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Reblogged:Good News/Bad News: A Third Choice in '24?

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First, the good news: According to Morry Gash, writing at Vanity Fair, a group called No Labels is hard at work now to make it easy for a third-party candidate to jump into the '24 presidential race, in case we're stuck with a Trump-Biden rematch:
No thanks! (Image by Cristian L. Ricardo, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.)
...As a consequence of the way the system is rigged against third parties, if you wait until next summer -- when the Republican and Democratic nominees have been determined -- it's too late to throw your hat in the ring. So a mechanism has to be set up to create ballot access in key states. And that means signature gathering now. And spending money now. Lots of it.


[T]he spade work has already begun -- nearly two years ahead of the general election. No Labels, an organization dedicated to bipartisanship and problem solving (which I helped start, but with which I have no recent affiliation), is doing the heavy lifting: raising money and creating third-party ballot access -- just in case we wake up next spring to a couple of clunkers.

Importantly, No Labels contends that it has no interest in supporting any "spoiler" Ralph Nader -- type candidacy that would simply put a thumb on the scale of either of the major party nominees. Instead, the group's aim is to have a hammer at the ready -- if, indeed, the glass has to be smashed.
So far so good. Perhaps this independent won't have to sit this one out or -- in the faint hope of sending a message to the GOP -- hold my nose and vote for Biden.

The bad news is that for a choice to be at all meaningful, there needs to be a substantive difference among the alternatives.

Revealingly, Gash's pitch focuses on the fact that (a) Biden and Trump are old (and so will be less effective at their jobs) and (b) Biden and Trump are unpopular (meaning ... that a third-party candidate might actually stand a chance of winning).

The article speaks of a sort of "Unity Ticket," featuring a "moderate" member of each major party.

The potential for bad news lies here: What does each major party stand for?

Sure, they bicker a lot, but both parties are increasingly anti-freedom and really differ -- when they do differ -- only in the details of how the state will get to make all our decisions for us. Republicans want to ban abortion. Democrats want to ban affordable energy. Both want to ban freedom of speech.

The best we can hope for is a ticket headed by a reasonable candidate who will not make much progress towards the worst his own party wants, and for each party to get taught a lesson.

But the idea could just as easily backfire. We could get a "moderate" Republican who "sees the light" on a historic opportunity to ban abortion, or a member of either party doing the same on energy policy. The latter case worries me the most as that's the bad policy with the most popular support, as a piece on this effort at Fox News notes:
"[Voters] want Washington to embrace an all-of-the-above energy strategy to ensure fuel is affordable and available, but they also want an accelerated transition to cleaner energy," White said. "They don’t like illegal immigration and want a strong border, but they do like immigrants and think legal immigration makes America stronger."
My advice to anyone considering this effort is this: Pick a policy you abhor or fear, that is at risk of major progress in the near future, and know that THIS POLICY might advance more under a younger, abler President with fire in his belly than under an old codger that most of the country hates.

I'm not completely writing this off, but in today's political milieu, we could easily end up thinking Trump-Biden was a pretty good crummy choice to have.

-- CAV

P.S. The Wikipedia entry on No Labels doesn't make me like this more, since the organization is against "endless gridlock." Since almost every policy movement today is towards more improper abuse of the power of government, opposing "gridlock" is a questionable position at best.

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