A Disservice to Mr. Bell

hallam at vesuvius.ai.mit.edu hallam at vesuvius.ai.mit.edu
Sun Nov 17 12:43:29 PST 1996

Petro is right to point out that third largest party does
not mean being the third most influential. But by any standards
Perot is much more influential than an Libertarian candidate.
Perot has managed to get his views onto the national agenda.,
Browne has not.  The only mainstream party to have been in
any measure influenced by libertarian ideas is the Republicans
who are also the party of extreeme social authoritarianism,
even if they don't believe in it they have to fawn on Pat
Robertson's Christian Coalition to get through the primaries.

As for what happens in 2000 it does not appear that the
Republicans will have extricated itself from the religious
right's grip. This will probaly mean that they end up putting
up another compromise candidate like Dole. With Clinton sitting
so far to the right its very difficult for the Republicans
to find any response.

Unless something happens to change things I don't see any
likelyhood of change the next time round. The only factor
likely to change anything would be for Congress to take
campaign finance reform seriously. I doubt that that is going 
to happen because the last Congress sold favours more openly
than any since 1876. During the Communications Decency Act
politicing I was somewhat suprised to find out the cost
of the lobbying effort, after all it shouldn't take more than a 
few plane tickets to send the right people down to DC. Then
I found out that the main cost was buying into the committee
system to get a hearing. I'm not saying that one side or
the other is worse but the tone of the Congress was pretty much
set by Newt Gingrtich accepting an inaugural bribe of a couple
of million from Murdoch, alledged advance payment for a book
that was pulped.

There are good reasons why the rest of the world tends to
turn off when told about America as the "home of Democracy".


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