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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Even the Great Cheerleader senses something

Peggy Noonan writes of a third party:

Something's happening. I have a feeling we're at some new beginning, that a big breakup's coming, and that though it isn't and will not be immediately apparent, we'll someday look back on this era as the time when a shift began.

All my adult life, people have been saying that the two-party system is ending, that the Democrats' and Republicans' control of political power in America is winding down. According to the traditional critique, the two parties no longer offer the people the choice they want and deserve. Sometimes it's said they are too much alike--Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Sometimes it's said they're too polarizing--too red and too blue for a nation in which many see things through purple glasses.

In 1992 Ross Perot looked like the breakthrough, the man who would make third parties a reality. He destabilized the Republicans and then destabilized himself. By the end of his campaign he seemed to be the crazy old aunt in the attic.

The Perot experience seemed to put an end to third-party fever. But I think it's coming back, I think it's going to grow, and I think the force behind it is unique in our history.

The idea of a "purple" party melding Republicans and Democrats is particularly funny. As if adding a third faction - and a "centrist" one at that - to the ruling party is going make any difference whatsoever.

The truth is that the country can be divided into the two-thirds that opposes the Constitution and the concept of limited government, (knowingly or unknowingly), and the one-third that supports it. Unfortunately, 90 percent of those who support limited government are currently affiliated with the appropriately named "Red" faction of the Democratic-Republicans; nothing will begin to change until those supporters of limited, Constitutional government give up their decades-long effort to fix the Red faction.

I'm not saying that things would magically improve, by no means. As Nate has pointed out, genuine and significant change seldom occurs within the legal framework of any political system. But it would certainly hurl a giant monkey wrench into the nation's march towards oblivion.

UPDATE - Podhoretz the Younger does not disappoint with the eminently predictable reaction to Noonan's column:

In my book, Can She Be Stopped?, I specifically warn Republicans and conservatives about the temptation to listen to the "siren song of schism" — the notion that they would be better off casting a protest or third-party vote in 2008. Such a vote, no matter how principled it might seem, would have only one result, and that is to elect Hillary Clinton. It is a default vote for Hillary Clinton....

If people cannot stomach voting Republican and need to cast a protest vote, that is their right. But nobody should be under any illusions about what it means. It means Democratic rule.

Which differs from the current rule in precisely what regards? Ignoring the Constitution 90 percent of the time instead of 75 percent? Signing up for 100 percent of globalist decrees instead of 85 percent of them? Invading and occupying countries without oil instead of countries with oil?

Better an open enemy that faces you than the false friend who stabs you in the back.

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