As is inevitably the case in any major election of the last 30 years, the nation will find itself arguing over whether or not straying from the bipartisan path has any merit.
After all, we have been groomed to accept that dichotomous fate: Either we choose the right or the left. The red pill or the blue pill. A or B. We can have but one, as though our entire experience could be summed up in binary code. Given the way in which our electoral college works, this reality has become all but permanent, at least mathematically.
But there are a number of third party organizations out there looking to change all that, despite the odds. The Libertarian Party is the likely the most well known, with the Green Party following closely behind. From there, things take a bit of a turn into obscurity, but that matter not for these brave politicos who are now calculating the value of a possible merging of forces.
Kyle Bailey knows firsthand it can be lonely working on a campaign for an independent political candidate.
There’s no party structure to rely on to help with campaign fundraising, mobilizing voters, developing policies or even providing a sounding board. That lack of support adds to the challenge of getting someone who is not a Democrat or Republican elected in the U.S.
But these days, Bailey feels a lot less isolated. As the campaign manager for Maine independent gubernatorial candidate Terry Hayes, he has joined forces with a loose network of campaign staffers for independent gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidates, all considered politically moderate, in about five states this year.
They hold conference calls every Monday to share ideas and experiences on everything from social media to finding good interns. They’ve produced a professional video that features some of their candidates espousing the benefits of electing an independent, and asks whether “our country’s divisive partisan system is what our founding fathers envisioned.”
They’re considering ways to raise money together from like-minded donors. There’s even a documentary in the works.
Of course, there has to be a reason why these campaign managers are jazzed, doesn’t there?
Bailey, who has worked on several independent campaigns, including for an Atlanta mayoral candidate, sees voters more disgusted and turned off than ever with the bickering, divisiveness and hyperpartisanship surrounding the two major parties, an “old model” he contends “is just no longer sustainable.”
“There’s a whole lot of people in the middle who don’t feel represented by a political party,” Baily said. “Culturally, as a society, we’re changing. Fewer people see themselves fitting nicely into a box.”
Regulars on the calls include staffers for Hayes, Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Oz Griebel, Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Craig O’Dear, Maryland U.S. Senate candidate Neal Simon and Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, who is seeking re-election.
“I feel like a rising tide lifts all boats,” Bailey said.
While Bailey’s optimism may not be shared by all who peruse this particular website, it does make one feel more than a bit excited about the future to see such hard work coming from the lesser ends of the political spectrum.
We’ve seen what an unorthodox President can do once he gets his hands in the muck of the DC swamp…what could an army of unknown patriots add to the mix?