History has shown – repeatedly and consistently – that
third parties create the OPPOSITE of what they want
As people become more and more fed up and disgusted with the inability of Congress to do its job, they often begin to claim and argue that people who are dissatisfied with the current status, should create one or more THIRD parties, to give voters more and better options. That assertion has an obvious and even compelling logic at its core, which is this:
At this time in our history, the two main parties are NOT helping to solve our nation’s problem. Instead, politicians are making those problems even worse, while our yearly federal deficits, and total national debt, spiral out of control.
The Two-Party Party does not and will not deny that assertion, at all, in any way; instead, we regard it as a straight‑forward fact.
However, creating one or more third parties is NOT the right answer, and would only end up making those problems even worse. Why? The best answer begins with a quick review of the relevant history, which will lead to a first major conclusion:
EVERY SERIOUS EFFORT TO CREATE A THIRD PARTY IN THE US HAS BACKFIRED TERRIBLY, AND THE ACTUAL RESULTS WERE
THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT THOSE PARTIES (AND THEIR SUPPORTERS) WANTED AND TRIED TO ACCOMPLISH.
Consider two events, recent enough that they both continue to actively shape and affect the political landscape in America.
In 1992, Ross Perot ran for President, at the head of a third party (“The Reform Party”) made up of conservatives. His candidacy ended up suctioning and draining enough votes away from the other conservative candidate – the Republican, George Bush Sr. – to give the Presidency to the Democrat, Bill Clinton, even though Clinton received only 43% of the vote. The conservatives who endorsed The Reform Party, and voted for Perot, ended up despising President Clinton, even though they had – inadvertently, and unwittingly – directly helped elect him. Indeed, they hated Clinton (and Hilary, too, once the President announced that SHE would be in charge of totally reforming America’s health-care system) so much, that an objective observer can make a strong argument that THAT was the beginning of the hyper‑polarized, hyper‑antagonistic era which can fairly be called “hate politics”, which has spread like a nasty virus throughout American politics ever since.
Eight years later, in 2000, Ralph Nader and his pro‑environment “Green Party” directly caused the defeat of Al Gore, and handed the Presidency to George Bush Junior. Not surprisingly, Nader has spent the years ever since, trying to deny, deflect, and evade the facts of what he did, and what he caused, by pointing to other factors that also contributed to the final result. And yet, the bottom‑line fact is that if Nader and “The Green Party” had not done what they did, Al Gore would have won the election, and the Presidency. Whatever Gore’s shortcomings may have been, he has proved, by his actions, that he was serious about trying to reduce CO2 emissions, and help control global warming. But, Nader and “The Green Party” managed to drain enough environmental supporters away from Gore, to hand the Presidency to Bush Junior, and Dick Cheney ‑ both of whom were “oil men”, who then stacked the federal agencies with other “oil men”, who pushed through policies that enraged and infuriated the environmentalists who had voted for Nader. In other words, the people who supported Nader and “The Green Party” ended up causing THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT THEY WANTED.
Those are not just isolated examples which never will be repeated. As two more examples:
1. Lincoln would never have won the 1860 election, except that the Democratic Party split into different factions, which all still claimed to be Democratic parties. When they divided the Democratic vote among themselves, they let Lincoln win with less than a majority.
2. Woodrow Wilson would never have won the election of 1912, if Teddy Roosevelt (a lifelong Republican, until 1912) had not created “The Bull Moose Party”, which then split the Republican vote with Howard Taft.
3. There was even a bizarre episode, during the 2020 election, where skilled and well-funded Republican operatives began doing everything they could, to try to help get the black rap singer, Kanye West, onto the ballots, in a number of “swing states”. NONE of those Republican operatives actually wanted West to WIN; they simply wanted him to suction votes away from the Democratic nominee. If anyone doubts or disputes that, do a search that combines the law firm name, “Holtzmann Vogel”, with “Kanye West” and “2020”.
All five examples above are clear‑cut examples, and demonstrations, of a direct, straight‑forward, undeniable principle which will always, ALWAYS apply to ANY and ALL political elections:
ANY THIRD PARTY WILL ALWAYS, INEVITABLY, AND NECESSARILY PULL
MOST OF ITS SUPPORT AWAY FROM WHICHEVER PARTY IT IS CLOSER TO.
Stated simply, if a third party candidate for President is a CONSERVATIVE, he will drain and suction most of his votes AWAY FROM THE MORE CONSERVATIVE of the OTHER two candidates. That is just simple, basic logic.
Conversely, if a third party candidate is a LIBERAL, he will drain and suction votes most of his support, AWAY FROM THE MORE LIBERAL of the OTHER two candidates. Again, this is straight‑forward logic, proven repeatedly by history.
If two people are splitting a pie, but then someone muscles in and says, “Well, I like YOU better, so I’m going to take part of YOUR slice of the pie . . .” it should be obvious what effect that will have, on the victim of that SECONDARY cutting step. If anyone wants to dispute that analogy, and argue that it isn’t valid, and should not be considered, they should be required to do so clearly and directly, rather than through sidesteps, rationalizations, and “pretzel logic”; and, they should be regarded with heavy skepticism.
All of the historical outcomes listed above were totally and entirely predictable. They were real‑life demonstrations of what will actually happen, in the United States, if and when some “spin-off” party rises and expands (in response to some set of events, circumstances, etc.) to a point where it has enough size and power to actually change the outcome of an election.
I’m not a political scientist, or a statistician; instead, I’m an environmental engineer, and a patent attorney. However, I’d be willing to bet $10,000 that, if some person or group wants to use computerized analyses to find out whether that same principle holds true in other elections – such as in elections for Governorships, or for Congress (in either chamber) – then the same correlation will be found, at a level of at least 85% or higher. The logic is so clear, so direct, and so straight‑forward, that it would be foolish to bet good money against it.
And, there is yet another reason why any voter should be deeply skeptical of anyone who tries to help create a third party:
Third party leaders are deeply and profoundly anti-democracy,
in what they want, and what they secretly hope and try to do.
The true goal, fantasy, and “wet dream” of ANY third-party leader, is to have the two MAIN parties evenly split, in their power and numbers – such as, with each party having 48 or 49% of the elected leaders, in any legislature. If that situation arises, then a third party which has only about 2-4% of the voters behind it, and supporting it, can suddenly be put into “the King-maker’s chair”. With only a small minority of the votes in some legislative chamber, they can swing those few votes in ways that can give either one of the two MAJOR parties a majority. And what can some third-party leader, do if he finds himself in THAT position? He can hold an effective veto power over everything and everyone in that chamber, and he can demand whatever he wants, in exchange for only a small bloc of votes.
That is not democracy; it is the opposite of democracy.
And so, the question becomes:
How many times can we safely entrust our nation, our leadership, our political stability and security, and our futures, to the types of people who will argue that some third party provides the best answers to our problems, but who will not or cannot face up to the lessons of history, and who refuse to admit that whenever a third party became strong enough to change the outcome of an election, its members and supporters ended up hurting themselves, and sabotaging their own goals and interests? In a nutshell, that is the question which led to this website, The Two-Party Party, and to the proposals herein for different and hopefully better ways to approach and handle the problems we are facing today.
This is NOT an argument or claim that “two” is a perfect, ideal, wonderful number of parties, or that a two‑party system offers the perfect way to solve political problems. Instead, it is simply a statement that the number “2” remains standing, when the number “1” fails, and when all of the numbers in the group “3 or more” also fail.
If some sloganeer wants to try to boil down that observation into a short phrase with cadence, here is a starting point, for consideration:
Three is too many, and one is too few;
Two can both govern, and give us a choice.
So . . . before setting forth a proposal for how voters can begin to wrestle and fight their way back to “parity” with professional politicians, the next major section is entitled “The Middle-Class Manifesto”. The word “Manifesto” has a long history of being associated with radical causes (such as, “The Communist Manifesto”). In this context, it may well be radical; and yet, the “radical-ness” in this particular manifesto, comes from how and why it demands that politicians begin actually helping the middle class, rather than claiming and pretending to help the middle class, while quietly and actually working for the people who give them 90% of their income (i.e., their campaign contributors).