10.28.2006

Name That 'Toon: Why There's No Still No Vital Third Party

Oh how I've agonized and remonstrated, wailed and gnashed, shook my poor, tired rhetorical finger in your faceless mugs. If I were to lay awake at night obsessorating (sorry, George) about something, that something would be the dreaded "third party" monster lurking behind the closet door or under the futon.

I actually don't toss and turn about it, but Pliva, Astze, and Wyeth are responsible for that, rather than any left-handed, enlightened political leaders. Um, so maybe they should be our third party? Well, since they and their pharma phriends already own a sizable stable of both elephants and donkies, that ho won't stroll. Sigh.

I'm not, of course, a learned political analyst, 'though I do play one here, so I'm not going to forward a complex and formidable theory as to why we remain stuck, at least at the presidential and congressional level, with just the Dumbocrats and Repugnantcans. Nor will I even mention the argument that these are not really two, but actually only one entity. God forbid. There are really only two factors: stupidity and laziness. How else to explain the Left's reliance on "reforming" the Blue Party through Howard "The Scream" Dean? If you look in the dictionary for the definition of "boondoggle" you get a pic of "Wowie" Howie hiding under a desk with the Illuminati symbol on it. 'Course, this is what the Dumbs have always done best . . . identify and espouse the least effective option, then shoot absolutely everyone involved with it. But I digress. Or do I?

OK. I'm not gonna put myself in the "stupid" category. After all, I toedja that course was a no show. I am, however, including myself in the "lazy" section. The next few paragraphs are based on a direct lift (can you say "plagiarism"?) from Wikipedia's "List of political parties in the United States". Almost everything in their article has links, so go there and use them, 'cuz I'm just too lazy to reproduce them there. I'm also not going to blockquote this stuff - just assume it's theirs . . .

The Wickos break it down into several categories, the first three of which delineate the present status this way: (1) current major parties: Democrats and Republicans; (2) current third parties: Constitution, Green, and Libertarian; and "current minor and regional parties that have endorsed candidates":

* Alaskan Independence Party
* Aloha Aina Party
* America First Party (2002 - Present)
* American Party (1969 - Present)
* American Independent Party (1968 - Present)
* American Heritage Party
* American Nazi Party
* American Patriot Party
* American Reform Party
* Charter Party of Cincinnati, Ohio
* Christian Freedom Party (2004 - Present)
* Communist League (US)
* Communist Party USA
* Connecticut for Lieberman Party (2006 - Present)
* Conservative Party of New York
* Covenant Party (Northern Mariana Islands)
* Independence Party of Minnesota
* Independence Party of New York
* Independent American Party
* Independent Citizens Movement (US Virgin Islands)
* Labor Party (1995 - Present)
* Liberal Party of Minnesota
* Liberal Party of New York
* Liberty Union Party (Vermont) (1970 - Present)
* Marijuana Party
* Marijuana Reform Party (New York)
* Moderate Party
* Mountain Party (West Virginia)
* New Party
* New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico
* New Union Party
* New York State Right to Life Party
* Peace and Freedom Party (1967 - Present)
* Personal Choice Party (1997 - Present)
* Pirate Party
* Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico
* Populist Party of Maryland (Nader 2004-affiliated, unrelated to earlier so-named parties)
* Populist Party of America
* Prohibition Party (1867 - Present)
* Puerto Rican Independence Party
* Reform Party of the United States of America (1995 - Present)
* Republican Moderate Party of Alaska
* Socialist Action (1983 - Present)
* Socialist Alternative (1986 - Present)
* Socialist Equality Party (1953 - Present)
* Socialist Labor Party (1876 - Present)
* Socialist Party USA (1972 - Present)
* Socialist Workers Party (1938 - Present)
* Southern Party
* Southern Independence Party
* United Citizens Party
* Vermont Progressive Party
* Voter Rights Party
* Workers World Party (1959 - Present)
* Working Families Party
* Workers Party, USA


Wouch!

Note, please, that the Wixards admit that this is an "incomplete" list. That's pretty scary. Then they go on to list, by chronology, most, if not all of the political parties that have existed since the beginning of American time, no matter how obscure, short-lived, narrow-minded single-issue-limited, or down right ridiculous. Names, names, names . . . er . . . NAMES!! Ho! That's IT!!! The fatal problem is that we can't figure out what to name the (truly) damned thing. What name can we come up with that would attract a seething, purposeful critical mass of the disinterested, disenfranchised, disappointed, disillusioned, distracted, disembodied, and disgusted?

OK, before I got serious about this and tried to concentrate, I almost settled on The Dissed Party. Clever, eh? Actually, I think it has some promise; let's hold it in cage-rattling reserve.

If it ever has, reality (rather than realpolitik) no longer works in 21st Amerikca. It is the age of the meme.

Meme-er-meme-er-meemmmmmmmm-er.

Let's start by ruling out some non-starters:

Forget about anything that begins with Neo (or New for that matter). Ever since Neo-Nazi, "neo" has had nothing but evil connotations. Think about it . . . Neo-Liberal, Neo-Conservative. See what I mean?
Democrat and Republican or any derivation or combination are out, out, out.
Likewise, Progressive. The Saint Peter-like, cowardly Liberals/Neo-liberals crushed that one, but good.
Run, do not crawl away from American [...] Party. Look at the list. Anyway, we know it's an American party, fer god's sake . . . we don't want to insult the collective intelligence too much.
Unfortunately, Social makes the rejected list, too. Way too scary for too many people.
Populist won't fly, either. The sentiment is attractive, but (1) there's already a Populist Party and (2) below the surface, its politics are dicey. At the surface, they advocate direct popular involvement in the democratic process. But they also say . . .
In reading through this website, it will hopefully become apparent that the Populist Party of America is neither left nor right; and is inclusive of, and open to, all social persuasions.Also, its hard to tell the difference between them and the Libertarians. Furthermore, in the 1980s, right-wing extremists ruled the party, fielding candidates like David Duke and Bo Gritz. More recently, however, Ralph Nader has been their hero, and in some states they have sought an alliance with the Greens and Libertarians.
For obvious reasons Worker and Labor are dead forever. A shame.
I never could figure out "Independent". Isn't "Independent Party" a contradiction in terms?
Not Anti-[anything], especially Anti-War. My question is always, "Are you anti-all-war, or just this one?" I really like the Antiwar.com website; but I'm also aware that righties like Pat Buchanan abound there.
Unity would be terrible. Too much bi-partisan connotation. We're not about unity, reconciliation, and compromise right now. (Well, we are about trying to unify the Left, so maybe some combination of buzz words: Social Unity, for example).
Finally, I'd add Liberty, Justice, National, Coalition, Patriot(ic), and Front, although maybe some combination of those with other more palatable terms is possible.
Finally, it's too bad Radical won't work.
Not much left, is there? If we look at other countries for possibilities, we often see combinations of names on our losers" list: Social Democrats, Christian Democrats, Labour Unity, etc.

The Greens have opened up the possibility of finding a color, but you can see the drawbacks. Reds, Blues, Whites, Blacks, Browns, Yellows , Oranges . . . oof. Purple would force us to run Prince.

Maybe animals . . . nah, professional sports got that puppy tied up, and I don't think we could revive the Bull-Moose Party.

Speaking of sports, how about The NASCAR Party, with the slogan Drive Fast, Turn Left! The national convention, held at Talledega in July, would be loads of fun. It'd give Richard Petty another chance, after getting trounced in a run for North Carolina governor a few years ago. Everybody'd get a free pack of Goody's Powder to counteract all the Budweiser.

OK, I don't have a bunch of good ideas. With the box so big, it's hard to think outside of it. What we need is a name that could unite folks on the Left under a common and common sense banner. One that would promote clarity of purpose and discourage the tiresome nit-picking and circular firing squads that so often disable us.

I can think of only one new one and one existing party. The new one would be The Jeffersonian Party. The Jeffersonian tradition has been trampled and wounded, but might be infused with new life.

The existing party is The Peace and Freedom Party. (The Wiki info is here) The name, I think, is perfect, but their history might deter self-inclusion by not-so-hard-left folks. Wouldn't it be more exciting and productive, though, to try to "re-form" the PFP than the Democratic Party?

Other than The Dissed Party, mentioned above, I have only one other suggestion . . . The P!arty.

I can see it now . . . thousands of folks, young and old, so many different skin colors, walking around in bright red T-shirts with a big, fat, white P! on the front and "An Asylum for Broken Rabble" on the back. No, I'm not running; it's not even tempting.

If you've got ideas, have your say.

Categories: meme, political+parties, third+party, elections, politics

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