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The TEA Party as a Third Party?

October 4th, 2010 . by TexasFred

The TEA Party as a Third Party?

In the immortal words of Kinky Friedman; “Why the hell not?”

Lately a lot of people are talking about the TEA Party, it’s potential to affect changes in the 2010 elections, and more specifically, in the 2012 elections. Also a HOT BOTTON TOPIC is the question of whether the TEA Party may or could possibly become a viable Third Party.

The very issue of a Third Party stirs the emotions of Americans, of all political tilts.

There are some good points made in the blockquote below by Thomas Friedman, but be warned, Friedman appears to be an Obama fan. Read the next paragraphs with an open mind and try to put his obvious Obama favoritism aside.

There is a revolution brewing in the country, and it is not just on the right wing but in the radical center. I know of at least two serious groups, one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast, developing “third parties�? to challenge our stagnating two-party duopoly that has been presiding over our nation’s steady incremental decline.
Obama probably did the best he could do, and that’s the point. The best our current two parties can produce today — in the wake of the worst existential crisis in our economy and environment in a century — is suboptimal, even when one party had a huge majority. Suboptimal is O.K. for ordinary times, but these are not ordinary times. We need to stop waiting for Superman and start building a superconsensus to do the superhard stuff we must do now. Pretty good is not even close to good enough today.
“We basically have two bankrupt parties bankrupting the country,�? said the Stanford University political scientist Larry Diamond. Indeed, our two-party system is ossified; it lacks integrity and creativity and any sense of courage or high-aspiration in confronting our problems.
“If competition is good for our economy,�? asks Diamond, “why isn’t it good for our politics?�?

We need a third party on the stage of the next presidential debate to look Americans in the eye and say: “These two parties are lying to you. They can’t tell you the truth because they are each trapped in decades of special interests. I am not going to tell you what you want to hear. I am going to tell you what you need to hear if we want to be the world’s leaders, not the new Romans.�?

I know the immediate response that some will have regarding a Third Party, we’ve heard it for a long time, “A third party only splits the vote…” And my response is, “Yeah…so?”

Assuming such a candidate truly exists, what does a Third Party accomplish if they can find and run a candidate of outstanding character, impeccable background, solid education, with experience and unquestionable moral and social standing?

That would be a winning candidate and the 2 major parties would be standing on the sidelines shaking their heads and wondering what just happened.

I have to wonder if the TEA Party, in it’s grass roots mode, could actually muster such a well rounded candidate. Grass roots is a wonderful place to start, but it will only take you so far in the big picture part of the equation.

This is from Libertarian Lew Rockwell, and speaking for myself, clearly defines exactly why I can’t, and won’t wear the title of Libertarian.

You might as well know right now, however, that the Tea Party, no matter how successful it is at the polls in November, will certainly betray the party of liberty. There are several reasons for this, but the fundamental one is intellectual. The Tea Party does not have a coherent view of liberty. Its activists tend to be good on specific economic issues like taxes, spending, stimulus, and healthcare. They worry about government intervention in these areas and can talk a good game.

But just as with old-time conservatives, there are many issues on which the Tea Party tends toward inconsistency. The military and the issue of war is a major one. Many have bought into the line that the greatest threat this country faces domestically is the influx of adherents of Islam; in international politics, they tend to favor belligerence toward any regime that is not a captive of US political control.

On immigration, the Tea Party ethos favors national IDs and draconian impositions on businesses rather than market solutions like cutting welfare. On social and cultural issues, they can be as confused as the Christian Right, believing that it is the job of government to right all wrongs and punish sin.

This doesn’t describe them all. A poll taken last spring divides the activists into two camps: Palin and Paul. Both groups are mad as heck at the mainstream Republican Party, but only the Paul camp has broadened that anger to the government generally. SOURCE

When Rockwell says “the Tea Party, no matter how successful it is at the polls in November, will certainly betray the party of liberty”, the party of liberty is the Libertarians.

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