Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cultural tsunami

Hats off to Michelle, who read my last post, took a few shots at its logic, and, I must admit, scored a point or two. (See the dialogue in the comments section thereof.) In the spirit of Prov. 27:17, that's one of the purposes of blogging: to be a marketplace of ideas, fostering the ongoing testing and purifying of ideas. So, this post is an attempt to clarify and possibly build a more thorough argument. Please feel free to offer further criticism.

A theme in that post (which may not have been clearly presented) was that politics is a reflection of the culture, that political trends are neither the root problem nor the solution, but that the underlying culture is the real issue. Defining culture as the aggregate of all the people within it and their respective values, I conjectured that culture-wide values shift minutely at every shift of every individual's values. If my soul moves up or down or right or left, the culture's center of gravity moves slightly as well. I called this "grassroots nudging".

Baldwin '08 This is not to say that political actions are unimportant, and I was compelled to defend my political support for The Constitution Party in my response to Michelle. As noted above, I welcome criticism and dialogue on political positions, too. Some of my reasons for supporting a third party are offered in the post entitled "Voting matters" (with possible future clarification or correction as deemed appropriate). But, anyway, I wrote the following in defending my current position:

...At some point, somebody has to have the courage to leave the big tent. The Democrats of the early 1800's accepted the practice of slavery. The Whigs opposed it, but did nothing. It took a third party, the Republican Party, to abolish slavery. It may take another to restore legal protection to the pre-born, and/or head off the legal redefinition of marriage.

The point of the post was that, first, there must be a cultural shift of values.

Now, almost as soon as I had written that, I realized another hole in my original conjecture. Namely, that sometimes cultural shifts occur, not just by minute degrees, but by sudden and massive tidal waves of change.

Uncle Tom's Cabin For decades, the abolitionists had been praying and working against the cultural and political horror of slavery in America, slowly but patiently pecking away and "nudging" the culture in the right direction. Then Harriet Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom's cabin, and almost single-handedly raised the conscience and consciousness of the nation, finally making the political abolition of slavery a possibility. When President Lincoln was personally introduced to Stowe, it is claimed that he remarked, "So you're the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!"

All right then (Jerry cracks his knuckles), here's my new and improved conjecture: There exist multiple ways in which our world may be moved, all of which deserve our attention:

Political action: Voting, petitions, boycotts, citizen lobby groups, etc.

Cultural tsunami: Maybe Stephen Spielberg will produce a movie exposing the abortion industry. One can dream.

Grassroots nudging: Raise your own conscience bar, and, whether deliberately or not, influence others, one person at a time.

Above all, of course, pray.

(By the way, did you know that Abraham Lincoln started out in The Whig Party?)

16 comments:

Michelle said...

Although this article is four years old, the truths it tells are timeless. I hope you don't think I'm being pig-headed. I just don't think the Constitution Party has a chance. Mr. Sizemore does a great job of explaining why (I believe):

WHY THE CONSTITUTION PARTY IS GOING NOWHERE

By Bill Sizemore

June 8, 2004

NewsWithViews.com

Every election cycle, from one end of this country to the other, by the thousands, well-meaning conservatives with a burning zeal and the best of intentions, enter the political process for the first time. VThe idea seems to hit them one day like a lightning bolt from heaven. Almost out of nowhere, they say to themselves, “I have all the right views and I have the courage of my convictions. I know I won’t sell out and compromise for personal political gain like all of those other politicians have. My country (or my state, county, or city) needs me, and there is no time to waste. Compelled by my sense of duty and patriotism, I am going to run for public office.”

It happens all the time. Mostly though, these fine folks arrive out of nowhere and then disappear into political oblivion just as quickly; right after some opponent has handed them their head on a silver platter.

Over the years, I have observed that most of these folks seem to have one thing in common. They are entirely unaware of the basic laws of political science, but think they are going to win, because they are right on the issues, or because God is on their side.

Of course, these same folks would never step off a cliff and challenge the law of gravity. They are too smart for that. Amazingly, however, they do the exact same thing in politics. They challenge or ignore the basic laws of political science and then seem befuddled and disillusioned by the unfortunate, but predictable consequence.

The laws of political science are like the laws of physics. They may be less obvious, but they work just as faithfully. Failing to recognize and account for the laws of political science almost invariably leaves well-meaning candidates, with all the right views, shattered heaps at the bottom of some political cliff.

The laws of political science are more or less universal. Whether it’s a candidate or a political party, there are certain things that simply must occur for either to be viable. If those things do not occur, the energy that initiated the effort almost invariably dissipates and those involved exit the stage, discouraged and cynical about the entire process.

Sure, the Constitution Party could change the nation some day. It could even nominate a winning presidential candidate. That is conceivable, but not the way things are going presently. The road the Constitution Party is on today goes nowhere.

You see, all of those bright-eyed, first time candidates we spoke of earlier, those who exited the process with nothing to show for their efforts but a bruised ego and a campaign debt, have two things in common: First, when they started, no one had ever heard of them, and second, from beginning to end, they lacked the money necessary to get their message out and become visible enough to appear on the voters’ radar screen.

To win, a candidate usually needs lots of money and plenty of positive name familiarity. Having a lot of either is sometimes sufficient to pull off a victory, because money can buy name familiarity and already having name familiarity means you need less money to create it. However, if in the beginning you lack both, and have no workable plan for obtaining these basic political necessities, yours is an exercise in futility.

This is a law of political science, which applies to all but the smallest of political races. Simply put, people don’t tend to vote for someone they have never heard of or know nothing about. Sure, if they know nothing about your opponents either, they might vote for you simply because they like the sound of your name or saw it on a lot of signs in a lot of people’s yards. However, if they know who your opponent is and what he or she is about, (and they will if your opponent is running a serious campaign), they also will have to know something about you and like what they know, or they will vote for the other guy. It’s that simple.

The problem is, in a major race, it takes an awful lot of money to tell people who you are and what you believe. It takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to run for Congress. It takes millions to run a serious campaign for the U.S. Senate. It takes hundreds of millions to run for the presidency with any chance of winning.

If you start the race as a popular candidate with household name familiarity, as Arnold Swartzennegger did in California, you may need less money to win. You will be considered a serious contender from the get go, because in politics, name familiarity is like money. Having lots of it scares off would be challengers.

This is why the Constitution Party is not and will not soon become a major political player. Its leaders so far have failed to behave as if they understand and respect the basic laws of political science.



Could this failure be remedied? Sure, but not easily. Here is what would have to happen for the Constitution Party, or the Libertarian Party, for that matter, to become major players. They would first have to recruit a candidate that voters have actually heard of; someone with a household name. Then they would need to raise the millions and millions of dollars it would take to get their message in front of enough voters to sway the outcome of a national election.

I don’t doubt for a moment the quality or the sincerity of the sacrificial lambs the Constitution Party has chosen to be their nominees for the presidency and vice presidency. Their problem is, 99 percent of Americans have never heard of either of them, and when the race is over at 8:00 p.m. on November 2nd, 98 percent of Americans still will not have heard of them, nor have the foggiest idea what they or their party stands for.

Why? Because the Constitution Party is aiming its message at the easy to reach conservative political activists, not those tens of millions of couch potatoes, who will vote for president on November 2nd without first bothering to read a single campaign statement or watch a single political debate. The only way those apathetic, middle of the road voters will be reached is through obscenely expensive, primetime 30-second television ads that catch them during one of those few commercial breaks that isn’t spent in the bathroom or raiding the refrigerator.

You have to catch them during Monday Night Football or Everybody Loves Raymond, or pay $2 million to air a 30 second commercial during the final episode of Friends. Otherwise, they won’t hear you or know you exist. Then, of course, they have to see your commercial about seven times before they will remember it, so add that into your budget, as well.

Why do you think major party candidates spend so much money on 30-second television ads? They do, because they know that’s how you win major elections. You can’t win a major race just by being a star on talk radio, which is listened to by less than 25 percent of Americans. You can’t win a high political office just by going to all of those candidate debates and attending all of those Rotary Club meetings. Those things might help in small, local races, but to win a major race, you have to buy tons of primetime television ads and spend a fortune on drive-time radio ads.

For the Constitution Party to be a serious contender in a national campaign, its candidate for president would have to raise $100 to $200 million over the next two or three months, and that seems rather unlikely.

There are, however, things that could make the Constitution Party’s candidates instant contenders, absent the hundred million dollars. For example, if some or most of the national leaders of the conservative movement in America got behind them, the Constitution Party candidates could become major players in short order.

I’m talking about religious leaders with national audiences; people like James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and D. James Kennedy. If those folks were joined by major policy groups like The Heritage Foundation, the American Conservative Union, National Right to Life, Americans for Tax Reform, the National Taxpayers Union, and the National Rifle Association, then the Constitution Party candidates could become major players overnight.

It wouldn’t hurt, of course, for leading conservative columnists like George Will and Robert Novak, to chime in; and for national talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Michael Savage to start beating the Conservative Party’s drum.

If conservative leaders and organizations of this stature got behind a third party candidate and started touting his virtues, the impact would be substantial and immediate. The entire country would take notice. Every major newspaper in the country would be writing front page articles about the Constitution Party, its platform, and candidates.

However, you don’t see any of that that happening, do you? As upset as some of these national leaders are with some of Bush’s policies, you don’t see them or their organizations drifting towards a third party. You don’t see them deserting Bush and looking for an alternative. Why is this?

There are probably several reasons why the national heavy hitters are sticking with Bush and ignoring the Constitution Party. If they could get past the Constitution Party’s dangerously naïve position on Iraq and the war against terrorism, they probably would still stick with Bush, because they are political realists. It is not because they are part of the “conspiracy” or because they like being Washington insiders. They are simply too experienced and have too much respect for the laws of political science to support the Conservative Party, which so far is not sufficiently developed or financed to earn their consideration, let alone their support.

The more sophisticated players at the national level have pretty good instincts for what is politically possible and what isn’t, and they are practical enough to acknowledge that most of the Republican sheep will stay “safely” within the Republican fold this November, no matter who else is on the ballot.

They also know that getting behind someone with no name familiarity and no access to stockpiles of campaign cash is a waste of their credibility.

If, on the other hand, the Constitution Party had a well-known candidate at the top of it’s ticket or had a hundred million bucks in the bank, it might be a different story. The major players, who are upset with Bush, might consider them a viable alternative. That is, if they could get past the Constitution Party’s position on the war in Iraq, which is out of touch with the vast majority of conservatives.

The concept of a strong third party is not in and of itself far-fetched, if the endeavor is undertaken with some sophistication. Let’s look at two real world examples of third party contenders; one who almost made it and one who has never had a chance.

First, let’s consider the case of Ross Perot. When Perot ran for president in 1992, for better or for worse, he made a difference. In fact, if he had not stumbled and dropped out of the race, (and then later tried to crawl back in), some early polls indicate that he might have actually won.

Even though Perot lost, he ended up with 19 percent of the national vote, the highest percentage of any third party candidate since Teddy Roosevelt.

What did Reform Party candidate Ross Perot have going for him that made him a major player? It wasn’t looks, charisma, or a powerful speaking voice. What he had was lots of money. Perot had the money to get his face, his charts, and his little pointy stick on the television screen enough times to make voters take him seriously and feel that voting for him would not be throwing their vote away.

It was because of his money that the Ross Perot team grew from a small band of malcontents to a full-fledged national movement. With a better standard bearer and Perot’s money, they could have actually won in ’92 and the Reform Party might still be a major player to this day.

On the other hand, consider perennial Libertarian candidate Harry Brown. Harry’s a smart, articulate guy, and not only speaks well, but has some good things to say. Nevertheless, after decades of trying, Libertarian Harry Brown still gets very few votes on Election Day.

Simply put, the Libertarians don’t have the money or the star power necessary to be anything but spoilers, a role they have learned to relish.

Why should the Constitution Party fare any better? The Constitution Party’s presidential nominee, Michael Peroutka, has even less name familiarity than Libertarian Harry Brown, and the party has no appreciable caches of campaign cash.

It is interesting that the Constitution Party, like the Libertarian Party and Green Party before them, is already settling for a kind of “spoiler” status, which is evidenced by the fact that their candidate’s official website features an article about how the Constitution Party should “Naderize” the Republican Party.

Here is a political fact you can take to the bank: Lacking both money and star power, all third parties will remain minor parties forever, and struggle to get a mere two percent of the vote on Election Day. That is a political reality.

In the past, I have published columns about the fact that Americans are stuck with only two choices, Bush or Kerry, which a growing number of Americans consider a “lesser of two evils” choice. After each such column, I have received emails from scores of angry conservatives, saying that based on principle they simply will not vote for Bush or Kerry this November. Period.

Sure, many of us would like to see the Republican Party purified of its political heretics and squishes. We would like to see most if not all of its so-called moderates banished to the Isle of Patmos until they receive some kind of career changing, conservative revelation.

Granted, building a viable third party is one way of disciplining the Republican Party, something its own leaders apparently will not do. And sure, it can take time to build a new party. I am not one to despise the day of small beginnings. But to build a political party from scratch, you need more than time. The Libertarians have amply proven that. You also must recruit better-known candidates and raise lots of money.

I recently read an article on the “spirit of fear,” written by the Constitution Party’s presumed vice presidential nominee, Baptist pastor Chuck Baldwin. Pastor Baldwin wrote, “Instead of trusting God to multiply their votes into a great miracle, they (Christian voters) timidly regurgitate the redundant themes of pragmatism and fear.”

I gather from those words that the Constitution Party’s vice presidential candidate believes that Christian conservatives should ignore the laws of political science, ignore the fact that the Constitution Party’s candidates are political unknowns with very little money, and trust God to multiply (miraculously) the votes of Christians, like Jesus multiplied the few loaves and fishes and fed the five thousand.

Of course, that could happen, but then they would have to hope that after the election no one demanded a recount of the actual ballots.

In the same article, Pastor Baldwin also says, “Instead of standing courageously upon God’s principles and promises, Christians are cowering in fear before political pollsters and parties.”

I take that to mean, that in Pastor Baldwin’s opinion, Christian voters should ignore the polls that tell us that no one has even heard of Mike Peroutka or Chuck Baldwin and vote for them anyway, even though supporting those two well-meaning men might put John Kerry in office and lose for a generation the possibility of repairing the seriously broken U.S. Supreme Court.

Even those of us who believe in a God of miracles should recognize that in politics, if you want to win, it would be more prudent to raise money and recruit better-known candidates.

Before anyone expects God to intervene and work a miracle for a small, unknown political party on election day, maybe they should consider Luke 14:28-32, where Jesus is recorded as saying, and I paraphrase: Which of you would start to build a tower without stopping first to count the cost and make sure that you have enough money to finish it, lest you run out of money before you finish and everyone mock you; or what king would go to war without first considering whether his army of 10,000 can win against his enemy’s army of 20,000?

I dare say that Jesus left room for us to make some rather practical considerations in such matters; such as doing some polling and raising lots of money before you run some unknown, well meaning guy for president under the banner of a party that is unknown to 99 percent of Americans.

If you ignore the law of gravity, you invariably find yourself going in a rather downward direction. Same thing happens in politics.

Jerry said...

I read the article (whew!)... Speaking of political realism, it may be even more politically naive to trust the Republican Party, that this time for sure they will actually do what they ought to do, or, recognizing that McCain is no reformer, wait patiently for the GOP to reform maybe next time for sure. Name recognition may well be in the offing for the CP. Alan Keyes has come over, and Ron Paul may. This seems like a better place to patiently build. I could be wrong.

No, I don't think you're being pig-headed. I truly appreciate your lively interest, welcome your honest criticism, and hope that you, likewise, receive my counter-criticism as just that, and do not take it personally. On that note: None of your arguments so far have attempted to demonstrate that the McCain-Palin ticket is superior to or even as good as the the Baldwin-Castle ticket on principle or policy. That, to me, is paramount.

I understand how difficult it can be to even think about abandoning a life-long political loyalty. In my post entitled "A repentant hippy", I write about my own traumatic ideological and political upheaval after many, many years.

Michelle said...

I really am open to criticism . I'm just concerned that you are not being realistic in your support of the Constitution Party. You wrote: "Name recognition may well be in the offing for the CP..." That is actually doubtful. And Alan Keyes or Ron Paul have proven that they cannot appeal to a large segment of the American people.

But you ignore the other important part of the equation: the money. The CP will never have it.

We must be realistic.

Ted Loiseau said...

May I interject something into this discussion? I think Jerry that you may have too much emotional investment in the Constitution Party to look at things objectively.

You said, "I truly appreciate your lively interest, welcome your honest criticism, and hope that you, likewise, receive my counter-criticism as just that, and do not take it personally. On that note: None of your arguments so far have attempted to demonstrate that the McCain-Palin ticket is superior to or even as good as the the Baldwin-Castle ticket on principle or policy. That, to me, is paramount."

But it would appear that you took Michelle's criticism personally. I don't see her comments as an attempt to argue that "the McCain-Palin ticket is superior to or even as good as the Baldwin-Castle ticket on principle or policy." Instead, she stated quite clearly in the comments section of the previous thread that she would be open to casting her vote for a Third Party candidate or as an independent if she felt the candidate had a chance.

I think we should ask ourselves two important questions: 1. What percentage of the vote did the Constitution Party win in 2004; and, 2. Is this likely to change without BOTH name-recognition and cold-hard financing?

I actually have supported Alan Keyes in the past. But when I asked my co-workers (granted not a scientific poll but an indicator of certain realities nevertheless) if they had heard of Keyes, or Baldwin or Castle, only one answered in the affirmative.

Jerry said...

I strive to say what I mean and mean what I say, and I likewise tend to take other people at their word. Both Michelle and I have written that we are open to criticism, and that's good enough for me. To be honest, Ted, I find your 'observation' quite amusing and ironic. If you choose to disbelieve my words, and subjectively read something else into them, what does that indicate?

My position is quite simple. I want to cast the best vote possible. To that end, I survey the ballot, and select the ticket that best reflects my beliefs and values. Democracy 101. I am not impressed by polls or money, nor do I look around to see how many other folks agree with me. The best way to convince me to support a particular candidate or party is to argue issues, principles, and policy. It is how I intend to argue.

The top three political issues, in my opinion, and in order, are:
1. Legal protection for all human life.
2. Recognition of marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman for life.
3. Reining in judicial activism, and restoring constitutional balance. This is important mostly because of how it affects issues 1 and 2.

Ted Loiseau said...

I don't think anyone is arguing with you Jerry. We just believe that the Constitution Party doesn't have a prayer and that, consequently, we should strive to reform the Republican Party from within.

We believe it's our best chance. Are we wrong? Let's talk again in November after the elections. Then we can discuss what percentage of the vote went to the Constitution Party.

You mentioned that Lincoln was a member of the Whig Party. Most people today wouldn't know what the Whig Party was or what it stood for. It has been relegated to the dust-bin of history.

Why didn't Lincoln stay with the Whig Party?

Jerry said...

I rather like an honest argument; one mind sharpening another, à la Prov. 27:17. And I do understand the single point that you (Ted and Michelle) have been making all along: that the Constitution Party doesn't have a chance. I don't even disagree with this point, but merely find it irrelevant. You may certainly vote as you see fit, and rejoice if your pick wins. And I intend to vote as I see fit - without considering numbers or odds or predictions or how other folks are likely to vote, but solely weighing which is the best candidate. You may yet convince me that McCain is that candidate, but you will not do so by pounding on a point that doesn't interest me.

Even from a practical point of view, if Baldwin-Castle is the best choice, and they don't win, my vote still counts for more than it would have otherwise, because that one vote is one of those little 'grassroots nudges' that, bit by bit, can move the political and cultural center of gravity, be it ever so miniscule a movement. If, as you fear, votes for the CP actually appear to threaten the success of the GOP, so much the better. The miniscule nudge thus becomes a heavy hit. This could well be the most effective strategy for the GOP reform that you seek.

In my opinion, it would be good for both the Democrat and Republican parties to become obsolete. I could guess that Lincoln's motive was ideological (the Whig's opposition to slavery was much too weak and compromised), and that his defection was a major cause of the Whig Party's demise. You could guess that it was the result, and that Lincoln was just abandoning an already sinking ship. I may look into this further sometime, but either case might be difficult to prove.

Jerry said...

The Wikipedia page for the Whig Party contains this paragraph:

"The party was ultimately destroyed by the question of whether to allow the expansion of slavery to the territories. With deep fissures in the party on this question, the anti-slavery faction successfully prevented the nomination of its own incumbent President Fillmore in the U.S. presidential election of 1852; instead, the party nominated General Winfield Scott, who was soundly defeated. Its leaders quit politics (as Lincoln did temporarily) or changed parties. The voter base defected to the Republican Party, various coalition parties in some states, and to the Democratic Party. By the U.S. presidential election of 1856, the party had lost its ability to maintain a national coalition of effective state parties and endorsed Millard Fillmore, now of the American Party, at its last national convention."

Michelle said...

Okay Jerry you are going to hate me (ha ha). But the Constitution Party was formed in 1992 and has had more than 16 years to "get off the ground" so to speak. But it has failed to take off.

In 2004, the Constitution Party presidential ticket (Michael A. peroutka for President and Chuck Baldwin for Vice President) received only 132,067 votes nationally.

To give you an idea of just how poorly the ticket performed, in California alone, Bush/Cheney received 5,509,826 votes or 45% of the vote. Peroutka/Baldwin received 26,645 votes or 0% of the vote. Source: www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/states/CA/P/00/

Jerry, you obviously have a right to your opinions and to vote the way you want. But the Constitution Party (in my opinion) doesn't have a prayer. It just takes away votes from the (Pro-Life) Republican Party and thereby assists the (Pro-Abortion) Democratic Party.

If it turns out that I'm wrong and the Constitution Party succeeds, no one will be happier than me.

That's one time I wouldn't mind being wrong.

Michelle said...

P.S. Hi Ted. Hope things are well.

Jerry said...

Same argument, same response. You already knew that. No, I don't hate you. You knew that, too. :-)

Anonymous said...

Let’s look at it like this. A third party vote will not hurt as much as you think.

If the Obama/Biden ticket would win the Presidency the conservatives will be up in arms around the country. The Republicans will use their minority power to block many bills at a procedural level because the atmosphere is so partisan in Congress. The conservative base has been very successful at defeating bills by pressuring the Congress, McCain-Kennedy. We would only lose a much ground as would be lost with McCain/Palin. Seems simplistic but it would be a reality. We still would not have a secure border.

Another point, we had 6 years of a Republican controlled Congress and we did not get abortion outlawed, smaller government, less spending, or more of our civil liberties back. We did get a tax cut, increased size in government, record deficits, pork spending out of control, Homeland Security (lost civil liberties), open-ended war, and generally poor leadership. Democrats for two years have been no different. Let us not forget border security.

If McCain/Palin wins we could expect some of the Republican minority to go along with another version of McCain-Kennedy, The Gang of Twelve attitude on judicial nominees, another version of McCain-Feingold only with more restrictions on any grass roots effort, and the loss of gun privileges. His record clearly speaks for itself and Palin as VP would unfortunately support him. McCain reaching out to the other side has been disastrous and could be devastatingly worse than partisan opposition to Obama. We will not have achieved border security at this point.

If you look at the primaries McCain and Obama barely received more than 40 percent of the total primary vote and don’t forget the third party voters no longer participating in the primaries. Approximately 60 percent clearly voted for other candidates and not for McCain or Obama. I will qualify this by saying that once all the other candidates dropped out only then did they even approach 50 percent. Obama lost most of the final primaries and Huckabee along with Ron Paul still managed to pull a significant number of voters away from McCain. It seems to me the third party is winning and unfortunately it happens to be the Republicans and Democrats. Voting for these third parties does hurt.

The two big box parties have convinced almost 60 percent of primary voters that they will throw their votes away. Why should they pinch their noses during election time and continue the slide towards socialism and vote for a candidate they didn’t want. Hillary supporters, Ron Paul supporters, Evangelicals, Social Conservatives, and Fiscal Conservatives from both sides of the aisle do not like the choice they have. The two big box parties have duped the majority of voters. I believe that a third party already has the votes to win and we would not lose as much ground as you think. The American voter has to wake up and see through this farce being propagated by the Republicans and Democrats.

A Baldwin Presidential run has the potential support of almost that 15 percent needed to shake things up as Ron Paul supporters look for a candidate to support. It’s closer than you think of actually becoming reality. Ron Paul had been able to win delegates and finish ahead of McCain in some cases. Ron Paul did suspend his Presidential Campaign too.

I apologize for not having the literary skills being displayed in this blog. I commend the contributors for your skill and eloquence. I like the topic and the discussion taking place in this blog.

Jerry said...

Anonymous: I think you have raised some very good points, and need not apologize for a lack of literary skills.

Jerry said...

This third political party (Constitution v. Republican) question seems to be generating some lively interest, so i've asked those participating in both the previous and next posts to come here. You are, of course, still welcome to offer comments to both the Grassroots nudges and From nudge to tsunami posts. But two parallel debates were developing, and, in my opinion, all sides in the third (Constitution) party discussion may as well be engaged in the same roundtable conversation, which i would suggest fits best here.

Michelle and Anonymous: I've moved your recent comments and my replies to this post, for the above reasons. I hope you don't mind.

All: The discussion started in the previous post's comments section, which you may review. But please leave any new comments on this particular topic here, so that we can all be on the same page, literally.

Michelle said...

Jerry, the Constitution Party won 0% of the vote in the presidential election of 2004. Facts are facts. I'm afraid that your "tsunami" has turned out to be a trickle.

Are you familiar with the serenity prayer? "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

You seem to think I'm trying to argue with you. But I'm not. All I'm saying is that your dream of a "tsunami" hasn't become a reality. It's not even practical.

In the final analysis, the election results of 2004 speak the hard truth: 0%.

The Constitution Party doesn't have a chance. There are some things I cannot change. Instead of kicking against the wall of the barn like a donkey, I will stick with the Republican Party and work to bring more reform.

The Republican Party has a chance. The Constitution Party does not. It takes wisdom to know the difference.

Jerry said...

OK, you're not arguing. But you're still trying to make the same point. I understand the point.

I do appreciate your interest, and thanks for agreeing to keep the third party discussion in one spot.