Published at Canada Free Press on August 18, 2015
Do we have a unique chance at this crossroads in our history, the 2016 presidential elections, to see the destruction, the complete and utter destruction, of both political parties at one time?
Think I’m kidding? Imagine that Hillary, clever lawyer that she is, manages to survive her disastrous email investigation, wins her battle to be nominated as the Democratic Party’s nominee for president.
Now imagine that Donald Trump satisfies his own ego driven requirements and wins the Republican Party’s nomination for president.
Regardless of how much money both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump spend to win the presidency, just how many citizens are going to listen to both of them rattling on and on and on for months and then just stay home?
There’s a good chance that a new record low will be set when we add up the number of actual votes that select the next president. Regardless of which one of them would win from an appallingly small turnout at the polls, the next president will be considered illegitimate. Not illegal. Both would pass with flying colors whatever the legal requirements would be, but neither would find a majority of American citizens willing to accept the results of such an election result as valid.
Should that be the case, the political establishments in both the Democrat and Republican parties would be blamed for the situation. Not just the losing party, mind you, but the establishment leadership of both parties.
Obviously, those in the leadership of the party would face one overwhelming question from the members of their own party. How in the world could they allow the situation to develop that tolerates and supports a situation where one individual (who will undoubtedly be a disastrous selection for president) actually beats their own disastrous candidate? Sadly the rank-and-file membership in the losing party will not be able to see that they, themselves, will bear just as much responsibility as the party leadership.
The establishment of the winning party will face almost the same questions. How in the world did you allow this selection of such a poor candidate? Ignore which candidate actually won. An incredibly tiny percentage of the total potential electorate voted for winner who would ultimately become President. And they voted not because they supported the plans, ideas, programs and policies put forth by the winning candidate, but rather because they found their opponent even more appalling than their own.
Rather than allow either party to repeat the fiasco that all of us will witness in 2016, the rank- and-file membership of both parties will start giving serious consideration to breaking away and starting a third party for 2020. The leadership for either really doesn’t have to fear that the political proletariat will “switch” parties. Party members who provide the votes despise their traditional opponents with an almost religious zeal, so switching parties is effectively unthinkable.
And the establishment’s fear of losing voters doesn’t even approach the fear level that the thought of losing those walking wallets, the big dollar donors, from seeking an outsider to run in 2020 without the usual (D) or (R) suffix after their name. And those big dollar donors could make the possibility of a viable third (or third and fourth) party within reason.
In looking at the failures of the establishment leadership, one of the most egregious failures is the lack of legitimacy in each party’s “platform”. Both parties seem to view the drafting of a “party platform” not as a real political manifesto, but more like a quaint homage to the history of their party. How often have we seen the candidate from either party actually adhere to the statements in their respective party platforms? Rarely? Never? Or would the voters respond to that question with and answer something like “What’s a platform?”
Like the Congressional Congress in 1776 for new political parties a platform would become as necessary as the Declaration of Independence. If a new political party is to be formed and declare that the old form of governance splitting the country into two parts, Democrat and Republican, the original words justifying the creation of a new form of governance was described beautifully by Thomas Jefferson.
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” [emphasis added]
In my mind, formulating a detailed platform explaining, and justifying, why there is a need to leave both Republicans and Democrats behind. It’s obvious that neither party is being supported by ordinary people who have been lied to once too often. The leadership, unless they are in desperate need of psychological counselling, should have learned something from the millions of voters who will abandon the D’s and R’s to form their new party. If they plan to mimic what has been done before will make this new party one that will die in infancy.
An additional benefit from a declaration of values and principles, along the lines of a modern Declaration, is that, like Jefferson’s, a platform that clearly specifies what this new party stands for, what it stands against, and what it will try to protect as well as what it will try to achieve, it will continue to be a touchstone for future generations to hold such a new party accountable, and not let principles be swayed by every passing whim of political fashion.
Given how odd the leaders in polling for both parties appear, this is not a daydream or fantasy. This could be an actual possibility for 2020.