Reverse statism: A reality check for voters considering third party

If you think an election that can't be won with your ideal candidate is an election not worth winning at all, think again. Photo: (AP Photo/Marcy Nighswander)

OHATCHEE, Al., October 26, 2012 — While governing the most liberal state in the union (aside from Ronald Reagan’s California), Mitt Romney was submerged in the toxic political atmosphere that spawned the likes of Barney Frank, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, and this year, Elizabeth Warren.

Rather than submit to becoming a liberal or retreat as an ineffectual conservative martyr, Romney chose to offer his executive skills to the state of Massachusetts in the strict role of governor – without drawing a salary.

Romney served his state as best he could, and he did well, including annually balancing the budget and gaining a surplus without raising taxes – even managing to cut a few (although his income tax cuts were rejected by the state legislature).

Like the Good Samaritan, Romney is not so proud as to be afraid of contaminating himself with politics in an effort to help an ailing country, while our routine election season crop of holier-than-thou third partiers pass by ineffectually, scoffing that the mess shouldn’t exist in the first place.

These perfectionists think an election that can’t be won with their ideal candidate is an election not worth winning at all.

These citizens are near and dear to my heart, because I’m tempted to apply their mindset to everything, including higher education. Too many are mindlessly going through the motions, accepting the status quo, and refusing to bring about the drastic reforms we need in this life.

Let us defy the establishment by boycotting stupid exams and blemished candidates! Let us pledge our lives, fortunes, and sacred honor that we are not afraid of bad grades or four more years of Obama!


We do not have the luxury of being masochistic political Pharisees, deliberately pulling down disaster upon ourselves and fantasizing about being in a modern version of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.

To find a more principled and effective route to national prosperity, we need to make a few reality checks.

First of all, we must understand that boycotting the Republican nominee never punishes the GOP establishment. The American people are the ones who get punished instead.

Scholars speculate that Ross Perot’s 1992 third party candidacy gave Bill Clinton victory, since Perot garnered 19% of the vote that most likely have tilted to George H.W. Bush. If Clinton had not been elected, 9/11 could have been avoided through Osama Bin Laden’s capture, and the financial crisis of 2008 could have been averted through absence of the Clinton administration’s manipulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The 2008 presidential election also serves as a classic example.

We could argue that McCain-Palin fell far short of offering an ideal small-government contrast to Obama-Biden’s unprecedented big government ventures, but still, let’s be honest. A McCain administration would not have given us the Obamacare fiasco, would not have given us the Obama stimulus package, would not have given us Justices Sotomayor and Kagan on the Supreme Court, and would not be curtsying and toddling big stickless in the face of the Islamic pandemonium stealing American lives in the Middle East on the 11th anniversary of 9/11.

Incidentally, no matter how often Rachel Maddow’s bloggers try to excuse Obama’s decision not to attend security briefings, the fact is that you can see at least as far back as President Eisenhower that during a time of crisis or heightened risk, the commander-in-chief is supposed to go to the briefings – not assume that written briefings are enough.

Secondly, we must not scorn our second-party system.

THREE-WAY WRECK: George H.W. Bush, Ross Perot, and Bill Clinton at the second presidential debate of the 1992 election season. Due to America’s mostly winner-take-all system, third parties virtually never win, but can still influence the outcome of elections. Scholars speculate that Perot’s candidacy might have given Clinton victory, since Perot garnered 19% of the vote that most likely would have otherwise gone to Bush. (AP Photo/Marcy Nighswander)

Thus far, even constitutional purist icon Ron Paul has not endorsed a third party candidate this election season. That should tell you a little about the dire ineffectuality of third partyism at this fiscally and morally calamitous moment in America’s history.

To add insult to injury, part of what America is suffering from now is due to a century’s worth of policies which came about because of reckless lone ranger candidates attempting to show up “the lesser of two evils” with some mad hot principle.

The two party system of the United States exists for structural reasons, and unless we are ready to revise the districts of all 50 states and possibly hold a new constitutional convention, the two party system is one that must be skillfully worked with, not worked against.

(Read more about that here, if you are interested.)

Thirdly, we must acknowledge that Romney is not the same as Obama. The roots of Obama’s liberal political worldview are foreign even to some Democrats, let alone the Republican presidential nominee. But Romney is usually not given enough credit for even attempting to govern conservatively in the country’s most liberal state.

Still, some like to dismiss the rival candidacies of Romney and Obama as being the equivalent of two fast food chains debating the healthiness of their menus.

You’ve heard of reverse racism. This is reverse statism; straining out the gnat of Romney-Ryan and inadvertently swallowing not pure constitutionalism, but the camel of Obama-Biden instead.

Reverse statism projects all of one’s conscience, morality, spirituality, and intellect onto one ballot as if we could solve America’s problems only by electing the right president. (Note: Not all candidates with the right worldview have the skills to lead effectively.)

In reality, America is addicted to materialistic big government, and can only be weaned off of it through a major transformation at the cultural level.

The venerable Bay Statesman John Adams did not say the founders designed a good and moral Constitution. He said that they designed a Constitution for a good and moral people.

“In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion,” George Washington spoke in his farewell address, “it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.”

Do you expect the majority of the electorate to take the national debt seriously when they live in a culture that encourages consumer debt as a way of life? Do you expect the majority of the electorate to vote for candidates in the executive and legislative branches of government who will make serious spending cuts when they have been conditioned to depend upon government?

We have to prove that we can without government assistance help the poor, discourage abortion, encourage chastity, encourage strong marriages, encourage people to take responsibility for their own education, start businesses to employ citizens … to ever reach a point at which the vast majority of the electorate realizes that we can downsize the federal government and thrive.

Four more years of an Obama administration – complete with an economy that stifles opportunity and promotes government dependency – would set us back in these efforts.

It is not a sin to vote for Romney, a skilled executive who believes in “honest…clear and realistic goals,” which include plans to repeal Obamacare, reinstate Reagan’s Mexico City Policy, appoint conservative justices, support an audit of the Federal Reserve, and bring federal spending below 20% of the country’s GDP in four years.

If Romney loses, we can be absolutely certain the administration of the past four years will continue with added “flexibility.” If Romney wins, at the very least we will have a president who makes a serious effort to save the country from implosion.

To allow Obama to remain in the White House is to be complicit in the advancement of his administration. Every vote for Obama and not for Romney will be taken by liberals in Washington as a mandate for increasing the size of government.

Remember, politics exists in place of brute force. The word “campaign” is derived from military terminology, and illustrates how elections are the peaceful equivalent of revolutions. Suffrage is a citizen’s weapon of self-defense. You get one shot every election.

No matter how futile the struggle may seem, when you’re armed with only one bullet, you don’t shoot at the moon.

This concludes the third article of the pamphlet “Strain out a gnat and swallow a camel: How reverse statism endangers the republic“.

The first article was “But Mitt Romney’s a Mormon! (Fear not)“.

The second article was “Romnesia: Misconceptions about Romney’s record“.

Amanda Read is a political columnist for the Communities at The Washington Times. A professional writer and researcher, Amanda is also a Christian homeschool graduate, unconventional college student, military daughter, and eldest of the nine Read children at Fair Hills Farm. Find more of her work at

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Amanda Read

Amanda Read is a columnist for the Communities at The Washington Times. Trained as a historian, skilled as a writer, and aspiring to be a filmmaker, Amanda investigates the ideas behind contemporary culture and politics. A professional writer and researcher, she is also a Christian homeschool graduate, unconventional college graduate, military daughter, and eldest of the nine Read children at Fair Hills Farm. Find more of her work at

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