Why is it impossible to start a serious third political party in the U.S.? It’s been tried many times, but even billionaire Ross Perot couldn’t sustain his efforts. To me, the answer is pretty straightforward: If you have money, and you want influence, you need to back a winner. For many large companies, it doesn’t even matter if the next president is a Republican or Democrat, they give money to both candidates. Throwing away dollars on some third party dark horse wouldn’t make good business sense. Add to this corporate unfriendly progressive politics, and we have nowhere to go but down.
This brings me to a mantra I chant often; campaign finance reform. Until there is serious campaign finance reform, starting with overturning recent Supreme Court blunders, there will never be a serious third party. And, of course, there is no upside for Republicans or Democrats to encourage a more participatory democracy that could threaten their very elite status.
The status quo assures that we on the left end of the political spectrum are locked out of the political process. We can’t even get on Sunday news shows. Right-wing crazies like Ted Cruz and Louie Gohmert and Michelle Bachmann are given access and money because they are free enterprise zombies who will jump into a volcano if the Koch’s tell them to.
A slight detour in this argument leads me to net neutrality. As I mentioned, progressive voices are rarely heard in the mainstream media. You can, however, find many liberal and progressive sites on the Internet, and when they rally together, they can be politically potent. Companies salivating to end net neutrality see dollar signs for sure, but they also see a way of silencing pesky Netnick lefties and their stubbornly persistent world view that unfettered capitalism shouldn’t be the golden calf we all worship.