George Conway, half of the “Reconcilable Differences” blogging duo on the National Review magazine website, made the following statement in a recent post:
I voted for President Bush twice, and contributed to his campaign twice, but held my nose when I did it the second time. I don’t consider myself a Republican any longer. Thanks to this Administration and the Republicans in Congress, the Republican Party today is the party of pork-barrel spending, Congressional corruption – and, I know folks on this web site don’t want to hear it, but deep down they know it’s true — foreign and military policy incompetence. Frankly, speaking of incompetence, I think this Administration is the most politically and substantively inept that the nation has had in over a quarter of a century. The good news about it, as far as I’m concerned, is that it’s almost over.
It seems Conway’s feelings are becoming the norm. With the President sucking wind with a 38% approval rating and the (Republican lead) Congress doing even worse at 35%, you would think third-party options would start getting some media attention. Well, the press is hitting the “voter unrest” angle by talking about independents displaying a “throw the bums out” mentality but they fail to make the short jump to actually discussing third-party politics.
From a recent AP article (my emphasis added):
“I don’t see any great leaders on the horizon,” says Heller, a Pleasant Valley, N.Y., real estate broker.
These voters are not alone. More and more, Americans are frustrated with politics as usual in Washington, where incompetence, arrogance, corruption and mindless partisanship seem the norm rather than the exception — a pox on both the Republican and Democratic parties.
Analysts say the public may be getting angry enough to give the U.S. political system a jolt, one way or another.
Voters could toss Republicans from power in Congress this fall, or turn the White House over to Democrats in 2008.
Maverick reform-minded Democrats and Republicans might shake up their parties.
Or perhaps voter unrest will fuel a credible third-party presidential campaign.
“I don’t see either party doing anything advantageous for the population,” said real estate broker Heller, a conservative Democrat. “I think the country is getting fed up. Big business is controlling everything.”
“I’m not happy with either party on national security,” said Hirsch, a Republican-leaning businessman from Chicago. “We have a lot of politicians but not a lot of statesmen.”
“If some larger-than-life personality — let’s say Colin Powell — decided he wanted to launch a third-party candidacy for some office, I think he’d be an impact player,” Bond said. “But he’s not running.”
Bond said the recent third-party candidacies of Perot and Ralph Nader made it easier for future mavericks to gain ballot access. The organizing and fundraising power of the Internet also lowers barriers to third-party bids.
Who knows, maybe with some encouragement and a few decent candidates we might see more pieces like this in the press.
All I ask is that nobody repeat Conway’s “hold your nose” approach. If your party stinks that bad look at third-party options where the air is fresh!