Donald Trump should make a last-minute bid for the third-party vote.
He should say and mean it that if elected president, he will push for reform of election regulations to open up national politics to third-party candidates – in other words, “un-rig the system.”
It might even be a nice touch to hold a joint press conference, if one could be arranged, with Jill Stein and Gary Johnson to discuss how those reforms might look as soon as 2018.
For Trump’s part, he should promise that he will boycott presidential debates in 2020 unless they allow serious third-party participation.
He might consider pushing for an end to federal funding of campaigns by Democrats and Republicans or opening it up to serious third-party bids.
In his effort to help “drain the swamp” that is Washington, D.C., he might use his bully pulpit as president to promote simpler ballot access laws in all 50 states.
As a guy who had to fight for the presidency against the establishments of both major parties, he could make a credible argument that the corruption of two-party system has failed America and that more competition, more choices and more lively debate would level the playing field.
It’s clear no third-party candidate is going to win the presidency in 2016. Neither is it likely that any thid-party candidate is going to be a significant factor in the outcome.
So what do the third parties have to lose?
As for Trump, what does he have to lose?
He made a credible bid for Bernie Sanders voters by emphasizing the corruption that put them off and Hillary Clinton’s romancing of Goldman Sachs.
Hillary feigns outrage about money in politics but sets records at taking it from anyone and everyone. Then there is the unfortunate WikiLeaks email that shows her top aides celebrating after the Supreme Court decision that overturned strict limits on campaign donations in the Citizen’s United case she claims to want overturned.
Her campaign manager, Robby Mook, wrote in one of those leaked emails about his delight over the decision that struck down aggregate limits on individual donations to political candidates, parties and political action committees.
“Gotta have the state parties in the joint – so much money on the table,” he wrote to colleagues April 3, 2014, shortly after the court’s decision in a case that followed Citizens United, which authorized independent political expenditures by corporations or labor unions.
Mook’s message was written in response to an explanation of the ruling by attorney Eric Kleinfeld that said: “Parties will be able to raise more federal funds. In the past, donors had to choose between the DNC, DSCC and DCCC (and similarly for their Republican counterparts), because the aggregate overall limit of $74,600 did not leave enough max-out room for three contributions of $32,400 each. Now donors can max out to each committee if they wish, as well as to as many of the state parties as they desire. Parties will be able to hold joint fundraising events among the three national party committees and all of the state party committees and ask the wealthiest and willing donors to max out, or at least to contribute as much as possible. Theoretically, the joint fundraiser could ask a donor to max out at $607,200 consisting of $32,400 for three party committees, and $10,000 to 50 state parties plus D.C. (or double that at $1,214,000 for spouses).”
With more and more Hillary-leaning voters moving away from her because of the palpable stench of corruption that surrounds her, it’s worth giving would-be reformers of all stripes something to think about for the future.
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