An interesting column from Dennis Mikolay (the full thing can be read here):
Anderson received six percent of the vote, and while he didn’t get to move into the White House, he did mobilize thousands of student activists and encouraged a disillusioned nation to vote its conscience.
Some thirty years later, the American political climate is even more divided than it was in 1980, and much to Anderson’s dismay, the two major parties have become even more polarized. The corporate influence over politicians is now widely ignored, and both parties have become more concerned with serving the special interests than their constituents.
“Both [parties] rely too much on contributions and doing favors,” said Anderson. “The Republicans and Democrats are both guilty.”
Until recently, there were limitations on how involved a corporation could become in a political campaign; however, a controversial Supreme Court ruling recently abolished these restrictions. It was a move that particularly startled Anderson:
“I am very unhappy with the ‘Citizens United’ decision of the Supreme Court,” said Anderson. “It said corporations could, without limit, become involved in campaigns. It repealed well-known prescience going all the way to back 1913. We need reform, in both parties, when it comes to the way campaigns are financed. “
While the majority of Americans would agree that campaign finance reform is most certainly needed, there is great debate over how to go about this. The increasing frustration with elected representatives, and the political system in general, has led to the rise of the “Tea Party” movement, which has sought to oust incumbents in an attempt to establish more conservative leadership in America.
While at first glance one could see similarities between the “Tea Parties” and the grassroots movement that propelled Anderson’s 1980 campaign, there are very few ideological similarities between the two, and Anderson feels the “Tea Partiers” may be counterproductive:
“I don’t challenge their good faith,” said Anderson. “But they are looking in the rearview mirror at a time when we need to be looking forward…