There sure has been a lot of hand-wringing today, hasn’t there?
A commentor on an earlier post complained:
Believe me, I would love to have a realist-libertarian party that I could vote for.
Then go run for your local school board, or find a similarly-minded Realist-Libertarian you can support to do so. Srsly. The “Permanent Republican Majority”, such as it was/is, came about because the Republican true believers spent 30-plus years finding & supporting anti-science school board candidates and anti-choice city council candidates and anti-government state drainage commission auditor candidates. These tiny community nuisance larvae, nurtured by wingnut welfare and protected by low-information-voter apathy, eventually pupated in state legislatures, before emerging as full-blown leeches, ticks, and lampreys battening on our misfortunate nation’s lifeblood during the anti-Clinton congressional “Class of 1994” and the Bush/Cheney Kleptocracy. (It also bound the sane conservatives into a death pact with the Insane Klowns Posse, but that’s their problem to solve, or not.)
The Realist-Libertarians — and their counterparts on the other axis, like the Greens — believe they can find a magical all-purpose Savior Candidate, like Ralph Nader, whose enormous logical appeal and sheer personal charisma will make all us disaffected voters smack our foreheads and change our party registration. And also possibly bring in a whole! new! wave! of former non-voters enchanted by the MESSAGE, which has never before been so brilliantly embodied. This is like trying to change the Titanic’s direction by tying Leonardo DiCaprio to the bowsprit — no matter how much media attention it may attract, the laws of political physics will not work in your favor.
Of course Green and Libertarian candidates do sometimes run for one of those humble bottom-level civic offices, and even win. But all too often, prospective third-party Political Leaders leave the field, if not the party, after their first loss. The voters are too stupid, apathetic, or abused to appreciate one’s political genius, so they don’t deserve a second chance. Or the Entrenched Interests are too evil and/or powerful to understand that immediately surrendering their picayune personal fiefdoms to the New Perfect Goal is the only logical choice if they are not to be swept into the dustbin of history. Compromising, horse-trading, persuading other individuals (many of them self-involved greedy hacks and nutbags of dubious intellect and no obvious achievements) to vote in favor of the New Paradigm is tedious and soul-soiling.
It’s much easier to stomp off the field and then sit on the sidelines bitching, but Rush Limbaugh only achieved his current status because thousands of other Republicans were willing to expend their efforts in the actual political game. Even President Obama’s “overnight” success came as the culmination of many years of not-obvious-to-the-mainstream-media work and planning on his part and that of hundreds of other Democratic professionals and committed amateurs.
On a semi-related topic, I found this particular one-star review
of Duck for President entertaining:
“America has a broken electoral system, a polarized electorate, and a dysfunctional Congress, yet somehow this book is amusing?
The book could be construed as funny if we ignore the fact that we have a representative form of government. When we remind ourselves that we’re a self-governing society, we are reminded that what we now call Duck is what we used to think of as a citizen in public service.
In a representative democracy we are all Ducks. And while it may not be fair to judge a light-hearted children’s book on the basis of underlying sociopolitical assumptions, it’s our responsibility as citizens to accept that we are ultimately responsible for the what’s wrong in government, not just teach our children to blame it on Duck. We have met the Duck, and it is us.”