Each election season many reach a saturation point where we’re numb to the political propaganda being pumped at us by both of our great nation’s largest political parties. Presidential elections generally make the saturation point occur more quickly. I suspect I am already reaching my saturation point this season.
I realize we’re still more than a month away from Election Day, and the pain is only going to become worse. I suppose I could opt to pitch a tent in Swansboro and drop off the grid until Nov. 6, but the family would object strongly enough that it’s easier to stay home and suffer through it.
As I try and self-analyze why I’m already mentally fatigued this election season (the never-ending call to tax ourselves more may have something to do with it), I find myself searching for answers that don’t seem to be offered by Democrat or Republican parties. Both of our major political parties appear beholden to special interests and their own brands of insider government. I find myself wondering what our country would be like and what we could accomplish if we had a third political party with some clout.
The United States has other political parties now — the Libertarian and Green parties, for example. We have Independent candidates and voters. We have Ron Paul and his push to “restore constitutional government.” While these parties and movements have attractive messages, many voters, including myself, are not intimate enough with their platforms to consider them a solution.
It also doesn’t appear any of the current third parties have enough of a legitimate following to truly influence the presidential election. So the disenchanted masses, at least in the race for the White House, are seemingly left with a “lesser of two evils” vote among the Republican and Democrat candidates or a protest vote at best.
Still, about half the nation believes we need a third major political party, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll from earlier this year. It’s true that the other half of the poll backed our existing two major political party system, but the poll stays interesting when more than two-thirds of respondents stated they are open to supporting a qualified independent candidate.
Maybe that qualified independent candidate hasn’t come along yet. Maybe the country is really in love with President Obama or Gov. Mitt Romney. I know I’m not in love with either one of them — or the bloated government mess that both our major political parties have created. But unless I file a protest vote in November with an existing third party or independent candidate, I’m back to the lesser of two evils vote as a primary option. And we all know the problem with voting for the lesser of two evils — you still end up with evil.
A third major political party could be just the antidote for the country and our political system if only we had the courage as a nation and voters to help establish the necessary momentum. I have often thought we could call the third major political party the Common Sense party where common sense, pragmatism and advancing the nation prevail over politics.
Then, a quick Internet search while writing this column crushed my creative bubble because apparently the American Common Sense party already exists. At least it does online, check it out if you’re curious. I could not tell from their Website if the organization is credible or if they have established any momentum at all, and I’m not sure of their views or if the site is designed to stump for the Romney ticket.
Yet I can’t help but like the Common Sense party name and the notion that government could follow and employ common sense for the common good of the people — not just grow to perpetuate government control or to benefit special interests. Common sense for the common good: The notion has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? I swear I’ve heard it before somewhere?
Dan Francisco is an El Dorado Hills-based public relations consultant to the high-tech industry.