Sunday, March 18, 2012

Established Politicians Going Third Party in 2012 Race

Good - we need a choice if the GOP establishment-backed RINO is nominated (as now seems increasingly likely):
Looking back at American history, some of the most dramatic presidential elections have resulted from former officeholders running as third party candidates -- and that possibility looms in 2012.

A host of politicians are looking to be on the ballot in the presidential election come November -- just not as the Democratic or Republican candidates. While he faces some opposition, former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico, a former candidate for the Republican nomination, is the front-runner to be the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee. Another former governor who sought the Republican nomination -- Buddy Roemer of Louisiana -- also pulled out of the GOP contest to run for the nominations of Americans Elect and the Reform Party. Virgil Goode, who represented parts of Virginia for 12 years in Congress as a Democrat, an independent and a Republican before losing his seat in 2008, appears headed toward being the nominee of the Constitution Party.


With the pendulum swinging back and forth between the two major parties -- and with polls showing record low approval ratings of Congress -- third parties are looking to make their moves. When former officeholders have emerged as third-party candidates in American history, it was usually during times of political chaos and confusion.

For example, in the 1832 presidential elections, the second party system started forming in reaction to President Andrew Jackson. While some of the opposition to Jackson rallied behind Henry Clay in what would soon be the Whig Party, William Wirt emerged as the Anti-Mason Party candidate. Wirt, a Virginian who served as U.S. attorney general under James Monroe and John Quincy Adams, and who also wrote a well-regarded biography of Patrick Henry, led a party vehemently opposed to Freemasons -- despite Wirt having been a Mason himself.

With the crisis over slavery brewing, new parties seemed to emerge and quickly fade as the Whigs disintegrated.

Former President Martin Van Buren left the Democrats to run as the Free Soil Party presidential candidate in 1848 with anti-slavery Whig Charles Francis Adams -- the son and grandson of former presidents -- as his vice presidential candidate. New Hampshire U.S. Sen. John Hale was the Free Soil candidate in 1852 but he got trounced by fellow Granite State politician Franklin Pierce. Former Whig President Millard Fillmore teamed up with Andrew Jackson Donelson, the namesake and nephew of the iconic president, to run on the American Party ticket in 1856 but they got trounced by Democrat James Buchanan and John Fremont, the first nominee of the new Republican Party. When Republican Abraham Lincoln sought the presidency in 1860, he had to defeat three officeholders -- Democrats Vice President John Breckinridge and U.S. Sen. Stephen Douglas and Constitutional Union Party nominee John Bell, who served as secretary of War under William Henry Harrison and John Tyler and as a congressman and senator from Tennessee.


The influx of former officeholders to run as third party candidates in the 2012 presidential election could be a reflection of continuing disillusion with the two major parties which has shaped recent elections.


It’s hard to imagine the likes of Gary Johnson, Buddy Roemer and Virgil Goode being inaugurated in January 2013. But with Americans fed up with politics as usual, they could make a difference, especially in a close election.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Virgil Goode for President [UPDATED]

Virgil Goode: Mr. Independent

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At 3/19/2012 9:03 AM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

What I think would be telling would be if a large number of current Democrat or Republican legislators were to run on a third-party tickets for their current offices. This is what happened when the GOP was founded.

At 3/19/2012 3:10 PM, Blogger Nobody Asked Me....But, said...

Thanks you for the historical lesson about third parties.

Today the third parties are different from those in U.S. history. In the past, the parties had an organizational structure and a specific platform. A politician was required to adhere to both in order to be accepted into the party.

The candidates running in today's third parties are not doing it because they do not fit ideologically within the Democrat or Republican party. It is simply another chance to be on the ballot after they have failed to win sufficient votes in the primaries of the main parties.

The Americans Elect party has no ideological framework at all. It does not exist for any office except President. It is entirely a factor of money: some secret donor(s) have given approximately $30 million to obtain the right to have the Americans Elect candidate on the ballot in all 50 states. Who will be its nominee? Supposedly it will be selected by the internet, with voters voting as many times as they wish. The tally is not open for review. The final result can be rejected by its board who are selected by the secret donor(s).

As stated in this article, it seems historically and logistically impossible for a third party candidate to win. So what is the motive?

For Americans elect, it appears to be a political trick to rig or spoil the election by drawing off a few votes from the favored candidate in one or more winner-take-all key swing states, just enough to reverse an electoral college result and give the election to the less favored candidate instead of the most popular vote candidate.

I would avoid voting for the Americans Elect candidate. It is a scam.


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