Tag Archives: 2012 election

A Formula For An Alternative Party

The next few years may give conservatives an opportunity to build their “Dream Party”

It has occurred to me that if Conservatives were able to focus on reality for a few years, we could establish an alternative to the Republican Party for the 2016 or 2020 elections. It has been done several times before in our history, but not the way it is being proposed by third party advocates. Third parties do not, have not, and cannot succeed in our “winner take all” elections.

As with most things concerning government, our forefathers have shown us the way, if we are willing to put aside our egos and our lust for fame and power and follow the examples they gave us. History is our best teacher.

The first truth we have to recognize is that, in the end, there are only two political philosophies, statism and liberty; those who believe the government should be supreme and those who believe the people should be supreme. Throughout our history, the contest has always been between these two philosophies.

Our first Party, the Federalist, represented the statist philosophy. In the election of 1800, the Federalists were annihilated and replaced by the Democratic-Republicans. By 1824, the Democratic-Republican Party had disintegrated also. There were no Party candidates put forward for the 1824 election and neither of the four candidates running without a party to back them, won the required majority of electoral votes, therefore the President, John Quincy Adams, was chosen by the House of Representatives.

By 1828 Andrew Jackson, who had run without a Party in 1824 and actually received a plurality of the electoral votes, had organized the statist remnants of the two defunct  parties into a new party, the Democratic Party. He won easily over the newly organized National Republican Party backing John Quincy Adams‘ try for a second term. The National Republican Party was trounced by the Democrats in 1832 and 1836 and finally replaced by the Whig Party.

From 1836 to 1852, the Presidency alternated between the Whigs and the Democrats with each holding the White House for four years.  After losing the 1852 election, the Whigs disintegrated, to be replaced by the Republican Party. The Republican Party split the 1856 vote with the short-lived American Party (the Know-Nothings), and the Democrats won. In 1860 the former Whig, Abraham Lincoln ran as a Republican and won.

Since that time, except for the election of 1864, when the Republican Convention briefly changed its name to the Union Party, either a Democrat or a Republican has held the White House.

What does all this teach us about establishing an alternative constitution conservative party by 2020?

First, we have to demolish the Democratic Party. Obama, is doing a pretty good job of that for us. However, the 2010 and 2012 elections are going to be close. Defeating the Democrats is not going to be easy. It will be impossible if conservatives insist on sitting out the elections or voting for third party candidates. On the other hand, conditions have never been more favorable for landslide victories against the Democrats if conservatives support and vote for Republicans in the next two elections.

If the Democrats can be crushed in 2010 and 2012, the professional politicians in their ranks will see the handwriting on the wall and cross over to the Republican Party in an attempt to salvage their careers. That has been the pattern throughout our history and I see no evidence that the next few years will be any different.

With the Democratic Party in shambles and the Republican Party bogged down with cross-over Democrats, independent conservatives and conservative republicans will have a realistic opportunity to organize a new party to run in opposition to the new homogenous Republican Party that will be made up of progressive Republicans and disaffected progressive Democrats.

On the other hand, if we lose the next two elections or hand them over to the Democrats by insisting on “voting our principles” as a third party, we will have missed the only opportunity we are likely to have for returning the United States back to a limited constitutional republic.

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Dobbs May Support Obama in 2012

Former CNN Television personality Lou Dobbs, confirmed yesterday that he is considering running for President in 2012.  If he follows through on his intimation, it will be a boost for Obama’s re-election campaign.  The recent resurgence of conservatism over the past year has encouraged many conservatives and conservative third parties to consider running in the next national election.  Some, no doubt, for ego gratification and to enhance their resume in the conservative movement; some believe that a third-party conservative candidate actually has a chance of winning the White House in 2012.

Those who fancifully cling to this belief are ignoring both history and the Constitution.  No third-party candidate has ever won the White House in our two hundred and twenty year history, although more than a hundred have tried.  The Constitution is silent on the subject of political parties.  In fact, most of the Founders were opposed on principle to political parties, which they called “factions”.  The Constitution they crafted, however, seems to require the existence of two parties in order to prevent excesses by a single party from plunging the nation into tyranny.

While the Constitutional structure of government set up by the Founders makes the existence of two parties a practical necessity, it makes more than two parties impractical and counter-productive.  The Twelfth Amendment, Ratified in 1803, requires that,

“The person having the greatest number of votes for President shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed;”

This is referring, of course, to the votes of the Electoral College and requires a majority of the votes cast and not a plurality.  In a three way race it is possible that no one gets a majority of the votes.  In that case, the House of Representatives determines which of the three will serve as President.  What normally happens however is that the third party candidate splits the votes of the major party closest in ideology to the third party’s position on the issues resulting in a win for the opposition.

This frequently results in the candidate who does receive a majority of the electoral vote getting less than a majority of the popular vote, as happened in both the election of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.  Not only does that President not have a clear mandate to govern because he does not represent the majority will of the people, it often winds up in months of political wrangling, as in the election of 2000, with court cases going all the way to the Supreme Court.

Any way you look at it, third-party candidates in Presidential elections are always bad news.  The biggest threat to America’s continuing as a free republic is the possibility that a strong third-party candidate will split the Republican vote in 2012 guaranteeing the re-election of Barack Obama. The real contest in 2012 is going to be in the Republican primary.  In many states a voter registered as a third-party member cannot vote in the Republican primary even if their party is not running a candidate, leaving the field to the Republican Party regulars to select a candidate.
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Three Cheers for Sarah Palin

Watching the talking heads and reading the scribbling of the Washington wizards concerning the announcement by Sarah Palin of her resignation as Governor of Alaska, I am reminded of an incident that happened a number of years ago.

A friend and I were driving through the countryside of northern Michigan when my friend decided he would like to stop for a beer.  We pulled into the parking lot of a roadside tavern on the outskirts of a small town and went inside.  We walked up to an empty spot at the bar and stood waiting for the bartender to finish with other customers and take our order.

My friend is a rather imposing figure, standing six-feet-four in his size twelve brogans, with hands only slightly smaller than an outfielder’s glove and a physique reminiscent of a Chicago Bears linebacker.

As we were standing there, I noticed two locals engaged in a friendly game of darts, except that my friend and I were standing between them and the dartboard.  I reached up, tapped my friend on the shoulder, and quietly informed him that we were interfering with the men’s game.  Looking around he noticed the dart players for the first time and quickly stepped aside with an apology; “Sorry, I didn’t notice”.

One of the dart-playing duo looked up at my friend with a slight smile on his face and replied, “That’s OK big guy; you can stand anywhere you like”.

That’s about the way I feel about Sarah Palin.  She has served the state of Alaska well in every public office she has held, from the PTA in Wasilla, to the Governor’s office in Juneau, and she gave the Republican candidate, John McCain the only hope he had of winning the Presidency. For the most part she has gotten only grief for her troubles, plus a staggering legal bill from defending herself against a continuing stream of unfounded and unwarranted accusations by her political enemies.

She owes nothing to the Republican Party and any obligations she may have had to John McCain for picking her as his running mate has been canceled out by the behavior of his campaign staffers after the election.  She certainly owes nothing to the political establishment or the uncaring and thoughtless masses that have delighted in the public attacks on her and her family.  If she does retire from politics, it will be a serious but well-deserved loss for America.

Those of us who admire her and appreciate the “All-American spirit” she brought to the political arena will wish her well if she chooses to re-prioritize her life not to include politics.  If she chooses to spend her time as first mate on the family fishing boat, or just helping her family heal from the wounds inflicted on it by a cruel and unfeeling media, so be it.

On the other hand, if she decides to run for Congress in 2010 or for the White House in 2012 or 16, millions of Americans will be in her corner cheering her on and supporting her efforts.

The most frequent advice she has gotten from the wizards of smarts, is to spend the next few years getting to know and understand the issues in possible preparation for a later return to the political stage.

That would be good advice if there was any evidence that experience or knowledge of the issues was of any benefit to the welfare of the nation.  No one in their right mind can look at America today and say that the experienced, ivy-league educated, professional politicians so valued by the political class has done a good job in steering the ship of state.

It seems to me that what America needs is a non-partisan citizen-politician uninfluenced by the decadence of the “Beltway” establishment; that understands the founding principles that make this county great and unique among the nations of the world at the helm.  By coincidence, Sarah seems to have just these qualifications.

I don’t know if she is the right one to carry the Republican banner in 2012; it’s much too early to tell.  However, she stands head and shoulders above any of those most frequently mentioned by the would-be “king makers”.

I for one, am looking forward to the possibility that having removed her family somewhat from the firing-line by resigning the governorship, she will continue in the forefront of political discourse as an example of the true citizen-patriot-politician so desperately needed at this point in our history.