If you’re serious about 3rd parties, they have to be built from the bottom up. The Greens and the Libertarians are conning millions of people out of participating in the political process every election and robbing millions of dollars from their supporters. I’m not anti-third party. But those two parties are!
For example, I know my local Green Party well, as they formed after disatisfaction with the Dem primary. They get absolutely ZERO support from the national party.
But what does the national party do? Run a Presidental candidate every 4 years and rake in millions upon millions of dollars for a vanity campaign. I don’t know what they are actually doing with that money, but I’ll tell you what they aren’t doing with it. They aren’t trying to get grassroots Green candidates elected.
I don’t consider the Green or Libertarian parties real political parties. For them to be real, they would have to have an interest in winning elections. For them to have an interest in winning, their core mission would be local offices, not the Presidental one. If I was a member of either party, I wouldn’t be worried about who we’re wasting time with for President in 2020. I’d demand that money and effort go to my local candidates instead.
If you’re a member of the Green party and believed in the core message, couldn’t the mayor of your town do some good? Maybe your representative in the state house? There are 550,000 elected offices in this country, and ~100 are held by Green candidates. (That’s 0% btw). Those candidates largely got elected on their own merits. I wonder how many candidates could get elected if the national party got involved. Could we have thousands? 4% of the country identify as Green…couldn’t they put some effort to grab 4% of elected positions? I think they could, and they should.
But as long as 3rd parties continue to spend their budgets on running vanity candidates for president, they will continue to strengthen the two party system. The GOP and the Dems love the Jill Steins and Gary Johnsons of the world, because that means they aren’t facing well funded 3rd party challenges. There are plenty of reasons we have a 90% incumbency rate in this country, and this is one of them.