Political Parties In The United States
Election time usually means a predictable outcome in guessing which political parties in the United States will hold power. An overwhelming majority of elected officials at state and national levels have either been democrats or republicans since the Civil War era. Picking between them is the ultimate exercise in boredom. It's like going to your favorite ice cream shop and choosing either vanilla or chocolate every time. Yeah, you like the taste and are familiar with it. But wouldn't it be nice to try butter pecan or rocky road for a change?
A two-party system makes trying out new flavors seem futile. Still, there are U.S. political parties out there that align with virtually every philosophy under the sun. Third parties at least make election season interesting, even if they have no realistic chance of winning an important office. This guide highlights some of the more prominent and wacky parties in the nether region beyond republicans, democrats and independents.
- Constitution Party: A conservative group who aims to scale back the federal government so it operates within constitutional limits. The Constitution Party takes a pro-life, pro-traditional family stance. It is in favor of states' rights and believes the federal government should be concerned with protecting its borders from illegal immigration and concentrate on national defense instead of fighting wars on foreign soil. Finally a place that all gun-hoarding militia-building patriots can call home.
- Libertarian Party: Minimum government, maximum freedom is the motto of this 40 year-old third party. Libertarians subscribe to a philosophy that includes a free-market economy, an emphasis on civil liberties and personal freedom and a foreign policy that is centered on non-intervention, peace and free trade agreements. Sounds reasonable until you realize Ron Paul was once a presidential candidate for this party. That's enough to question everything associated with the word Libertarian.
- Green Party: Members of the Green Party would like to be known for embracing liberal causes like protecting the environment, advocating universal health care and implementing livable wages for workers. For most people, especially diehard Democrats, Greens just conjure up visions of Ralph Nader siphoning votes away from Al Gore in battleground states and paving the way for George W. Bush to become president. That's not good for party recruitment.
- Modern Whig Party: This is a newbie on the political scene that claims roots in the old Whig party of the 19th century. It was founded by soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007 and proclaims itself to be a moderate option to the ideological extremes found in the two major parties. The goal of these new whigs is to unite all centrist parties under the Whig banner and emerge as an alternative for independent voters who hold moderate views. It doesn't hurt that they have a cool owl mascot to boot.
- Socialist Party USA: A party opposed to both capitalism and authoritarian communism, the Socialist Party USA traces its roots to the original socialist party founded in 1901. The party advocates public ownership of big businesses and making them operate under direct control of the workers. Sure, they're opposed to communism. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, you can't say it isn't a duck.