.  As someone who worked within the federal and state political system for a long time I am totally convinced that the American political system has become a farce, actually an evil system for the vast majority of Americans.  Why?  Because this political system has become the tool for sustaining the upper, wealthy class and is destroying the middle class and succeeding in creating a two-class society. Economic inequality is now at its highest level.  This has resulted because the rich, upper class controls the political system through money that more than earns a terrific return on the funds invested, because the political system has also corrupted the economic system.

We desperately need a second American revolution.  But it will not and cannot come through elections.  Elections merely represent a delusional notion that American democracy still works, when in fact it is nothing more now than a delusional democracy.  Beyond the top 1 percent so talked about as the very wealthy grabbing nearly all the increases in economic growth and prosperity, it is probably the top 10 percent or more that enjoys fabulous lives.  There really are two economies.  The one for the top on the economic ladder is working wonderfully.  They are gobbling up luxury cars, jewelry and all kinds of products, eating expensive foods at home and in fancy restaurants, getting the very best medical care, and experiencing the joys of luxury travel and entertainment.  The lives of some 30 million Americans are truly wonderful.  But the remaining vast majority of Americans who constitute most of the voters are leading very, very different economic lives with much diminished quality of lives and considerable economic insecurity.

So, rather than celebrate that less than 2 percent of voters supported third party presidential candidates and, in so doing, legitimized the US electoral system, what the country really needs are millions of Americans more forcefully attacking the status quo that the two-party plutocracy uses to serve and protect the upper, wealthy class.  Americans who happily and proudly vote and work for third party candidates are delusional if they think that their actions are helping to bring down our corrupt political system.  They need to realize that in a perverse way they are protecting and sustaining the status quo political system.  It would be far better if many millions of Americans who, as expressed in virtually all surveys and polls, have no trust and confidence in both major political parties and all the elected politicians chose to express their discontent by NOT voting in elections.  Yes, that is what we need.  We need to concretely show our rejection of the political system by not honoring it through voting.

The sad joke is that not much more than half of eligible voters actually vote, far worse than in other advanced, industrialized nations.  What the goal of Americans who correctly see both major parties as rigidly corrupt and useless for most citizens should be is to attack the legitimacy of the political system by cutting voter turnout substantially.

Stop feel-good voting for third party candidates and reject the current electoral system altogether.  Do that and think more about other ways to destroy this system.  Think in terms of a political boycott just as you would an economic boycott against a company.  Never delude yourself that by electing Republicans or Democrats you will see the many necessary, fundamental changes for restoring true democracy and honoring the values of the Constitution.  The one most powerful tactic to restore democracy and economic freedom is removing all private money from the entire political system.  That requires a constitutional amendment, and that can only happen through an Article V convention that recently Mark Levin so powerfully advocated in his new book, but which he, sadly, failed to present the full truth about, namely that Congress has already failed to obey the Constitution and recognize the sufficient number of state applications for a convention.

This failure of Congress, like so many other circumstances, decisions and events, only further proves just how awful American democracy has become.  And it shows just how much we need millions of Americans to fight for what is necessary, rather than think that third party candidates are the answer.  Interestingly, third party presidential candidates have not made the Article V convention option a major campaign issue, just as Republicans and Democrats have ignored this constitutional option.

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Articles by: Joel S. Hirschhorn

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