Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Americans Elect

This last month saw the inevitable collapse of another putative "third" party.  Well, sort of a party.  A "partique," perhaps.

Americans Elect was an effort to create an independent nominating process for a presidential candidate, one who was not beholden to the polarizing dualistic absurdity that is our current party "system."   It was well-intentioned, but doomed from inception for a couple of reasons.

First, it's nearly impossible to get people excited about a movement whose only banner is "we're not the other two."  Without an affirmative, clear, and direct message about identity and direction, no political or social movement has a chance.  Sure, our current approach is inherently flawed, and contributes directly to a lack of national direction and an unconstructively oppositional dynamic.

But saying "we'll stand for whatever we end up standing for" just isn't going to stoke the flames of the popular imagination.

Second, political movements that orient themselves towards national level elections first and foremost are getting it backwards.  Targeting the presidency first is politically absurd.  You need to build a movement from the ground up, focusing on generating energy at the local and state level.  Once that foundation is laid, you have a shot at a broader national audience.  Without that foundation, you may as well just be that guy who sits in his basement and writes long party manifestos while planning his rise to global dominance.

Ain't gonna happen.

So with this still-born effort, we find ourselves in 2012, inevitably back in the false tension between polarities that has come to define American politics.  Ah well.   Maybe we'll see the Bull Moose Party make a comeback in 2014.

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