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Thu

01

Mar

2007

Is It Unity Party Time?
Thursday, 01 March 2007 20:44
by Stephen Pizzo

Well, are you getting nervous yet about the 2008 presidential race? I know I am. I can't even list the  number of things about the 08 race that make me nervous. But I guess my biggest fear is that, after all the primary hope and hoopla, I'll wake up on election day 2008 faced with just another choice between a couple of painfully mediocre party hacks.

Then there I'll be in the voting booth again torn, arguing with myself over what to do.  It's an argument that goes like this:

“Neither of these candidates deserve my vote so, screw-em both, I'm not voting for either.”

“Oh yeah, that's a solution, Steve. One of them has to be worse than the other. At least by voting for the least-worst candidate we might deny the office to the worst one.”

“Yeah, well,  isn't that the theory we exercised the last two times? Lots of good it did us. We still ended up with the worst of the two.

“That's true, but if we don't vote we have no right to complain about the leaders we get stuck with.”

“Oh great. So that's what the most important exercise in democracy has boiled down to – complaining rights. Terrific.”

I bet every person reading this has had the same voting booth argument with himself or herself. And I bet you're just as sick of it as I am.

And that's why I've signed up to be a Unity08 delegate.

I figure that, until the two parties can be convincingly threatened by a viable third party they will continue playing us for suckers. Yes they will. Absolutely. They will continue to calculate, triangulate and prevaricate. They call that process “the primaries.” And at the end of that hyperbolic dog and pony show both parties will again offer us a choice between canned Spam and Velveeta processed cheese.

And again there we'll be asking, “Hey, where's the beef?”

There'll be no beef. Because the party hacks don't believe we'll vote for the real deal.

That's what I'm really afraid will happen again --  that the parties will chose the bland, safe, the lowest possible denominators, the least likely to offend, to push, to imagine, inspire or dare. It's what the  apparatchiks that run both parties consider, “electable.”

Until now there's been nothing we could do about that because both the GOP and Dems knew that third parties posed no genuine risk to their dual-orcracy.  That's because third parties often begin with a reasonable enough platform and founders, but seem to be magnets for megalomaniacs, wing-nuts and down right raving lunatics. In short order the founders flee and there goes the alternative.

Unity08 might – just might – be different. At least it's worth a try. The idea is to put up a unity ticket in 08. The candidates would be chosen by delegates that sign up online.

I signed up and suggest you do as well. After all, whatya got to lose? Who knows, Unity08 may devolve into another third-party nut basket too. But until we present the two parties with a real threat to their electoral monopoly they will continue giving us candidates that present us only Hobson's choices.

There's another reason to hope that Unity08 succeeds. If America ever needed a unity government it's today. And not just in the White House, but in Congress. Republicans and Democrats have devolved from loyal opposition parties into the political equivalent of Shiites and Sunnis. Legislation has become their version of IEDs. Each day they send their troops up to the The Hill to snipe and plant LEDs (Legislative Explosive Devices) -- not to solve America's growing list of problems, but in the hope of maiming the other party.

It may be a bloodless uncivil war at home, but it is not without real casualties. You can count among the casualties those killed and wounded in a war Congress should end, but won't. You can count as casualties the nearly 50 million Americans who can't get health insurance. You can count America's children, that each year get a worse and worse education. You can count the American working and middle classes, which are watched the American dream diminish before their eyes and are now watching it dissolve for their children and grand kids.

There's only one thing that can end this uncivil war in Washington, and it's a viable threat from a third unity party. A party that puts candidates on the ballot dedicated to fixing what's broke at home and ending our numskull involvement in 1200-year-old religious/sectarian conflicts in the Middle East.

I've made no secret that I like Obama, and I hope to see him win a spot on the Dem ticket in 08. But  I over 60-years old and I've been through too many primaries to have any illusions left that the best person can win their party's nomination. The smoke-filled room may be gone, but it's been replaced by something even worse – a gauntlet that punishes the brave and the righteous to the benefit of the conniving and cautious.

Which I why, while I will cheer Obama on, I will also participate as a Unity08 delegate.

Because I shouldn't have to feel dirty after I vote.
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a guest said:

0
What's Unity, anyway?
It sounds an awful lot like "bipartisan" to me. And bipartisan, you may recall, is what Congress calls their version of the process you claim you go through in the voting booth: "I'll vote for this person (or thing) because, even though he, she or it stinks, it doesn't smell as bad as the other person (thing). Or -- another version of bipartisan is when all the stinkers get together and spray perfume all over each other to cover up the fact that they stink. That's what "Unity08" sounds like to me.

I'm sure you (or somebody here) will tell me if I'm wrong.

Then there's the Obamarama craze -- I've been called a racist for saying that nobody named Barak Obama will ever be elected president of the United States. I don't care because it's not racism with me; it's just recognition of the fact that people who haven't voted in decades will come crawling out of the woods to vote against any person, place or thing named Barak Obama. He'd get more votes if his name was Nikita Khruschev, and the Democrats will find that out if they run him.

The problem with third parties has always been the fact that malcontent Republicans and Democrats refuse to join third parties. Instead they hang on, holding their noses while they vote for stinkers like Bush, Kerry, Clinton, etc. I know because I used to be one of them. To make themselves feel better the label third-party voters "kooks" and "nutballs" and talk about how there's still hope for the present system.

None of you stop to think that the whole crop of stinkers -- Gore, the Clintons, Gingrich and the rest -- are all-grown-up survivors of sixties campus radical groups who, collectively, dropped out of "the movement" when things got rough (a la Kent State) to "work for change within the system." Look at their sleazy asses and see what they've accomplished (for themselves and for the nation) by "working within the system."

It's enough to choke a good-sized herd of goats, I tell ya! When I think about it, I can only think in terms such as "Should I do it this time with single-malt or sour mash -- or should I just lay in fifty gallons of Ripple?"
 
March 02, 2007 | url
Votes: +0

Russell Wellen said:

0
The Eternal Question of American Politics. . .
Vote for the less worse hack who just might, God willing, keep us out of an unecessary war. Or "waste" my vote on a third-party candidate.

For me, it comes down to my stomach. If it turns my stomach to vote for him or her, like Bill or Hillary, I'm constitutionally incapable of flipping the lever for he or she and vote for Ralph Nader, a Socialist candidate, or Lenora Fulani. Well, never Lenora.

Since it doesn't look like Mike Gravel or Dennis Kucinich are going to be nominated by the Democrats, I did as you suggested, Stephen, and signed up with Unity08.
 
March 02, 2007 | url
Votes: +0

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