Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Third Party Candidate's The Charm?

Republican this. Democrat that. Back and forth. Tit for tat. It’s enough to make one wish they were born blind to the colors red and blue. Just give us some yellow or green for a change please.

Each day that passes in this political firestorm, I am more convinced that many Americans would act outrageously and vote against their parties-formally-known-as-sacred if somebody—anybody—would just step up and A) look at this nation holistically; beyond so-called red and blue interests B) operate in a straightforward manner and C) act with some freakin’ integrity. I certainly would. That being said, I believe the rise of an Independent candidate out of the primaries is not only possible, but also extremely probable.

Under traditional American political theology, an Independent candidate with a realistic shot at the White House is almost unfathomable. Especially with more than 70 years of very polarized politics behind us. However, I think Vicki may be right about Republicans seeking out alternative options this go around. That person may be found in a Democratic candidate who runs a family values oriented campaign, but truth-be-told, I believe the more likely scenario we will see is the second place finisher in a close primary going Independent and running the line down the middle. If our current political environment holds, this plan just might be audacious enough to work.

For example: John McCain, who despite his stance on the Iraq War, is very respected by right-leaning Democrats and Independents because he has traditionally distanced himself from extreme conservatism. Let’s say he gets edged out in the Republican primaries again. Depending on how he plays his cards with an Iraq strategy, he could very well steal the entire moderate vote out from under the Democratic and Republican nominees.

From the other side of the aisle, a dangerous Independent candidate could be found in Barack Obama. He is the single most dynamic candidate of this election thus far. Democratic candidates are scrambling to kill the Obama buzz and Republicans are simply scared as hell of him. If he continues to win respect from both sides of the aisle by walking his ethical talk, but loses out to another Democrat because of that nagging lack of experience, that Independent option could be the worst nightmare of the Democratic candidate who beats him.

The possibility of a “real” third choice in the 2008 general election may be dangerously optimistic, but I just can’t stop myself from dreaming up the various line-ups we could see. I keep saying to myself: Oh the possibilities! But cover my bases by also issuing a silent prayer: Please, oh please let one of them be a person I can actually feel good voting for…