Lucy’s Lemonade Stand vs Coke and Pepsi


The notion that a third party could successfully challenge the Republicans and Democrats is as absurd as believing Lucy Van Pelt could knock off Coca-Cola or Pepsi.

Those promoting the Greens or a People’s party ignore the most basic political truism: It would require the expenditure of billions upon billions of dollars to sufficiently brand the Greens or another third party to effectively make them a viable political alternative to the Democrats and Republicans.

Selling a third party to American voters is no different than selling tires, cereal or creamed corn. To get consumers to purchase an unknown brand requires substantial marketing and advertising campaigns. Branding a political party is even more difficult than branding a product, as promotions and incentives are impossible to offer.

Aside from the profound economic prohibition to the success of a third party is the stark political reality that the American political system discourages minor political parties. Unlike parliamentary democracies, our system of government does not allow for coalition governments. Under parliamentary systems, the executive branch of government is synonymous with the legislative branch. They are one and the same. Under the US Constitution, the executive branch is the president, who is elected independently of the election of the legislative branch, the Congress.

Because Congress does not select the president, and has no direct control of the Executive Branch of American government, there is no ability of Congress to bring down a government through votes of No Confidence. Similarly, no coalition of Members of Congress can replace the president, except through impeachment. And even then, the government is not brought down. The president of the administration is merely replaced with the vice president. The government stays in power.

Under parliamentary democracies, minor parties can enter into ruling coalitions, bring down governments, influence government policies.

In the US, minor parties are political gadflies, ignored by the media and the voters.

A third party has never elected an American president. 

Even when led by a former president and a national hero, the Progressive party was unable to elect Teddy Roosevelt in 1912. And that was the closest a third party has ever come to the presidency.

Last year, outraged Bernie supporters attempted to grow the Greens in response to Hillary’s rigging the Democratic nomination. They promoted #DemExit to urge progressive Democrats to abandon the Democratic party. They unsuccessfully urged Bernie to lead the Greens with Jill Stein as his running mate. When Bernie made no move to comply, they threw their collective weight to Stein.

And their collective weight was insignificant.

Stein’s performance was as pathetic as it was predictable.

Astonishingly, advocates of #DemExit learned no more from Stein’s performance than Hillary’s supporters learned from her losing to Trump. Both groups suffer from substantial cognitive dissonance. Both embrace an alternative universe worldview that refuses to recognize basic political realities

#DemExit is nothing more than one taking one’s marbles and going home. #DemExit is political pouting. #DemExit is a childish tantrum. #DemExit is, in the end, being cowardly.

Courage is facing one’s enemies. Courage is never surrendering. Courage is taking the fight to the Democratic hacks who cheated us of a Bernie Sanders presidency. Courage is pimarying every incumbent hack who supported Hillary over Bernie.

Trump won the presidency because the Democrats nominated a flawed candidate. Stein performed abysmally because the American electorate refuses to support minor candidates in general elections.

Looking forward, establishment Democrats hope to nominate one of their own Wall Street hacks in 2020. And #DemExit types reject any suggestion that they help takeover the Democratic party.

Trump beat Hillary because Blue Collar Democrats in the Rust Belt broke with the Democrats to give him Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. If Trump can hold those voters, he will be re-elected in 2020.

The only hope of defeating Trump in 2020 is by the Democrats nominating a progressive. Wall Street Democrats are dead set on preventing that.

And #DemExit is playing right into the hands of the Democratic establishment. The Democratic party is controlled by Wall Street and big business lobbyists because they own Democratic incumbents. In turn, those Democratic officials control the party leadership. There is no mystery as to who controls the party, or how they do it.

The key to changing control of the party is simple, albeit difficult.

The key is removing incumbents from office.

We can primary incumbent Democratic hacks with progressives. And we can work to defeat Democratic establishment types in general elections.

It was just such a strategy which put the right wing in control of the Republican party.

And that same strategy can put the left in control of the Democrats.

And just as certain is that Hillary and her cohorts are thrilled by #DemExit.



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5 thoughts on “Lucy’s Lemonade Stand vs Coke and Pepsi

  1. “A third party has never elected an American president.”

    This is simply untrue. Lincoln was a third-party candidate when he was elected. (At that point, the two dominant parties were the Democrats and the Whigs.)

    I normally appreciate, and usually agree with, your articles. However, the dilemma regarding the Democrats is a very real one, with valid arguments on both sides. The sneering tone that you take in this article (e.g., “#DemExit is political pouting. #DemExit is a childish tantrum. #DemExit is, in the end, being cowardly.”) is unjustified and needlessly detracts from the merits of your arguments.


    • The Republicans were hardly a third party. In 1860 the Republicans were the largest party in the country. The Whigs were dissolved, the Democrats were split into the northern and southern Democrats. The actual third party was the Constitutional Union whose nominee, John Bell, outpolled the northern Democrat Stephen Douglas.


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