Well, primary season is under way in the most wide-open presidential election since at least 1952 (some say 1932). As of this writing, the Dems have whittled their field to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.
Meanwhile, the GOP still can’t decide who wants it least: John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Ron Paul, and I guess Duncan Hunter is still hanging around for some reason.
“Change” seems to be the big mantra for this cycle, as Obama has been beating that drum, with Clinton following and now Romney (!?) following as well. But I say, for those who want REAL change, you have a number of options besides just the ol’ Donkey and Elephant (of whom there are actually 50-some and 80-some, respectively, besides the ones we see on TV). Behold the Undercard for 2008, courtesy of Project VoteSmart:
American Party, Matthew Jay Borman
Citizen’s Party (can’t even find a Web site for these guys), William David Beadles
Constitution Party, J. Boydston and Todd Marvin Clayton
Green Party (a.k.a. The Gore Killers), Jared Arlen Ball, Elaine Brown, Cynthia McKinney, Kent Mesplay, Kat Swift
Independence Party, Jose Miguel Aparicio
Libertarian Party (WAY too many to name)
Native American Party, Jacques Yves Boulerice (a.k.a. ‘Chief Jack’)
Prohibition Party, Gene Amondson
Reform Party, Bruce Calvin Trask
The Light Party, Da Vid
United Fascist Union, Jackson Kirk Grimes
What I wouldn’t give to see these guys share a debate stage. Can you imagine Da Vid taking a run at Chief Jack’s health-care plan?
Seriously, I don’t understand why some news channel doesn’t devote one evening to a Third Party Debate, where they’d invite the nominee from the top six or eight “alternative” parties that received votes in the last election (logistically you’d have to limit it so the moderator could get to everyone). You can’t tell me that wouldn’t draw viewers. At least it’d be easy to find Jack Grimes.
But no, apparently we need 20 Republican debates and 22 Dem debates to hear the same crap we hear every other time these phonies get in front of a camera.
You’d think the least they could do is hold themed debates. Why can’t the NEA sponsor an Education Debate, with 90 minutes devoted to education, for both Dems and GOPs? The US Chamber of Commerce on business policy? The AFL-CIO on labor issues? The American Medical Ass’n on health care? The VFW, American Legion and Paralyzed Veterans of America on defense/military matters? Etc. There’s no shortage of advocacy groups for major issues.
It’s too bad there aren’t any viable third parties out there – though the Libertarians and Greens probably draw the most votes – just to keep our major leaguers something approaching honest.