Monday, December 14, 2009


Whenever voters get frustrated with our politicians, the chant of “let’s start a third-party” ramps up as a means of changing or getting rid of the politicians who are causing the frustration.

Depending on whether the proposed third-party candidate is either liberal or conservative, it is political suicide for whichever party the third-party is most aligned with, in the normal scheme of things. In recent years, strong third-party candidates have made a big difference in a few presidential elections. In 1992, the third-party candidacy of H. Ross Perot siphoned off enough votes from Pres. George H.W. Bush to hand the election to Bill Clinton with only 43% of the vote. Even though the “flaky” Perot hit a nerve with the voting public, he garnered about 19% of the vote; the votes he got would’ve, in most cases, gone to Pres. Bush, the Republican candidate.

Again in the 2000 election, a strong third party candidate, especially in the State of Florida in the person of Ralph Nader, the third-party candidate swung the election to George W. Bush. The votes that Nader received in Florida were mainly from liberals who would’ve voted for the Democrat Al Gore if Nader was not on the ballot. Bush won the popular vote in Florida, and its electoral votes, by just under 600 votes, so Nader was the difference in Bush winning Florida. Also, another quirk in that election was a place on the ballot for the “non-candidate” Pat Buchanan, a conservative. The Palm Beach County Democrat election commissioner designed a “butterfly ballot” which was supposed to make voting easier for the many senior citizens in the county, but which, unintentionally, caused a lot of confusion as many people voted for Pat Buchanan by mistake in a district that was overwhelmingly Democrat. Pat Buchanan got around 4,000 votes that most likely would’ve gone to Al Gore, which also would’ve put him over the top to win the Florida electoral votes. To this day the Democrats claim that the election was “stolen”, but they refuse to admit that it was the stupidity of their voters that caused the end result.

Today, we have talk again, mainly on the Republican side, to marginalize the “liberal” members of the party. Normally, the Republican Party is a party of fiscal and social conservatives with a minority of members who are more liberal on the social issues like abortion and immigration. These RINO’s (Republicans in Name Only), as they are sometimes called, cause a lot of uncertainty among the majority of rank and file Republicans. This is working its way out in the Republican senate race in Florida between the more liberal Charlie Crist and the more conservative Marco Rubio. If either candidate (who loses in the primary) decides to run as a third-party candidate, it would be a disaster for the Republican Party of Florida. That’s what the Democrats are hoping and praying for.

It would be a disaster if the leaders try to purge these liberal Republicans as that would assure the election of Democrats for many years to come. The Democrats tend to band together in a common cause to defeat Republicans, whether they are on the party’s liberal side or on the more conservative “blue dog” side of the party. The members of either party, not the party bosses, should determine who they want to represent them. When the party members make their choices, the party should then rally round the candidate chosen by the rank and file. Each party is big enough to have a “big tent” to accommodate various viewpoints within the party. As Ronald Reagan once advised, if I can agree with 80% of a candidates views, he said he could support him/her. That’s the 80% solution that should be followed by the Republicans in this coming election cycle.

So, the talk of starting or endorsing a third-party candidate, is to my mind, an exercise in futility for the people backing that electoral disaster called a third-party or a third-party candidate.

Written by Chuck Lehmann

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Uncle Reichel said...

conservatives need to reestablish themselves in the Republican Party and not break away to a third Party

vern said...

Conservatives will beat MAObama if “purist” RINOS don’t blow it by holding out for another wishy washy centrist. If they do, the loss in 2012 is on them.

Anonymous said...

To the RNC, the message is simple.
Obama and the Democrats of 2009 seek to obliterate the memory of Reagan, who famously said that Government is the problem not the solution.
Obama and the Democrats of 2009 (Reid Pelosi, Frank, Murtha, et al.) stand for the proposition that Government is the solution.

Simple message and wins every time it is tried. Try it.

Dick Osgood said...

Lt. Col. Allen West is the epitome of a perfect "Tea Party" candidate for the Republican Party. He espouses all the principles that made the "Tea Parties" the phenomenom they were this past summer. Allen West would bring back integrity to the immoral Congress, and without the dreaded "earmarks" that the entrenched Congressmen are addicted to. Support and vote for Allen West in Fla.'s 22nd C.D. in 2010.