In the article, “Are independents America’s third party?,” the author asks the question about whether voters in between the two major political parties in philosophy can be called a third party.
In my opinion, the two parties should not be considered a “third party” because the reason many independents call themselves by that name is so they will not be affiliated with the ideology of any centralized party.
And I guess it is possible to refute that argument by saying that it is a hypothetical third party, but another reason independents call themselves “independent” is because they disagree with specific policies from both parties and in a sense decide the way they are going to vote based on the ideology that they want the person they more agree with to be in office, also referred to as “the lesser of two evils.”
I’m also not sure that the basis of the article would be entirely accurate: Scott Brown is technically a Republican from Massachusetts (which in itself is almost an oxymoron), but the only major city he would carry in Texas in any election is Austin—the liberal stronghold of the Southwest, in a county where Barack Obama and Joe Biden received 61% of the vote—because of his liberal-leaning voting record.
The term “third party” has been thrown around a lot in the last three or four years since the economy peaked and then proceeded to bottom-out, but there would be very dire implications for America having a third party with the same clout that both the Republican and Democratic parties hold.
One problem that would be encountered is that it is very unlikely that a president could be decided in a general election. It’s not like we decide our president anyway—thanks to the Electoral College—but the vote would be prolonged in the House of Representatives to decide the President. Whichever of the three hypothetical parties had the highest number of members would theoretically receive the largest number of votes of President. But wait! The House requires a MAJORITY of the votes. But, fear not, they just vote again so you can theoretically have 146 people out of a citizenry of over 300 million voting for the president (33.5% of Representatives). Talk about elitism! But that is another topic for another day…