July 11, 2013

Is A Third Party Really Nonsense? The Discussion


Fifty plus responses is a big discussion in these parts. Not at all like the multi-thousand item rant fests you catch at the chain of Internet Roach Motels run by the AP.

For the sake of keeping this discussion all in one place, here's the complete as of today unexpected thread for what I thought might be a small item of passing interest to readers: Side-Lines: A third party is nonsensical. It is a vote to fail. [Bumped]

We must become the opposition party within the opposition party. Just as Ronald Reagan fought the establishment for decades, so too must we continue to fight using the party only as a vessel for our needs. -- Doug Ross @ Journal: THREE CRISES: An Essay
Ross' essay begins, "Why am I a conservative? For one, I'm literate. I read history.
I know that every government is a social experiment. Every one is an experiment in power and respect, truth and enlightenment, integrity and frailty. And all too frequently, history teaches us that governments descend into corrupted forms of their original selves no matter how grand their vision. Hitler and Gaddafi, Stalin and Pol Pot, Ivan the Terrible and Genghis Khan are only the most infamous examples of murderous despots bent on destruction, pillage, and mass murder."
For Ross the Three Crisises are Leadership, Knowledge, and Will. For readers here, they were only the beginning.

What do I think? Well, that's not really an issue here, is it?

A vote for the party tells the party you are 100% happy with the direction they are going. You told them you were happy with McCain and with Romney.

Reagan had a lot of great small government quotes, but his actions were big government.
Posted by: Todd at July 7, 2013 1:47 PM

I believe Reagan was caught between two priorities -- Prosecuting the Cold War and reining-in the liberal regulatory state. I think he prioritized the former over the latter, and made compromises to that end that fed the growth of government.

I think I agree with that priority, however much I wish he could have made progress on both fronts, and I still believe in the sincerity of his small government rhetoric, in contrast with the increasingly transparent hypocrisy of every Republican nominee since. I thoroughly agree in rejecting the farce of falling in line to support The Party when it continues to betray the most important principles that would attract me to it.

Posted by: Umbriel at July 7, 2013 2:32 PM

The way the system is currently structured where both parties offer no real choice or representation for conservatives, any vote is a vote to fail. Until such time as a credible third party arises nothing will change.

It is rightly pointed out that a third party will simply divide one block or the other, mostly the Republicans. Be it noted that the Republican Party itself started out as a third party and was not immediately successful. Had a credible third party arisen in 2008 it would have been well on the way to being a majority party in 2016. At which point the the Republicans would go the way of the Whigs in their turn.

The country is already far along the road to civil war, as it was in the 1850's. That trend shows no signs of abating. So long as there is no instrument by means of which the active majority can be obtain government by, for and of the the people the danger of a violent convulsion increases.

Posted by: Tamquam at July 7, 2013 2:41 PM

The GOP is a car definitely going in the wrong direction. It is a million times easier to take over the steering wheel of the GOP than to continue with a fantasy of building a new car. The appeal of a Third Party, like the generic candidate, is it allows all to imagine their perfect case, even if fragments of the group want conflicting outcomes.

If you drop your party registration you lose any ability to pick the candidate during the primary election, if your election is closed. Keep your registration and fight to pick better candidates. Or, alternatively, change your registration to Dem and fight for them to pick sure losers.

I notice a tendency of some of us to want to do one action that will fix all of the big problems in one go. Even nominating and electing the perfect POTUS can't make major changes because the bureaucratic state is full of commielibs. They daily work their evil without regard to the last election.

We should copy The Left's march through society. We know it works because that is how The Left came to dominate. Our job will be more difficult because The Left is entrenched and not the pushovers we've usually been. They won't be shamed into surrender like we were. But, it all starts with fighting back in big ways and small ways. Make that a habit. Expect to do it for the rest of your life and teach your family and friends to seek out the conflict. We outnumber them. They just happen to act on their beliefs.

Posted by: Scott M at July 7, 2013 2:47 PM

Ideally, it's all well and good to say a third party's a dead end. As a practical matter, I think relations between the regular organization and the Tea Party are toxic enough, and likely enough at least to remain so, if not get worse, that staying together may be a dead end as well.

Posted by: Rich Fader at July 7, 2013 3:06 PM

Utah is considered the most conservative state in the nation. Utah county is the most Republican county in the state.

I am here to tell you that as of the last presidential election, the Utah Republican Party, and ESPECIALLY the Utah county party officers, are not "conservative" by any stretch of the imagination.

Their priority is PARTY. Bill Bennett was a wake up call they heard loud and clear.

Orrin Hatch spent six million dollars on this last election. Six million, in Utah, for a seat that had no credible Democrat challenger?

I liked Chaffetz, but he's been assimilated and needs to go. Mia Love might be a good single term representative (better than leaving her district to Mattheson), but Bishop is too Utah Republican to trust. Mike Lee is a great, but he's basically third party already.

Utah Reps tried to defeat the caucus system here, because that was the only way we got rid of Bennett. I've been an independent since before that particular race so don't know exactly where things stand now, but if the Political Class anywhere can be depended on for one thing, it's that they will act quickly to protect their own rice bowls.
Posted by: TmjUtah at July 7, 2013 3:24 PM

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected."

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Posted by: I came here for an argument at July 7, 2013 4:00 PM

If you drop your party registration you lose any ability to pick the candidate during the primary election, if your election is closed. Keep your registration and fight to pick better candidates.

yeah... keep telling yourself that, that is what they want to hear. Stay in line, don't fall off the plantation.
The choices that either of the two main parties offer are horrible. The last election the libertarian party offered me a choice that had my values of limited government, reducing spending, and more freedom. The republicans do not and certainly not the democrats offer that choice.
Please don't tell me I have to vote for your party's pathetic choice

Posted by: I came here for an argument at July 7, 2013 4:07 PM

Too late. Its too late to fix anything, except locally.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at July 7, 2013 4:55 PM

The problem is with the politicians, regardless of party. They live in a dream world with no Obamacare, Wall Street Bankers pensions, free airline flights, and they get rich while in office and after. We need a bunch of normal folks making laws. We need a do over!

Posted by: Tom at July 7, 2013 6:06 PM

The problem is with the politicians, regardless of party. They live in a dream world with no Obamacare, Wall Street Bankers pensions, free airline flights, and they get rich while in office and after. We need a bunch of normal folks making laws. We need a do over!

Posted by: Tom at July 7, 2013 6:07 PM

It that some kind of meta-comment - repeating verbatim a comment that ends with the words "We need a do over!"?

Posted by: Dr Weevil at July 7, 2013 6:56 PM

As Christopher said, the way to begin fixing it is at the local level. It will take time and energy but, if/when it all comes tumbling down, at least something is in place where one lives.

Posted by: Philip at July 7, 2013 7:13 PM

It clearly has not penetrated into many otherwise excellent minds how advanced the democratic disease is. We do not seek a third party, we seek what the Republican Party achieved in 1856, the elimination of the second party.

Posted by: james wilson at July 7, 2013 8:42 PM

I am tired of drinking Republican kool-aid.

Posted by: Jewel at July 7, 2013 9:56 PM

Someone explain to me how changing your registration to Independent from Republican gives you any voice in picking better Republican candidates? Don't change the subject. It may be emotionally satisfying to walk away from the GOP, but in more than one state only registered Republicans get to vote in Republican primaries. One thing the Ruling Class has done to reduce the influence of conservatives is to make more state primary elections open to voters with any registration. In those cases you have Democrats and Republicans voting on which Republican will run against the Democrat in the general election.

This is why I suspect many of the self-professed libertarians of actually being liberals. They have infinite anger toward the GOP, join the club. So do I. But they are strangely mild when it comes to the Democrats. If they were free of party loyalty and only interested in liberty why so silent on the Dems? The most you can get out of 90% of 'libertarians' about the Dems is "I don't like them either."

Go join your little boutique party. The Constitution Party is probably better organized, why not join them? If you want to change the GOP you have to fight in the primaries, not sit on your butt whining up until the day before the general election and then notice the party didn't do what you wanted even while you were busy NOT PARTICIPATING in the selection process. If you won't fight during the primary process you are like a bored teenager expecting the world to guess what you want and then condemning the world when it doesn't deliver what you didn't bother to even ask for.

The voters are the problem, the politicians are just the symptom. I'm happy to vote for a sure loser Democrat rather than a RINO Republican. That's what I did when Sen Corker was reelected and I expect to do the same when his RINO pal Lamar Alexander is on the ballot. I have noloyalty toward the GOP, they are nothing but a vehicle in my mind. I'll
Posted by: Scott M at July 7, 2013 10:28 PM

I remember some of the posters in this thread making excuses for the poor candidate the GOP was in the process of selecting during the 2012 Primary process. That's to say rather than picking a better candidate before the Ruling Class Candidate was selected there was all kinds of gymnastics being typed on how the obviously flawed Romney was really the best hope of winning. I don't remember who said it, but I do remember someone here saying the Romney flip-flops were a good sign that Romney was best suited to take on Obama. The GOP hasn't forced nearly as many voters to drink the kool-aid as there are many many voters who push their way toward the front of the line and then explain away the bitter taste and the warnings that the kool-aide is poisoned. The same type of people were dismissing all the warnings about GWB being a moderate by latching onto the excuse "he's from Texas so you know he must be conservative."

You can't change the GOP if you leave it. You can't change the GOP if you believe any damn fool excuse they put out. Look at the world with your own eyes and make your own judgment. Most of the mistakes the voters are making come down to foolishly letting someone else make decisions for them or a search for a short-cut. "Someone said he's the most electable so I can't be talked out of walking off a cliff." Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Karl Rove and many many others can't do this for you. If you rely on anyone but yourself to figure this out you are just volunteering for one cult over another.

Get off you ass before the Primary election and work for a candidate. If you do like most voters and wait for the November election you are part of the problem. You have a Republic if you can keep it.

Posted by: Scott M at July 7, 2013 10:44 PM

After Bush, Dole, Bush, McCain, Romney....we're STILL supposed to "try to work within the Party"?!?

BULL. It is not only more delusional, but more guaranteed to failure to CONTINUE with this GOP Suicide Machine.

Startinf a new Party is not easy, but go ask Abraham Lincoln if he thought it was worth it then.

Posted by: Kauf Buch at July 8, 2013 12:45 AM

To Jewel and Scott M:
WHO SAYS we want to "change" the GOP anymore?!
They've HAD their chances, and they BLEW it.
Each. And. Every. Time.
Witness the "reward" of contempt, exclusion and punishment the Tea-Party-types received after winning the House for the GOP in 2010.

That said, I'll likely vote GOP in 2014 *ONLY* to hold off a Dem/Marxist takeover of the House with Obama in power. After that, it's DEATH TO THE GOP.
Posted by: Kauf Buch at July 8, 2013 1:22 AM

I'm a Brit, so America's problems don't affect me, but we have similar problems to yours in some respects.

It seems to me that whatever political persuasion you follow, the most important thing of all is to get rid of the incumbent. In many constituencies, the same person has been in office for a decade or more - three or four decades, in some instances - and that leaves obvious opportunities for all manner of undue influence. The long-term solution to this problem is term limits, but as that requires a change of Constitution and would affect the current incumbents it's as likely that you would persuade turkeys to vote for Christmas, right now.

A candidate, for either party but the GOP would probably work better, who had as a campaign platform that he would work for term limits once elected might have a decent chance of winning. Might. Especially if many people did it.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at July 8, 2013 3:24 AM

For any real change, the County Chairmanship for the party has to be in conservative hands. That is a local position that sets up the slate for the elections. Also grab the school board positions.
Vote a third party. (Libertarian or other) Only when the twin disgraces stop getting votes will they pay any attention.

Stop the internecine battles. The Left will vote for any Donkey, agreeable or not. If you're not in office, you won't change squat.

Posted by: Peccable at July 8, 2013 3:41 AM

@ Peccable
It seems you're missing the forest for all the trees: you can change all the teeny tiny little pieces of the GOP machinery all you want, and still, at the end of the day, if the money (The Big Donors) which greases the wheels doesn't *want* to change (i.e. from "establishment" to "conservative"), IT WON'T.


Posted by: Kauf Buch at July 8, 2013 4:27 AM

Fletcher Christian

"I'm a Brit, so America's problems don't affect me..."

Sadly most Brits seem to believe that, which is why we are losing the culture war against neo-Comintern (in cahoots with islamic jihad) so comprehensively.

In your case it may be the isolation of Pitcairn Island that is the cause of your delusion. :-)

Posted by: Frank P at July 8, 2013 6:25 AM

Fletcher Christian

"I'm a Brit, so America's problems don't affect me..."

Sadly most Brits seem to believe that, which is why we are losing the culture war against neo-Comintern (in cahoots with islamic jihad) so comprehensively.

In your case it may be the isolation of Pitcairn Island that is the cause of your delusion. :-)

Posted by: Frank P at July 8, 2013 6:28 AM

The lessons we need to learn and the examples we must follow are not to be found with the Civil War.

Look to the Revolutionary War. See what was done to acquire freedom. Emulate that.

Posted by: chasmatic at July 8, 2013 6:49 AM

There will be no electoral solutions for the rot.

The Patient is terminal. Gone. TU. Absente. Yes, the corpus is till warm, and blood pumps, but that illusion is the result of the IVs and O2.

The merest consideration of our demographic devolution would make this fact apparent, but the practitioners of Freddy Hegels' scam are now fully in charge.

Continued allegiance to a "Republican" partei is simply placing ones' own shackles on. As always, the Insiders begin the mantra " a third party vote is a vote for the Democrats"

My response ? .... Marco the Rube aka San Marco

Prepare Accordingly, keeping in mind that in any endeavor, the reality-oriented entity will ALWAYS outperform those that are not.

Posted by: OhioDude at July 8, 2013 7:45 AM

Something people don't seem to comprehend is that whatever you vote like in most states is irrelevant. Yes, you can throw out the incumbent or vote for a different guy, and it might even work where you live.

That's not going to help. The problem isn't with your guy, its with the ones like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, the ones who've been in office for decades. The people who are completely safe and do not care what voters anywhere think.

There are too many of these 100% lock candidates who can ignore everyone and push whatever demented agenda they desire because it simply does not matter how corrupt, demented, or radical they act. And they are the core of congress; they are the ones that do all the damage.

Posted by: Anonymous at July 8, 2013 7:55 AM

I tried the grass-roots approach a couple of years ago. The GOP committee in our rural area has a monthly breakfast meeting at the county's only country club. These half-dozen RINOs had no interest in rank and file opinions or participation. Those meetings are no longer announced in the local paper - which belongs to one of the members, so no 'letters to the editor' here.

Your mileage may differ but I suspect you too will find that there's no such thing as a free breakfast.

Posted by: Monday Anon at July 8, 2013 9:15 AM

Like many, I had some hopes that the Tea Party movement would result in local GOP being taken over by tea partiers and transformed from the bottom up.

The problem is that there are only so many people who have the time, drive, and interest in running political parties and those people tend to be less grounded in good ideas and virtue than those who find politics and power enticing for their own sake.

So in the end, little change was made, and none at the top.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at July 8, 2013 9:21 AM

An individual American citizen's political reach is swiftly being reduced to the range of your rifle's zero by the very people who are working overtime to negate the Constitution and seize that rifle from out of your hands.

They call this progress.

The very same volk who have been steadily reducing our financial independence while veritably waterboarding us under a stream of intolerable regulatory acts designed to prod us into living as they demand we must live.

The same 'progressives' who have designed 2700 pages of scheme to deliver our very health, and indeed our individual right to life itself, into their own hands.

For the children...50 million (and counting) of whom they've dismembered in their mother's womb.

Fuck them right to hell.

Posted by: monkeyfan at July 8, 2013 12:05 PM

Frank P - Perhaps I should have said "directly affect me". In any case, the point is moot - I can't affect American politics anyway, short of moving there (probably wouldn't get a visa, for various reasons) and becoming an American citizen. Oddly enough, I prefer being a subject of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at July 8, 2013 12:06 PM

"The sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Keep voting republican, I am sure it will be different next time.

Scott, if you want to accuse me of being a liberal make sure it is a classic liberal. I will accuse you of being a big government statist, you openly support a party of big government.

Posted by: I came here for an arguement at July 8, 2013 12:59 PM

What too many people don't get yet is that its nonsensical to vote for EITHER party these days. The federal government is a write off, they cannot be fixed. I had one vain shred of a hope, a wind-blown tatter that was lost in the last election.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at July 8, 2013 1:24 PM

We don't need to worry about third parties until we have a functioning second party.

Right now we have no choice of direction, only speed.

Posted by: B Moe at July 8, 2013 2:10 PM

Vote? Really?

Feet on ground, steel in hands.

Is that ballot enough for ya?

Posted by: chasmatic at July 8, 2013 4:13 PM

Remember the question I asked was how do you influence the GOP if you leave it? Re-telling the list of grievances with the GOP doesn't answer the question. For those that say good riddance to the GOP, what has your little boutique party accomplished? If the point is to make changes, I suspect the real point is just to feel good, your little parties are not having any effect in slowing the anyone.

I've never been a supporter of the GOP. I use them like a vehicle when I use them at all. If the larger portion of Conservatives were inside the Dem party I would be there as well. Too many only have one ide in their head and nothing penetrates unless it is translated into like/don't like. When I see so-called libertarians doing 1% as much harm to the Dems and they routinely do the the Rupugs I'll stop suspecting them. Frankly they seem more like spoiled children mad that they eve have to fight for their point of view and in their anger they are happy to destroy anything, but especially happy to destroy their closer allies.

If you are disappointed in the Tea Party what have you done to advance their goals. Moslty what I see are people on our side just longing for a messiah that will do all the work to fix this country. They look for this messiah and then every 4 years just decide the guy selected while they were NOT PARTICIPATING is the messiah simply because some party guy or guy on the radio says the word 'electable'.

We practice sitting on our butts and then condemn those elected for not doing it all for us. The lobbyists and the big money donors, for all their evils, at least work for their side. Our side decides from the outset our money isn't important, we'll only support someone that is 100%, and feel like we've participated by listening to talk radio.

Stop with the excuses for doing nothing. These excuses are disguised as declarations nothing can be done, it's too late, it's inevitable, or I tried once and everything wasn't fixed. Use the tactics of The Left and use them to pressure The Ruling Class until they have reason to fear what happens if they ignore us. Just recognize that because we are so mild and they are so entrenched, and we have waited so long, it will need lost and lots of effort. Most people translate that last bit into an excuse for inaction and that is the problem.

Posted by: Scott M at July 8, 2013 4:54 PM

"Remember the question I asked was how do you influence the GOP if you leave it?"

I think you missed some comments here pointing out that there's no fixing it, that it doesn't matter what you try now, its too late. You believe if we only try harder we can turn it around. We can't, no matter who we vote for, not now. Its too late.

All that remains is how long it takes for you to realize that, too.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at July 8, 2013 6:46 PM

Scott M, your snide contempt is Georgetown-Party-Chic, but doesn't cut it here. You might as well have written in the 1850's/1860's "how do you influence the Whigs if you leave it?" *That* is how tone deaf you are to the point made by many of us above: the GOP is DEAD to us and we will move forward accordingly.

Speaking of contempt, your "Excuses?" "Butt sitting?" claptrap makes it sound like you've been soaking up schizophrenia juice a bit too long. What do YOU do, other than rant online? PHHHT.

Posted by: Kauf Buch at July 8, 2013 6:57 PM

Declaring the GOP dead seems to be just an excuse to do nothing. If I'm wrong about that tell me the name of the organization and about their accomplishments. What influence has anyone but the Democrats and Republicans had?

What tiny percentage of the complainers have done something besides like hearing someone's speech? They pin 100% of their hope on electing a President. Then the messiah President is expected to force House, Senate, Courts, and bureaucracy to snap to. They rush from one name to the next (Chris Christie, Herman Cain, etc) and then are crushed at the first mistake or first personal disclosure.

The Tea Party is the best option for change at the moment because they actually have elected people. But the Tea Party's influence seems to have faded because as described above too many people thought liking the Tea Party was the same as fixing all problems at once. The Libertarians aren't the answer unless the question is who wants to spend 90% of their energy talking about pot and who wants to stay on the sideline and criticize.

Conservatives have some influence inside the GOP, that is known by noticing the GOP at least tries to sound conservative before elections. The RINOs get away with talk only because most of us will not pressure them daily or weekly after the election. Most of us spend all of the time between elections waiting for improvements. Unions and the race hustlers don't sit and wait they pressure and pressure and then exact a price if they aren't rewarded.

Donate to rock solid people with a record of fighting and winning on their issues. The Tea Party is a good place to start. Volunteer for get out the vote or phone banks. But if you think this is a battle where you try one thing once, and then we'll have improvement you are the problem. You are vulnerable to the next snake oil salesman like Karl Rove promising you he'll take care of all for you just send a check. You are particularly susceptible to people like Karl Rove telling you this candidate, just happens to be his candidate, is the guy that will be easiest to elect. Nothing attracts Republican voters like the promise of not having to do things to win.

I'm happy to call my officials weekly, donate to RINO alternatives around the country, and help my state Tea Party organization. I am starting to help with the BeatLamar.com effort to get a primary opponent for worthless Lamar Alexander. Failing that I'll vote for the egg-sucking Democrat against Alexander unless it's very close in November. The only Democrat I ever voted for was the one running against Bob Corker in 2012. The fact that candidate was disowned by the DNC just made it easier to sleep afterwards. I see the Dems as evil malevolent enemies of American liberty and the RINOs as the Benedict Arnolds selling our liberty to the Democrats for media coverage. My theme is we have a party in DC, we just need to deliver more pressure to them then they get from the moochers and the lobbyists. No reason to throw away the whole army and build another when we could fight the traitors in the army we have. It's easier to turn a car around than build a new car. You can't do either unless you do something besides fell sorry for yourself.

Posted by: Scott M at July 8, 2013 10:13 PM

And, DOING NOTHING is exactly what YOU seem to have done...unless dontaing money is your idea of doing something. By "declaring the GOP dead" is as powerful a first step as saying "the Emperor wears no clothes"...or - if one is to slip away from the modesty expected - as sending off that "Declaration of Independence."

All YOU are doing is expressing/personifying the hidden FEAR of the established Party losing its grip. But, GO AHEAD, *TELL* us all here why we are SO MUCH BETTER OFF in the "chains" of the Crown GOP. That *really* makes you sound like such a big guy...(/s).

Posted by: Kauf Buch at July 9, 2013 4:38 AM

NOTE: there should be a "strikethrough" line through the word "CROWN." Only italics and bold seem to work here. Dat's life.

Posted by: Kauf Buch at July 9, 2013 4:41 AM

Scott, You also remind me of BULWORTH saying - with full contempt and bravado - to the blacks in the congregation,
"Well, who *else* ya gonna vote for...REPUBLICANS?!?"

Posted by: Kauf Buch at July 9, 2013 6:15 AM

Scott all I can say is you don't really bother reading what other people post, do you? You have your narrative and you're sticking to it.

In time, I suspect you'll understand what we're talking about.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at July 9, 2013 8:06 AM

Scott talks like a sausage, and should be treated accordingly.

Posted by: chasmatic at July 9, 2013 9:33 AM

The GOP is headed by a 'Tearmeister' not a fighter. The only thing Boehner worries about is getting reelected. Anything goes to that end.

Posted by: Peccable at July 9, 2013 11:14 AM

I don't have a fear of leaving the GOP. As I said earlier I would be in the DNC if that was where the critical mass of conservatives resided. My point is advancing conservative ideas not defending the GOP. I haven't minimized the sometimes feckless and sometimes complicit and sometimes evil action of the GOP. I see only 1-2 dozen worthy members in the House and Senate working for the right things and they happen to be Republican. Most of that group are the very few House Members that DID NOT vote for John Boehner as Speaker.

The Libertarians are not doing anything but complaining and putting most of their effort into making America more pot friendly. If the Libertarians had done as much as the Tea Party I would be more favorable to them. But my whole life the Libertarians have been exclusively about declaring 'I'm not with those parties.'

What has anyone here complaining about my view done for their side beside declare the GOP dead? If my efforts are puny tell me about your efforts.

Posted by: Scott M at July 9, 2013 6:56 PM

I left the party in 95. I continue to vote republican, knowing that in the end it won't matter what I think. The party cares not a wit what we think. I think it may be time for different kinds of actions. Massive work stoppages, tax revolts. Peaceful mass revolts that transcend either party. Nothing scares these dinosaurs but a sudden weather change.

Posted by: Jewel at July 9, 2013 8:02 PM

Second Passport time?

Posted by: Bill Jones at July 9, 2013 8:41 PM

Scott, please reread, or at a minimum improve your reading comprehension abilities. NO ONE said you were afraid of "leaving the GOP."

I SAID: you embody and are expressing the fears of the GOP in "losing the grip on power" of being the established Party.

It's nice to ask "what are you doing?", but posing the question itself displays an utterly blind unwillingness TO SEE ("acknowledge") WHAT WE ARE DOING.

DENIAL is more than a river in Egypt, Scott.

Posted by: Kauf Buch at July 10, 2013 2:18 AM

Gerard, darlin' man, you ought to write from the heart and mind and let off this easy linkage glut.

With a few notable exceptions, your threads have descended into a stale fest of right wing talking points streaked with a wide brush of bizarre paranoia.

Better to write something grand than go for the easy comment hit.

I know you can write with polished skill (my favorite was your bar/divorce story) and slam dunk a persuasive political commentary - you're so fucking intelligent and talented... why are you courting this pack of low-rent internet morons?

I so admire and personally like you, Gerard.

If you're going to blog, live up to your own earlier standards and do it better.

Posted by: Daphne at July 10, 2013 6:01 PM

Daphne, dear, this is the sidebar, its all about links.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at July 10, 2013 6:54 PM

@Kauf I take your correction about my mis-reading comments. I assume all organizations desire to stick around into the future. I dare say even the malevolent Democrats worry in that regard.

My desire to fix the GOP rather than fantasize about a new party or pretending the Libertarian Party is worthy of effort is nothing more than practical laziness, especially mine. Look at our side. Our people are not lazy, least of all are they stupid. Our people are the people that do the work and keep the working parts of this country working. But, when it comes to politics were are as active as a doorstop. These same people are not going to build a new party. If we start we may be able to throw out enough of the GOP and replace them with Tea Party types. While that is a lot of work also, it is a lot less than building a new party from scratch.

The small beneficial part of the GOP, I'll call them the Tea Party wing of the party, is bigger and more effective in practice than any other 3 or 4 prospective efforts combined. While we have recently increased our downhill slide in this country, it's been clear since GWB one or both parties are wildly out of step with either the party base or the majority of citizens. In that time the Libertarians have little to show for their efforts but constant efforts to legalize pot. They've elected fewer candidates than the Tea Party while the Tea Party is much younger.

The only thing that keeps me from full-throated expression about the RNC and GOP are the laws about making threats. I'm not arguing the GOP/RNC only has value as a tear-down. I want it torn down and rebuilt. But I want it preserved because it is on very valuable real estate. It's on every ballot in all 57 state. Every state and most counties have the organization in place. My argument is if we are very actice in throwing out enough of the bums in the party, the other cowards in the party organization will see things our way, or at least act like they do. Then we will need to constantly apply enough pressure on them, all the time, so they recognize their jobs are always on the line. As hard as that is, and it never ends, it's a damn site less effort than building a new party, getting it in every state, and then riding herd on them 24/7/365. Third Party is a more pleasing fantasy than hard work, but it won't work and all the hard work I've detailed will be required anyway with the Third Party.

Posted by: Scott M at July 11, 2013 3:47 AM

Posted by gerardvanderleun at July 11, 2013 9:57 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I have heard it said that it's easier to have a baby than to raise the dead. As an analogy for our current situation, this aphorism is only weakly relevant--the difficulties of creating a third part are enormous. Yet, I do not believe we can use the methods of the left to achieve our goals, slowly and bit by bit. Building anything requires intense effort over a short period, whereas decay happens, slowly and inexorably by itself. Wherever freedom is renewed, it seems to come suddenly, led by both strong leadership and wide (but by no means universal) public support. What we really need is a superb presidential candidate--articulate, savvy, committed; and rich. Remember Ross Perot (I cite him for his viability, not because he represents sound govt)? We almost had a third party then. He was rich enough to be considered viable, and struck a welcome chord of honesty. All it takes is one election. That said, absent such a flag-bearer, the best we can do is fight within the RP, at the candidate selection/primary level.

Posted by: Biglar at July 11, 2013 12:08 PM

I have been writing what has turned into a very, very long post that I just cannot screw up the courage to publish yet. Here is a short excerpt. Read it and weep. I have not embedded links because that would take about forever.

Is it any wonder, then, that I say that the great experiment of America, "the only country founded on an idea" (Edmund Burke), is coming to an end?
[M]any indicators suggest that exhaustion and decrepitude are nigh. The great experiment in republican governance, individual liberty, free market economics, industrial potency and energetic entrepreneurship was doomed by the inexorable forces of human corruption, naked greed, endemic stupidity and the onset of relaxed indifference to the kinetics of continued prosperity, the desideratum of internal unity and the harsh demands of survival in an unforgiving world. Its early decline may be understood as a function of its precipitous success and, in this sense, the current woes afflicting the nation may be considered as entirely predictable and strictly unavoidable. Debt, dependency, unproductivity, preoccupation with untenable theories and fads, internecine conflict, racial politics, affirmative (or infirmative) action, the multicultural salad bowl, intellectual debasement of the general public, a decadent clerisy, incompetent and sybaritic leaders and a climate in which, to cite Victor Davis Hanson, “profits create suspicion; failures earn subsidies.”
These developments are not accidental. The status quo of this day is deliberately contrived. The operating philosophy of progressivism for the last century has been very simple. As columnist David Harsanyi explained it, the American people have too much freedom with which they make too many stupid choices. And therefore, we must be ruled, not merely governed, an open (but now irreversible) betrayal of the political philosophy that founded the nation. This nation was founded on the idea that the fundamental purpose of its government is not actually to govern. Its purpose is to secure the liberty of the people. Therefore, Americans were to be citizens of a nation, not subjects of a sovereign. The people themselves were to be sovereign.

Today, the State is absolutely sovereign. The Political Class does not and cannot trust them. The result is utterly predictable but detectable only in hindsight, when, of course, it is too late: "1984 is here and it's not pretty," observes screenwriter Roger Simon, except that the State is far more infiltrative of our lives than poor Winston Smith ever suffered or, for that matter, than George Orwell ever wildly imagined. "And here’s the big problem: it’s hard to see how it’s going to get better."

It's not going to get better. Here is why: the majority of Americans do not want it to get better, mainly because they do not understand what "better" means.

The American electorate is "liberal and statist"

If all these issues, serious as they are, could be understood as an aberrant administration for which the solution and correction simply may come at the next election, then I would not be writing this post. But, as I indicated above on one of Obamacare's real objectives and in the explanations about how the administration uses the power of the state to silence its political opponents, Americans have already enjoyed the last truly free election they will ever see. Ever. And this is upsetting to only a minority of us.

By no means look to the moribund Republican party for Constitutional liberty. I knew before the end of G.W. Bush's first term that it was dealing death to American liberty as equally as the Democrats. As I said then, both parties are big-government activists with the same foundational political philosophy:

"America is a problem to be fixed, and Americans are a people to be managed."

The electorate voted for the fast track to subjectship rather than citizenship. The election was a decisive defeat for the Republican party, putting the party into permanent sunset.

The Republican Party cannot stay true to its historical principles and win again. For most of the last eight decades, the American Left has taken over, successively, American political theory, opinion leaders, university academia, the media, mainline churches, public education and finally the entire Democrat party. The Left has suffered only rare and temporary setbacks in their Great March. Now it is ensconced and it is permanent.

Conservatives continue to insist that America is basically a center-right nation. This is nothing but whistling in the graveyard. If it was ever true, it is no longer. If 2012's election shows anything, it shows that America is a leftwing nation: "Americans are predominantly, if not overwhelmingly, 'liberal and statist.' "

And this is by design, of course. ...

The problem is not that Republicans and Democrats are not different. They are. The problem is that they are different in ways that mean that neither party enhances personal freedom of individual Americans, and instead concentrates power and wealth in their own hands. ...

This is what a century or so of progressivism has wrought - almost everyone in the country, at every income level, is dependent on the government to a significant (or more) degree, run by the Political Class, who ensures enough patronage is spread over a wide enough swath of the electorate to retain its power and position.

This is the status quo and it is not going to be reversed because the only people who still truly understand the Founders' principles of limited government, personal liberty, delegated powers and true checks and balances among the three branches of government are the Greatest Generation. They are all in their late 80s or older and are dying at an ever-increasing rate. It's an open question whether their children, the Boomers, have all three of

* the historical knowledge and understanding
* intellectual tools and
* collective will

to reverse the strengthening Leftism of the country. And it's a guarantee that anyone younger than the Boomers simply do not have even two of the three. Don't believe me? Then go here and see how readily ordinary supporters of this administration agree that the Bill of Rights should be repealed.

Folks, it's over, just plain over. There is nowhere else to turn to. Liberty is gone. Completely. Forever. That's the way I see it.
Posted by: Donald Sensing at July 11, 2013 2:08 PM

You can't win if you don't fight. For a long time we have justified our views to ourselves and think by doing so our view will infuse people in the DC bubble. That is our problem. The pols are in a bubble, with air cover, and we've effectively stopped piercing the bubble. The Left and Lobbyists move inside the bubble and reward pols for listening and following their requests/orders. If we aren't inside the bubble and delivering as much or more trouble to the pols for ignoring us, we can't even influence the pols.

Prison Rules dictate you don't tolerate blatant disrespect. You act and you act harshly. Make the wayward pol's punishment a lesson to the others.
Mayberry Rules dictate you kindly express your disappointment and tell them you hope they will do better in the future.

We are merely one group in the political fight. The other groups got the memo and they play by Prison Rules and get results, i.e. unions, race hustlers, etc. The Left has published books on how to wage guerrilla political warfare. They used the tactics to get control of more and more. It would work for us if we would just use it. But too often we fight like RINOs negotiate. We know what we would like and we know what the Left wants. Our opening demand is half-way toward the left, to be reasonable and hoping for as little conflict as possible. Each time our opponents refuse we go half-way toward their position, until we lose or what we win is so insignificant as to have been a waste of time.

The fundamental flaw in our side, voters and politicians, is we expect people to do the right thing with little supervision and we prefer less conflict to our liberty. We are afflicted with the virus of Hope & Change, we hope they do the right thing and we wish things would change.

political conflict is now normal, stop hoping conflict can be avoided and get into the fight. Nobody owes us putting our interest ahead of all others. The pols only weigh what penalty and reward they get from the various groups. If you really think it's hopeless, at least fight for the practice and the satisfaction of delivering punishment.

Posted by: Scott M at July 11, 2013 4:33 PM

Scott M, I'm with you. It seems that too many have looked at our situation and found it hopeless. We cannot change anything when we give up. You're correct that we are not piercing the bubble in D.C. Why? Because not enough people get on the computer or phone and contact their representatives. The cynical will say, that they don't hear those messages. Believe me, when the volume is large enough, they begin to notice. How many people have written an e-mail or called in the last week, month, or year? How many have attended local party caucuses? How many have gone to a city council meeting? Our city council always has a period for citizens to stand up and hold forth on issues of the day. How many people are aware that their city council spends almost 60% of their time dealing with trying to get grant money from the state or federal governments or dealing with mandates from the state or feds?

How many even know who their state representatives are? When have they contacted them? That is what self government is about. Citizens telling our representatives what we think. We have to remember and keep reminding them that they work for us.

Anyone who isn't involved in trying to change things at the local level has no ground to stand on when things aren't going their way. We have to change things from the bottom up and we have to make our voices heard in D.C.

Donald Sensing, I respect you and find you to be a true patriot. It troubles my heart that you are making the case for why it's over. Yes, things don't look good now. To give you a football analogy: We're pinned against the goal line and the clock is running. The only way to win the game is to drive 98 yards. Hard? Yes! Impossible? Only if we don't try and give it our best shot.

Posted by: Jimmy J. at July 11, 2013 7:44 PM

As I sit here reading all this, I can only come up with one solution: Government is too big to save. Republicans are a party pretty much finished. They've been marginalizing their own for decades, and every cycle we hear the same, tired tropes: Voting for the lesser of two evils. Work for change within the party. If you go independent you won't be able to vote in the primaries.
Well, bunk. I'm through. If it isn't the pit of despair on one side, it would be the pendulum of poor political choices as a bill come due.
It would be enough to make me despair, but instead, I have hope.
Shuffling off the Republican Mortal Coil has its benefits: We no longer have to keep giving blood transfusions to the corpse, and while there are sparks of life in the party, I see it only as aiding and abetting one party rule. Let the Demonatrix Party have it good and hard. The real action starts when we figure out which teeny tiny straw is going to break the camel's back. Hard to say, but I prefer the worst case scenario to the search for strong enough sticks to hold up the bloated and dead rino.

Posted by: Jewel at July 12, 2013 1:02 AM

In the aftermath of the IRS-TEA party suppression, Fast & Furious contempt, Benghazi lies, NSA big-brothering, and the scandalpalooza of tyrants doing their thing, it's well past the point of being a Mayberry/Queensberry Rules vs prison rules civil battlespace - it has become necessary for HiFi citizens to become proficient with The Moscow Rules and General Matiss' rules*.

To paraphrase Claire Wolf: We are at that awkward stage where it's too late to work within the system but too early to start shooting the bastards.


* "I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all."

"PowerPoint makes us stupid."

Posted by: monkeyfan at July 12, 2013 6:01 AM

Jimmy J, thank you for your encouraging words. I used to think that. But I have reluctantly come to conclude that we do not have 98 yards to go and the clock is not running.

We just got tackled in our own end zone and will give the ball back to the other side. They control the clock and the refs are on their payroll.

We might still think we are on the field, but the game is over.

I did, however, explain how we might have a meaningful overtime here.

Posted by: Donald Sensing at July 12, 2013 9:28 AM

Well, after all is said and done, I just want to thank the fine thinkers here for the privilege of reading the most cogent, poignant and thoughtful chronicling of our demise. Especially you, Gerard. You have not only shared your many thoughts, but you have offered us a forum to share ours with you. So there is freedom in that. The freedom to say what you think when everyone else is too frightened to, is a great freedom, indeed. I hope we make the best use of it when the knife is up against the throat.

Posted by: Jewel at July 12, 2013 10:11 AM

Donald Sensing, thanks for the your thoughts, both here and at your site. You may be right that we've been tackled in the end zone and the clock has run out. However, until the referees tell me that I can no longer petition my representatives and the state has seized my assets and home, I'm going to continue to act like the game isn't over. Stupid? Probably. Unfortunately, I have Scots/Irish blood and don't know when to quit.

Posted by: Jimmy J. at July 12, 2013 12:46 PM

It sounds like a strange thing for a fascist sympathizer like Pound to say, but there is truth in it: A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him.

Posted by: Browncoat at July 12, 2013 12:48 PM

"A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him."

You mean like this?

Posted by: Donald Sensing at July 12, 2013 1:05 PM

Jimmy J: "I have Scots/Irish blood and don't know when to quit."

That's the spirit!

Posted by: Donald Sensing at July 12, 2013 1:10 PM

No, because they aren't afraid to get off the escalator, just too stupid and dependent to do so.

Posted by: Browncoat at July 12, 2013 1:38 PM

Third party is meaningless too. We're not going to fix this republic through ANY party, third or otherwise. The cancerous cells aren't life-threatening, its all that's left of the host. We can rebuild, in time, but not repair.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at July 12, 2013 2:30 PM

"A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him."

Just wanted to see that again.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh at July 12, 2013 7:27 PM

Mr. Taylor is correct. Politics are not going to solve our problem. The only solution that will work is Solution 1936.

Posted by: Shibes Meadow at July 12, 2013 7:38 PM

If you're going to blog, live up to your own earlier standards and do it better.

Posted by: Daphne at July 10, 2013 6:01 PM

That's what I've been telling him for some time. He is such a gifted writer (as are you) and yet wastes his time catering to bigots and riffraff.

Still missing you Daphne.

Posted by: Frank at July 12, 2013 10:23 PM

"That's what I've been telling him for some time. He is such a gifted writer (as are you) and yet wastes his time catering to bigots and riffraff."

If that is your standard for bigots and riffraff, you are a very special person. What I have noticed over time is that when very special people communicate exclusively with themselves, the final results are very often exceedingly bizarre. The only antidote to this is personal humility, the quality which very special people are so disinclined to embrace. Burke did not trust opinions, including his own, which were not first corrected by the man in the street.

Posted by: james wilson at July 13, 2013 11:51 AM

If we so lack imagination, inspiration, and the courage to act on our patriotic principles, why not AT LEAST reverse-engineer the corruptly-commandeered system we've allowed?

The dastards now in control, got there after decades of slow-motion distortion of our school systems' curricula and media, while we, the sluggard liberty-loyalists went about our everyday lives, allowing others to do the work of individual rights/responsibilities civics.

Do we care enough to run in local government, school board, primary,... elections, and participate in town forums to press for reform to essential American constitutional statutes? Or, are we still so pathetically apathetic to allow(and thereby, promote by default)continuing deform to destruction?

Waiting for others to lead is allowing all to bleed.

Off your duff, or kiss it goodbye!

Posted by: Famously Unknown at July 13, 2013 12:47 PM

Jimmy J., I concur!

The question always boils down to this:
Is liberty worth dyin'for? I sure can't think of a time it ain't!

I understand the frustration most conservatives feel, but we ain't the only generation to face daunting and hopeless seeming odds.

It's just not in me to throw in the towel and I bet, when it comes down to it, most of you guys will fight for your liberties too.

Might seem crazy to some folks but anyone who really has even an inkling of what liberty is and how precious it is will stand with us when the shit hits the fan.

Posted by: USS Ben at July 14, 2013 11:20 PM

Granted, some shit has already hit the fan(s) and yeah, things are looking grim but so what?
All the more reason to fight back without quarter!

Posted by: USS Ben at July 14, 2013 11:25 PM

The mistake is presuming an armed takeover you can fight with guns when we're actually facing an army of wormtongues whispering in a million ears.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at July 15, 2013 12:45 PM

All well and good Mr. Taylor, but remember, in the story Grima Wormtongue's dark spin was dispelled by a heavy dose of real light, and he was [mercifully] thrown out on his ass. Grima ended up stabbing his master Saruman to death after realizing he was played the fool.

Meanwhile...An awakened Theoden girded his forgotten sword, the Rohirrim found their courage again, and rode to war for the freedom of men.

Also remember that it was two wee little "Hobbits" (thanks McCain...) who were responsible for taking down Isengard - because they could see the forest for the trees.

Now imagine the good folk of Middle Earth -long abused and riddled with despair at their apparent fate- with rifles and chemistry and a will to Liberty in opposition to the will to power.

Sauron the all-powerful could spy, manipulate, and force everything until his foul tower of Babel and his [diverse] legions of perverted corrupt beasts were reduced to rubble at the hands of two [other] mere "Hobbits" and an ad hoc army of freemen.

The shining city on the hill was saved from enemies both foreign and domestic.

Great story that.

Posted by: monkeyfan at July 15, 2013 4:03 PM

James Wilson, perhaps it was stated poorly, and certainly excludes people like Donald Sensing and you. A good example of what I mean is Ayn Rand. She spent years writing articles decrying the state of modern America, all to no productive purpose, instead of producing clever plays like Night of January 16th, or sequels to The Fountainhead. What a waste of talent.

We know the culture is rotten, the economy is decaying, and how it's being facilitated through a corrupt political process. Do we really have to see pictures of the oozing sore and read detailed descriptions every day from Vanderleun? Isn't Drudge enough? Again, what a waste of talent.

Posted by: Frank at July 15, 2013 4:12 PM

And who do you believe will waken America from the whisperings of Wormtongue? Gandalf? Rush Limbaugh? Passionate bloggers?

It will take an act of God, and those aren't usually pretty.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at July 15, 2013 6:38 PM

Not who...What.


Posted by: monkeyfan at July 15, 2013 7:24 PM

Concur, Mr Sensing. Thanks so much for your writing over the years.
To others who say 'don't go quietly into the night without that good fight'. Ya. Ok. Good luck with that.
Can't stop the signal...

Posted by: RLC2 at July 17, 2013 2:30 AM