[Ed. note: Another country heard from]
“Do the Republican and Democratic parties do an adequate job of representing the American people, or do they do such a poor job that a third major party is required?”
A record 60% of Americans now yearn for a third major party, according to Gallup. Independents, unsurprisingly, are most likely to favor a third party, but a majority of self-described Republicans say yes, too. But what do they mean by that “yes”?
Obviously, they mean many different things. Some yearn for a third party representing the Michael Bloomberg center: fiscally conservative and socially liberal like the New York City mayor.
But here’s a caution about third parties in American history: They are much more likely to arise on the fringes of the political system, not the center. America has seen third-party efforts by socialists and segregationists; by right-to-lifers and libertarians.