America needs third parties

Curtis Powers

America needs third parties, fo’ real. It strikes me odd that we don’t want politics as usual, and yet, we still are a two -arty system. Really?

If you don’t want politics as usual, you need new parties. You need the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and you most definitely need The Rent is Too Damn High Party.

Haven’t heard of that last one yet? Well, let me enlighten you. It was founded by a guy named Jimmy McMillan and he is currently running for governor of New York. He has also run for the Senate and New York City mayor in the past.

He became a YouTube sensation last week after the New York governor’s debate which featured all seven of the candidates, including the madame who hooked up former New York governor Eliot Spitzer and a former Black Panther.

Even with such a diverse audience, McMillan stole the show. His campaign centers around the issue of rent. In his mind, the rent is too damn high.

In an ironic twist then, the New York Times discovered that McMillan hasn’t actually paid rent since the 1980s when he fell behind on payments because he was disabled and away from his job as a postal worker. Once his landlord learned of his decorated service in Vietnam  — he won three bronze stars — they made arrangements for him to work for his rent.

Entertainment aside, third parties should be able to play a vital role in the political arena. If you watched the whole governor’s debate, you saw Republican Carl Paladino outmatched by many of the other third party candidates.

It’s no wonder then that he now trails in polls by an astounding 37 points. His anti-LGBT comments probably didn’t help either.

And that means the media needs to be open to the idea. After the New York debate, you saw headlines like “Fringe 5 spice up N.Y. Debate” and “Farcical Five Faceoff Among Gubernatorial Candidates.”

Major TV networks had people asking why the debate featured candidates who couldn’t win. To which I respond, they have no chance because you don’t give them a chance.

As you can see, the media plays a major role in elections. Face time on television, newspapers, etc. plays a huge role. If candidates don’t get an opportunity in debates like that then they have no chance because voters don’t know who they are.

And if voters don’t know who they are, then candidates can’t raise donations for their campaigns. Well, unless they’re rich. In that case though, they’d probably already be a Democrat or Republican.

Without campaign money, they can’t campaign as much and put ads on television and in various publications.

So when you consider who to vote this election season, consider third-party candidates. Give them a chance. Sure, your vote may not elect them this cycle, but if enough people vote for one, then that party might gain major party status. That’s what Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Eric Cooper is doing.

Once that happens, a party can gain momentum and may become viable in future elections to the point where its candidates are winning elections.

Think of it this way. It’s kind of like the David vs. Goliath story you hear a lot about, especially in reference to sports.

David’s this little guy going up against a giant because no other Israelite wants to fight him. He has no shot. All he has are a few stones and yet, he kills Goliath. With a throw of stone, it’s over.

Third parties are like David with no stones. They just need an opportunity. Give them a shot. They can fail, but what if they don’t? Wouldn’t it be worth knowing that?