It's much easier to define what you're opposed. You can be against Bush, or Gore, or whoever, and you may have all sorts of people who agree with you. But once you put together a statement of what you actually are for, what you will actually do, your third party will disintegrate, or become a marginal player like the Green Party or the Libertarian Party or the Constitution Party here in America.He's right. Tapping into anti-establishment rage is simple, especially when the establishment makes it so easy. Explaining to people why you'd be a good alternative is hard. And even if enough people might agree with you, getting the word out without the support of one of the major parties is still almost impossible, even in today's "Army of David" electronic world. Third parties face the catch-22 reality of not being taken seriously by the media because they're so small, and being so small (at least partially) because the media won't take them seriously. Other than the occasional Ross Perot, or even John Anderson, a third party candidate is dead to the MSM. And say what you want about the power of the internet or the blogosphere, it's not enough to overcome this fact. (Yet.)
There's a blogroll that I was just made aware of (and joined) yesterday called American Bloggers for Inclusive Debates, which is made up of bloggers from all over the political spectrum who are fed up with business as usual. One of its goals is to get third party candidates involved in the 2008 presidential debates:
Even though there is little chance of a third party candidate being elected to the nation's highest office, including these candidates in the Presidential debates pressures the Republican and Democrat candidates to address more diverse issues and points of view. When candidates from smaller parties are allowed to participate in Presidential debates, and are allowed to directly confront the major candidates before a national audience with tough questions, and/or fresh new ideas it forces the Democratic and Republican candidate to, in some cases, even adopt those ideas into their campaign.It's a noble goal, which is why I joined, but it's about as uphill a political battle as you'll ever find. Still, some way has to be found to make it as crystal clear as possible to the Big Two that many Americans are tired of their sorry acts, tired of them putting party above country, just as we're tired of politicians putting themselves above the people. It's a little early for calls to refresh the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots (though four years ago I couldn't have even imagined typing that phrase), so why not try everything possible to get a message through?
Then, of course, there's my modest proposal, which I'm now modestly referring to as the Free the PeopleTM campaign, and which so far is a campaign of one. This proposal involves sending a message to our political class by voting against all incumbents this November, regardless of party affiliation, and with no exceptions. I plan on writing about this a lot in the coming months: I call it the Andrew Sullivan Torture Technique. Those of you who read Sullivan will know what I'm talking about and probably think I'm a genius for coining that phrase. The rest of you will soon find out how torturous this technique can be.