So, Bernie dropped out and endorsed Biden? I’m flummoxed! I feel bewildered and flim flammed! Run amok, bamboozled, even!
No, I don’t. If you recall, the kind editors here, published “Bernie Sanders is Comfort Food” a couple months back. While not alone in the sentiment (I still remember 2016), it still feels eerie to have been right. I didn’t want to be but here we are.
Well, if anything, we should have seen this coming and be ready to learn a hard lesson; these people are not your friends. Red and blue are tribal constructs, nothing more. In “Guns, Gays, and Abortion” the case was made that with little exception, there are no significant differences between these parties.
The subject of open elections, or (gasp!) third parties rubs a lot of people the wrong way. They have an identity attached to the Red or Blue of the U.S. and frankly, many couldn’t tell you why if I had a gun to their kid’s head. Against their own interests, they tend to vote on only one or two issues, namely guns or abortion and that’s where it stops. They watch too much television and often ape whatever talking points they heard on Fox or MSNBC and that’s about it.
“A third party can’t win!” is often the refrain, without so much as a shred of circumstantial or empirical evidence showing a fair contest was ever held in the history of this country. Everything from the 1980s evisceration of PSAs, to corporations being ruled as people, to the electoral college, only serves as a testament to the corruption and expense of running a political campaign. I mean, come on, you don’t think the media is populated with actual reporters, do you? Not exactly Chris Hedges or I.F. Stone there now, is it?
If 15 million people voted for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein in 2016, the entire landscape would be vastly different today. Now, as it stands, we have yet another contest in the offing between syphilis and gonorrhea. We keep doing the lesser of two evils, saying it’s the last time just like a meth addict. This is by design…
We have two non-profit, private corporations running government and their clients are various lobbyists and for profit companies, not us. The simple answer would be to make such an arrangement illegal. In the meantime, our vote means something but only if we insist on courage. Being talked into the status quo won’t work anymore.
In 1854, a bunch of pissed off pro-abolitionist Whigs and Democrats got together and formed the Republican Party. They ran one of California’s first Senators, John Frémont in 1856 for president. Making a respectable showing, Frémont received 33% of the vote to James Buchanan’s 45%. The Know Nothing candidate came in third. Not bad! Wait, a two year old party gave the Democrats, the nation’s oldest party a run for the money, outpacing established parties???
But wait! There’s more…
In 1860, The Republicans (they weren’t old enough to be called the GOP, yet) ran Abraham Lincoln. I’ll save the drama for another time but here is what went down, including a full sweep of the Congress.
1. Lincoln, Republican 39.8%
2. Douglas, Northern Democrat 29.5%
3. Breckinridge, Southern Democrat 18.1%
4. Bell, Constitution Union 12.6%
The fourth party, only six years out from being formed in a schoolhouse, won the presidency and the Congress! Notice that Lincoln won without a plurality of the vote. What is so amazing here is that they did this without planes, cars, phones, internet, television, or a website…nope; all they had was the Pony Express, Morse Code and trains.
Look at the world recently. Mexico’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador won in 2018, upsetting a corrupt system over 100 years old and his six year old party routinely lost! He ran on populist themes, recognizing that bribery, corruption and collusion with the drug cartels had destroyed most of the country.
Who says a third party can’t win? An absolute toddler. As Jimmy Dore says, “if you’re defending these two parties, you’re the adult children of alcoholics” and daddy needs his medicine!