Monday, January 11, 2010

Third Party ?

Another request for money to battle the lobbyists got me going on this idea. The more I think about it, the better I like it. So I sent it along to Barak. What's posted here is a bit longer than what got sent.

Dear Barak,

We donate when we can. My wife and I have donated more to you than to any president ever before. My donation, this time around, is an idea.

I've been thinking a lot recently about the corruption in Congress. The dollars that pour into the treasuries of congressmen and senators in exchange for votes that go a certain way. Not that it's all that clear cut, I understand. I also wonder the degree to which you have had to compromise your own values with regards to this as well. We heard a little bit about it during the campaign in terms of certain donations to the campaign.

I come from a state that respects the idea of values. Vermont. We're tiny compared to other states, perhaps we can afford to use the value of a Vermont product as one way we sell ourselves commercially just because of the scale of our operation. But I'm also thinking that millions of people voted for you because of what you represented value-wise to the American people, Democrats and cross-over Independents alike. None of what I'm saying here is new.

What may be new, however, is where this confluence of ideas takes me. You are now caught in a very ugly game of politics that you have to play in order to get things done. I imagine it has to stick in your craw, every moment of every day you face the results of special interests stealing the virtue of real debate, the grounds upon which our democratic process rises or falls. This has to give you pause given the heat you've taken from members of your own party over so many principled stands you've taken on the major issues of your administration - the economic bail outs, Guantanamo, single-payer health care, the health care government option, the car companies, and on and on.

Have you or Plouffe or Stewart (not John!) or any one else in the administration even thought about what might happen if you, our sitting president, decided to start a third party movement by yourself based on the values you brought into the campaign? That idea hit me last week and won't let go.

It's probably too early in your administration to do this for sure, but as we get to the next election, God willing we get there, it might put a very interesting twist into the political process. I'm certain you could raise ample money via the internet thus freeing yourself from the monied lobbies; I'm fairly certain you'd get the young back into the fold; it would be an uphill battle for sure but I also think you'd attract good people from both sides of the isle who like you are troubled by the selling out of the legislative branch of our federal government.

I think the system of checks and balances is broken, I think congress is dysfunctional, and I'm thinking a strong third party movement might be the answer to bring the necessary heat to the political process presently construed to effect significant change. I can't think of anyone with more power or credibility to lead it than yourself. You'd need long coat-tails for sure but every paradigm shift has to start somewhere. I thought your election might be the shift we needed but the Republican stonewall built with millions of dollars from individuals and corporations who stood to profit from the status quo took care of that.

Just something to think about. I think the idea might gain some traction. Not exactly hair-brained, admittedly, but "out there" for sure.

Hope you get this and read it. Or even that someone gets it and reads it.
And decides to pass it on.


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