Pluralistic: When parties fail, movements step up (17 August 2023)

Today’s links When parties fail, movements step up: Thomas Frank on why we need to occupy the Democrats. Hey look at this: Delights to delectate. This day in history: 2008, 2013, 2018 Colophon: Recent publications, upcoming/recent appearances, current writing projects, current reading When parties fail, movements step up (permalink) Does anyone like the American two party system? The parties are opaque, private organizations, weak institutions that are prone to capture and corruption, and gerrymandering’s “safe seats” means that the real election often takes place in the party’s smoke-filled rooms, when a sure-thing candidate is selected: But there doesn’t seem to be any way to fix it. For one thing, the two parties are in charge of any reform, and they’re in no hurry to put themselves out of business. It’s effectively impossible for a third party to gain any serious power in the USA, and that’s by design. After the leftist Populists party came within a spitting distance of power in the 1890s, the Dems and Repubs got together and cooked the system, banning fusion voting and erecting other structural barriers. The Nader and Perot campaigns were doomed from the outset, in other words. Either candidate could have been far more popular than the D and R on the ballot, and they still would have lost. It’s how the deck is stacked, and to unstack it, reformers would need to take charge of at least one – and probably both – of the parties. But that’s not cause for…Pluralistic: When parties fail, movements step up (17 August 2023)

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