To begin with, there already is a “third party alternative” to Trump and the Hildabeast. Only one other third party will compete on the ballot in every state for the White House this year – the Libertarian Party. It would be nice if the nattering nabobs of the mainstream media could at least get this straight. After all, in some polls the Libertarian alternative has done quite well.
That means if the #NeverTrump crowd wants to run their alternative, it would be a fourth party bid for the Presidency.
Check any and all hysterics at the prospect at the door. Yes, it’s happened before. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln didn’t only run against Stephen Douglas. John Bell and John Breckinridge also ran competitively in that election. In 1948 four candidates ran a similarly competitive contest for the Oval Office. (Although 1972 and 1980 featured four candidates, the third and fourth party candidates weren’t particularly viable).
So, who would Mitt Romney and the #NeverTrump cabal pick?. Oh what a short list it is:
– Mark Cuban
– Ben Sasse
– John Kasich
Yes, Mark “Redacted” Cuban, John “the mail man’s son who only won Ohio” Kasich”, and Ben Sasse who was elected to the Senate to oppose the Obama agenda but arrived in Washington and promptly adopted the patented Mitch McConnell approach to sitting on one’s hands and dithering.
If these three weren’t bad enough as far as choices go, the unmentioned corruption in launching a Presidential bid this late in the game is even worse.
Ballot access in this country isn’t a simple proposition. Democrat and Republican candidates by default get to appear on ballots – that’s the way current election laws work out. Let’s say you are a Libertarian candidate and you want to run a campaign. Your name doesn’t appear on the ballot just because you announce your candidacy. Each state and indeed each electoral district has different requirements you must meet to get on the ballot. Petitions must be circulated, signed, and verified by local election officials. Paperwork must be filed. There are compliance requirements you can’t shirk. By the time you’ve gotten your name on a ballot, chances are your organization and it’s finances are exhausted before you ever get to really start campaigning against Big D and Big R.
It’s a shame and it lends credence to the proposition that our political system is hopelessly rigged.
Will #NeverTrump have to jump the same electoral hurdles in order to get whatever combination of Cuban, Sasse, Kasich, and whoever on the ballot? If they are somehow exempted such a move will evidence a level of corruption far worse than the nightmarish prospects of a brokered GOP convention.
Image: From https://www.flickr.com/photos/briansolis/2843852275; (CC BY 2.0); Brian Solls