Gallup: 58% of Americans Want a Third Party. Maybe Senator Sanders?

Eric Zuesse

On September 24th, Gallup reported that, “A majority of U.S. adults, 58%, say a third U.S. political party is needed because the Republican and Democratic parties ‘do such a poor job’ representing the American people.'” Furthermore, “The first time the question was asked, in 2003, a majority of Americans believed the two major parties were adequately representing the U.S. public, which is the only time this has been the case. Since 2007, a majority has said a third party is needed, with two exceptions occurring in the fall of the 2008 and 2012 presidential election years.”

In other words: Ever since the American public started to learn in 2003 that George W. Bush had been lying about his being in possession of conclusive evidence that Saddam Hussein was building a new stockpile of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), American public sentiment switched drastically from belief that the two major “Parties do an adequate job,” to belief that “A third party is needed.” (Both Parties supported the invasion of Iraq, which was Bush’s policy; it became bipartisan, though it was based on frauds and turned out to be predictably disastrous.) Whereas back in 2003, Americans held, by 56% to 40%, that the existing “Parties do an adequate job,” that sentiment plunged till 2007, when Americans held, by 58% to 33%, that “A third party is needed”; and, today, that sentiment is virtually the same as it was then: 58% to 35% now saying that “A third party is needed.”

The closest American public sentiment has come to 2003’s 56% satisfaction-level with the two existing parties was in late 2008, when 47% were satisfied and 47% were dissatisfied, tied; but, the support at all other times, for creation of a new third party to compete seriously for the U.S. Presidency, has constituted a majority of the U.S. electorate. The only other time when the level of satisfaction reached near to the level of dissatisfaction was in late 2012, when 45% were satisfied, and 46% were dissatisfied, regarding the present two-party system.

Both of those times when majority satisfaction was nearly reached, both in 2008 and in 2012, reflected the public’s rising faith in the two-party system, which resulted from the billions of dollars that were then being spent during the Presidential election-year campaigns, emphasizing the (seemingly) stark ideological differences between the two Presidential candidates. However, both of those times, this near-restoration of faith turned out to have been only fleeting; and, so, between 2012 and today, the level of dissatisfaction has risen from 46% up to its present 58%, and the level of satisfaction has sunk from 45% then, to the present level of only 35%.

Another Gallup result was published later the same day, and it reported that the public’s answer to the question about whether they’re “satisfied or dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed” plunged from the question’s all-time (since 1972) high of 59% in 2002, to its all-time low of 19% in 2011, and then 27% today, so that it seems clear that post-9/11 disenchantment with George Bush’s policies started the plunge, and that disappointment with Obama’s continuing Bush’s policies extended it. When Obama came into office in 2009, the satisfaction figure soared from the pre-Obama, 2008, figure of 26%, up to 43% in 2009, only to plunge again back down, to its all-time low of 19% in 2011, and arrive now at 27%, which is virtually the same level that it was right before Obama became President.

So, yet again: Americans are deeply disturbed at the disappointing performance of our Government, and they don’t trust either Party to restore our democracy.

WHAT ABOUT BERNIE SANDERS?

This raises the question of whether the only possible third party candidate who might actually stand a chance to establish a long-term-viable competitive third political party in the United States, who is Vermont’s independent U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, might actually be able to compete seriously in 2015 and 2016 for the U.S. Presidency, if he runs as an independent (as he has said he might do).

There are only two historical precedents that can provide strong historical guidance toward a fair estimation of the likelihoods that he might succeed on this:

The positive side for such a possible viable new third party is Abraham Lincoln’s successful campaign for the Presidency in 1860 under the banner of the new Republican Party, which had been founded only 6 years earlier, in 1854, so as to overcome the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which had ended the Missouri Compromise of 1820 by allowing new western states to permit slavery. The issue that this new political party, the Republicans, posed, was clear and fundamentally moral, and it concerned both the economy and the body-politic: Should this nation continue half-slave and half-free? So, Abraham Lincoln won: More Americans said no to that question than said yes to it.

However, on the negative side regarding the possibility of a successful political party being able to be formed today, is the example of Teddy Roosevelt’s 1912 campaign for the Presidency under the banner of his own then newly formed Progressive Party. This might be a closer analogy to the present situation. Roosevelt formed that new Party by himself, after he became disillusioned with his own Republican Party’s conservatism, its support for Wall Street at the expense of Main Street. But he confused the public about what precisely was the problem: Teddy Roosevelt formed his Progressive Party specifically because the current Republican President William Howard Taft tried to break up U.S. Steel Corporation as violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act: Taft was trying to enforce a progressive law, applying it to a case in which Roosevelt believed it shouldn’t be applied. This disagreement culminated an ideologically confusing sequence of policy-differences with Taft. All that Roosevelt achieved then, from such confusion, was to draw off enough Republican voters to his own candidacy, so as to enable the Democratic candidate, Woodrow Wilson, to become elected as President.

Precisely what “progressivism” was, and what “conservatism” was, weren’t sufficiently clear to voters, and especially were not nearly so clear to them as, in 1860, had been at issue during that time, which was the moral unacceptability of slavery. Abraham Lincoln’s speeches about that issue were profound, and clear. Teddy Roosevelt’s speeches about what his new party stood for were shallow and superficial. The basic issue was not clear at all. And, without any clear separation of his new party from both  of the then-existing ones, Roosevelt’s new party failed to do what it needed to do and what Lincoln’s Republican Party had done, which was to produce for the voters a clear choice between his party and both  of the then-dominant ones. (Lincoln’s Republicans defeated both the Democrats and the reconstituted Whig Party — the latter running under the name of the Constitutional Union Party, and winning only Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.)

Do we have an issue today that is moral, and comprehensive, and clear, such as existed in 1860? Yes, we actually do, and it has been building in the public’s mind for decades, just as the issue of slavery had been building for decades prior to 1860 (and Lincoln’s speeches brought it forth with volcanic force, and no ambiguity).

Google-search the following sequence of characters, and you will immediately see plenty of discussions of this current analogue to the slavery issue: “climate change” slavery

One of those commentaries is this, which argues that the climate-change issue just cannot be politically resolved. Josh Barro says there, “I have trouble imagining a less popular policy proposal than the United States borrowing a huge amount of money to pay Saudi Arabia not to extract oil — even if that policy actually would make Americans better off. Even when the beneficiary of buyout payments isn’t a foreign government of questionable repute, the barriers would be huge. It would call for international cooperation.”

Only if Senator Sanders can clearly overcome arguments like that, would he possess even a chance to win the U.S. Presidency as a new form of Progressive Party candidate, because, otherwise, the moral and the practical issues will be just as unclear from him as they had been from Theodore Roosevelt in 2012. Furthermore, if Sanders runs as an independent without having first at least tried  to win the Democratic Presidential nomination, then he will antagonize Democratic voters as an enemy and a “spoiler,” much as Ralph Nader did; and, so, antagonizing both Democrats and Republicans, he probably won’t get much more than the 2.74% of the Presidential vote that Nader did in 2000.

Thus, if Senator Sanders doesn’t first at least contest for the Democratic Party’s Presidential nomination, then it’s unlikely that he would be a serious candidate at all for the Presidency; but, if he does try, and if Democratic voters reject him, then what would be the impact if he at that time starts a new Progressive Party, and contests against both the Democratic and the Republican candidates? It would probably be a repeat of what Teddy Roosevelt did in 2012: throwing the election to the opposite established Party, which in this case would be to the Republican nominee, whomever that would be. Sanders says he doesn’t want to do that. So: if he is serious at all about running for the Presidency, and if he’s honest, he will need to run for the Democratic nomination. Only if he fails to receive that nomination will a subsequent new-party run by him for the Presidency make any sense at all — and, even then, it won’t make any sense unless he clearly and convincingly articulates why his new party should become the new and better version of what today’s Democratic Party is. That case can be made. Bill Clinton ended Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Glass-Steagall Act and other regulations of Wall Street;  and Barack Obama has been working since even before he first entered the White House to weaken Social Security, and even to expand the use of fossil fuels. FDR would be appalled at both recent ‘Democratic’ Presidents.

So, today’s ‘Democratic’ Party isn’t FDR’s, and certainly isn’t progressive on some core issues. It’s conceivable that Sanders could end up replacing the Democratic Party with FDR’s progressive Democratic Party, but only if Sanders makes the case for doing that, just as Lincoln made the case for replacing the reconstituted Whig Party (Constitutional Union Party) by the Republican Party, as he did in 1860.

However, in order for Sanders to do this, he first needs to run within the existing Democratic Party, to reform it via taking it over as its Presidential nominee. Because, otherwise, he’ll be seen only as an enemy by Democratic voters; and this would surely defeat (doom) his candidacy.

He won’t be able to win the White House unless he gets strong support from Democratic voters all the way. He won’t win the White House unless he either reforms the Democratic Party, or else replaces the Democratic Party. And that’s a clear fact.

The Gallup Poll findings suggest that the 2016 Presidential contest could be very interesting, even more so than is normally the case. Bernie Sanders might restore FDR’s Democratic Party. But if he doesn’t do that, then 2016 will almost certainly be just more of America’s continuing decline into plutocracy — into the very thing that FDR warred against, both here at home, and abroad, when plutocracy was then commonly called “fascism.” Sanders would need to make the case against it, and would need to bring the global-warming issue integrally into that anti-plutocratic case.

Such a case would be entirely true, and it might win. But who would finance the presentation of it? Only a new political movement could do that. First, he would have to build its core within the Democratic Party. Then, he would need to take that core with him into the general-election campaign. It might happen.  Practically any other 2016 outcome would be no better than what currently exists.

———-

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • ICFubar

    Last time we checked Sanders voting record we came away disappointed. Gill Stein of the Greens however seems to be about honoring what most Americans seem to want honored, the constitution.

    • jadan

      You will first of all have to establish that “most Americans” have read
      the Constitution before you can make the claim that most Americans want
      to honor it. Would be useful to know what % of the population has
      actually read the document. My guess: very few, maybe 10% or less, in spite of the fact that it’s the shortest written constitution.

      • ICFubar

        You make a damned good point.

        • tate matson

          funny–since no they do not…..

      • Me Who

        That’s ok though, maybe. I think it ends up being that someone only needs 2% of voters.

        • tate matson

          Someone only needs 2% of voters? Where are you people from? Your either wacko or being sarcastic….

      • tate matson

        Your nuts and clearly a Marxist who hates the constitution because it gives everyone rights–which you Marxist do not believe in—-you do not believe the individuals should have any rights…..move to china–go work in a sweat shop if you love the idea of everyone being poor and miserable so much……..

    • tate matson

      Oh god–sanders or stein? Why don’t you Marxist move to china or Russia–the lands of no freedom, no freedom of speech, no property rights, but there is equality–everyone is poor except for the corrupt government officials–Obama’s dream—seriously you people are a joke……

      • ICFubar

        Matson, What makes you believe that the various brands of socialism are any less democratic in nature than your capitalistic fantasies? Of course if the mere mention of the word socialism throws you into apoplexy then your indoctrination by the corporatocracy is completed, after which stupid comments like your reply to me will be your norm. P.S. the system of capitalism now relies on socialism for any loses but the privatizing of any profits…but then with your brain set this situation is not unfair as what ever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…right.

        • tate matson

          Because in your socialist society’s regulations strangle everything–it forces people to live in cramped cities–it taxes property so high most people cannot even afford to pay their taxes, it makes it hard to start a business, etc etc Just what Obama does. Capitalism equals freedom–and even in the Crashing Obama economy Americans still have the number 1 quality of life anywhere for the non-elites–so tell me–if our capitalist society is so broke and wrong–why do we have a better quality of life then your storied socialist nations?? Europe is a great place to visit–but I would not want too live there–the house I live in with land would be well over a million dollars–and I am no millionaire….what goes gas cost in socialist world? 11 dollars a gallon in the more heavily taxed euro nations. The average Europeans utilities are so high–that 25,000 Britain’s died last year because they could not afford to heat their homes–how is that global warming myth working in light of the fact–socialism is non freedom–its a cruel joke your masters have taught you…….

          • truthtime

            Russia is adapting a Capitalist-like-Oligarchy now like the U.S. or Europe, so it shouldn’t even be in your “list.”

            The fact that you get caught up and your feathers ruffled at the mere mention of Capitalism or Socialism means you are already hoodwinked.

            You lose, good day sir/madam.

          • ICFubar

            You conflate your standard of living being higher because capitalism loots and plunders others to provide you with your ill gotten gains. If you think the USA has the highest standard of living for it’s working classes you had better check your stats again as the semi socialist countries dominate the top ten, with the USA nowhere listed. Capitalism is an economic force that commodifies everything, from human life to air and water. Then if profitable exploits a commodity until exhaustion or collapse. That is the nature of capitalism, just as a dog will bark and a chicken will cluck. The reason for government is to regulate the more destructive aspects of capitalism. Now if capitalism was run by the people instead of a capitalist we might then see a natural tendency for self regulation. An example might be a restraint on “fracking” because it poisons the ground water and costs more energy than what it’s worth to extract the fracked energy.

            By the way, your property is worth a million dollars only because it is denominated in dollars that have lost their value, roughly 95% in 100 years, What do you think prices in the general economy would look like if you property was worth 10 million, 50 million, 100 million? Your examples of high utility costs are what capitalists would call “whatever the market will bear”. Goldman Sachs, that bastion of capitalism, et al, forcing their way onto the futures commodities market several years back bid up the price of food staples. What do you suppose was the outcome of this very capitalist thing to do? It was estimated that approximately 100 milliom people, the poorest of the poor in the poorest countries around the world starved to death or succumbed to related diseases. Makes Hitler look like an amateur. I would like to debate more but I have a trap shoot I have to attend this morning. Good luck to ya.

  • kimyo

    the only possible third party candidate who might actually stand a
    chance to establish a long-term-viable competitive third political party
    in the United States

    this claim is quite all-encompassing, and perhaps just a little bit over the top? absolutely no one else is viable?

    when you frame your arguments so narrowly, you lose your audience, which is probably just me at this stage of things. when you say ‘conclusive’ but you deliver ‘conjecture’ your ‘reporting’ is just more mscnnbc white noise.

    let’s see you back that statement up. what’s your test for viability? why were teachout or gary johnson struck from your list? if jon stewart ran as an independent, he’d stand no chance? how about ‘snowden in 2016’? it’s a brave new world, none of the old rules apply. your failure to think outside the box is stunning. you don’t even seem to realize that there is a box.

    • cettel

      Please propose an alternative?

      • MCB

        There is no alternative. This is just rearranging deck chairs on The Titanic. It’s mental masterbation while denying that we will indeed collapse. They bigger they are, the harder they fall. A political solution in a corrupt political system is sophistry.

      • kimyo

        the presence or absence of a ‘good’ alternative has no bearing on the merits of your proposal.

        this type of thinking is how we ended up with obama and it’s why he thinks he can get away with anything. romney, mccain and palin are indeed, very scary people. however, it doesn’t take much reflection to deduce that the reality of obama’s presidency is every bit as bad as our most feverishly nightmarish imaginings of life under president romney.

        only one president has done more for monsanto / jp morgan / the nsa than george w. bush. (so far at least). a certain portion of the population voted for obama because he was the least bad option. this ‘approval’ has been twisted into a fictional ‘mandate’ which the msm uses as a club, liberally bashing us about the head, saying ‘you chose this’.

        that’s why i think you post here. you seek to get people voting even when they know they shouldn’t. ie: vote blue cause the red people are very very scary. if my alternative was in place, your reason for posting here would cease to exist.

        my superior solution? add ‘none of the above’ to every ballot for federal office. if you can’t beat ‘none of the above’ you have to sit out the next 1 or 2 election cycles. if you beat ‘none of the above’, but you don’t win, you qualify for funding in the next election.

        if ‘none of the above’ wins, the election is rescheduled.

        couple this with a balloting system which allows the voter to check that his/her vote was recorded accurately and you’d be most of the way to representational democracy. add in free internet for everyone and then we’d be able to move beyond this bs and get on with our lives.

  • Westcoastliberal

    By membership, the Libertarian party is the actual 3rd party in the U.S., but the other 2 parties will never allow it to win a national election. I speak with some knowledge of this as I bought TV time for Harry Browne when he ran for President in 1996. 2 of the 3 Television networks (at that time) wouldn’t provide rates saying he wasn’t a “viable candidate”. Took the matter to the FCC and they said the same. The game is rigged, it’s a big club, and we ain’t in it..to paraphrase George Carlin.
    I like Sen Sanders but he’ll be branded as a Socialist and since most Americans don’t know what that truly is they won’t vote for him.

  • jadan

    The political process is built on an apparatus that allows voters to
    cast a vote. The paper ballot has always been subject to manipulation. I
    read on a t-shirt that who counts the votes is more important than who votes. Josef Stalin
    supposedly said this. Even so, it
    is possible to do a recount with paper ballots. With our black box
    system, it is not, practically speaking. Since fraud
    put GW Bush in the White House in 2000, recounts are not considered
    cool, even though it would not be difficult for programmers to design a
    system that allows any individual among many millions to check to see if
    his or her vote has been recorded accurately. There is no way to know
    if your vote has been recorded as you cast it. You are required to have
    faith that the black box system delivers genuine vote tallies. You have
    no reason to suppose that your vote is actually being counted if you cannot verify it. There is
    no transparency and no accountability in our electoral apparatus. The powers-that-be have even outlawed exit polling, which gives a more accurate tally estimate than actual vote counts. It follows that the political process and whether there are two
    parties or three doesn’t matter if there is no voting mechanism that
    allows voters to have confidence that their individual votes at both
    local and national levels are tallied honestly. If no recount is possible, there is no valid election. Let’s deal with the fundamentals. The lack of confidence in our system and the low turn-out can be attributed to the manipulation of the votes. People simply don’t believe that their individual votes matter.

    • Me Who

      I’ve been concerned about that as well. Especially since there is tangible evidence that technology is manipulated, I’m half expecting Snowden to stick a dirty fork in this illusion of choice.

      • tate matson

        what evidence?

      • Old Wolf

        See also: Hursti Hack. “hacking democracy” and the manipulation of the central tabulator software. “Princeton Sequoia hack”
        Youtube “Man in the middle attack on touch-screen voting machine argonne’
        Remote vote tampering, sequoia AVC. “Princeton Sequoia hack” “Sequoia-dominion ballot marking device hole” “1 minute e-voting machine hack”

    • tate matson

      That is not true–anyone can volunteer at election time to monitor the counting process if they are concerned(many people do). So not sure why you think there is no transparency or accountability? What are you a poster from China–part of your “warfare” tactics? 🙂
      Recounts happen all the time–your entire comment has no basis in fact–go read some more and come back when you have a better argument…..

      • It IS true. a volunteer means NOTHING. The votes inside the machine are manipulated AND CANNOT BE RECOUNTED and your vote CANNOT BE VERIFIED. How would a volunteer verify that INSIDE THE MACHINE the vote is being manipulated? They CAN’T.

        YOU are incorrect: electronic voting machines CANNOT BE RECOUNTED. They come out with a total at the end of the night. Individual votes cannot be recounted. It’s a “faith based” system that is being manipulated.

        You are the one with no argument. You should really read up on electronic voting machines.

        Here’s just one article explaining it:

        When candidates start demanding recounts in the aftermath of Tuesday’s election, many will make an unsettling discovery: In the districts that used electronic voting machines there won’t be a way to conduct a meaningful recount. That’s because the paperless machines provide no method for conducting an independent analysis of the votes other than what’s in the machine’s memory. And collecting the data necessary to prove fraud or irregularities on a touch-screen machine will be uphill battles, since courts and election officials have been unsympathetic to losing candidates making such claims in the past.

        http://www.rense.com/general59/dontcountonrecounts.htm
        BOTTOM LINE: YOU CANNOT RECOUNT ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES AND “VOLUNTEERS” MEAN ZERO
        Now there’s paper ballots cast on electronic paper ballot computer counters. IN THIS CASE, they can be recounted BY HAND.

        • tate matson

          The majority of elections use paper ballots and most are hand counted–this myth about everyone using machines is false.

  • paul

    Sadly, this article addresses a key issue, and makes one good point and then unloads a cartful of nonsense. Yes a third party is needed and yes whoever makes that third party presidential run needs to understand the Lincoln difference. Lincoln identified, embraced and articulated clearly the central issue of his day. Any serious third party candidate today would have to do that, and there already Sanders is out. The more serious Sanders has seemingly become about a presidential run, the more he has smeared the difference between himself and the Democrats, especially around foreign policy. At this point he does not represent a clear articulation of anything. He shows himself to be an opportunist.

    Nader is mentioned. The primary problem with Nader, beyond the fact that he too is not able to clearly articulate the central conflicts of our times, is that he has not run to win. He waits until far too late to enter the race, at which point it’s too late to build up a campaign with even a chance at a real chance, but no matter because he has always made it clear that he was running to ‘inject issues into the debate’, which he has also failed at doing. Nader wants to be forever a critic, a gadfly.

    What we need is a progressive populist candidate/movement who/which unites the best features of the grassroots left and the grassroots right – socialists and libertarians, one might say. Such a candidate/movement could have a super-majority and could sweep to power and reform this country. It is the one thing the establishment Dems and Pubs fear. It’s the one thing that could be a ‘gamechanger’.

  • MCB

    Senator Sanders? Socialism works GREAT in a Balkanized country like AmeriKa with a non homogeneous population. LOL!!! This wouldn’t even make the cut over at The Onion because it’s not even worthy of being called “Journalism.” This op-ed (POS) is a partisan piece of feculence (yes, I know I’m being specious) representative of The Democratic and Republican circus of which is of “Menckenian” proportions. Good luck with climbing back out of the proverbial rabbit hole because you’re going to need it…

  • ClubToTheHead

    Third party? Let’s not be greedy.

    I’d be happy with a second party.

    • cettel

      Well, that’s the point here. But if a good-cop-bad-cop routine has two “parties,” then the Democrats and Republicans are two parties, even at the top (national) level where they’re different sides of the same coin. So, don’t go overboard about it.

  • Jim G

    There are two ways – Liberation of the Dem party- and the creation of a third party. My problem is that the third party gets lost, and the energy of liberating the Dem party, throughout history, has been important. What if we could create an anti-imperialist, anti-globalist, pro-liberation Dem party to replace the Anglo-Zionist Dem party we have. Here in the hinterlands, perhaps this is possible with a pro-libertarian, pro-populist party. Well, its at least a try.

  • ahuxley

    Bernie Sanders…?

    Love the guy. He along with Elizabeth Warren and possibly Ron Paul are among a handful of living/breathing politicos who have the requisite honesty, integrity and contempt for the oligarchy to make a dent in the modern power paradigm. Unfortunately, if, somehow, someway these folks flummox the parasitic banking/corporate maggots and actually assume a position of real power, they will likely go the way of Lincoln, JFK, Bobby K and MLK…
    The oligarchs don’t like it when anyone scuffs their spats…

  • Me Who

    What is his voting record so far?

  • tate matson

    I agree with the commenter who said 2 party’s would be nice!!! Its obvious Bush and Obama work for the same people in Switzerland. I was surprised anyone would recommend Bernie Sanders?? Senator Sanders defended the VA who’s administrators were more focused on enriching themselves then caring for veterans.

    • truthtime

      You know your going on about marxism or capitalism is annoying as fuck, but at least you are pointing out Bernie Sanders. He might say some ‘things’ that sound nice, but I’m pretty sure that fool was hip-hopping to ‘maybe’ vote for ‘bombin’ some IS[E] IS[E] Baby.

  • Old Wolf

    Well, we were strongly warned against the dangers of faction, both in the Federalist papers, and in George Washington’s farewell address.
    Factions become overriding entities that, as they exist, gain more and more power until that power is the only purpose for their existence. The factions become the path to power, and thus, the factions become more important than the people the congressmen went there to represent.
    They, over time, override every other consideration. “If you want this bill to be passed, you have to vote for this bill. No, we won’t hold you responsible for violating your oath as long as you vote with the Party.”

  • Charles

    Political coalitions, new or old, are built based on the coalition builders offering benefits or improvements to members of that coalition. What does global warming offer in this regard? Higher taxes or rationing/restrictions on your car and the fuel you put into it. Lotta votes there!
    How about a reform checklist like:
    *Convert all banks into nonprofit depositor-owned credit unions
    *Public finance of political campaigns with nonhuman entities being banned from campaign contributions and individuals being limited to yearly contributions no larger than the amount that a minimum wage worker earns in a 40 hour week
    * Lower tax rates for any enterprise that is owned by it employees.
    *Medium level taxes for any enterprise that is at least 40% employee-owned.
    *A personal income flat tax with a personal exemption equal to 50% of the national median income (the first $25K of income is tax free) and a flat rate of 25% above that with the rate increasing to 90% for income more than 30 times the median income (90% flat tax on income above 1.5 million per yr)
    How about crossover policies that can appeal to some conservatives & libertarians as well? Like:
    * For the centerpiece of what you can offer the new coalition, employ David Stockman to axe most every government program and tax loophole then use the freed up revenues to fund a yearly $10K basic income grant for every citizen so you have a genuine safety net equal for everyone rather than a pork fest for those with the most lobbying power.
    *End fractional reserve banking and replace the Federal Reserve with a laptop computer that increases money supply 2-3% per year with the newly created money funding public infrastructure.
    *Break up government sanctioned cartels such as the medical and education industrial complexes that force up prices in these industries.
    Thats just a partial checklist of a reform package that could offer braod appeal rather than a global boondoggle that would get 1% of the vote.

  • Charles

    In the last sentence of my comment below I meant to say global warming boondoggle

  • Michael Smith

    It would be very simple to turn the Status-Quo two party system over in one fell swoop and actually probably finally have a single majority party that deals in ideas and debate instead of the false left-right paradigm. Just get Bernie Sanders AND Ron Paul to head up Future Vision Party or whatever you want to call it. Think about it! The cat would once and for all be out of the bag and we can all become Citizens again! Including a No-Voting penalty for would be Denizens!

  • beluved

    We need a whole new House and Senate filled with regular people, who aren’t millionaires. The current members have all secretly turned themselves into millionaires off of the mortgage debacle. They are so disassociated with the way the middle and low income people live. For example, the government has the audacity to make all of these federal 1040 forms so complex; who are they for? I guess members in Congress have investments with the income tax preparers. I know that the democrats in Congress have become so timid, they don’t fight for the middle income and poor like they used to back in the day (1960’s and earlier). Back then, that’s when the country leaders’ thought more about helping the society as a whole, enjoy a comfortable life. People had jobs that paid living wages with benefits. Nowadays the selfish elite just seem to only be concerned about their investments. We have sunk so far down the hole as a nation. The saddest part is Americans have become so trusting about what the news reports say, they don’t do any research and learn about what laws are really being used in our court system nowadays. Research on what law our courts operate under will end a lot of the rhetoric of “We want our rights”. Although I do not like everything President Obama has down, through my years of research, I feel that President Clinton, as well as President Bush have hurt the economy more with such things like Congress voting to have the states not enforce consumer protection laws. I don’t understand how low to middle income people vote Republican, because they consistently approve issues that hurt the working American. If the House and Senate both become Republican, there’s no telling what will happen to the youth, because their concern is on their investments. That’s not to say I am satisfied with the Democrats either, but every now and then they put up a fight to help the average person. Today. I watched the video of the young African American man being shot dead in Walmart for just carrying a BB gun. wasn’t pointing it at anyone, yet the Grand jury failed to indict. It just sickened me. I think the requirement for Congress and President should be to have an income under $150.000 per year, then they’d know how we feel. We do need a real third party, that’s for the people of all incomes, and not trying to secretly turn the American people into a third world country status.

  • Most other nations have no limit on the number of parties and it does them no harm. On the contrary, coalitions with like goals must form to reach a majority, so only the goals most important to all have a chance of success. The whole point of the FEC is so you can only vote for Dope A and Dope B, both of whom have been bought. As if it wasn’t bad enough that the 17th amendment, which deprived the state government of control of their US Senators, gutted our various state government’s participation in national politics.

    • tate matson

      There are no limits to “parties” per se here in the US–it is just easier to declare our either Dem or Rep to get the support those two parties give–and it is not like just because one person is a Dem or Rep they cannot make their own decisions and right their own bills, or vote one way or the other, the honest ones do–the ones there for the MONEY do not…..

      • There is no minimum signature requirement to be “Democrat” or “Republican”. There is no funding requirement. They are placed on the ballot automatically. If you think other parties are placed there automatically you do not understand the purpose of the Federal Election Commission. I suggest Wikipedia.

  • Kultrazero

    Cynthia McKinney, Cindy Sheehan, and Roseanne Barr have been building a strong revolutionary alliance for years. I voted for Cynthia McKinney in 2008 and Roseanne Barr in 2012, and if the California election system wasn’t so screwed up, I’d be voting for Cindy Sheehan for governor. I would love to see Washington’s Blog give them some support!

  • Michael V. Moen

    Voted for Gary Johnson in 2012. Libertarian. He had great policies in store for the Federal Government. Didn’t win by a Galactic mile, but hey I was part of the 1% of the votes for him.