It's obvious that the Democrats and Republicans are the same party, with just a few superficial differences designed to fool us into thinking otherwise. The Democrats hide their contempt for the poor; the Republicans don't bother. The Democrats don't make a big deal of religion; the GOP has their nose wedged so tightly in the ass of the religious right they can't remove it without losing face. But if you concentrate on their deeds instead of their words there's no difference between them. "Republicrats" has become a common word. ("Democans" would be as accurate, but the word just doesn't sound right.)
The Reform party has the best chance of being the next viable American political party, if they can find a good place holder for the 2000 presidential election. They need someone who can generate reasonable numbers without making them look silly. That will put them in a good position to run Jesse Ventura in 2004, the first third party candidate with any real chance of winning the presidency.
The Reform party's current assets are proving to be a liability. The thirteen million dollars in their presidential election campaign fund is attracting candidates that have never had anything to do with the party, candidates with politics nowhere near the party's platform
The strangest of these is Pat Buchanan, the man who gives xenophobic creationists a bad name. With no significant backing from anyone else, that money looks mighty attractive to him. If he succeeds in getting his mitts on it the party is doomed. It barely survived the wacky paranoia of Ross Perot. It is unlikely to survive a candidate who thinks the US should apologize to Germany for being impolite to Hitler.
Donald Trump used to spend thirteen million dollars on a Saturday barbecue, but when the bottom fell out of real estate he had to learn to be more frugal. He could now make thirteen million last almost two weeks.
Warren Beatty is even talking about running. He figures a real political campaign will make us forget the truly awful "Bullworth." Vanilla Ice will be his speech writer, if anyone can find him.
Ross Perot, the party's founder and the only candidate whose politics are in line with the official platform, isn't even considering running. He's too busy checking his privates for alien implants.
The party's best hope for a presidential candidate is the outspoken Jesse Ventura, who says he won't run in this presidential election. It's a wise move - by 2004 his current fans will be even more eager to vote for him, and he'll also have a track record he can use to win over Republicrats. Even more importantly, he stands a good chance of motivating the people so disgusted with the Republicrats they don't bother to vote. If he can get, say, 25% of them out of their Barcaloungers® and into the polls, he stands a very good chance of winning.
Jesse's politics are more Libertarian than Reform. But some of his positions, such as his support for public schools and public transportation, are not in line with the Libertarian platform. Libertarians demand ideological purity and despise compromise, a stance that insures they'll never have much direct political power. Jesse wisely disavows them.
Jesse's candor makes him more attractive than any current political candidate. The recent flap over his Playboy interview is a good example. Although thinking people already know that organized religion is for the feeble minded, Jesse is the first politician with the guts to say it out loud. This brought howls of protest from religious leaders, who are under the mistaken impression that he was giving away one of their most cherished secrets. It's amusing to hear religious leaders cry "Bigotry!" when their churches have, for centuries, used the scriptures to justify hatred, racism, sexism and slavery. Meanwhile, millions of atheists, agnostics and others with no invisible means of support are thrilled to hear a politician stand up to the religious establishment. It's a distinct improvement over George Bush Sr., who declared "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."
The RP responded by asking him to resign. Stupid, stupid, stupid. The Reform party needs Jesse. Jesse doesn't need the Reform party. He could, right now, form his own party, call it whatever he wants, and ride it to victory. If the RP abandons him they'll become as marginal and ignored as the Natural Law party. (I didn't bother to put a link to the NL party in that last sentence, and you don't really care, do you?)
Some commentators think Jesse might be a viable candidate if he learns to keep his mouth shut. They're wrong. His candor is a big part of his appeal, and makes him unique in a field of weasels who try to slither around the edges of their own opinions, afraid of offending anyone. Jesse says what he thinks, and if he ever changes that approach he'll just become one more boring political clone. Fortunately for us, that's about as likely as Al Gore wining a break dancing contest.
Me, I'm looking forward to him running for president in 2004. I'm tired of picking between the lesser of two weasels and would like, just once in my lifetime, to vote for a president. I like his politics, I like his attitude, and I like his style. And most importantly, I think it's about time we had a president with his own action figure.
More up to date information can be found on Minnesota State site
October 1999© 1999 Dave Hitt
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