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Opinion: A Party of Parties

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One way to tell the Democrats and Republicans are becoming alike is that both parties keep saying, “You have a clear choice in this election.” By now everybody should be hip to the increasing uniformity between Democrats and Republicans, though they feign apples to oranges.

You can flip through esteemed mags like Foreign Policy and find articles titled ‘Barack O’Romney’ that show how both guys meld. They both get their marching orders from Wall Street, the Business Roundtable, the National Security Council and other lords who sip recherché champagne on the deck of this sinking ship. Both candidates have similar paymasters, and those paymasters get what they pay for.

That isn’t news. As far back as 1872 newspapers called the parties ‘Republicrats’ and ‘Demopublicans’ to indicate their monochromatic features. Every four years when the White House is up for grabs, ‘third parties’ remind us that two increasingly identical parties hog our whole political system.

However, nobody seems to notice that the third parties are also becoming increasingly identical. As the two big league parties adopt similar goals, third parties also become more and more alike.

Take a look at the Green Party, Libertarian Party, Reform Party USA, Socialist Party USA, Grassroots Party, Modern Whig Party, Americans Elect, Socialist Workers Party, Independent Party, Socialist Equality Party, Justice Party, Objectivist Party, Peace and Freedom Party, Party for Socialism and Liberation, and several others, and you’ll find plenty of political overlap.

Obviously, these parties have fundamental differences. For example, socialist/greens disagree with the libertarian/objectivists about the distribution of wealth. But that aside, these parties are all opposed to war, torture, corporate welfare, state invasion of privacy, attacks on free speech, the maintenance of empire, subsidizing a corrupt and toxic energy industry, the idea that collateral murder is acceptable in warfare, drug wars, government secrecy, imprisoning people without charge or trial, the Electoral College, the growth of centralized, bureaucratic power, the belief that politics is merely a matter of electing competent managers and policies that unfairly target gays, women, and religious, ethnic or cultural minorities.

These third parties all have more in common with each other than with Democrats or Republicans. So, instead of being viewed as a mishmash of clowns in a political sideshow, they should set aside their differences, join forces and form one big Third Party. This alliance would enable them to help each other fight a system that excludes them all. Such a ‘party of parties’ would reflect the ‘movement of movements’ idea where various groups with shared concerns temporarily shelve their disagreements and unite to spark a tectonic shift in politics.

The two parties have dug a moat around the political system and used their influence to make sham elections appear legitimate. People should ask, What gives Democrats and Republicans the right to decide which political parties are included in national debates? What kind of candidates wouldn’t want to share the stage with other candidates? What kind of system would deprive the public of choices?

Democrats and Republicans are becoming similar because their funders and bundlers have similar priorities. These two parties put fundraising before principle. In regard to values and morals, they’ve hollowed themselves out to make room for money.

When you vote for Democrats or Republicans in presidential elections, you’re voting for a carefully manufactured icon who’s nominated for the purpose of maximizing star power. But when you vote for third parties you vote for a philosophy – you vote for a set of ideas, not some guy who promises to tinker with the tax code in one way or another.

Dems and Reps have cooperated in slowly transforming the country into a surveillance and control society with massive poverty, runaway debt, ecological sickness and endless warfare, while also blockading the political system and thus making the state unpublic. Worse yet, this two-party tag team is permanently incumbent. They’ve colonized this country’s political future and rigged things to insure they continue sharing power, unchallenged.

This is why third parties should team-up to bust open the political system. Third parties aren’t taken seriously, but third parties take politics more seriously than the two-party monolith whose policies are ghostwritten by financial goliaths and bomb droppers.

For those of you who are insulted by being continually reduced to red states and blue states, here’s a sample of third party platforms:

Green Party: http://www.gp.org/committees/platform/2012/democracy.php

Libertarian Party: http://www.lp.org/platform

Reform Party USA: http://reformparty.org/issues/

Socialist Party USA:  http://socialistparty-usa.net/platform.html

Modern Whig Party: http://www.modernwhig.org/

Objectivist Party: http://www.objectivistparty.us/6401.html

Socialist Equality Party: http://socialequality.com/issues/social_rights

Justice Party: http://www.justicepartyusa.org/

Peace and Freedom Party: http://www.peaceandfreedom.org/home/about-us/platform

Party for Socialism and Liberation: http://www.pslweb.org/votepsl/2012/why-we-are-running.html

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