Third Parties Face a Radical Choice: Infiltration, or Extinction

Well, it’s almost that time of year once again when we choose between the candidate who supports taking what we’ve got and financing the rest to our kids – and their kids – and their kids; and the one who wants to do the same thing, but a little slower.

In almost all races, either a Republican or a Democrat will win. Sure, third parties will be on the ticket, but like a Snickers bar in Michael Moore’s car, they are certain to be gone by the time we reach our destination — which is, in this case, the day after the election. There is no end in sight to the plight of the third party, which is why a drastic measure is in order.

Third parties – be they Libertarian, Constitution, Green, Socialist, Communist, Workers, America First, or any others – can’t and won’t make big gains nationally. Why? For the same reason that a dog can be surrounded by Alpo and yet starve to death – an inability to open the can.

Because a good number of socialists and others to the left have already infiltrated the ranks of the Democrats and even the Republicans, for now we’ll keep the focus on those third parties with philosophies closer to my own – parties like the Constitution and Libertarian, both of which promote smaller government, limited taxation and generally like to keep nosiness and government-sponsored pickpocketing to a minimum.

Since it’s difficult to design a political system for people who loathe political systems, being a small-government third party is tougher to manage than most other political philosophies. Like a group called “Humans Against Heartbeats,” the very act of existing tends to contradict its cause.

Obviously, it takes big bucks to run for political office. Huge and often obscene amounts of money are poured into the political coffers – so much so that when a candidate leaves a fund-raiser, it looks as if they’re smuggling out the dinner salad in their suit coat pockets. There’s a reason for that: It takes money to be competitive in the system as it exists, and no amount of fantasy about the Founders intentions can change that now.

The best and quickest way for third-party candidates to get in a position to obtain a high elected office in our current system would be to collectively climb inside a “Trojan Horse” of sorts and infiltrate the Republican Party. Why not the Democrats? Because we wouldn’t want to make it too obvious. Among the pool of Democrats, a limited taxation, pro capitalist, anti-big-government candidate would stick out like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a Bar Mitzvah, and the gig would be up.

This can all be done without compromising or lying about core beliefs. Just because the candidates are going to be politicians is no reason to become a politician. It’s only a name. As they say, you can’t get wet just by saying “water.”

If third parties stick to continued refusal to infiltrate the current system in the existing vehicles, they’ll be forever sitting on an airport runway, refusing to get on a 747 because they’re convinced they can build their own out of some two-by-fours, glue, mason blocks and the motor from a weedwacker.

It’s time for third parties to get serious.

Look at the Libertarians. The highest-profile current candidate in the party right now is Alabama’s Loretta Nall, who is running for governor and campaigning on her cleavage. Not bad, but this probably won’t do the trick. A campaign with slogans that I can only speculate will be along the line of “Turn the udder cheek,” “Trick or teat,” and “Thanks for the mammaries,” will get national attention, but not in a desirable way for a political party that hopes to be competitive.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul has done it the proper way. Paul is a Libertarian (and the presidential candidate for that party in 1988), but has since been elected and serves as a Republican. If the more conservative third parties could manage to sneak in several more Ron Paul types as Republicans, then they could split off into a third party with a ready built and solid footing in Washington.

The Constitution and Libertarian Parties, having a firm grip on economics, believe in free markets, and as such should be familiar with the important concept of “critical mass.”

Third-party refusal to collectively stow away on the S.S. Status Quo and then, once at sea, take over, condemns them forever to a life of 8 p.m. meetings in the back rooms of Applebees restaurants across the country dreaming of what might, but almost certainly never will, come to be. All while the two-party machine continues merrily along on its course of usurping the constitution.


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Author: Doug Powers

Doug Powers is a writer, editor and commentator covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint with an occasional shot of irreverence and a chaser of snark. Townhall Media writer/editor. alum. Bowling novice. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. Contact: