Proponents of third party and independent politics are certainly familiar with the most common arguments against third party and independent political activism forwarded by partisans of the two-party state. Last week at Poli-Tea, I published an article that considered five of these arguments, and provided links to previous posts aimed at their refutation. From Poli-Tea:
As election day approaches we are likely to see proponents of the two-party state publish more and more articles railing against third party and independent voting, against third party and independent candidates for office and against third party and independent politics as such. Any thoroughgoing analysis of the ideology that underpins the two-party state would eventually have to produce a taxonomy of the duopolist ideologue’s arguments against third party and independent political activism. Longtime readers of Poli-Tea might recall any number of posts detailing the inconsistencies and weaknesses of the most common arguments put forward by partisan Democrats and Republicans when they seek to dissuade others from building a viable opposition to the tyranny of the Democratic-Republican two-party state. For example:
• the historical argument states that because many third party and independent candidates have been unsuccessful in the past, they will never be successful in the future
• the tautological argument states that third party and independent candidates will never win an election because we have a two-party system
• the spoiler argument presumes that a vote for a third party or independent candidate is a wasted vote
• the procedural argument states that third party and independent candidates cannot win elections because the rules of the game are rigged against them
• the hysterical alarmist argument states that there is no time to build a third party or independent political movement because if we don’t vote for a Democrat or Republican in the next election, we’re all going to die
• and so on . . .
It might be rather interesting to construct a psycho-political profile of the duopolist ideologue from these various arguments. One might easily conclude, for instance, that the proponent of the two-party state is:
• an historical determinist, a fatalist even;
• incapable of independently-minded critique of the antiquated institutional forms that dominate our politics;
• a reactionary eager to prop up the ruling party-political establishment;
• always on the lookout for a means of rationalizing his unwillingness or inability to declare his independence from the politics of the two-party state;
• a perennial political apocalypticist, without a historical sense
• and so on . . .
It may be helpful to keep these potential traits in mind when countering the ideologues of the two-party state. The onslaught of 2010 is already in full swing.
Read the rest. Anyone familiar with other common talking points against third party and independent political activism? Jot them down in the comments along with your favorite counter-arguments.