The Case for a Third Party in America

Aaron James
Spare Change News​​

Do you realize that you can influence and even write our laws? It does not matter what your economic situation is, we all are given a voice. And when we look back at our history, it is not always those with the biggest wallets that leave the greatest legacy, rather those with the greatest passion and a voice to back it up. The examples of this are many; however, Martin Luther King Jr. is the perfect example of using both his passion and voice to create a historical movement.

​What is stopping you from having an influence on our laws is the current two-party political system. The real problem in the United States is both parties, equally. The two-party system is limiting our ability to win elections and write and pass laws. And we are being offered just two of many perspectives.

​Americans have never been in full agreement as to what the role of the federal government should be. It was the main topic of discussion at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. It has been a debated issue since America’s founding days. There are many roles government could get involved with, ranging from health care to education to criminal law — the list is endless. At the center of the Republican and Democrat divide is the debate on the role of government in our personal lives.

Republicans state in their 2008 party platform that they distrust government interference in people’s lives (gop.com). This is in contrast to Democrats, who pledge in their 2008 platform to get more people involved with government. “Today, we pledge to renew American democracy by promoting the use of new technologies to make it easier for Americans to participate in their government (Democrats.org).” Democrats want government intertwined with our lives. This remains the main difference between the two parties. The mindset that maybe limited government involvement is best, which America’s founders settled on, does not seem to be offered by the two political parties. It may be offered by certain individuals however certainly not by either of the parties.

Black-and-white thinking dominates the American political discourse. In the first paragraph of their 2008 platform Republicans state: “(Our) ideals are those that unify our country: Courage in the face of foreign foes” (Gop.com). Modern history proves Republicans have never backed away from a fight. If one is to call that courage, then Republicans surely have it.

​On the other hand, Democrats stress the importance of diplomacy in their platform by stating: “that there is no more important priority than renewing American leadership on the world stage. This will require diplomatic skill as capable as our military might.” (DNC.com). Modern history proves that Democrats are less likely to enter the battlefield.

​One party seems to want to conquer the world while another wants to piece it together one treaty at time. There is no legitimate party that suggests diplomacy first with no second thoughts; if there is no compliance with a treaty or sanction, then it is immediate grounds for military action. Once again, another perspective is absent from American politics and debate.

​Generally speaking, Democrats believe in creating government programs to assist people in need. They believe government has a responsibility to lift people up when they fall. For this reason, Democrat votes typically come from lower and middle class Americans. Like any generalization, there are exceptions to this. However, the rich are much more likely to favor Republicans.

​Republicans tend to believe that people help people. When an artificial man-made government gets involved at any level, it hinders our growth as individuals. If someone is in need of help they should look to their family and friends for support, not the government. It is as a result of these beliefs that Republicans are typically supported by the wealthy.

​How about, if someone is in tough times, government and family should be there to assist? Republicans fail to understand that some people do not have friends and family to rely on, at least not in the fashion that is necessary. Conversely, Democrats fail to see that some people will never need any form of government assistance.

​In politics, there is no right or wrong. What is best for one American may not be best for another. What is wrong is that there are only two parties offering two extreme platforms. Government has so many forms it could take. How is it possible the citizens of the United States have been left with only two options for nearly 150 years? The time for another party is now. It must happen soon or it is only tough times ahead for the United States.

​With all that being said, we must follow the status quo in 2012. As a nation, we literally cannot afford a Romney administration. I will vote for President Obama. All and all, he has done a good job. Let me remind you, even when a third or fourth political party arises, the other two will still be around and viable. More parties should not mean the execution of the Donkey and Elephant in American politics. More parties would simply hold them honest. More parties would give us a fighting chance to be a part of our government as our founders envisioned.

​But not yet. A viable third party candidate is not in the race in 2012. Please, do not consider one yet for president. However, if there is a third candidate running for another office in your district or state, please consider them. A third party must start with local and state victories. We can make 2012 a strong year for other parties — and it is entirely up to us to make this happen.

AARON JAMES is a Spare Change News writer and vendor.

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