No, this is not a tirade against NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s ability to be President. Although I would have serious reservations if the reality of such a notion ever came to be. The problem is, as long as we keep this two-party electoral system on the presidential level, we’ll never know what kind of a job President Mike could do. No so-called third party candidate has a winning chance.
So, why do these characters keep popping up? I won’t question their intentions. Anderson, Brown, Perot, Nader and the rest have all had the same intentions (good or bad) as any candidate running for President. And before his failed run as a Progressive in 1912, Theodore Roosevelt had a decent presidential track record as a Republican from 1901-1909. But they all failed.
I say, even before considering a run, the outsider should be working to change the system and make it feasible for an outsider to actually win. I mean, what’s the point otherwise? For example, plenty of states still don’t allow a person to vote in the primaries without first declaring an affiliation with the Republicans or the Democrats. It’s time to make all primaries open so anyone could vote in any single primary, regardless of affiliation.
Dropping the presidential electoral party restrictions is not all that drastic, really. After all, every other electoral process in this country is based on a true, open form of democracy. School boards, mayors, governors, congress and so on. Which is why we have Green Party this or Libertarian Party that. Remember the wonderfully chaotic splendor of the California gubernatorial recall? Though it became late night joke fodder, it was true democracy in action.
Or better yet, why not do away with the primaries altogether? First, we’d give everyone a limit of say six months to campaign. That’s it. No more, no less. And limit the number of debates to say three. That should cut down the rhetoric as well as weed out the weaker candidates. Then have one big general election. For cases that are too close to call (because with so many candidates, it is bound to happen) you have a runoff between the top players.
Imagine how fantastic the presidential race would be if we opened things up like that. Oh sure it might be a little scary. Yes there’s the possibility that we’d vote in a moronic puppet for a war-hungry, behind-the-scenes master who … oh wait. Then again, we could put in place the ability for one presidential recall per term. That way, if a majority of the people are unhappy with the outcome, we start the process again. But only once more. Let’s not get crazy here.
The next step is to do away with the two party discriminatory tradition of the term ‘third party’. How can the over fifty other parties out there all be ‘third parties’? This term only benefits the Republicans and Democrats as it places any of these other parties into a less important role. After all, no one calls the Republicans the first party or the Democrats the second party (or vice versa). Well maybe they themselves do, but…
So if these powerful public figures want to make an honest, independent run for the oval office, they need to start by first changing how things are done. And for those of you who say that my suggestions are too idealistic or unrealistic, that’s just a plain lazy response. Take the time to read our own history and you’ll see how we used to get things done around here.