Home/Daniel Larison/Why Would Anyone Want to Be the Candidate for the Bad Joke That Is Americans Elect?

Why Would Anyone Want to Be the Candidate for the Bad Joke That Is Americans Elect?

Dana Millbank laments the lack of interest in Americans Elect from potential candidates:

Yet even Paul, who ran as a third-party candidate in 1988, isn’t interested in the Americans Elect nomination.

Perhaps the only thing more implausible than the scenario of a successful Americans Elect candidate in the general election was the idea that Ron Paul would be the Americans Elect candidate. Of course he isn’t interested. If he had wanted to switch parties and eliminate any gains he has made during the last two presidential campaigns, he could have done that by going back to the Libertarians. Can you imagine anyone more incompatible with a party dedicated to mindless “centrism” and bipartisanship than Ron Paul? Running as this group’s candidate would sabotage the effort to build up a constituency inside the Republican Party for constitutional liberty and peace, and most of his supporters would have recoiled from the association with an organization that represents much of what is wrong with Washington.

The annoying thing is that the American public is ready for an alternative. There is potentially an opening for a political movement that appeals to constituencies habitually neglected by both parties. What the organizers of Americans Elect never seemed to realize is that their organization didn’t represent an alternative to the major parties. In order to combat the duopoly, Americans Elect planned to nominate a ticket that represents the very same duopoly. Combining members of two parties that the public already dislikes doesn’t represent an alternative to the two-party system. It is the fusion of the two-party system in one organization. As a result, it rendered itself politically irrelevant from the moment of its birth.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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