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Will the third party ever rise to presidential power in America?
Posted: Posted May 4th, 2019 by Weid man
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I think that Bernie should run as an independent.

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If anyone runs as a third party candidate in 2020, it will be Tulsi Gabbard with the Green Party. But only if someone like Biden becomes the nominee. I imagine she will endorse Sanders if he becomes the nominee.

Posted May 4th, 2019 by pacman
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I think the US needs a third party, just to keep everyone honest. Canada has the NDP. They've never been in power but they have been the official opposition.

Posted May 4th, 2019 by I killed Mufasa
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We need five parties for gaming and politics. It would be so divisive the only issue that I’m conservative about really is abortion. I do see the opposition but they can’t ban it so what we should do is to find cures for birth control defects and illnesses. Then the only reason abortion would exist is for rape. That’s the only reason that Jane Roe went to court to legalize it for her part.

Posted May 4th, 2019 by Weid man
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Not likely. The United States has sort of always operated on the two-party system going back to the 1830s. Every once in a while you get a third party candidate that emerges and has a discernible impact, but largely those situations have more to do with the candidate rather than the party. The party of those surprising candidates never lasts.

Usually, the parties - which by default often incorporate a broad spectrum of political ideology - will morph and merge with some popular trends, and many third party members tend to realize that their best bet to accomplish their policy agenda is to work within the confines of that system. But yeah, it's hard to imagine a third party candidate ever becoming President, especially in modern America. There's too much incentive for both major parties to keep it that way. A third party candidate with a real presence threatens the electoral balance, but also poses a risk for a extensive controversy due to the nature of the electoral college.

Posted May 5th, 2019 by Jet Presto
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The whole vanilla or chocolate thing can suck if you like strawberry.

Posted May 5th, 2019 by I killed Mufasa
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Inevitably, the strawberry will blend in with the chocolate or vanilla.

Posted May 5th, 2019 by Jet Presto
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That sounds delicious.

Posted May 5th, 2019 by I killed Mufasa
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You make a compelling case based on historical precedent Jet, but one thing the Trump presidency has taught us is that precedent and conventional wisdom can go straight out the window during times of dissatisfaction and unrest. While he has that 20-30 percent of too-far-gones who will stick with him no matter what, Trump has become immensely unpopular among the voters that put him over the edge, particularly in the rust belt. At the same time though, the Democratic party has made it clear that they refuse to go back to representing the working class and popular interests. We have one party that is pure corporate sociopathy and another that just sort of goes along with the status quo to please their donors, and they are increasingly not even *pretending* to care about the working poor. In the face of this, I really think third parties could emerge as viable options in the not-too-distant future, and at the very least, I think we will see some sort of party realignment similar to that in the 1960s.

Edited May 5th, 2019 by pacman
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I'm not sure what was terribly unconventional about Donald Trump's election. Primaries are always sort of a crap-shoot, and then once he won that (partially a benefit of a wide pool of candidates that is generally atypical of the GOP), he had every benefit of the two-party system that conventional wisdom tells us gave him a genuine chance from the start. The Republicans have a lot of partisan integrity. They don't care about winning over more liberal voters the way Democrats care about winning conservative voters. Yet once Trump won the primary, the entire party lined up behind him. People who were calling him a tyrant pre-emptively suddenly started saying nice things about him. Critics who argued over policy ideas were suddenly supporting his policy proposals. His harshest Republican critics almost overnight became some of his staunchest supporters. And conventional wisdom tells us that in a two-party system, especially a modern one, any party winner has a legitimate shot in the general election.

(When you look at electoral college numbers, it can sometimes give a deceptive telling of a candidate's popularity. Reagan's landslide victory in 1980, for example, came with Reagan only netting 50.7%%%% of the popular vote. Yes he did better in '84, but the point is that it isn't often to have such a huge landslide in the popular vote. Which means that it almost always comes down to which states the election is close in. If anything, the election of 1984 was an outlier, and one of the few elections that wasn't actually closer than the electoral college suggests.)

So even if we know only about 40%%%% of people might vote for Trump, which we could be reasonably certain would happen especially in modern history, that still puts him in a ball park to win because we also knew Clinton wouldn't likely gain 50%%%% of votes either given her own unpopularity and other historical trends.

What we're actually starting to see in both parties also has historical precedence. The Democrats are kind of split into their centrist camps and their more progressive ones. But the party has certainly moved further to the left in recent years to account for that. Bernie isn't just a legitimate candidate because he is affixed to the Democratic party for the election; he has influenced a new wave of Democrats that we saw win fairly big in the mid-terms. This change will continue to happen for a while, but it's unlikely that the party would split into something like "Liberal Democrats" and "Progressives." Conversely, the Republican party has been moving further to the right for some time now. There's less of an open battle for that party's soul because they won in 2016, so there is a less pressing need for all the think-pieces about it, but it's hard to argue that this Trump-led Republican party is actually for small government, strict constructions of the Constitution, or individual rights. It's hard to argue in earnest that they care about government accountability or law-and-order in any true sense. And they certainly don't care about separation of powers. The party has more fully embraced the more white nationalist wing, banking on xenophobia and tyrannical nationalism that protect their status to carry the day. You aren't seeing much of a threat for the GOP to break down into "Conservatives" and "Nationalist Party." But it's very much there.

I'm actually not too sure I see all that much that looks different here than in America's past as it pertains to the development or evolution of political parties. A third party could emerge to gain a fair amount of support, sure. But I don't see how a third party would emerge as a genuine solution any time soon. Bernie might be able to split off and get a respectable cut of the general electorate, and there might even be some small gains in the House or Senate depending. But 10%%%% of the vote and a handful of Representatives and maaaybe a Senator or two doesn't really seem likely, especially once Bernie is gone from the scene. This is sort of the fate of third parties, if they don't wind up assimilating a major party.

Parties are also weird in that they regularly change. National Republicans became Whigs to oppose Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren in the new Democratic party. But those Whigs split in the 1850s, with Southern Whigs getting absorbed into the 1850s Democratic party and Northern Whigs getting absorbed into the new Republican party. (Shockingly, the reason for that divide was the issue over slavery. Go figure.) So if there is a party that emerges today that could earn a respectable showing, it's more likely to eventually wind up absorbed in one of the current parties. The modern Democrats and Republicans are already pretty different than they were before. Trump Republicans aren't even Reagan Republicans, never mind Eisenhower era Republicans. Obama Democrats weren't Clinton Democrats, never mind Roosevelt Democrats. Given that the Democrats are battling over whether to adopt more progressive elements within the party, and Republicans are continuing to adopt more white nationalism, it's safe to say that these parties will continue to evolve and change. But the most effective path for policy is still to work within the two-party framework. That's a part of why Bernie runs as a Democrat, and it's a big reason why the people who ran influenced by him run as Democrats.

Edited May 6th, 2019 by Jet Presto
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I'm not sure what was terribly unconventional about Donald Trump's election.

Depends how you look at it. The dog whistling and pandering to the fascistic right beyond the realm of respectability have been par for the course in GOP primaries for years. Additionally, I can agree that *President* Trump is NOT some sort of anomaly or aberration within the GOP or even American politics generally, least of all in his economic and foreign policies. However, the fact that a Republican was running an “anti-establishment” campaign reminiscent of 1930s labor protests? The fact that he campaigned against things like endless wars and bullshit trade deals? The fact that he won a presidential election without the majority of billionaire/donor money? He may have been full of shit, but those things are all pretty unorthodox as far as modern history goes, and I think it’s indicative of the political tide turning in a way I haven’t seen in my lifetime.

Also, I’m not as confident as you that the Democratic party establishment will be so ready and willing to change for the better by representing actual working people above corporate interests. I think they thought obsessing over race, sex and other cultural bs (i.e. their reduction of AOC to the status of token “young woman of color” rather than highlighting her many amazing populist views in which she stands against DNC orthodoxy) would make them appear sufficiently “left wing”, but clearly this is not the case. Leftists, socialists, progressives and even just regular plebs wanting a better life still hate the Democratic party. Ultimately I think it’s the stubbornness of the so-called “party of the people” that will spur a viable third party if it does end up happening.

Edited May 7th, 2019 by pacman
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