In two previous columns, we have explored the ‘how it could be done’ for an Independent Third Candidate to run for President in 2008 - or sometime in the future.

The fund raising and ballot access issues - difficult obstacles for sure - can be overcome provided there is a sufficient groundswell of support for this ‘different,’ charismatic and anti-political candidate.

But what exactly are the key issues that will dominate the next national elections?

Here, in no particular order, are the main issues certain to dominate our future:

1) Getting control of the illegal immigrant issue: no issue is more hot-button than this - and Washington seems almost oblivious to it. The security aspect is alarming: tens of thousands of non-Mexicans are crossing our southern border each year and ‘infiltrating’ into our nation. How many of them are terrorists awaiting activation orders for some horrendous new attack?

We must get control of our two main borders ASAP. And it is just plain wrong to have the law broken so blatantly - while the White House and Congress look away.

This will be a huge issue in the next race - even if the so-called mainstream media misrepresent it and make it seem like the Independent Third Candidate is against all immigrants.

2) Getting off our national addiction to imported oil provided from unstable and repressive governments, i.e. Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

The outflow of precious American dollars to potential enemies of the United States is crazy - and we need to stop it. When we buy Saudi oil, we are not only financing these degenerate royal misfits in their private 747's, but we are also subsidizing their protection-money payoffs to Al Qaeda. And then we have to increase our budget deficits even more to provide more for our Pentagon and Homeland Security to prevent another Al Qaeda attack.

We need - as previously written here - a Project Independence, a crash joint government-private industry program to accelerate the production of non-petroleum powered vehicles. Perhaps we transition along this path with hybrids for a few years while hydrogen fuel cell cars are produced, or something else.

But whatever it is, we must - as a key part of our national security and economic survival - get off of this addiction to imported foreign oil within the next few years.

This will be a hot issue as long as the price of gas at the pump and home heating fuel sap the average family of hard-earned cash.

Why can’t our best scientists and brains figure out a new way to produce cheaper energy - without being dependent on our enemies?

They can - and will - especially once the American public tells them to in the 2008 election.

3) We must go back to true and honest conservative financial principles. The debt and deficits run by the so-called ‘conservative’ Bush Administration in conjunction with a so-called ‘conservative’ GOP-controlled Congress border on criminal. These guys are no conservatives! They are a disgrace to their party and to their political philosophy.

We need to reduce the rate of increase in federal spending. Period! And we need to make cuts - across the board - in all this waste these guys knowingly voted for this year.

We need to get back to a balanced federal budget - like the one a GOP-Congress produced in the 1990's while they opposed Clinton spending.

And we need to begin paying down the massive and ever-growing National Debt which is a huge hidden tax on us all.

And we need to dig ourselves out of debt to foreign nations, especially Red China. It is disgraceful that foreign government are ‘owning’ more and more of ‘our’ nation.

4) We need to go get Osama Bin Laden.

It is a disgrace that this murderer has gone free since 9/11 - and that the US Government has re-focused itself in the last 4 years more on Iraq than on getting Osama.

5) Iraq: we need to get out of there. We have deposed Saddam and brought that mass murderer to justice. There are no WMD’s in Iraq (if there ever were any, which is doubtful). Iraq is no longer our problem. Let the Iraqis run their own country. Our wonderful US troops are not meant to be substitute Iraqi policemen.

We have done the job. It is time to worry more about our own country.

Conclusion: these five issues are the main platform that will attract voters from across the political spectrum.

Politically, this country is in great flux: the Democrats are a nothing party that stands for nothing and can’t relate to the American people any more. And the Republicans, under President Bush and a weak Congress, have squandered a golden opportunity to change many things in America for the better. Instead, we are mired now in a sour period with no leadership.

Pollster Stanley Greenberg describes a new political phenomenon: ‘dislodged’ voters, i.e. voters who are unhappy with their own parties, are leaving them but not joining the other party; they are just sitting there - waiting for something new to come along.

2008 will be a watershed period where the two parties may take a backseat to this Independent Third Candidate. And it may be the best thing that ever happened to our system: as Thomas Jefferson said, “A little revolution every now and then is a good thing.”


Last week, in the first installment of this series laying out the possibility of a non-Republican, non-Democrat third candidate (not an entire party) in the 2008 presidential campaign, we reviewed some of the historical precedents, i.e. Ross Perot in 1992, upon which to base another third-candidate try.

There are many obstacles to a successful Third Candidate. The two biggest are:

1) Money;

2) Ballot access.

However, these problems may be solvable.

1) Money: Joe Trippi the campaign genius who was the driving force behind Governor Howard Dean’s shocking rise from nowhere in 2003, has recently said that with the correct use of the Internet, the right Third Candidate can raise “two hundred million” quite quickly.

Just think of that!

If ten million people - just average people who are ticked off with the state of political and economic affairs in this country - gave $20 a piece, presto - you have a campaign kitty of a whopping, stunning, shocking $200 million!

And all without those endless fundraising dinners, black tie events and millions of phone calls!!!

Thus is the power of the Internet - combined with just the right message and messenger. If it all fits together just right, then it could be explosive.

2) Ballot access: in many states, the two major parties have made it extremely difficult to get a place on the ballot. And, for a Third Candidate to be legitimate, he or she needs to be on the ballot in all 50 states.

However, if this candidate is armed with that $200 million war chest cited above, then ballot access becomes a solvable problem. In states where gathering petition signatures is the key, then either passionate volunteers or paid gatherers can go out and solicit these vital signatures.

The point here is this: yes, it is mechanically possible for a Third Candidate to raise, the money, get on the ballot and thus even win the Presidency.

However, for this to happen, this candidate has to have unique political skills:

1) Star appeal: he must have some ‘hook’ that makes the media pay attention to him;

2) He must come off as the ‘anti-politician’ - even though he must have tremendous political skills;

3) His platform of basic issues must cut across party lines and gain traction among Republicans and Democrats;

4) He must be included in all the presidential debates;

5) It will be in these debates that he must dwarf the two other candidates. The viewers have to look at those debates and walk away saying, “He (Third Candidate) is by far the best leader of them all.”

A tall order?


An impossibility?


Especially with the political deterioration we see in this country today:

The GOP has lost its moorings with incredible spending, unbalanced budgets, an Iraq War that is going no where, a depleted military spread too thin and unable to recruit new soldiers - and now a plan to spend “whatever it takes” on Hurricane Katrina. What an invitation to rip off the taxpayers!

And the Democrats are so left-wing that they are on the political margins in too many states.

Indeed, 2008 could be the year - the year a Third Candidate wins.

But the key is why he runs, what he stands for and how he will bring about change.

Next installment: The Key Element: Third Candidate’s Platform and Issues.


1992: A President George Bush in the White House, coming out of the first Gulf War with extraordinary public support and an approval rating of 91%.

Economic slowdown soon ensued. Political ‘stalemate’ overtook Capitol Hill. Pat Buchanan stung the President in New Hampshire and subsequent primaries.

Bill Clinton - despite pot and draft problems and Jennifer Flowers -zoomed to the front in the Democratic primaries.

Larry King and Ross Perot soon began their dance on CNN.

By the spring of 1992, with Bush and Clinton clearly about to secure their own parties’ nominations, Ross Perot was leading them both in all the polling for President. Even in June, Perot lead President Bush, with Bill Clinton mired at 22%.

What happened after that point is clear: Perot did not want to be President; he only wanted to ruin Bush (for reasons that will be explained in a subsequent column); and he actually like Bill Clinton who, as Arkansas Governor, often dropped in to chat with Perot when passing through Dallas.

Seeing that he might actually win the Presidency, Perot wigged out: he concocted a crazy excuse - that CIA agents had infiltrated his daughter’s wedding - and promptly dropped out of the race on the very day Bill Clinton gave his nomination speech at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Clinton vaulted from third to first place and never again trailed in the race against then-President George Bush.

(Yes, Perot later re-entered the race - undoubtedly missing all the attention. But his once-in-a-lifetime chance to be the first truly independent President since George Washington had passed him by.)

Now, 13 years later - we may again be entering a time in our political life when a truly Independent Third Candidate (not necessarily an entirely new Third Party) could win the White House.


A number of factors need to be present:

1) First, there must be a general sourness and unhappiness in the body politic;

2) The people have to be turned off by both political parties;

3) This Thrid Candidate has to have just the right political and media skills to pull it off;

4) This candidate must inspire a huge grassroots movement necessary to raise money and get on the ballot in all 50 states (not an easy task especially when both parties unite to oppose it);

5) This candidate must be given full access to the media, talk shows and TV news appearances and interviews in order to get as well known as the two major party candidates undoubtedly will be.

Under these circumstance, it is possible for this Third Candidate to win. It would not be easy, but not impossible either.

In the next column on this subject, the possible agenda for this candidate will be sketched out and a profile of the type of person who could pull off this near-impossible political feat will be described.

But one thing to consider: Hurricane Katrina has exposed serious problems. Not just with our disaster relief capability, but the fact that the two parties immediately began playing the Blame Game instead of worrying about the suffering people in Mississippi and Louisiana.

This type of political ‘bickering’ is exactly the backdrop needed for this Independent Third Candidate to appear.


Hurricane Katrina is yet the latest example of ‘government’ - at all levels - failing the people ‘it’ is supposed to serve.

This is not a matter of Republican or Democrat; it is a matter of the expected arrogance, aloofness, diffidence, innate corruption, coldness - and sheer incompetence - that always permeates all levels of government.

Katrina is just the latest example.

Pick your poison: from bungled investigations to billion-dollar rip-offs, ‘government’ in our country is more often than not more a problem than a problem-solver.

Liberals - and this is why they have lost power nationally - still cling to the notion of using the government to ‘do good.’ But, even when well-intentioned, government efforts to solve a problem rarely work; and often they actually make that problem worse.

An example?

LBJ’s Great Society and his War on Poverty. Who could question the good intent of curing poverty and illiteracy and hunger?

But, after decades of massive federal and state spending - in the trillions of dollars cumulatively - there are actually more people living under the poverty level now than when these programs began in the 1960's.

Plus, there are tremendous - and unanticipated - social consequences to those well-intentioned government programs: the taxes needed to pay for them crushed the middle class in the 1970's and caused a ‘reverse racial antipathy’ that has set back the state of race relations to this day.

So a series of federal programs designed to heal racial divisions and elevate the poor did neither.

Hurricane Katrina is another perfect example: while government on all three levels - federal, state and local - have proven to be in the first stages of this disaster somehow totally surprised and inept, private companies and churches were already ready to act the first day - until the ‘government’ turned them away.

‘Conservatism’ has really never changed; only those who try to co-opt its now-popular political label have changed.

Barry Goldwater was the father of modern-day conservatism; and he handed off that mantle to Ronald Reagan after the 1964 campaign.

Reagan Conservatism is a modified ‘Libertarian Conservatism’ which basically distrusts government’s ability to do much - even when well-intentioned.

The Bushes - father and son - were never Reagan Conservatives. Back in 1978 when GW Bush ran for the US House of Representatives in Texas, he ran as a twin of his father: a Rockefeller (liberal) Republican. He lost that race.

Two years later his father ran for President in the GOP primaries against Ronald Reagan. Bush derided Reagan’s economic plan as ‘voodoo economics.’ Again, a Bush ran as a ‘moderate’ or a ‘liberal’ Republican. And again, a Bush lost that race.

In 1992, after four years as President, George HW Bush had to face a conservative - Pat Buchanan - in the GOP primaries. Buchanan so wouded Bush that he was dead meat for Perot and Clinton in November. The fault lines of the modern GOP were clear: true conservatism was ‘in’ and ‘Rockefellerism’ was gone, goodbye.

So GW Bush cosmetically morphed himself into a Reaganite: a horseless ranch, cowboy clothes and ‘down home’ lingo - all from a kid who went to Andover, Yale and Harvard Business School!

But in his essence, GW Bush is a Big Government Republican. His type loves federal power for power’s sake. They love the trappings of the power - but don’t know how to use it effectively.

Katrina is but the latest example.

Why the Feds behaved the way they did last week - slow to get going while people were dying - is exactly why ‘government’ - Republican or Democrat - cannot be trusted.