“It can’t get any worse than Obama” has become a truism for the GOP this election cycle. But, I suppose that’s about the only campaign slogan worth using when your candidate’s been campaigning for president since 2007 and still has trouble pulling in more than 2/3 of the vote in uncontested primaries, as Travis Holte pointed out after last month’s primaries.
I frequently encounter people who bash the president and it’s very telling to see their reaction when I disagree that it can’t get worse. I told a man the other day “absolutely!” when he asked rhetorically if it could “get any worse.” His reaction was one of stunned disbelief, since I had earlier agreed that “Obamacare” and the stimulus spending were destructive, and from that he assumed I must have been a conservative-tea-party type. (I didn’t have the heart to tell him that Mittens was no conservative, and was more or less a big fan of both programs early on).
Americans are so conditioned to vote for whomever they see as the lessor of two evils that the mere suggestion of their choice being no different, or even worse, is heresy. The two-party system is so entrenched that for all but a few, third party candidates are a quaint novelty, but never to be taken seriously.
Here’s Ron Paul’s take on the modern American electoral system and third parties from his 2008 campaign. Of particular importance to this discussion is his quote from Carroll Quigley at about the five minute mark: “…the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy.”