Strain Out a Gnat and Swallow a Camel: How Reverse Statism Endangers the Republic

If you want to send a message to Washington, you must speak in its language. Washington only comprehends the electorate’s desires based upon the margin of victory between the winning candidate and the losing candidate from the opposing major party.

If Obama wins, third party votes will go unnoticed and unheeded, and liberals will take the victory to be an electoral mandate to buckle down on the policies we don’t want.

Third party votes do not say, “I don’t like either candidate, so I’m voting for a better choice,” but rather, “I’m comfortable enough with the way things are to spend my vote on a losing cause.”

If Romney wins, the message will be that Americans want Obama out of office NOW, and prefer the general direction that Romney is willing to take. The Romney administration will receive this as an electoral mandate to move as far away from Obama’s worldview as possible.

THE PHARISAICAL PATRIOT: "Ugh, that gnat! I'd rather be dragged through the desert than use that filthy blade." (Click to enlarge)

You might think that your one vote in a liberal district is meaningless anyway – although of course if everyone subscribed to that idea and resulting course of action, it would make a huge impact. Even popular vote-wise, every vote for Romney is a slap in the face of Obama. Every vote for a third party candidate is mere graffiti on the wall.

Many third-party voters are humble and well-meaning, and many are just angry and feeling insubordinate. Either way, I ask you to respectfully reconsider the situation. America made one of the worst decisions in her relatively young life four years ago, and to prolong it would be painful for generations to come.

I now present to you a pamphlet on the 2012 election and Mitt Romney’s candidacy. Hopefully it will answer all of your questions.

Romney praying before making a commencement speech. (Jae C. Hong AP)

But Mitt Romney’s a Mormon! (Fear not)

Our White House has been residence to Unitarians, at least one likely Deist, and multiple Freemasons. Is Romney’s Mormonism really any weirder?

Romney walks down the central staircase inside the Statehouse during a ceremony marking the end of his term as governor on Jan. 3, 2007. (Josh Reynolds/AP)

Romnesia: Misconceptions about Romney’s record

Romney is often mocked for being inconsistent. In reality, he has been consistent in a way that would be difficult for most of us.

THREE-WAY WRECK: George H.W. Bush, Ross Perot, and Bill Clinton at the second presidential debate of the 1992 election season. Due to America's mostly winner-take-all system, third parties virtually never win, but can still influence the outcome of elections. Scholars speculate that Perot's candidacy might have given Clinton victory, since Perot garnered 19% of the vote that most likely would have otherwise gone to Bush. (AP Photo/Marcy Nighswander)

Reverse statism: A reality check for voters considering third party

If you think an election that can’t be won with your ideal candidate is an election not worth winning at all, think again.

Also of interest: My research paper “Odd Ones Out: Why Third Parties Don’t Fit in the American Political System“.

Just remember: The Federal Reserve. The United Nations. Osama Bin Laden on the loose. The 2008 Financial Crisis. Obamacare. What do these things have in common? Third party voters along with conservatives and libertarians who refused to vote were complicit in their existence.

UPDATE (11/06/12): Why The Founder Of Has Already Voted For Mitt Romney; Former Libertarian candidate: Mitt Romney is the only sane choice for libertarians.

The Tea Party: An Independent 3rd Party In The Works?

Tea Party Storms WashingtonSome readers of Sincerely Amanda might remember the satirical literary lashing I gave to third-party candidates, their supporters and any who refused to vote in the 2008 Presidential Election.  Well, I called it like I saw it regarding any who turned their noses up at McCain-Palin and consented to letting Obama-Biden stroll into the Executive Branch without a fight, and who said that both tickets were equally liberal.  I was so beyond unimpressed, in fact, that I said I would never marry a man who acted that way in the critical 2008 Election (hahaha).  I said the rejection of the Two-Party system was contrary to American Government and History.  After two semesters of college-level American history and some Government, there is a lot I understand now that I wish I had articulated then.  It turns out that I was more accurate than I realized.

Because of the majority-minority structure in the House and Senate, we will probably always have the Republican and Democrat platforms.  It is necessary for orderly function.  But how did it come to that?  Wasn’t the Republican party once an Independent Third Party that jumped out of nowhere and changed the political scene?  Not exactly.

As I mentioned in my article over a year ago, the dynamic of the young nation was quite different.  There were indeed two established parties, the Whig party and the Democratic party.  But the Whig party was disintegrating, and the Democratic party was sharply divided.  The rifts had begun at least eight years before 1860, and with Senator Douglas’s introduction of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854 (which, on a basis of popular sovereignty, disregarded the anti-slavery boundaries established by the Missouri Compromise), the second-party system flew into a tizzy.  Both parties practically split in half over the new bill.

So, some coalitions opposing the bill thought they saw an opening for a new party.  The Republicans?  No, think again.  Can’t think of anybody?  It’s because it was a group of anti-immigration, anti-Catholic conspiracy theorists that tried to start an independent third-party to change the country and didn’t get very far.  The Know-Nothing party, as it was called, held parties promoting American nativism and included members of the secret fraternal organization, the Order of the Star-Spangled Banner.  Members of that organization were instructed to respond, “I know nothing” whenever they were asked about it, hence the funny party label.  They later tried to call themselves the American party instead, but for the most part they remained a bunch of nobodies that just couldn’t make the vision work.

Meanwhile, some experienced and prominent political leaders put their support behind a movement that was forming within the dissolving Whig party.  Since former Democrats who were interested in joining refused to “march under the Whig banner or even support any candidate for high office who called himself a Whig,” as my history textbook says, the members of the new Free-Soil movement chose the title of Republican.  In retrospect, it has since become a very fitting label.  It is resurrected from the days of Thomas Jefferson, when the Jeffersonian Republicans supported conservative ideals such as federalism, small government, State’s rights, and investing in America’s natural resources (Jefferson was an agricultural man who loved living off the land!).

By the time of the 1860 Presidential Election, the political establishment was so wacky that there were essentially two different two-party races taking place in the country – one between Lincoln and Douglas in the North, and another between Breckinridge and Bell in the South (Lincoln wasn’t even on the ballot in the Southern States).  That bizarrely fractured party-politics scenario allowed the Republican movement to mature into a fully developed political party with a leader already in the White House.

What can we learn from this American history?  Well, I don’t believe in trying to water everything down into a man-made formula, because as soon as we think we have everything figured out, we have a tendency to forget to rely on GOD for immediate divine answers and intervention.  But it does appear to me that there is a reputable indicator:

In order for a third-party movement to rise to power in a nation whose political core is a second-party system, the third-party must supplant one established party that is dissolving while the other established party is sharply divided, and both established parties are looking increasingly similar.

That was the case with the Republicans taking over the Whig party in the days when the establishment consisted of Whigs and Democrats.  The Republican label will probably still have to exist for a good long while for the sake of orderliness, but we can modify it.  We’re Conservative Republicans, Constitutional Republicans, and Tea Party Republicans (maybe even Jeffersonian Republicans after all!).  Right now, the Republicans are realizing that they will dissolve if they become anymore like the Democrats, and the Democrats are likely to become sharply divided over the Obamacare issue (depending on how low they can go).  Though most of us conservatives already knew, it is becoming increasingly obvious that President Obama’s ideology barely even touches the fringe of mainstream American political culture, including that of those who lean to the left.  He might have the potential to lead some other country, but America just doesn’t fit him.  As the Owenites and followers of Fourier lamented in the 1820s and 1840s, Americans are just too individualistic and independent to adapt to socialism!

So fellow Americans who are Taxed Enough Already, let’s not be a bunch of Know-Nothings.  We don’t need to try to build our own independent little fort out in the wilderness with sticks and stones and conspiracy glue.  Especially not when there is a Republican mansion being emptied and disordered that we might as well seize.

Ready.  Set.  Go for it!

Taxed Enough Already

“Is it a third-party we need, or a revitalized Republican party?”

- Ronald Reagan