On Third Parties



The older I get, the less logic I see in going third party. Third parties rarely win, even locally, so their influence is at best, marginal. Better to take that energy and become a coalition within whichever major party is compatible with your views. -A Green Caucus within the Democratic Party could at least put members into administrative or regulatory institutions or the bench, reach out to various constituencies for support. A Green Party will do nothing but attract cranks and the marginal.

It’s no accident that the groups who most need legislation and tangible results don’t go third party. Third parties in the United States are at best feel-good institutio, at worst, cult-like in nature. People who could win real elections don’t bother, and if someone like that actually joins, they soon quit and join the majors. So it becomes a continuous loop of failure.

The result is also a narrowing of political discourse in several ways. As a faction inside one of the two parties, at least certain issues could get a more general hearing and a wider audience, Yes, not everything will ever get enacted-there is such a thing as “impossible” in democratic discourse, but at least they will be discussed before being dismissed. And some things could work at least on a local level