Sunday, January 01, 2012

Unpublished Letter to the Times (Another One)

The Times Sunday Dialog this week is about the ostensible value of a third party. Here are the Times letter and responses. I rolled on the floor alternately laughing and weeping when I read the letter. Here's my unpublished response:

To the Editor:

Robert A. Levine is making a joke by suggesting that the U.S. needs a "centrist third party," right? Either that, or he is unaware that the Democratic Party has been pushed so far toward the center that for the last 20 years it has embraced policies well to the right of that great liberal, Richard M. Nixon, and that the Republican Party is out on the fringes someplace compared to what it espoused as recently as the 1970s.

What the country actually needs is a Democratic Party dedicated to its own past ideals: support of unions and working people, progressive taxation, a sound safety net, full employment, environmentalism, support for the public schools. Only the Green Party and various Socialist factions embrace these ideals today, sadly.

Very truly yours,

Lisa Hirsch

[While my mention of the Green and Socialist parties might look like agreement about the need for third parties, I do not welcome the potential splitting of the left-of-center vote in national elections. See, for example, the 2000 Presidential election. Just a few of Ralph Nader's 90,000 votes in FL would have tipped the election to Al Gore and perhaps the last decade would not have been so disastrous for the U.S. I do fully support third parties in local and state elections.]

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