The calls among Americans for a third party are louder than I can ever recall, and yet the movement for the creation of such a challenge to the Republicrat duopoly seems moribund.
Previous incarnations of disaffected voters – the Reform Party in 1992 and 1996, the Green Party in 2000 – revolved around charismatic candidates. No politician with true star power has yet emerged as a possible figurehead to match the enthusiastic campaigns that marked the presidential bids of Ross Perot and Ralph Nader.
One might argue that the stranglehold on ballot access sustained by the Democrats and Republicans stifles third parties, leaving them stillborn. Others maintain that the influx of big money from special interests reinforces the status quo, as major parties can outspend their smaller competitors 1000 times over.
Both arguments have merit, but my suspicion is that Americans are simply too fat and lazy to provide the grassroots mobilization necessary to bring real change.
This sounds harsh, but conditions in this country are not sufficiently dire to bring enough Americans around to the conviction that they must throw the bums out.
Thus, we continue to whine about the war, a sluggish economy, massive budget deficits, and illegal immigration, but we are not motivated enough to get off the couch do anything about these problems.
Until our national apathy is cured, we will continue to see more of the same.