christtrekker (christtrekker) wrote in us_thirdparties,

sabotaging our own efforts

Here's my question: why do we nominate loonies? Granted, we're all in a third party because we cannot ideologically agree with either head of the Duopoly enough to live there. That said, why do intelligent, well-meaning people (as I believe a majority of them are) in 3rd parties continue to nominate members of the lunatice fringe as candidates for office? These people are unelectable, and tarnish the image of the party as a whole, which hurts the chances of success in the future. Is it because these are the only people willing to go out on a limb as a candidate? Is it because all the sensible/normal folks with the qualifications are too busy in party leadership positions?

Just the other day I was watching a televised debate online because I wanted to see how the 3rd party guy did. All due respect to the guy for doing it, was lamentable. While I could tell that he was sincere, committed to his platform, and probably a really nice guy, and even had some good ideas, he didn't do a good job of representing the party. It wasn't just that he wasn't as polished as the more "political" major party candidates. You can be a little rough around the edges and still have appeal. No, I think it was more that his language was tailored toward his own party members, instead of choosing phrasing that has wider acceptance. I think this is one of the biggest problems that 3rd parties face - we are good at preaching to the choir, but we have a hard time expressing our ideas to the masses effectively.
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I don't knowthe answer, but I share your concerns.

i think if we had the answer, of course, we'd be a lot more successful.
i'm curious where you were "tuned in" that a third party member was even eligible to participate in the debate? we are having a huge struggle with this right now in NY...
Here is my pet theory. In a nutshell, third parties with little or no chance at prying moderates away from the two parties have an incentive to go after the lunatic fringe (plus they get more media coverage when they say outrageous things).
Yeah...that makes sense. The sensible people say, "Let's run some loons, and the resulting media exposure will make more people notice us, who will then say, 'Despite that loon that's running, this party has some good ideas that make me want to join it.'" These self-defeating strategies just boggle me...