One of the main concerns is that any new political party will simply divide the vote of the "good guys" and will allow the "bad guys" to take power. This is one of the primary arguments used by defenders of either the Dems or the GOP to argue against third party participation.
The other argument that surfaces frequently is that of infiltration. It goes like this: if you are a strong new party effort, then why not just take over one of the established parties? If you are marginal new party effort, then the argument adjusts to asking how you can hope to start a new party when you can't take over a local party organization.
Both arguments are flawed, and the Poli-Tea blog shows the way. Some excerpts below, clink on the links and read the entire posts:
Spoiling for a Fight: Dump the Duopoly
America Speaks: You are being lied to.
Of course, it is no mere slip when agitation for third party and independent activism on both the left and the right is "overlooked" by representatives of the duopoly parties, their enablers in the mainstream media and partisans of the political status quo. Rather, such omissions constitute an integral part of a more or less conscious strategy to maintain the ruling order, which is dominated by the Democratic-Republican Party.
And in the Bangor Daily News, independent candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2008, Herbert Hoffman makes the case that the run-up to the 2010 midterm elections . . .
is an opportune time for third parties and independents to join together, to bask in the sunlight, to reaffirm the principles of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, to challenge the Democratic-Republican stranglehold on electoral politics, to support candidates for office and commence the political revolution.
Of course, this is easier said than done. Arguably, any such effort must be preceded or accompanied by a thorough-going critique of Democratic-Republican Party politics supplemented by an imaginative re-thinking of political antagonism as such.
At Folk Politics, Liberal Arts Dude continues to stake out common ground between opponents of the reigning political status quo across the political spectrum, and sees potential points of overlap on the following questions:
- Do ordinary people have a strong voice and power in American democracy? Should they?
- Do the two major parties actually represent the interests of ordinary people? Should they?
- Is the country is being led effectively by our elected leaders from either of the major parties?
- Should a wider spectrum of perspectives, viewpoints and solutions be represented in public discourse and institutions than just Republican or Democrat?
- Do the mainstream political parties care more for their own internal interests rather than the interests of the country as a whole?
- Will you be willing to join a third political party or vote for a third party or independent candidate in an election?
- Will you be willing to participate in political activities and actions that are designed to address the issues above?
Duopolist ideologues and apologists of the two-party state are fond of arguing that third party and independent activism, at best, results only in a spoiled electoral contest. Yet, it is precisely the Democratic and Republican Parties that have spoiled politics in the United States.
Don't Get Fooled Again: Duopoly Ideology, Infiltration and Independent Strategy
At America Speaks Ink, C. Rich reflects on the growing discontent, on both the left and the right, with the Democratic-Republican system of political bipoligarchy
Now that both parties have lied to us, the last party that lied to us tells us they are sorry and if given the chance will make this all better. People just don’t believe these Chicken Little’s anymore and the sky has already fallen. This is why there is so much anger out there . . .
We need more choices. We need more parties to pick from, similar to Parliamentary styles of governments that are found among our friends and allies of the world. It is time to tweak our democracy. I keep going back and forth about this subject in my head. Part of me feels like working within the Republican Party to change it. However I can’t blind myself to the fact that both Calm Conservatives and Blue Dog Democrats really have no home in these parties. I would like to see a third, fourth and fifth party effort that would make Ross Perot’s efforts look like Romper Room.
I've noted before, the argument in favor of infiltrating the duopoly parties refutes itself: infiltration shares many of the drawbacks of a third party or independent effort and has none of the advantages; one moment, the would-be infiltrator plainly states that the Republican and Democratic Parties are hostile to the very idea of liberty itself, and then urges that we join up with them in the next; if it is better to work within an existing party than to build a new one from scratch, there are any number of already-existing third parties that would be a better vehicle for political reform than either of the duopoly parties etc.
Perhaps the single greatest political propaganda coup of duopolist ideologues over the last thirty years is their success in branding the Democratic Party as beholden to left-wing liberal-progressives, and the GOP as the party of small, limited government. Actual Socialists and Libertarians have been fighting such misconceptions for decades.
When GOP apparatchiks argue that their party stands for limited government, and lecture us about the "dangers" of third party and independent activism, the only appropriate response is laughter, or perhaps contempt mixed with pity. The same goes for Democratic partisans of the political status quo.
The Republican and Democratic Parties are no longer effective vehicles for the political representation of the people of the United States, but rather obstacles to such representation. This is not to say, however, that they serve no representative function at all. For it is entirely clear who and what they represent.