I’m a Clinton White House alum who had hoped President Obama could usher in the debate we need. It’s hardly all his fault that we’re not there, but I’m convinced the parties’ interest groups and “thought police” make real progress impossible without a new force that shakes things up. Democrats and Republicans care first and foremost about winning elections, a task that bears no necessary relationship to actually solving our major problems. Having our two-party duopoly control the terms of debate may have sufficed when America was the world’s dominant economy, with little competition. But those days are gone. The challenges we face are serious. People know our current arrangements aren’t up to them.
Anecdotal evidence: Speaking to 400 professionals of all stripes in California the other day, I asked who would be seriously interested in a third major political party. Fiscally conservative, socially liberal. Nearly every hand shot up. Something’s afoot and it’s not just about the Tea Party. The radical center is ready to rise.
Although these types of calls for a third party of the center are nothing new, over at Irregular Times Jim Cook links pieces like this and a recent similar effort by Thomas Friedman at NY Times with the Americans Elect project (previously known as Unity12 and Unity08):
… I was sure that one of the organizations to which Friedman refers is Americans Elect, a DC Beltway corporation formed with the aim of nominating and electing its very own presidential ticket in 2012. The declaration would fit so well with the style of the group (the former Unity12, and before that Unity08) to cultivate private relationships with media figures that result in promotional press pieces.
There’s also been some recent speculation that a billionaire such as Donald Trump or Michael Bloomberg may have something to do with this.