Monday, July 14, 2008

Introducing "Beyond McBama"

I've written about some of Dave Winer's political posts before - see my posts from 1/28, 3/21, 5/24, 6/22, and 6/27.

If you've lost your calendar, it's 7/14. And Winer wrote this on 7/12:

[T]he conservative pundits who say that Obama turned his back on the extreme left by voting for the new FISA bill have it wrong. He turned his back on people of all persuasions who believe in our form of government....

[Obama] was right if he assumed he had our vote. I will not vote for McCain to prove this point. But I'm also not going to give him any more money. I'm going to save that for causes I believe in.

I no longer believe there is a cause to Obama other than getting Obama elected.

Now I don't classify Winer as a starry-eyed idealist who suddenly learned that Obama is a politician and the tooth fairy isn't real. (Apologies to my younger readers for the last statement.) And, frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if Winer is again writing checks come October. Why? Because Obama will need the money come October, when the major candidates settle into the accustomed general election political pattern. Here's my comment on it:

Come fall, you will receive urgent messages saying that McCain is out of the mainstream and the US will fall apart if Obama isn't elected. And McCain will send a similar message to his potential donors, warning about Obama.

(By the way, I also made a comment here regarding the difference between conservatives and neo-conservatives, but I'll return to that comment at another time.)

However, most of us realize that U.S. politics is not a Boolean game, and that there will be more than two candidates on your presidential ballot. I wanted to get Dave's views on this, so I posted a question in his FriendFeed room. Go here if you want to see the discussion, but we briefly talked about two of the other Presidential candidates, Ralph Nader and Bob Barr.

But that isn't the first time I've talked about the third parties on this blog.

Back in February, I covered the third party results in the California primary. California's choices?

  • American Independent (i.e. Constitution Party): Don J. Grundmann (Chuck Baldwin was not on the ballot)

  • Green Party: Ralph Nader (Cynthia McKinney was a distant second)

  • Peace & Freedom: Ralph Nader (Cynthia McKinney was a distant second here also)

  • Libertarian: Christine Smith (Bob Barr was not on the ballot)
Subsequently, I found a Wikipedia page on the 2008 third party presidential candidates. This page, which is continuously updated, lists a number of candidates from several parties, including the parties mentioned above, the Prohibition Party (yes, they're still around), the Boston Tea Party, and several others.

For months, I've been exploring these third party and independent candidates, and I want to do so in a more formal way in the future, with a series of posts entitled "Beyond McBama." I may also take some time to revisit some of the failed major party candidates such as John H. Cox.

I'll also explore the whole question of third party candidates in the first place, especially the question of whether those who vote for third party candidates are "wasting your vote."

And perhaps I'll even look at third parties of the past, including the most successful third party in U.S. history. (Hint: this party may win the 2008 presidential election.)

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