Monday, May 9, 2016

Third Party Run? Give Me A Break

This is something that really bothered me over the weekend. There is something truly wrong with "conservatism." I put this in quotes because I don't see the people I'm talking about as actual conservatives. What's bothering me is all this talk about refusing to support a nominee and trying to find a third party candidate.

Before I begin, let me start with this disclaimer. I think Trump is a sh*t. He's not a conservative and never will be. He's been talking like a "genoooine conservative," complete with the racism, the white socialism and the sheer idiocy. Talk about an ideology for idiots, bigots and assholes! And now he's showing his true colors which are those of just a crony socialist. His latest lurch left this weekend was to suggest that raising the minimum wage might be the way to go. Sure, if you want to kill jobs and hurt poor people, but hey, it sure calms the guilt of rich liberals. Anyways, back to the point, the man is a turd, so this is not me whining that people won't support "my" guy.

BUT... when I look at the GOP/conservative world all vying to run a third party candidate, I find myself seeing something very wrong. To be clear:
● Trump threatened a third party run if he didn't get his own way. Waaaaah! "I'm a real man and I'll hold breath if I don't get my waaaaaay!"

● Romney's elitists are wining about a third party run because they don't like the uncouth Trump ("But Luvy, he's vuuulgar!"), even though he has won overwhelmingly with GOP voters... something which is ultimately the fault of Romney's elitist friends losing the faith of voters, by the way. They don't care though. Elections are not about the filthy public!

● The Religious Right is whining about a third party run because they aren't getting their way. Waaaah!

● Economic conservatives long ago decided to jump to the Libertarian Party because they didn't like the other Republicans... and they wanted to smoke pot. Waaaah!

● The Neocons have a long history of supporting other parties, i.e. the Democrats, whenever a nominee doesn't fit their views.

● Half our candidates whine about not supporting the nominee when they discover the voters don't support them.

● The "conservative" media fetishizes third party candidacy.
How in the world can an ideology work like this? "If you don't give me everything I want, I'm taking my toys and I'm going home!" Reagan once said that he could work with anyone who agreed with him on 80% of issues. Yet, the new Republican position is "I can't work with anyone who isn't 100% like me!" What a bunch of f**ing children!

Tell me why any rational voter should support people like this?

Conservatism was once a respected, thoughtful ideology. Today, it has devolved into tribes of whiny losers. It had become children in a school yard acting petulantly. What's next? Are we going to start lobbing boogers at each other at party conventions?

I'm not sure how this happened, but it explains why a population that is 60%+ fundamentally conservative in its beliefs can't find enough conservative voters to beat an ideology shared by less than 43% of the public.



AndrewPrice said...

Sorry for the typos folks. I've been down with gout all weekend (it's loads of fun, I recommend trying it!), so I wrote this fast this morning. It has now been fixed and updated.

LL said...

It's true, conservatism has devolved into various tribes, each with their own sacred cow. It's why Mitt lost and Trumps appeal to populism over strict ideology is why he's winning.

People who set themselves up as "conservative leaders" need to record themselves and they play it back. Much of it sounds like seven year old children arguing over a toy.

AndrewPrice said...

LL, It really does. It struck me this weekend in particular when the Romney camp was discussing running a third party candidate. It all just sounded so pissy and childish. They never gave a single valid reason an adult would accept why this was justified nor did they explain why they thought they should overturn the choice of the voters. It was all emotion and anger and "I don't like him! Waaah!"

This is the stuff you hear from fifth graders... I have one, I know. It's not what you hear from adults. And it's certainly not what you would expect from someone who supposedly is a leader of other people.

And the thing is, this was just the latest. It seems that this has become the way "conservatives" operate, and that is pathetic. Why should the public support people like that?

tryanmax said...

There are no conservatives on the right anymore, nor are there any liberals or progressives on the left. (That's hyperbole, of course, but the fact that I have to say so--even to a sympathetic audience-- tells a lot. <-- Also, double aside. [or is it triple? {I should stop now.}]) Both political parties have become precisely the caricatures their opponents paint of them, totalitarians, reactionaries, bigots and moochers, all around. It's rather an amazing development.

tryanmax said...

Fifth graders? Try second graders! I've got one of those. I'm sure your fifth grader is more civil than these political clowns.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, "Both political parties have become precisely the caricatures their opponents paint of them"

That is bizarrely true! I don't get it either. In fact, both parties seem to be embracing the caricatures as a point of pride now.

My honest guess is that the normal people have largely left the political process and what is left are a bunch of obsessives who are blinded by their anger to how they come across.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I've been having long political talks with my seventh grader and it's amazing how rational, how calm and how well-mannered (and conservative) she is. Her natural instincts are libertarian/conservatism but without any of the crazy. She finds liberals disturbing on many levels, but she has equal contempt for talk radio conservatism. She would make an awesome president in the mold of Reagan.

Our fifth grader is still is engaged in the playground scene. Petty rivalries, half-baked ideas, unsupported beliefs, etc. That said, she also sees a lot of stupidity in fringe "thinking" and she doesn't accept the kind of disloyalty, whining and uncivil behavior that is now common in our politics.

Kit said...

I believe the hope is that a major third party candidate can swing the election firmly to Hillary.

If we're going to be stuck with a big government, big spending, entitlement-loving Democrat who vows to bring back 70s inflation, let it at least be one with a D after her name.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, That's what they are telling themselves as a justification, but it's bullsh*t. This is just par for the course. Every election, the factions who lost the primary play this game: "I'm not voting for ___! He's not a conservative!"

They have become a party of whiny selfish children who would let the country rot than not get everything they want at once. And frankly, until this mindset changes, they will get nothing... and deservedly so.

AndrewPrice said...

And Kit, I'm not saying I know how to fix this. I'm not sure it can be fixed. It was clear to me that ideological liberalism died in the 1990s when the Democrats ceased to be a party and became a collection of warring tribes. I think I realized this weekend that conservatism has now done the same. Can it be fixed? Probably not until demographics change... until the Millennials take over the GOP and impose some new structure.

AndrewPrice said...

Or maybe that's the gout talking. Who knows?

ScottDS said...

...until the Millennials take over the GOP and impose some new structure...

Great, you mean millennials like Crowder and that Milo asshole from the so-called "alt right"? No thanks. That's definitely the gout talking. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, No, I'm talking about the Millennials at large, not the handful attached to the fringes. As a group, they seem to be much more politically nuanced and practical than the current crop controlling the GOP (the left is different... their Millennials seems to be drones).

I can't rule out that gout though! This stuff is strong. I can't even put my foot on the ground. :(

AndrewPrice said...

I should probably write an article on why I think the fringe (on both sides) is basically sexual inadequacy manifested as a political movement and explain why the Millennials are unlikely to follow that course.

Could be interesting.

Kit said...


The difference is the ones calling for a third party now are the ones who 4 years ago were going along with Romney (National Review, Weekly Standard). Many of the ones who threatened a third party bolt over Romney (Coulter) are going for Trump.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, It doesn't make any difference. GOP voters decided. Trump has overwhelmingly won the support of GOP voters -- just like Romney won last time. What right do the political "elite" have to now throw that away just because he wasn't the guy they wanted? Whose party is it? The voters' or the elites'?

If the elites don't like the voters' decision, they should work harder next time to win the trust of the voters and to get them to support their guy. That's how it's supposed to work.

This idea of threatening third parties is the death of party. It is bad faith and just encourages more people to play the "me or nobody" game.

As for Trump doing it first, I don't excuse that either. But two wrongs don't make a right.

Kit said...

First, it should be remembered, that National Review, and by extension much of the modern conservative movement, was founded partly in response to the big government policies of... Dwight Eisenhower. Specifically, his refusal to roll back New Dealism.

And they refused to issue endorsements in 1960 and 1972 simply out of distaste for Nixon's liberalism.

Kit said...

Second, right now, I just cannot in good conscience vote for Trump. To quote Tevye when his daughter decided to marry a gentile, if I bend anymore I'll break. Maybe I'll change come November, but I doubt it.

I find myself moving towards Trump when I watch Hillary, but I find myself leaning towards Hillary or Other when I watch Trump. We have two candidates who serve as powerful endorsements for their opponents.

On the other hand, seeing Trump supporters complain about how everything just became more expensive (and a 2nd recession has been triggered) will be cause for popcorn.

Kit said...

On the other other hand, I'm concerned about the games Trump will play to craft scapegoats for his failures. And given how many 10,000 felonies in the federal code, there are a lot of games he can play.

On the other other other hand, maybe blatant prosecutorial recklessness will cause both parties to finally work on reining it in.

On the other other other other hand, it could more or less entrench blatantly political use of federal law enforcement in our political culture. And it's already pretty bad.

Kit said...

As for what a President Trump would be like? My guess is the Trump would be a cross between Berlusconi, Nixon, and Andrew Jackson but without the basic competency of the latter two.

So, basically, he'll be an American Silvio Berlusconi.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I'm not saying Trump is a good choice. But how do we justify going against the will of GOP voters? Trump won the primaries fairly -- even against a stacked deck actually. The GOP public voted for him in record numbers. How do we now say, "Well, you didn't make the right choice, so we're going to ignore that whole voting thing because we know better?" Why bother with primaries at all if they don't matter unless the produce the "right" result?

Kit said...


The GOP is not going to remove his nominee status. People can leave parties when they think it no longer represents them. And, since "The GOP public voted for him in record numbers," whether the GOP can still be called conservative in any sense of the word is very much in question.

Wilkie did joined the GOP after his fight against FDR's big government seizure of private companies. Many Democrats did in the 1830s when they were repulsed by Andrew Jackson's crass (and quasi-tyrannical) populism to craft the Whig Party. Some Republicans bolted for the Dems after Goldwater won the nomination.

Kit said...

"The "conservative" media fetishizes third party candidacy."

Also, the conservative media (Fox News, much of Talk Radio, Drudge, etc.) has actually been promoting him. Coulter, Hannity, Savage, Limbaugh (sort of), Sarah Palin, Greta, and the rest have been singing his praises.

And now CNN is becoming more competitive against Fox News. LINK

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, How will conservatism ever get anything it wants if people on the conservative side refuse to support people they don't agree with 100% and then walk away if the voters disagree with them? A rational political party should make a point of specifically ignoring those people before others get the same idea.

Moreover, if you can't win over people inclined to be conservative to conservatism, then what chance does conservatism have with the general public?

Frankly, I see Trump as being a rational choice by an electorate as a punishment for a party elite that has gotten out of control and lost touch. In fact, I think the very games being played against Trump are why GOP voters supported him. They are sick of the elite dictating what will happen and what won't.

And my guess is that they will be much more amenable to returning to conservatism when he is done.

AndrewPrice said...

As for the conservative media, they absolutely do. At this point, the people you list don't support a third party because they got their guy, but before they got their guy they did. Currently, others (the ones who didn't get their guy) support a third party run. All though-out the Romney era, the anybody but Romeny crowd wanted a third party run. When Bush announced, vast numbers of conservatives said they would never support him and said a third party run should be had. Ditto when McCain ran. Ditto Buchanan who has threatened it since 1992. Butt-loads of talking heads talk incessantly about going third party and destroying the GOP. The Religious Right routinely makes the threat of not voting or going out on their own. RINOs routinely make the threat of voting for Democrats.

There is no shortage of disloyalty in the ranks.

Kit said...

What elites support a third party? Most of the GOp leadership is lining up along with him. The only holdout is Paul Ryan and even he has said "I never said never." In other words, his holding out is more of a negotiating strategy to try and keep entitlement reform (which Trump staunchly opposes) in the party's platform.

Ryan is trying to move Trump somewhat to the right, or at least keep Trump from moving even further to the Left.

Also, a majority of GOP primary voters voted against Trump. Trump got votes in record numbers, but he also got votes against him in record numbers. He won mainly because the vote was divided among 10+ different candidates and by the time enough dropped out he had the momentum to win.

If the GOP had a single candidate around whom to rally, he would've been toast.

AndrewPrice said...

What elites support a third party?

Romney and Bill Kristol just met this weekend to discuss how to create a third party.

If the GOP had a single candidate around whom to rally, he would've been toast.

That's basically when happened when they teamed up, and they still lost.

And you're missing the point Kit. I get that you HATE Trump, but I'm not talking about Trump specifically. You seem to think that just because you don't like Trump, somehow that makes it ok to oppose him. But my point is that this is the same faulty logic used by every other group that doesn't want to support a nominee. And that is what has led the GOP to this point.

Koshcat said...

The flaw is the idea that a polical party specifically means a specific way of thinking. For example, most union members and black men are actually pretty conservative but vote democrat because of the impression most republicans send out that they don't care. I was reading an article over the weekend that Romney decided (against Ryan's recommendation) to give up the black vote; the benfefit of getting 10% wasn't worth the work. So they voted overwhelmingly against him. Black women voted against 97-3% and the joke is the three pulled the wrong handle. If he would have shown an inkling of concern could he have gotten 10%? Perhaps and in some states, such as Ohio, it might have made the difference.

So back to Trump. Is he very conservative? No. Is he a narcisstic asshole? Yes. Did more GOP members vote for him than any other candidate? Yes. So as a conservative you are left with 2 bad choices. However, one is a big bank fascist who loves to use political correctness to control you. The other is an individual who doesn't give a shit about social issues but has a history of using every tool and disruptive technique to get ahead in business. If you think the country is in an economic malaise, who would you prefer to try to fix it? A cackeling hag-witch who wall street loves because she won't change any of the status quo or a nutty, know-it-all, obnoxious businessman who likes to poke his opponents in eye?

Anthony said...


I agree its silly and pointless to support a third party candidate.

I agree that Trump's surge illustrates how lacking the other choices were (for all their virtues governors like Jindal, Perry and Walker utterly lacked charisma, which is one of the keys to winning national elections).

I also think its silly and pointless for conservatives to support Trump. On many issues not related to gays (there his position of benign indifference mirrors mine) or free trade (his position is the opposite of mine) he has been all over the map. If a guy changes position every time he opens his mouth and has no track record, there is no sane remotely conservative reason to support him. State you support Trump because of his positions on X, Y and Z he will make you look like a fool 5 minutes later when he changes position to suit whatever his current mood is.

On a related note, Trump is chasing Bernie supporters, not those Republicans who don't subscribe to his 'say anything you want, we believe in you!' cult so he is as uninterested in conservative votes as some conservatives are in supporting him.

Asked how he plans to win the general election without a unified GOP behind him, Trump responded: "I think I'm gonna go out and I'm gonna get millions of people from the Democrats. I'm gonna get Bernie people to vote, because they like me on trade."

Of Sanders, Trump commended the Vermont senator as a man who "knows trade."

"The outside trade has been horrible for this country, and he understands that," Trump said. "But he can't do anything about it. I can."

Kit said...


I'm going to try and think this over. Maybe the summer will give me the breathing room to this about it from a more objective position.

As I like to joke, I have until November 8 to decide.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit and Anthony, I'm serious in my thoughts that this idea of not supporting the candidate is what has ruined conservatism. It's let every idiosyncratic "conservative" hold the rest hostage with the threat. I think it needs to be purged from the collective consciousness of conservatives.

That said, I am realistic enough to know that Trump is a disaster in the making. Maybe I should write this out for an article tonight? Hmm. Let me see what I can do.

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