Usually, candidates with strong name recognition, a record in politics, a fat war chest, immense party support and political chits will win these endorsements and elections while the non-party independent contenders are often considered by the voting public as individuals who have nothing better to do but to try to gain some name recognition since after all--they certainly must know they cannot win.
Which, in effect, has meant that candidates on the fringe need not apply to run for government office.
This week, the Alliance For Good Government endorsed David Vitter for US Senate, and Steve Scalise for 1st Congressional District Congressman and Joseph Cao for 2nd Congressional District Congressman. There were no incumbents running in the other races but well-known candidates took home the honors.
The argument will be that these candidates are the most qualified to run the office by virtue that they have an R or D representing republican or democratic parties blessings.
Meantime, those candidates outside of the mainstream will pack up their bags and wait for the next election or excuse themselves from the political arena altogether, thank you.
The political organizations and the media through their endorsements are not the only groups that allow the party political monopolies to continue. The same, including Bayoubuzz normally will only focus on the primary candidates-- almost always the two major parties’ choices--thus denying the others the opportunity to obtain free media exposure and therefore credibility.
In fact, often the decisions by these institutions are not mean-spirited or discriminatory, in intent, at all. In terms of the media, we are often restricted by time, money and other resources and choose to tell the stories we believe the majority of our public want to read, see or hear. Also, many of us feel that often debates and forums are hurt by allowing those who have no chance to win the election to use the democratic process for their own purposes to seek name recognition and glory.
As a result, occasionally some of those candidates are forced to resort to creative side shows to obtain attention. A good example of this was a press conference this week by US Senate candidate Mike Spears who announced a duel of some sort with US Senator Vitter. Spears is claiming that it would be the most honorable way to redeem this state’s own honor he claims has been soiled by the US Senator due to Vitter’s well-known personal problems.
So, given the difficulties that the “fringe candidates” face in getting traditional attention and support, the other less-funded candidates in most cases will ultimately be branded as “political losers” by the voting public—hence they should be on their ways.
This same scenario is often expected in most elections and are indeed, very predictable.
However, early this week, the fringe candidates who are not supported by BIG PARTY, BIG ORGANIZATIONS AND BIG MEDIA, actually dominated the Alliance debate although Vitter took home the endorsement crown.
Instead, of being the freak shows, these “fringe” candidates actually demonstrated they are the “voices of the people”. These “other party” candidates who participated in the Alliance Forum, such as Louisiana Rep. Ernest Wooten, William R. McShan, of Leesville and Spears were not expected to get the Alliance nod, and of course, didn’t. But in making their say at the forum, they displayed the raw rebellious emotions and the anguish that has been symbolized by the Tea Parties throughout the United States.
In fact, in Louisiana and throughout America, we are now finding that Tea Party candidates are not the only people disenchanted with the two-party system and the overall condition of this country.
More candidates such as those who are running for election in Louisiana this fall are refusing to take the republican and democratic party mantles and are staking out their futures against almost insurmountable odds as independents or other political nomenclatures.
But what appears to be a central chord, these candidates believe the system is failing this nation and the two traditional parties are the dominant political institutions within the system and should be blamed.
They see our elected officials as being pawns of the political parties who must walk lockstep with party leadership or else be branded and berated as irrelevant and foolish.
They see this country as actually being harmed by the demands of party loyalties by their chosen candidates who are perceived to see the security of party protections and favors to be much more important than the furthering of the community’s and the nation’s best interests.
They see these politicians seeking power and favor for and from their parties as being much more important than doing what is right and what is for the betterment of the people.
Interestingly, while these “outside” candidates might disagree on specific public policies and might be diametrically opposed on numerous issues, they appear to agree on one basic principle—the country’s problems have gotten so far out of control that doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting different results would indeed be insane.
They look to events this decade such as 9/11, the great recession, the government’s responses to Katrina and the BP oil spill, and to now frequent moral embarrassments by our nation’s elite, to governmental intrusions, to destructions of bedrock institutions, to government double-talk, and to the failure of expectations in and out of government and including the private sectors as being the fault of those in charge of the key to the kingdom.
They see their own nuclear families fragmented, and their concept of the American Dreams turning into nightmares of unfulfilled promises and hopes.
They see their futures unsecured, their distrusts mounting, their understandings of world order constantly undermined or reshuffled.
They see their own and their families’educations being worthless, their savings being depleted, their ways of life being dismembered, their childrens’ futures being mortgaged and their country’s securities and prestiges being diminished.
They know not the answers, and hardly know the questions but they have a full sense of feeling that the systems in place need intensive care or radical surgery.
So, while these third-party and no-party candidates will not win the Louisiana US Senate election or perhaps any of the other elections this fall because they lack the Republican or Democratic Parties and other traditional support, make no mistake about it, as evidenced by the Alliance for Good Government forum’s debate, these candidates’ voices will resonate throughout the elections this fall in Louisiana and throughout America.
While Senator Vitter or Congressman Melancon will ultimately be the winner come November, and while the democrats and the republicans will retain governmental power again, these outside voices will continue to resonate from one election and from one community to another.
These voices are from the once meek ordinary people who view themselves caught in the middle of an ugly tug-of-war of power from those seeking control. However, should these sounds of despair continue to be ignored the slight will become cries then shouts then deafening screams to replace the old political order and the parties thereto.