Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

Next Saturday: The efficacy of "third parties" with representatives of the Constitution Party of Indiana and the Greater Indianapolis Socialist Party-USA.

   Our Civics textbook freshman year of high school had a right-wing slant. It had to have been the most right-wing textbook available, given our teacher’s views. He did not "lean" right-wing. He fully fell over the railing and down into the abyss.

   One section of the textbook really angered me. Four or five paragraphs, blocked-off on a page  with gray background, explained the "folly" of third parties. I took issue with the book and argued there have been successful third parties in this country. Of course, this was the 1969-70 school year, the Libertarian Party would not be formed for another year, and the last national "third party" with any significant effect was the Bull Moose in 1912. Its effect was to take enough votes away from William Howard Taft so that Woodrow Wilson won the Oval Office.

   Ours is not a two-party system. Currently, the fringes of the right wing have caused the bus of the Republican Party to veer one direction, perhaps rumbling over the berm and into the ditch on the passengers’ side. A lot of the passengers who occupy the first-class section (of a bus?) are the same people (and corporations who, after all, are people, too, friend) who determine the manifest of the vehicle of the Democratic Party. (How’s that for sticking with a metaphor?) We have a one-party system. As "Deep Throat" said during the investigation into Watergate: "Follow the money." Money controls the parties and the system.

   Next Saturday, February 11, "Civil Discourse Now" will host representatives of two parties active in the 2012 elections. Joseph O. Henzler is the state chair of the Constitution Party of Indiana. John Strinka is with Greater Indianapolis Socialist Party-USA. I will post website information for their parties and bios for them in the next couple of days.

   Certainly we shall discuss issues in the context of our guests’ respective parties’ platforms, but the focus of the discourse will be the efficacy of third parties today in American politics.

   We shoot at 11 a.m. on Saturdays at Big Hat Books, 6510 Cornell Avenue, Indianapolis. Anyone who wishes to come to the Show is welcome. 

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