Challengers to Duopoly
Why Third Parties Matter in American Two-Party Politics
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of South Carolina Press
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Table of Contents
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List of Illustrations
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You are entitled to know something about my approach to the topic of this book.Paraphrasing words from a chilling query from the McCarthy era, I am not now, norhave I ever been, a member of any third political party. I am interested in them all.I have been since 1967, when, as a young graduate student at Wake Forest Univer-sity, I attended a university-sponsored symposium on alternative politics. Two of...
1: Duopoly and its Challengers
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When the variety and number of political parties increases, the chanceof oppression, factionalism, and non-critical acceptance of ideasOne of the best-kept secrets in American politics is that the two-partysystem has long been brain dead—kept alive by ... state electoral lawsthat protect the established parties from rivals and federal subsidies and...
2: Protecting Major-Party Turf
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Our democracy is but a name. We vote. What does that mean? ... Wechoose between two ... bodies of autocrats. We choose between Twee-The necessity for [strict scrutiny] becomes evident when we considerthat major parties, which by definition are ordinarily in control of leg-islative institutions, may seek to perpetuate themselves at the expense of...
3: On the Outside, Looking In
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If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.It was undeniably historic, that 2008 presidential election, and the excitement itgenerated both in and outside the United States had little to do with the third-partyand indepen dent candidates vying far beyond the media spotlights. The historicmilestones set in 2008 were being set in the two-party center ring....
4: Constitutionalists, Greens, and Libertarians
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Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps downAlways vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you mayHobbled by duopolistic regulations and other structural and cultural infirmities,people wanting today to build a third-party movement with the strength really totake on the major parties also face a conundrum: where on the ideological spectrum...
5: The Early Years: Short-Lived Parties before 1860
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The country is divided into two great parties, and ninety-five out ofevery hundred voters are under the control of the wire-pullers of saidIf ever there were a golden age of third-party politics, it was in the nineteenth cen-tury. Party lines and divisions would harden later on—some say they are downrightossified today—but over the first 125 years of American nationhood they remained...
6: Union, Reform, and Class: Short-Lived Parties, 1860–1908
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A remarkable 81 percent of those eligible turned out for the November 6, 1860,presidential election. The two leading candidates were Illinois politicians who hadfaced off against each other before. In that contest Abraham Lincoln, the Republi-can, had thrown down the gauntlet to the Democratic incumbent. “I believe,” Lin-coln had said, “this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half...
7: Thunder Left and Right: Short-Lived Parties, 1912–1960s
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The old parties are husks with no real soul within either, divided byartificial lines, boss-ridden and privilege-controlled, each a jumble ofincongruous elements, and neither daring to speak out wisely and fear-The elephant lives in the Northland, the donkey resides in the South. Butdon’t let either one fool you. They’ve got the same bit in their mouth....
8: George Wallace and Beyond: Short-Lived Parties, 1968 and After
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There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the Democrat andSaying we should keep the two-party system simply because it is work-ing is like saying the Titanicwas a success because a few people survivedSome years are as bland as dry toast. Others spark excitement even long after theyhave passed. Nineteen sixty-eight excites the memory of those who lived through it,...
9: The New Independents: The Anderson and Perot Movements
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If someone blessed as I am is not willing to clean out the barn, whoNot since the election of Zachary Taylor, a Whig, in 1848 has presidential victorygone to anyone running without a Dor an Rby his name. The dominant pattern ofcontest between Republican and Democrat was already set by the time of the CivilWar. In the years since 1930, the two parties have worked together to rig the election...
10: Taking the Less-Traveled Road: Women, African Americans, Latinos
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America never was America to me, And yet I swear this oath—AmericaWe hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are cre-May God write us down as asses if ever again we are found putting ourIn building and then maintaining a political community that fully encompasses thenation’s uncommon diversity, the United States continues to be, as always, a work in...
11: Doctrinal Parties 1: The Socialists and Communists&
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...[While] there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal ele-ment, I am of it; and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.There are times—rare ones—when a provocative, even outrageous act by a verysmall group at the distant edge of the political periphery can impact constitutionaldevelopment and public policy. On June 21, 1989, the United States Supreme Court...
12: Doctrinal Parties 2: The Neo-Nazis
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Although history never repeats in every detail, what happened one Saturday morn-ing in an African American neighborhood in Greensboro, North Carolina, resem-bled the pitched battles between Nazis and Communists in German streets duringthe years leading up to Hitler’s Third Reich. Soon after 11:20 a.m.on November 3,1979, Ku Klux Klansmen and Nazis shot up a “Death to the Klan” rally just com-...
13: State/Local Significant Others
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Over nearly two centuries now there have been parties that established themselvesas influential participants in the electoral and policy-making processes of theircommunities or states. For some the accomplishment has come as a single event: forexample Walter Hickel’s 1990 gubernatorial election on the Alaskan IndependenceThe benchmarks of significance are more often a good bit deeper than that....
14: Looking Back, Looking Ahead: The Third-Party Legacy and the Future&
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As they say in electoral politics, two’s company, three’s a problem thatAmerica’s seemingly perfect two-party duopoly has produced a politicsMinor parties they are, minor parties they have been, but their collective footprintin American history has been far from minor. Individual third parties have brokendown the barriers of gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation in nomination...
Appendix 1: Web Sites of Nonmajor Parties and Related Information Sources
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Appendix 2: Minor-Party and Independent Candidates Receiving More Than 1 Percent of Popular Vote for President
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Appendix 3: Candidates and Votes for President, 2008
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Appendix 4: Third-Party and Independent Gubernatorial Popular Elections
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Appendix 5: Third-Party Presence (Excluding Independents) at Opening Sessions of the U.S. Congress
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Appendix 6: Post-World War II Third-Party and Independent Members of Congress
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Suggestions for Further Reading
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Ali, Omar H. In the Balance of Power: Indepen dent Black Politics and Third-Party Move-Amato, Theresa A. Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny.NewBennett, James D. Not Invited to the Party: How the Demopublicans Have Rigged the Systemand Left Indepen dents Out in the Cold.New York: Springer, 2009.Bibby, John F., and L. Sandy Maisel. Two Parties—or More? The American Party System....
Index of Parties, Associations, and People
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Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2012