Week in Review
There are two sides to every issue. Take the Occupy Wall Street movement. Time Magazine has made these protestors their Person of the Year. While Investors.com calls these maggot infested hippy, communist-loving, capitalist-hating pond-scum something else (See “Occupy” A Media Creation Unworthy Of Time’s Person Of The Year posted 12/16/2011 on Investors.com).
Occupy Wall Street — the unkempt campout of the same old rent-a-radicals calling for redistribution of wealth — was largely a media-generated phenomenon whose significance ends there.
Unlike the far larger and more politically potent Tea Party movement, which Time often ignored, Occupy is the thin gruel of radicalism writ large by unwarranted media attention.
It has no demands other than socialist utopia, has elected no one, has failed to draw support from middle Americans and has proven itself mainly a public nuisance. Had the media not showered Occupy with attention, it wouldn’t be news at all.
How do we know? Polls show that the public remains intensely opposed to the Occupy media circus. If that’s not clear enough, the Democratic Party did its utmost to distance itself from Occupy once it learned its support would cost them votes.
That’s why Democratic city machines in the political downstream, after weeks of kowtowing to the protesters, shut down their camps all at once. They know a political liability when they see one…
In its Man-of-the-Year edition,Time calls Occupy a mass movement as significant as those of 1848, while ignoring what the public is noticing — the disease, rape, freeloading, filth, depravity, stench and murder rampant in the camps.
Time tried to tie Occupy’s irrelevant protests in with the flash Arab protests that have fueled Islamofascism as well as the tantrums of economically illiterate youth in Spain, Greece and the U.K.
But far from being spontaneous rage, Occupy’s protests were fully planned over the summer by radical groups like MoveOn.org and Adbusters, a Canadian cabal that thrives on attention.
See? There are two sides to every issue. In the case of Occupy Wall Street there is the truth. As reported by Investors.com and other news organizations. And the propaganda spread by the mainstream media. Spreading the lie that this political movement organized by radical groups was actually spontaneous democracy. All to help an unpopular president win reelection. By spreading the flames of class warfare. So President Obama can run against the greed of Wall Street instead of his record. Because his record is not the kind that lets presidents win reelection.
Tags: class warfare, democracy, Democratic Party, Occupy Wall Street, organized protesters, Person of the Year, protesters, radical groups, reelection, spontaneous democracy, Tea Party, Time
The Planter Elite was a Small Minority in the South but these Southern Democrats Wielded the Political Power
People often say that the Democrat Party is for the working man. Which is rather ironic as it has more often been the party of privilege. It was also the party of slavery. The party of Jim Crowe Laws. The party of segregation. And the party to have an Exalted Cyclops of the KKK as a high-ranking member of Congress. Senator Byrd. Who later filibustered against the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Which is another irony.
Black voters tend to vote Democrat despite this history. At the time of the Civil War it was Northern Republicans against Southern Democrats. The Southern states seceding from the Union to keep their slaves. And the institution of slavery. For the plantation system was a throwback to Old World aristocracy. Only with slaves instead of peasants. The Planter Elite was a small minority in the South. But they wielded the political power. And owned all of the good land. Like in any landed aristocracy. And slavery worked that good land. That peculiar institution that survived long past the 20 years the Founding Fathers thought it would. Of course, the Founding Fathers never counted on Eli Whitney. Or his cotton gin.
Today’s Democrats can trace their lineage back to Thomas Jefferson’s Republican Party. And to the man who wrote “all men are created equal.” The hero of the yeoman farmer. The backbone of the new republic. Only Thomas Jefferson was more equal than most. He was part of the landed aristocracy of the South, the planter elite. Wealthy. Refined. A bit of a dandy. And a hypocrite. To some.
Thomas Jefferson saw the Corruption Resulting from Mixing Money and Government
Thomas Jefferson was brilliant. Well read. And had strong beliefs. He understood politics. And he knew world history. He hated bankers and merchants. Saw the corruption resulting from mixing money and government. And especially hated Alexander Hamilton. The secretary of the treasury. And puppet master of George Washington. Or so he believed.
Hamilton was a capitalist. He understood money. And the power of capital. Ergo he was a sneaky bastard. Corrupt. And possibly the devil. In Jefferson’s eyes. So he worked tirelessly to destroy Hamilton. Put a man on the federal payroll to help fund an opposition newspaper. And slandered the hell out of him. Exposed the affair with Mrs. Reynolds but left out the part about the Reynolds being crooks. Mrs. Reynolds seduced Hamilton so Mr. Reynolds could blackmail him. She did. He did. And Hamilton paid. With his own money. But Jefferson accused him of embezzling from the treasury to pay off the Reynolds. And later lamented that Hamilton was such a good thief that they found absolutely no evidence of his heinous crimes.
When Jefferson was president, though, he did something very Hamiltonian. He bought the Louisiana Territory. Something that Hamilton would have done in a heartbeat. And something Jefferson would have fought tirelessly against if he tried.
The Democrat Party is the Party of the Working Man as long as that Working Man belongs to a Union
So was Jefferson a hypocrite? Sort of. To many he was. To himself, though, he wasn’t. In his mind there was no contradiction in any of his actions. For Jefferson’s mind could believe two conflicting truths at the same time. He didn’t lie. He didn’t flip flop. These were not contradictions. But paradoxes. For the truth was nimble and flexible in his pragmatic vision. And in that vision was an agrarian economy. No banks. A weak merchant class. And a very limited and anemic federal government. That spoke with a southern accent. In other words a federal government was okay per se as long as Virginia and the planters of the other southern states controlled it. Which they did for nearly a century thanks to the Three-Fifths Compromise. That counted slaves as three-fifths a person for representation (giving the South more representatives per district than the North). But not for taxation.
Privilege. Born of the plantation system in America. Based on the institution of slavery. Where a small minority wielded great political power. And exploited people (slaves) to accumulate wealth. Protect their power. And their privilege. Not unlike the modern Democrat Party. But today, because of the abolition of slavery, they have to do things differently.
Yes, the Democrat Party is the party of the working man. As long as that working man belongs to a union. Pays union dues. And that union supports the Democrat party. Working men who don’t are scabs. And don’t deserve to have jobs. So Democrat legislation favors Big Labor. And unions. Makes it hard for nonunion companies to compete for work. And jobs using federal money have to pay union wages. Either by union employees. Preferably. Or scabs earning union scale thanks to Davis-Bacon. Which they would rather not have. Because scabs earning union scale thanks to Davis-Bacon still don’t pay union dues. But it at least makes it harder to compete against union companies.
Privilege Begets Privilege
This is the formula for most Democrat support. Automotive workers (UAW). Health care workers (SIEU). Public sector workers (public sector unions). Public school teachers (teachers unions). And so on. Privilege begets privilege. You get favorable legislation as long as part of your union dues goes to Democrat coffers. And if Democrats win control of Congress they will implement more anti-capitalistic legislation. Impose tariffs to protect union jobs. Increasing costs to taxpayers everywhere. To support this privilege class. So it’s who you know. And not your ability. Just like it was in the good old days.
To bolster their power they have to appeal to others in the electorate who aren’t union employees. Because there just aren’t enough union employees. Yet, at least. So they also delve into crony capitalism. Picking winners and losers in the private sector. By supporting companies in favorable industries with grants and loan guarantees. The winners being those who support Democrat candidates. Privilege begets privilege. The losers being those who don’t. And these poor bastards not only don’t get grants or loan guarantees. But the government saddles them with costly regulations to boot. Or the Justice Departments initiates antitrust proceedings against them. Like Microsoft.
Of course it takes Big Government to play like this. And Big Government needs a lot of taxes. For to spend money you have to first tax. Or play with monetary policy. Which is why Democrats will always oppose returning to the gold standard. Because sometimes you can’t tax and spend. Sometimes you have to print money and spend. And you can’t do that with a gold standard. But because of the problems inherent with printing money (inflation), they will tax every last penny they can first. And their weapon of choice is class warfare. To get the poor and middle class to agree to increase tax rates on the rich. Which they are all for. But what they don’t know is that Democrats are constantly redefining who is rich. Which they would not be for. Because a lot of people are being surprised to find out that they are now rich. Especially modest middle class couples (say a cop and a teacher) whose combined income make them rich. Much to their surprise.
The Democrat Party is For Sale to the Highest Contributor
The Democrats round out their base by appealing to populist issues. They play down the God stuff and keep abortion legal to keep the youth vote. And the feminists. By showing that the government is not your parents when it comes to sex. Or drugs (the youth is ever hopeful for the Democrat who finally decriminalizes marijuana). Which is ironic as that same government acts like parents everywhere else. Policing what we eat, drink and legally smoke.
They increase welfare spending to keep the poor dependent. And voting Democrat. They appeal to special interests (environmentalists, gays and lesbians, etc.) to get their support, too. By painting their opponents as vicious monsters who want to destroy the environment. Who want to criminalize being gay. And who want to bring back the Spanish Inquisition.
You see, the modern Democrat Party has to buy votes. Or lie to scare people. Because people don’t willingly vote to give privilege to others. Unless there’s something in it for them. And this is where the modern Democrat Party breaks from Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson did things to prevent money from influencing power. And he did some pretty shady things. But they were for a higher purpose. To keep the spirit of 1776 alive.
The higher purpose of the Democratic Party? The Democratic Party. And unlike Jefferson, they’re all for influencing power with money. In fact, the Democrat Party is for sale to the highest contributor.
Tags: Alexander Hamilton, aristocracy, bankers, Big Government, capital, capitalist, class warfare, Davis-Bacon, Democrat, Democratic Party, federal government, Founding Fathers, gold standard, Hamilton, Jefferson, landed aristocracy, liberal, merchants, middle class, monetary policy, money, Old World, plantation system, planter elite, politics, privilege, privilege begets privilege, Republican, rich, scabs, slavery, slaves, South, Southern Democrats, Southern states, tax, Tax and spend, taxes, Thomas Jefferson, three-fifths, union, union dues, union wages, working man, youth
The Left said George W. Bush played with the terror alert levels for political purposes. To boost their chances at congressional elections. By scaring the people. He even had Al Jazeera broadcast Osama bin Laden accepting responsibility for the 9/11 attacks on the eve of his reelection. To distract the people from the quagmire that had become the Iraq War. That Bush and those rascally Republicans were worse than Nazis. That’s what the Left would have you believe. They, who are pure as the wind-driven snow, would never play with national security for political gain. Never. Ever.
(Interestingly, many on the Left claimed Bush was using Osama bin Laden’s broadcast for political gain. While at the same time many on the Left were claiming that Bush masterminded the 9/11 attacks for political gain. Sort of a damn Bush if he did and damn Bush if he didn’t thing. Guess it covers all the bases.)
Well, some would disagree with that. But you won’t find anything in the American mainstream media. As apparatchiks of the Democratic Party, they only report the continued successes of the president and the Democrats in Congress. Dutifully following their talking points. They attack the Republicans. The Tea Party. And when one of their own is caught in a lie, cheats on their spouse, says something inappropriate, commits a crime, facilitates the subprime mortgage crisis, etc., they circle the wagons. Become apologists. Deflect. Then blame George W. Bush.
To find someone who will dare say the king is wearing no clothes, you have to turn to the British media. And what are they saying? Well, the Guardian has an interesting article by Simon Tisdall and Richard Norton-Taylor (see Barack Obama accused of exaggerating terror threat for political gain). And by the title you can see that there are some who believe that the Left would play with national security for political gain. Even with the national security of our allies.
So who’s saying this?
A US terror alert issued this week about al-Qaida plots to attack targets in western Europe was politically motivated and not based on credible new information, senior Pakistani diplomats and European intelligence officials have told the Guardian.
What instigated this?
The non-specific US warning, which despite its vagueness led Britain, France and other countries to raise their overseas terror alert levels, was an attempt to justify a recent escalation in US drone and helicopter attacks inside Pakistan that have “set the country on fire”, said Wajid Shamsul Hasan, the high commissioner to Britain.
For what purpose?
Hasan, a veteran diplomat who is close to Pakistan’s president, suggested the Obama administration was playing politics with the terror threat before next month’s midterm congressional elections, in which the Republicans are expected to make big gains.
He also claimed President Obama was reacting to pressure to demonstrate that his Afghan war strategy and this year’s troop surge, which are unpopular with the American public, were necessary.
I know, if you didn’t know any better, you’d swear the Left was talking about Bush again. Could it be that, perhaps, the Left isn’t as pure as the wind-driven snow? Possibly. And by ‘possibly’ I mean ‘yes’. It sure would be nice to hear the American media cover this story. But with the Democrats in control of the White House, Senate and House, they’re all for cross border incursions. Blowing things up. And killing people. Apparently.
But it’s just politics. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen?
“The government does not want to go down this road,” he said. “But people feel abused. If they [the Americans] kill someone again, they will react. There is a figure that there are 3,000 American personnel in Pakistan. They would be very easy targets.”
Even Bush didn’t draw threats from our allies to kill Americans in their countries. An interesting development for the man that the Norwegians awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to about a year ago today.
Tags: 9/11 attacks, Al Jazeera, al-Qaida, al-Qaida plots, blame George W. Bush, British media, Bush, Congress, congressional elections, damn Bush, Democratic Party, Democrats in Congress, George W. Bush, Iraq War, mainstream media, midterm congressional elections, national security, Nobel Peace Prize, Obama, Obama administration, Osama bin Laden, Pakistan, political gain, politics, President Obama, rascally Republicans, Republicans, subprime mortgage crisis, talking points, Tea Party, terror alerts, the Left, US terror alert
Your People Did Not Free the Slaves, Mr. President
From Mark Knoller, White House Correspondent, Radio, CBS News:
Obama says people are impatient but “now’s not the time to quit…it took time to free the slaves…ultimately we’ll make progress.”
We would have freed the slaves a whole lot sooner if it weren’t for people like him. Democrats.
The Southern States and Slavery – A Packaged Deal
Democrats descend from the southern planter elite. These slaveholders formed a small minority of the population. But they held the majority of political power. There was a north-south divide at the founding over slavery. Franklin, Adams, Hamilton and Washington were against slavery. Jefferson and Madison were for it. Rather, they were for the southern states. And that meant the planter elite (which they were part of). Which was for slavery.
Slavery was a taboo subject. You won’t find it in our founding documents. The North wanted to abolish slavery. But any discussion of the taboo subject and the South would walk. So they tabled the subject. To get the South to join the Union. And they didn’t speak about it to keep the South in the Union. (When I say the ‘South’, think the planter elite, the ruling minority power in the South. This elite few had the majority of slaves. Most southerners couldn’t afford slaves and worked their own small farms. The yeoman farmers Jefferson would wax philosophical about.)
The majority of slaves were in the south. They also were the majority of the southern population. This was a sticking point at the Constitutional Convention. The South wanted to count slaves in determining congressional representation. But you count citizens to determine your number of representatives. Not property. The northerners did not get to count their cattle in determining their number of representatives. So the South shouldn’t count their slaves. The South, of course, disagreed. For if they were to be a part of the Union, not simply a region ruled by the North, it was necessary to count their slaves. And if they couldn’t? No union. So they compromised. With the Three-Fifths Compromise. They would count a slave as 3/5 a citizen. It gave the South a greater representation in Congress than their citizenry allowed. But it ‘balanced’ the political power between the North and the South. And brought the southern states into the Union.
When the Democrats Did Not Like Immigration
After winning our independence, we got the Northwest Territories (the land north of the Ohio River) from the British. The northerners got their way with this northern land. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 forbade slavery in this territory.
Then came the Louisiana Purchase. The North wanted to exclude slavery from all of this land. The South didn’t. That would tip the balance of power in favor of the North. So they compromised. With the Missouri Compromise of 1820. There would be some slavery in the new territory. But not above the bottom border of Missouri (the 36th parallel). Except in Missouri (a slave-state). Which they added at the same time with Maine (a free-state). To maintained the balance of power.
But the population continued to grow in the North. Those in the South could see the writing on the wall. The immigration into the northern states would tip the balance of power in the House to the North. So they focused on controlling the judiciary. The president (who nominated). And the Senate (which confirmed). What they couldn’t win by popular vote they’d simply legislate from the bench. And dirty, filthy party politics was born. The party machine. And the Democratic Party.
It Takes a Republican
Martin Van Buren created it. And, at the time, he had but one goal. To keep the issue of slavery from ever being an issue again. Which the Democrats did until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. The North wanted to abolish slavery from the founding. But the planter elite, then the Democrats, fought them every step of the way. So they could maintain their power.
But it was more than just power. It was that elite status. That they were superior. It had gone beyond King Cotton. The south had manufacturing. Some of which was even more profitable than cotton. But manufacturing couldn’t give you what cotton could. An aristocratic planter elite that was so elite that it could own human life. This was Old World aristocracy alive and well in the New World.
Anyway, all the legislation and court cases that led up to the Civil War had one thing in common. All people trying to maintain the institution of slavery were Democrats. The big ones, the Compromise of 1850, the Kansas-Nebraskan Act of 1854 and the Dred Scott ruling of 1854 were all pushed/won by Democrats. The new Republican Party finally denied the Democrats. A Republican president (Abraham Lincoln) made slavery a moral issue in the Civil War with his Emancipation Proclamation (which didn’t free a single slave but it made it politically impossible for France or Great Britain to recognize the Confederacy or enter the war on her behalf). Four years of war and some 600,000 dead later, the North prevailed and the Union sounded the death knell for slavery in America. Then the Republican Congress passed and the states ratified the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865. The Republicans had, finally, abolished slavery.
Ignorance or Arrogance?
The Democrats can talk about Civil Rights Act of 1964. Well, a little. More Democrats voted against it than did Republicans. And a Democrat, segregationist and KKK Exalted Cyclops, Robert Byrd, filibustered for 14 hours during an 83-day Democrat filibuster. But a lot of Democrats did vote for the Civil Rights Act. So, yeah, they can talk about that. But they had absolutely nothing to do with the freeing of the slaves. They call slavery America’s original sin. But that’s not fair. It was only the planter elite and then the Democrat Party that practiced that sin. And they fought hard to keep their sinful ways.
A Democrat should not invoke the struggle to end slavery to help his cause. Especially a black Democrat. For to do so marks the height of ignorance. Or arrogance.
Tags: abolish slavery, Abraham Lincoln, Adams, America's original sin, aristocratic planter elite, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Civil War, Compromise of 1850, Confederacy, congressional representation, Constitutional Convention, Democrat filibuster, Democratic Party, Democrats, dirty filthy party politics, Dred Scott, Dred Scott ruling of 1854, Emancipation Proclamation, founding documents, France, Franklin, Great Britain, Hamilton, immigration, Jefferson, join the union, Kansas-Nebraskan Act of 1854, King Cotton, legislate from the bench, Louisiana Purchase, Madison, Martin Van Buren, Missouri Compromise of 1820, New World, north-south divide, Northwest Ordinance of 1787, Northwest Territories, Obama, Old World, Old World aristocracy, party politics, planter elite, political power, popular vote, Republican, Republican Congress, Republican Party, Robert Byrd, slaveholders, slavery, slaves, the North, the South, the Union, Thirteenth Amendment, Three-Fifths Compromise, Washington, yeoman farmers
SLAVERY WAS ALWAYS a complicated issue. Many of the Founding Fathers saw the contradiction with the ideals embodied in the Declaration of Independence. And there were the economic costs. George Washington wanted to transition to paid laborers as the generations of slaves he inherited were consuming an ever growing share of his harvest. (You only pay paid-laborers; you didn’t have to house and feed them and their families.) He had whole families that included babies and the elderly long past their working prime. People would buy slaves in their working prime but wouldn’t take their parents and grandparents, too. He didn’t want to break up the families. And he couldn’t free them. Someone had to take care of those who could no longer work. So he would. Even after death. He freed his slaves in his will and directed his heirs to train and help them so they could integrate into the workforce. (Not every slave-owner, though, was as caring as Washington).
So Washington, John Adams and some of the other Founding Fathers saw slavery as an institution that would eventually wither and die. They saw it as immoral. As well as an inefficient economic system. It would just have to die out one day. So they tabled the discussion to get the southern states to join the union. But they did put an end date on the slave trade. Twenty years should be enough time they thought. And in those 20 years, the South would figure out what to do with the slaves they had. Because no one in the north could figure that one out. Who would compensate the slave owners for their emancipated ‘property’? And there were no biracial societies at that time. No one could imagine that a formerly enslaved majority will become peaceful neighbors with their former minority masters. Especially in the South.
But the cotton gin changed all of that. The one thing that slave labor was good for was big single-crop plantations. And there was none better than King Cotton. Separating the seed from the cotton was the one bottleneck in the cotton industry. Ely Whitney changed that in 1791. Cotton production exploded. As did slavery. The southern economy changed. As did the political debate. The southern economy was a cotton economy. And cotton needed slaves. The South, therefore, needed slavery.
CARVED OUT OF the new Louisiana Territory were territories that would organize into states and request admittance into the union. But would they be free or slave? The first test was resolved with the Missouri Compromise (1820). Henry Clay (the Great Compromiser) kept the peace. Saved the union. For awhile. The compromise forbade slavery north of Missouri’s southern border (approximately the 36th parallel) in the Louisiana Territory (except in Missouri, of course). Martin Van Buren saw this as a temporary fix at best. Any further discussion on the slavery issue could lead to secession. Or war. So he created the modern Democratic Party with but one goal. To get power and to keep power. With power he could control what they debated. And, once he had power, they wouldn’t debate slavery again.
During the 1844 presidential campaign, the annexation of the Republic of Texas was an issue. The secretary of state, Daniel Webster, opposed it. It would expand slavery and likely give the Senate two new democratic senators. Which was what John C. Calhoun wanted. He succeeded Webster as secretary of state. The new northern Whigs were antislavery. The southern Whigs were pro-cotton. The Whig presidential candidate in 1844 was Henry Clay (the Great Compromiser). He wasn’t for it or against it. Neither was Martin Van Buren, the Democrat frontrunner. They wished to compromise and avoid this hot issue all together.
Well, Clay wasn’t ‘anti’ enough for the antislavery Whigs. So they left and formed the Liberty Party and nominated James. G. Birney as their candidate. Meanwhile, the Democrats weren’t all that happy with Van Buren. Enter James Knox Polk. He didn’t vacillate. He pledged to annex Texas. And the Oregon territory. The Democrats nominated him and said goodbye to Van Buren.
The Whig and Liberty parties shared the northern antislavery votes, no doubt costing Clay the election. A fait accompli, President Tyler signed off on the annexation of Texas before Polk took the oath of office.
BUT ALL WAS not well. Those sectional differences continued to simmer just below the boiling point. The Fugitive Slave Law now made the ‘southern’ problem a northern one, too. Federal law now required that they help return this southern ‘property’. It got ugly. And costly. Harriet Ward Beecher’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin only inflamed the abolitionist fires in the North. And then Stephen Douglas saw a proposed transcontinental railroad that could take him to the Whitehouse.
The railroad would go through the unorganized Nebraskan territory (the northern part of the Louisiana Purchase). As Washington discussed organizing this territory, the South noted that all of this territory was above 36th parallel. Thus, any state organized would be, by the terms of the Missouri Compromise, free. With no state below the 36th parallel added, the balance of power would tip to the North. The South objected. Douglas assuaged them. With the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Which replaced the Missouri Compromise (the 36th parallel) with popular sovereignty. And Kansas bled.
The idea of popular sovereignty said that the people of the new organized state would determine if they were free or slave. So the free and slave people raced to populate the territory. It was a mini civil war. A precursor of what was to come. It split up the Whig and Democratic parties. Southern Whigs and Northern Democrats quit their parties. The Whig Party would wither and die. The new Republican Party would rise from the Whig’s ashes. They would address the cause, not the symptoms. And at the heart of all the sectional divides was the issue of slavery itself. It had to be addressed. As Abraham Lincoln would say in 1858, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
ZACHARY TAYLOR CHOSE Whig Millard Fillmore as his vice president to appeal to northern Whigs. When Taylor died some 2 years into his first term, Fillmore became president. His support of the Compromise of 1850 (admit California as a free state, settle Texas border, grant territorial status to New Mexico, end the slave trade in the District of Columbia and beef up the Fugitive Slave Law) alienated him from the Whig base.
In the 1856 presidential contest, the Republicans nominated John C. Frémont. The Democrats nominated James Buchanan. And Millard Fillmore (compromiser and one time Whig) ran on the American Party ticket. There was talk of secession should Frémont win. It was a 3-way race. Buchanan battled with the ‘compromiser’ in the South. And with the ‘abolitionist’ in the North. The race was close. Buchanan won with only 45% of the vote. But Frémont lost by only 2 states. He had won all but 5 of the free states. Had Fillmore not run, it is unlikely that these free states would have voted for the slavery candidate. So Fillmore no doubt denied Frémont the election.
AMERICA’S ORIGINAL TRUST buster, Teddy Roosevelt (TR), said he wouldn’t run for reelection. And he didn’t. He picked Howard Taft as his ‘successor’. TR was a progressive frontier man. He had that smile. This made him a popular and formidable candidate. Taft just wasn’t as much of a TR as TR was. So some asked TR to run again. Against his own, hand-picked ‘successor’. Which he did.
Taft won the Republican Nomination, though. Undeterred (and having a really big ego), TR formed a third party, the Progressive Party. He moved to the left of Taft. So far left that it made Woodward Wilson, the Democrat candidate, look moderate.
The 1912 presidential election turned into a 3-man race. Between 3 progressives. Taft ‘busted’ more trusts than did TR. But he just wasn’t TR. Woodward Wilson was probably the most progressive and idealist of the three. But in the mix, he looked like the sensible candidate. Roosevelt beat Taft. But Wilson beat Roosevelt. Wilson won with only 45% of the vote. And gave us the income tax and the Federal Reserve System. Big Government had come.
IN THE 1992 presidential campaign, George Herbert Walker Bush (read my lips, no new taxes) ran in a 3-way race between Democrat Bill Clinton and Ross Perot. Perot bashed both parties for their high deficits. He was a populist candidate against the status quo. He went on TV with charts and graphs. He called Reaganomics ‘voodoo’ economics. While Bush fought these attacks on his 12 years in the executive office (8 as vice president and on 4 as president), Clinton got by with relative ease on his one big weakness. Character.
Exit polling showed that Perot took voters from both candidates. More people voted that year. But the increase was roughly equal to the Perot vote (who took 19%). If anyone energized the election that year, it wasn’t Clinton. He won with only 43% of the vote. The majority of Americans did not vote for Clinton. Had the focus not been on Reaganomics and the deficit (where Perot took it), Clinton’s character flaws would have been a bigger issue. And if it came down to character, Bush probably would have won. Despite his broken ‘read my lips’ pledge.
HISTORY HAS SHOWN that third party candidates don’t typically win elections. In fact, when a party splinters into two, it usually benefits the common opposition. That thing that is so important to bring a third party into existence is often its own demise. It splits a larger voting bloc into two smaller voting blocs. Guaranteeing the opposition’s victory.
Politics can be idealistic. But not at the expense of pragmatism. When voting for a candidate that cannot in all probability win, it is a wasted vote. If you’re making a ‘statement’ with your vote by voting for a third party candidate, that statement is but one thing. You want to lose.
Tags: abolitionist, Abraham Lincoln, American Party, antislavery, Big Government, Bill Clinton, California, character, Compromise of 1850, cotton, cotton gin, Daniel Webster, Declaration of Independence, deficits, Democratic Party, District of Columbia, Ely Whitney, Federal Reserve System, Founding Fathers, Fugitive Slave Law, George Herbert Walker Bush, George Washington, Harriet Ward Beecher, Henry Clay, Howard Taft, income tax, James Buchanan, James Knox Polk, James. G. Birney, John Adams, John C. Calhoun, John C. Frémont, Kansas, Kansas-Nebraska Act, King Cotton, Liberty Party, Louisiana Purchase, Louisiana Territory, Martin Van Buren, Millard Fillmore, Missouri Compromise, moderate, Nebraskan territory, New Mexico, North, Oregon, plantations, popular sovereignty, Progressive Party, Read my lips, Reaganomics, Republic of Texas, Republican Party, Ross Perot, sectional differences, slave trade, slave-owner, slavery, slaves, South, Stephen Douglas, Teddy Roosevelt, Texas, third party, TR, transcontinental railroad, Uncle Tom's Cabin, union, voodoo economics, Whigs, Whitehouse, Woodward Wilson, Zachary Taylor
THIRD PARTY CANDIDATES are often election spoilers. Dissatisfied with the direction of their party, they leave that party to form a new party. This, of course, will split the party they left. Some may follow. Most will probably not.
Third party candidates have small followings. They typically have a single issue that pushes them to leave their party. That single issue, though, may not be as important to those they leave behind. And this one issue may be anathema to the opposition. Guaranteeing very few, if any, will follow that candidate into a third party.
The Green Party, for example, is an environmental party. Environmental issues, then, dominate their political agenda. Environmental policies typically do not result in jobs or economic prosperity. They will draw some people from the Democratic Party. But only those with extreme environmental views. They will draw no one from the Republican Party which is more associated with jobs and economic issues than environmental issues. They, then, would have little impact on the party they oppose. But they may have a negative impact on the party that they would have otherwise supported.
And then you have your core voters. They have and always will vote for their party. Populist movements rarely change the way they vote. Populist movements may be single-issue. They may be more of a subset of an existing political party. Or they may be vague on details completely. They may be many things but the paramount thing they are is popular. And they pander to the people that are demanding something. And whatever that is, they say they will give it to them. Populist trends, though, don’t sway core voters.
SO WHO ARE in the two core parties? The liberals? And the conservatives?
Liberals are pseudo-intellectuals who want to tell others how to live. Because they are ‘smarter’ than everyone else. Most have never held a real job. They inherited their money or made it big in Hollywood or in some other entertainment genre (the guilty rich), are college professors, sponged off of government (the self-proclaimed political aristocracy) or are in the mainstream media.
Conservatives typically have jobs.
Few people agree with liberals so they have to offer special privileges in exchange for votes and political power. They get the support of the poor because they get the poor dependent on their charity. They get the entertainment elite by stroking their intellectual vanity. They get the various minorities and single-issue groups by throwing a few bones to them (i.e., by buying their votes). They get Big Business with crony capitalism. They get the unions in exchange for anti-business legislation. They get the young by being weak on drugs and morality. They get a lot of women because of their abortion stance. They get the illegal immigration community because they dangle citizenship in front of them while getting as many as they can addicted to welfare (so when they do become citizens they will become good Democrats. Of course, with the majority of illegal immigrants in question being Hispanic, it will be interesting to see how that loyalty will play out. A lot of Hispanics are practicing Catholics. Will they continue to support the party that attacks their religion and religious values? After all, they’re leaving a corrupt nation where only the ruling elite live well. They come here for a better life for themselves and their families. And many work hard for it. With their religious values being a strong part of their lives. Will the liberals tempt them with their welfare state after citizenship? Time will tell).
Many agree with conservatives because they, too, just want to work and provide for their families. And they would like their children’s future to be a good one. (Again, the Hispanic question is interesting. For they have conservative values, too. Amnesty for illegals may be a Faustian bargain, but wouldn’t be ironic if it’s the Democrats who are selling their souls? I mean, this large bloc of Catholics could very well vote for the religious right after citizenship.)
So liberals must appeal to their base during the primary election to get their party’s nomination. Once they have that, they then must start lying about who they really are during the general election. Because their views and opinions are minority views and opinions.
The conservatives just need to be themselves. When Ronald Reagan did just that, he won in a landslide. Twice.
LET’S CRUNCH SOME numbers. Some simple numbers. Let’s say there are only 11 voters. America is a center-right country based on honest polling. So let’s say that 4 voters are conservative and 3 voters are liberals. The 4 in the middle are independents and moderates. So what happens at an election?
If all of the independents and moderates do not vote, conservatives win (4-3).
Liberals cannot win unless some moderates and independents do vote. So liberals must encourage the moderates and independents to vote. And, of course, to vote for them. While making sure their base votes (‘vote early and often’ is their mantra). As well as some criminals. And some dead who haven’t been purged from the election rolls.
Independents and moderates, therefore, determine elections. And the general election is all about getting these votes. Both sides turn down the volume on the ‘extremist’ positions they held during the primaries. Conservatives talk about bipartisanship and reaching across the aisle. Liberals campaign as conservatives. (Bill Clinton ran as a new kind of Democrat with some very conservative planks in his platform. When he won, though, he moved so far back to the left that he lost the House and Senate at the midterm elections, proving once again America is a center-right country.)
So back to our little example. If the conservatives get 2 of the 4 independent and moderate votes, they win (6-5). Liberals need 3 of their votes for the same winning margin. Advantage, conservatives.
Now let’s look at a rift in the conservative party. Two leave and form a third party. And take 2 votes with them. For the sake of argument, let’s say these two call themselves the Anti-Abortion Party. It is doubtful that any liberals will leave their party to join them. And it is doubtful that independents and moderates would make overturning a Supreme Court decision a key voting issue. They tend to tack to a centrist course through the prevailing political winds.
So the Anti-Abortion Party candidate will only get 2 votes. This candidate will not win. That leaves only 9 votes in play. Which means getting only 5 votes will win the election (less than a majority of the total 11). All the third party candidate did was to make it easier for the liberals to win. They only need 2 of the 4 of the independent and moderate votes. Conservatives now need 3. The third party took the conservative advantage (only needing 2 additional votes to win) and gave it to the liberals.
THE MORAL OF the story here is that a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for the opposition. The lesser of two evils may still be evil, but it is still ‘less’ evil. You should never lose sight of that. If a political statement is only going to result in the greater evil, it is better to be more pragmatic than idealistic when voting in a general election.
The energy of a third party or third party-like movements (such as the new Tea Party) should be marshaled during the primary election. To get good candidates who can win general elections. And who will remember that they are the people’s representative, not a member of a privileged, ruling elite.
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