My Nominee for a 3rd Party Candidate Is…

May 11th, 2016 Posted by Susan's Musings 9 comments

Even if you are a Clintonite or a Trumpista, it is unarguable that the two presumptive nominees for President of the United States are disliked by many. While third party candidates have tended to be spoilers rather than successful, I still find myself trying to imagine whether there is anyone at all in the entire country who could unite a large constituency behind their candidacy. Without calling for such a person to come forward, I am more interested in trying to think who such a person could be. 

I keep coming up blank. To start with, I wanted someone with widespread, positive name recognition, a warm persona and an articulate speaking manner. With two grueling primaries coming to a close, I don’t see how anyone without those traits (at a minimum) could possibly be widely accepted. 

I never got past that first requirement. I couldn’t think of anyone with widespread, positive recognition in today’s climate. Never mind a person, I am not even sure that there is anything that a majority of Americans trust and feel positive about. Mom and apple pie? Suggesting that motherhood is positive marginalizes those who choose not to have children and those who think that one or two fathers are the same as the traditional arrangement.  Let’s not even think of the insult to those mothers who now think that their gender assignment was wrong and that they actually are fathers. 

As for apple pie, that seems to suggest that certain culinary traditions carry more value than others. It somehow eluded me growing up, but my immigrant grandmother who baked many delicacies, never once, to my knowledge,  baked an apple pie. I was never offended by the phrase ‘mom and apple pie,’ but I attended a college that did not have safety zones. I wasn’t sensitized to the idea that my comfort is the responsibility of every person and institution in existence. Is apple pie a mainstay of Chinese, Indian, Hmong and  Mexican traditions, let alone the dozens of other nationalities that make up the United States? 

There was a period where when we had people whose names evoked almost universal affection and respect. Whether or not they really deserved that respect, it is possible that in a similar situation one of those people could have stepped forward and presented themselves an alternative to two tarnished candidates. Even staunch supporters of Clinton or Trump who might choose to stay loyal to their first choice would hesitate to respond to such a candidate with vitriol. General Eisenhower comes to mind as such a candidate or on the other side of the ocean, a post World War II Winston Churchill (before the people turned on him). 

There used to be sports heroes and movie stars, admittedly many of whose private lives were masterfully concealed, who were loved by all but a few cranks. Are we better off now when the slightest wart is publicized? More to the point, the type of things that were hidden such as adulterous or homosexual behavior, ties to crime, violence or drug use are not themselves any longer widely condemned. We can’t agree on what is virtue and what is vice, which makes it rather impossible to find a virtuous and admired person. 

If George Washington would come forward today, he would be rejected and hated by millions as a white slave owner. I don’t believe there is any figure from the past, let alone the present, who could unify our sadly fractured, confused and decaying society. I do see current events as a bloodless revolution taking place. We are many individuals and groups sharing a geographical location; we are no longer one America, one nation under God.

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9 comments

Lynn Perrizo says:

I feel like there has been a death in the family. God forgive us for what we squandered.

LJ says:

Federalist No. 1 – For the Independent Journal. – No. 1: General Introduction
Written by: Alexander Hamilton – October 27, 1787
To the People of the State of New York:
“AFTER an unequivocal experience of the inefficiency of the subsisting federal government, you are called upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the United States of America. The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the most interesting in the world. It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force. If there be any truth in the remark, the crisis at which we are arrived may with propriety be regarded as the era in which that decision is to be made; and a wrong election of the part we shall act may, in this view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind.”
The quote is the first paragraph from Hamilton’s first paper, as the ‘Articles of Confederation’ were failing to serve a useful purpose. The paper addresses the very need, of reflection, we have today. Our US Constitution no longer serves its main purpose because of the people we have in power in our three branches of government. It seems that there are no longer checks and balances (somehow even no willing whistleblowers). I’ve wondered if Lois Lerner is afraid of what Obama could do to her if the public knew the truth about how they privately used IRS power during elections 2012 to thwart the Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens’ United case? There appears to be only politically wielded clout that matters to the elected body and unelected judges in DC and in many state and local offices around America. And many business leaders also know how to thwart the law; Donald Trump, for example, “I’ll pay anyone”!
Where is the consideration to apply rules? Where is ‘with Justice and Liberty for ALL’? Why have we decided that any minority group needs special rights in the ‘Land of the Free and Home of the Brave’? Sigh.
The only way through the storm is with our creator’s compass directing us toward a more safe path, and helping us to show others that path (Thank you Rabbi Daniel & Susan Lapin!). Every day we’re blessed with opportunity to rise up and be happy.

James says:

Spiro Agnew was quite right, that the Media have become a wanton juggernaut that can roll over, crush and destroy any figure it wants. Surely one can find flaws in any human being, and they have the playbook on ferreting out anything on anybody, and have masterfully engineered such public executions, going back to Eagleton and Gary Hart.
The Lefties have seen to it that all our heroes get systematically destroyed. Curious, isn’t it, how with themselves their thumb is always on the scale? For they turn a blind eye to their own faults while withering the competition through ridicule. Problem is, once the culture heroes are gone, once the existing cultural superstructure and its foundations are torn out and scattered to the winds, precious little is left.
Our younger generation draws a mighty blank on the old Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Millennials, etc., were enculturated without cognizance of the nasty Cold War. But we have an appliance repairman from Moscow. Once I asked him whether he found life better here. He replied: ‘Not better, but peaceful. In Moscow today every second person is a gangster.’ They obliterated God. Once the Soviet Union was no more, there were no more Godly foundations to protect its people. Lenin and Stalin saw to that with brutal efficiency.

James says:

Indeed, it does sound as if the People of New York (and several other states) ought to re-read and digest Hamilton’s comments. California? Michigan? Illinois? Thanks, LJ!

Teri of NC says:

I’m looking at the Constitution Party’s nomination (Darrell Castle/Scott Bradley). They may not fit your first criteria of “widespread recognition,” but in this day and age of viral media, I don’t see why a third-party candidate, even an unknown one, couldn’t make a successful conservative choice for president. It’s high-time America starts looking at candidates from the independent parties to get a real conservative in office. The two-party system is corrupt and broken.
As always, I love your blog and your Ancient Jewish Wisdom!

LJ says:

Teri, the third party candidate plan doesn’t work either. It will help either the Democrat or the Republican nominee win the election to the presidency, sadly. Unless you have a viable winner as that third party then you get one of the two parties mentioned here. Recall Ross Perot ensuring Bill Clinton’s election?
Here is some wisdom from the ‘Declaration of Independence’ for consideration:
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”
Have a great election year!

Lora says:

Man, I could really use some apple pie, now. Hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting over the top crust. That’ll make everything better, for about five minutes.

James says:

HEY! Forgot to say how much we missed you and your Musing last week! Welcome back!

Susan Lapin says:

Sorry for not responding to comments though I have been reading them. We’ve been at a conference.

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