…fresh, alternative voices, that is:
Florida voters know enough about former Gov. Charlie Crist and Gov. Rick Scott (R) to know they don’t like or trust either man running for governor of their state.
Most Floridians with a voter registration card don’t know anything at all about the third candidate in the 2014 race for governor, Libertarian Adrian Wyllie. But enough of them might vote for Wyllie to worry both Crist and Scott.
Full disclosure: I know very little about Mr Wyllie. But I do know the gubernatorial race in Florida exemplifies the national dilemma. You have a recycled former Republican governor running against the current, used-to-be-Republican-but-is-now-Democrat governer. This is a choice, or the best we can do? Recycle candidates, including those whose party changes underscore how there is really only one party: the pro-powerful-government one? Given the power the Republicrat system has amassed to shape voting districts and rig the primary process so as to exclude ‘non-approved’ choices, it would appear so.
We NEED more ‘third-party’ choices like Mr Wyllie, if only to break the destructive monopoly the two-party system has entrenched.
Dynastic politics are a common thread of this monopoly as well, as Jason Carter runs for the Georgia Governor’s mansion once occupied by his grandfather (Jimmy), and the chattering classes entertain themselves by speculating whether Jeb will try to achieve a hat trick for House Bush at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Heck, even Chelsea Clinton is being groomed for something eventually — why else would someone so young and inexperienced be drawing such a journalistic salary? (hint: it’s called bribing the dynasty by those who are honest)
These are not the symptoms of a healthy, functioning republic. Should Hillary actually ascend to the Throne of Mordor in 2016, it will mean that in 2020 the U.S. President will have been either a Bush or a Clinton for 24 of the previous 32 years, broken only by the strange odyssey of the one called Obama! That this is even a possibility emphasizes how we’ve devolved into feuding oligarchic coalitions who actually have broad agreement on one key thing: that government should be powerful enough to let them control the masses, both subtly and openly, when they get their turn at the controls.
This is not what the Founders intended. Nor, I think, is it what most Americans want (at least, for those who bother to think at all). The trouble is they don’t pay enough attention, nor are they willing to commit to such simple actions as “out of principle I resolve not to vote for any relation of the Bush, Clinton, Kennedy, Cuomo, Daley, or Rockefeller families.” I’m sure there are plenty of perfectly lovely people in those dynasties. I’m also sure it’s not a good thing for us to elect our leaders based largely on family brand names.
Nor should Americans offer any loyalty to party brands, since it should be glaringly obvious those are no indicator of how loyal a particular candidate will be to the ‘brand‘ of governance once actually elected. Even such movements as the “Tea Party” all too often are coopted by politicos seeking to put a fresh spin on the same old game. It’s time to focus on individual candidates–preferably ordinary citizens who have felt a call to serve the nation for a brief period before going on with the rest of their lives–examine their records, and vote accordingly. Voting ‘straight ticket’ is both a relic and intellectually lazy.
If you want better government, the price is due diligence to seek out better candidates, and then to watch them like a hawk once in office in order to hold them accountable. There are signs significant numbers of voters are starting to realize this (though sadly, they are far from a majority). Perhaps this is why our bi-factional ruling class is so eager to distract us with foreign adventures while flooding the nation with a large pool of newly arrived future political participants, no?