I’ve noticed some increased coverage of “Unity08″ in the Main-Stream Media (MSM) lately, so I thought I’d take a moment to shed some light on the organization. I’ll start with their own description from the Unity08 website:
What We Believe
Unity08 believes that neither of today’s major parties reflects the aspirations, fears or will of the majority of Americans. Both have polarized and alienated the people. Both are unduly influenced by single-issue groups. Both are excessively dominated by money.
For most of the 20th Century, the contest for the U.S. presidency was waged over those “in the middle.” Recent Presidential elections, however, have not been focused on the middle but on the turnout of each party’s special interest groups â€” with each party’s “base” representing barely ten percent of the American people.
We believe that, while the leaders of both major parties are well intentioned people, they are trapped in a flawed system â€” and that the two major parties are today simply neither relevant to the issues and challenges of the 21st Century nor effective in addressing them.
As a result, most Americans have not been enthusiastic about the choices for President in recent elections, the key issues they ran on, or the manner in which the campaigns were conducted.
Therefore Unity08 will act to assure that an alternative ticket is presented to the American voters in 2008.
I generally have to agree with the first two paragraphs, but with a few exceptions.
I think the accusation of the process being “unduly influenced by single-issue groups” is a little suspect. It’s hard to get a group of passionate people to agree on anything more than a single issue â€“ and there’s often significant disagreement within such a group on the best means to affect change on that single issue. The best way to drive a political process is to have as many single-issue groups as there are issues and leave it up to people to decide which groups and issues are most deserving of their time and effort.
The mindless assertion that politics is “excessively dominated by money” struck me as funny. You can’t have much of a campaign without money. It only makes sense to put campaign dollars under the control of the candidate so that the campaign team can make decisions on how best to leverage the funds it receives. Even grassroots campaigns revolve around money â€“ people have to donate valuable time (which is all we really have), spend money on transportation, and other necessities if they want to do anything for a campaign. The mere fact that the value of time might be quantified by money shouldn’t be breathlessly touted as the cause of political ills.
The second paragraph merely states the obvious. Any way you look at the numbers, we are governed by the minority of voting age Americans who care enough to show up. People always talk about election results as if our leaders were picked by the majority. It’s exceedingly rare for even half of voting age Americans to show up on election day. In most cases, the “majority vote winner” collected votes from less than a quarter of those eligible. If you want to be angry with someone for Bush or Clinton’s time in office, don’t blame the Democrat and Republican base. Blame the majority who don’t take the time to ponder their perpetual state of political rape long enough to show up at the polls on election day or request an absentee ballot.
If every partying 18-20 year old in America put down their illegal beer or liquor long enough to register to vote they could crush the teetotalers that ensure perpetual persecution under the strictest drinking age laws in the world!
I take issue with paragraph three however. The leaders of both major parties are NOT “well intentioned people” â€“ merely “trapped in a flawed system”. The two major parties in America are of two flavors.
The Democrats tend to favor a few personal freedoms and civil liberties that they feel are useful while legislating that a kind of civic morality should be imposed on all â€“ for the common good.
The Republicans tend to favor a few economic freedoms and civil liberties that they feel are useful while legislating that a kind of religious morality should be imposed on all â€“ for the common good.
If you haven’t already, why not take a moment to see where your tend to stand on personal/economic freedoms by taking this short quiz (10 short questions).
With the parties being mere clones of each other with stances on personal and economic issues being they key difference, it’s no wonder that Unity08 sprang up in an attempt to capitalize on this “centrist” common ground. But this supposes that the centrist common ground is also for the common good and that if only we can find some candidates willing to compromise on civil liberties in general and specific personal and economic freedoms, then we will be able to effectively address the issues of the 21st century (which, coincidentally are no different than the issues encountered by humanity throughout eternity).
The second to last paragraph supposes that if only we could find the ultimate ho-hum candidate who would steer clear of any divisive issues, run a moderate and poorly funded campaign, that’s the kind of hopeless candidate that the non-voters could really get behind.
The biggest problem with Unity08 is that they seek to take the worst of both major parties and ask “Will it blend?” The ultimate answer is not to provide an overlord that centrists will gladly serve, but instead to provide candidates like Congressmen Ron Paul of Texas that will uphold their oath of office, protect our right to self ownership, and follow that fundamental right to its logical conclusion when calculating the effects of legislation on we, the people.