It would appear anti-establishment presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has chosen a good time to go independent. A new poll reveals that more Americans than ever are fed up with the two-party system and are ready for a third party to shake things up. Kennedy on October 9 abandoned his bumpy ride in the blue lane after being beset by obstacles thrown his way by the Democratic National Committee. The DNC has been openly in the bag for President Joe Biden’s re-election efforts, stoutly refusing to even entertain the notion of staging a primary debate despite the presence of the nationally known Kennedy as a challenger. It is perhaps with this in mind, and undoubtedly much more, that Americans are yearning for a third party like never before.
Gavin Newsom’s Maryland Insult to Californians
“Sixty-three percent of US adults currently agree with the statement that the Republican and Democratic parties do ‘such a poor job’ of representing the American people that ‘a third major party is needed,’” polling goliath Gallup stated October 4 in releasing the results of its latest survey. “This represents a seven-percentage-point increase from a year ago and is the highest since Gallup first asked the question in 2003.”
Leaving aside red-blue partisanship for the moment, it’s not hard to see why Americans might be more dissatisfied with the traditional two baked-in choices. As inflation soars and routine trips to the grocery store inflict the kind of sticker shock not seen in this nation since the 1970s, politicians on both sides of the aisle seem light-years removed from the constituents they allegedly serve.
In California, Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom has flagrantly attempted to score political points while rewarding a progressive establishment insider by agreeing to appoint a black woman to fill the seat of deceased Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) – and he even went the extra mile by appointing one who is an abortion activist, as well. Newly minted Sen. Laphonza Butler (D-CA) was serving as president of EMILY’s List, a heavily funded pro-abortion organization with strong money ties to Democrat incumbents when she got the call. Before that, Butler “served as a senior adviser to [Vice President Kamala] Harris’s 2020 presidential campaign while at the same time working at a political firm with strategists who have worked for Newsom and other prominent state Democrats,” Fox News reports. “She also has two decades of experience in the labor movement, including formerly serving as a labor leader with SEIU 2015.”
In other words, Newsom refused to reach outside of the tight circle of Democrat political elites in making his selection. Making things worse, Butler is a resident of the state of Maryland who just happens to also own some land in the Golden State. Is that good enough to satisfy the Constitution, which requires senators to be residents of the states they serve?
Pennsylvania Republicans Spoiled for Choice?
Republicans gleefully jumped on that nugget while excoriating Newsom over the pick. Yet this is the same party whose Pennsylvania state apparatus universally endorsed hedge fund billionaire Dave McCormick to be its 2024 US Senate nominee, despite widespread reports that he is a Connecticut resident.
“While McCormick does own a home in Pittsburgh, a review of public records, real estate listings and footage from recent interviews indicates he still lives on Connecticut’s ‘Gold Coast,’ one of the densest concentrations of wealth in America,” Associated Press reported in August. “The former hedge fund CEO rents a $16 million mansion in Westport that features a 1,500-bottle wine cellar, an elevator and a ‘private waterfront resort’ overlooking Long Island Sound.”
“The trappings of a wealthy enclave, well outside Pennsylvania, offer a jarring contrast with the political identity McCormick has sought to cultivate, which emphasizes his upbringing buck hunting, his Army service and his desire to serve his home state,” the AP observed.
McCormick narrowly lost the 2022 Pennsylvania GOP Senate nomination to Mehmet Oz, Oprah Winfrey’s TV doctor, who was also credibly accused of being a carpetbagger. Oz “lived in North Jersey for more than three decades,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reported in December of 2021. “The celebrity known as ‘Dr. Oz’ has invited magazines and TV cameras to his home overlooking the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline to showcase his lifestyle and advice. Now he’s running for US Senate in Pennsylvania.”
One can only wonder what Republican voters in the Keystone State who openly lamented having McCormick and Oz as their two major options in the 2022 primary battle think of a 2024 race in which the entirety of Pennsylvania Republican Party staffers has already united behind McCormick. That move coincides with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) haughty December 2022 vow that in the next election cycle his political machine would “control the primary outcome” in GOP races around the country. McConnell “urged” McCormick to run in 2024, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette relates.
Feeding the Third Party Appetite
This climate of “selected, not elected” is surely fueling the fervor for a third-party option. While the Republican establishment’s ongoing bitter war with former President Donald Trump over control of the GOP continues, the longing for more avenues to the halls of political power will continue to emerge.
“I’m coming here today to declare our independence from the journey of corruption, which robs us of affordable lives, our belief in the future and our respect for each other. But to do that, I must first declare my own independence, independence from the Democratic Party,” Kennedy thundered in his October 9 speech in Philadelphia.
American voters understand that the corruption inherent in their political system today cuts both ways. As political and financial cronies who don’t even reside in the same state as them, much less the same zip code, are anointed as their chosen representatives by the thoroughly ensconced incumbent powers that be, the rush to cleanse oneself from the designations D or R will likely only accelerate.