No Third Parties, Please

If we Republicans are going to get one our own in the White House this November, it is critical that we have a two man race between Barrack Obama and our chosen candidate in the primary system.  The two-party system is not perfect, but it is an absolute necessity for our democracy to function properly.

The pitfalls of third party candidates date back to the election (maybe further back too) of 1912 when former president Theodore Roosevelt, unhappy with Taft who he chose to yield to four years earlier, ran as a third party he dubbed Bull-Moose.  Teddy was a popular, well-liked president who could appeal both to the aristocracy of which he belonged and to the populous as a lot of progressive reform laws (Square Deal) making it easier on the working class went through.  But the Bull-Moose handle did not separate him from voters who know he was still officially a Republican.  The Republican vote was split up the middle between Roosevelt and Taft allowing the Democrat, a schoolteacher named Woodrow Wilson elected by default with a little less than a 50% majority.  We lucked out with Wilson; he was one of our better presidents.  But he was still one step short of a Teddy Roosevelt.  And if Teddy could not beat the system, who can?

In 1980, the year I voted for the first time, liberal Republican John Anderson ran as a third party candidate.  At the time, I saw no harm in a three man race; I thought an extra choice would be good.  I was in my senior year high school and I took an elective course in American Social Issues taught by a semi-retired assistant principal who chose to return to the classroom until he reached retirement age.  The course had no written exams and small written assignments, debates, and solo presentations were the crux of the grade.  I did a solo presentation on voter apathy and at the time I believed more than two choices would encourage more eighteen year olds to exercise their right to vote granted in 1972.  This time, the liberal vote was split; however Ronald Reagan did have more than 50%.  I ascribe the success of the Reagan presidency to the molding of my conservative views.

In 1992, a billionaire named H. Ross Perot ran as an independent along with then President George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.  The biggest problem I had with Perot was he was a dictator and if you look at the Grecian Democracy, the Roman Republic, and the Weimar Republic in between Kaiser Wilhelm and Adolph Hitler, human nature can sway people who see no hope solving a nation’s problems to turn to a dictator.  Perot insisted at showing up at all the Bush-Clinton debates and the end result was Bill Clinton won the election with only about 35% of the vote.  As bad is getting elected to a first term this way, it is a bigger problem to get elected to a second term with less than 50% of the popular vote because the Constitution prohibits a third term (since Dwight Eisenhower) and it only strips the president of power and enhances the lame-duck factor.


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