Our America Initiative

Stop the Political Duopoly

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In September, almost a year after the 2016 election, more Americans than ever, 61%, believe a third major political party is needed. In contrast, only one-third, 34%, believe the Republican and Democratic parties are enough. That’s according to a Gallup survey. Other polls in recent years have shown the same.

So why does the two-party stranglehold on the political system, and more importantly, the government, persist?

The answer is actually straightforward -- and unacceptable. The control exerted by the two major parties is today so strong that they can, and do, block independent voices, candidates and parties from achieving the critical mass of viability among the electorate. They exert that control despite the wishes of almost 2 out of 3 American voters.

From the Presidential Debates, which are blatantly rigged to exclude any qualified candidates other than the Republican and Democrat, to “ballot access” laws across the nation that make it extremely difficult and costly to even get on the ballot, the two major parties are remarkably united in their determination to preserve their duopoly.  And the notion that America has only two parties is so pervasive that the news media has come to accept, and thus, support it.

Ironically, even the Founding Fathers warned of the perils should control of government end up in the hands of only two competing political parties.

How will the stranglehold be broken? It will only happen when the two-thirds of voters who are not satisfied with their choices refuse to tolerate it.  And given the current state of affairs -- and politics, the time to organize and deploy that dissatisfaction is now.

With Gov. Gary Johnson as Honorary Chairman, who along with Gov. Bill Weld, garnered the highest vote total for a “third party” presidential ticket since Ross Perot, the Our America Initiative is uniquely positioned to lead a long-overdue, organized and professional campaign to educate voters and mobilize a serious grassroots, grasstops and media movement to break down ballot access barriers, open debates and show voters that third party and independent candidates are viable options. Key to this effort, obviously, is a corresponding program to recruit and support credible, qualified and attractive candidates.

The time is right. The need is critical. And the opportunity is great. This will be the largest project undertaken by OAI.

The veteran political and public affairs professionals at Our America are developing a nationwide “Stop the Political Duopoly” campaign to raise public awareness of unfair ballot access laws, debate rules and media biases that stand in the way of otherwise viable independent and third party candidates, with the objective of achieving a critical mass in public opinion and outcry that will bring about positive change.

The Stop the Political Duopoly campaign will include:

--National rallies, symposiums and events with media appearances by credible, nationally-recognized  spokespersons. (Gov. Johnson, Gov Weld, celebrities, political commentators, and others)

          Cost:  $150,000.00

--Ballot access, initiative advocacy to allow equal representation at the ballot box.

          Cost:  $150,000.00

--Utilizing Our America’s and social media assets campaigns with advertising to attract growth and participation (1.8 Million current followers), inform and mobilize an aggressive advocacy campaign demanding fair debates, reasonable ballot access and recognition of credible independent and third party candidates.

          Cost: $100,000.00

--Candidate recruitment and training. It is a simple reality that no campaign can succeed without qualified, articulate and credible candidates and campaign staff that understand political campaigning. Key to recruiting such candidates is providing them and their staffs with the knowledge of how to to organize, run and complete a successful effort.

          Cost: $50,000.00

--Building upon Our America’s database of nearly 1 million self-identified supporters of independent and libertarian candidates, as well as 1.8 million social media followers, organize and execute aggressive grassroots lobbying efforts at state levels to reform ballot access laws and increase public demand for a “level playing field” in America.

          Cost: $100,000.00

With voter dissatisfaction with the status quo at all time highs, the opportunity has never been greater to tap into that sentiment and achieve concrete results. All that is lacking is a professional, coordinated and focused national effort to achieve real fairness.

That is the purpose of the “Stop the Duopoly” campaign. Watch for updates!


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Showing 20 reactions

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  • Is there a way you can invite other third political parties and independent candidates to the Stop the Duopoly campaign?
  • I have written to you before. I will try one more time: Gary Johnson, I like most of your ideas but you have GOT to get yourself some sound economical advice. I strongly recommend you contact and converse with one Cullen Roche at Pragcap.com. You’re not going anyplace without some help in this area.
  • Regarding ballot access, how about a shift in legal tactics. How about suing to require the same criteria apply to the Dem & Republican candidates as to all other parties. If so, a lot of Dems and Republicans would have trouble getting the required signatures,etc, or at least have to spend their time and resources getting on ballots for local offices. No more automatic access to the Dems & Republicans if the rest of us don’t get it.

    Level the playing field legally, and I bet we’d see a dramatic increase in third party candidates winning smaller offices, getting third parties into the political consciousness of voters. This is the most natural way to undermine the fatalistic and false belief of voters that a vote for a third party candidate is “wasted.” Isn’t that the most common dismissal you hear when you try to convince a fellow American to consider third party candidates?
  • 100% needed at all costs. We have seen what both parties have done over the past 30 years. Long overdue for a 3rd voice.
  • 100% needed at all costs. We have seen what both parties have done over the past 30 years. Long overdue for a 3rd voice.
  • Mr. Burns, I can’t find anything in your post to argue with. I think you pretty well described the major problems with establishing a party to challenge the Big Two. Time could be found if a challenger were serious but the rest, money, talent, resources, and especially, candidates would be difficult at best. And the problem of the need to caucus with one faction or another supports the Duopoly establishment. My main reason for being here and supporting the OAI is the hope that more candidates will be able to get into debates thus forcing the duopoly candidates to make statements that would allow the public to hold them to account for once elected. I would even support a successor to the Communist party’s Gus Hall to get into the debate. I enjoy watching the Japanese Sunday morning programs that try to include as many political parties as possible. That includes the communists who do raise the bar for the debate. But all depends on the voters knowing and understanding what the candidate is supporting. Regrettably, few go beyond a few sound bites when making their decision.
  • The story here is highly compelling and believable. Only that it’s also deeply flawed in terms of foundations and execution, and assumes far too much. Not that we need to keep the duopoly, but that we can’t match them on time, money, talent, resources, and candidates. It also smells of rent-seeking. What this strategy assumes is that we have all of these things to match them in a one-to-one war of attrition, esp. on the issue of candidates. For all intents and purposes, the LP to many people is still seen as an unserious group and a ‘me-too brand’, and not anything close to being the real movement that it purports to be. Same goes for conservatives and progressives. Americans are favoring libertarian themes in social and business issues, but they still show a deep favoritism toward control, esp. on foreign policy, given our history. Gary, if you want to have a serious conversation about the future, let’s talk. The fight is not to ‘change Washington’ directly, but through a series of ballot initiatives across at least several states to effectively tie the fiscal hands of Congress. Another point of interest that I would seriously look at is what kind of ballot initiatives in key states would require a larger vote spread for both of the two parties, rather than these close margins of 51-49%. Would also recommend searching my recent article on Linkedin “Connecting the Dots to Truly Competitive Governance” for an alternative strategy that could leverage the power of the private sector.
  • Mr. Gorba, the main reason plebiscites aren’t on federal ballots (I think) is because the elected officials acting on laws and amendments are supposed to be representing us making it unnecessary for we the people to vote on each amendment. That was the idea behind the Constitution. But, as you know, it hasn’t worked out that way. While there are many elected politicians who sincerely want to represent the people who elected them, there are many more who succumb to special interest groups and the interests of their own wallets. To correct this, we need informed voters. Yes, the bi-elections seem to produce better results since uninformed voters rarely pay attention. This year may be different.
  • Aah! Julius Marold, my apologies for calling you out. I misread the way the email was posted in my inbox. But yes it is a huge dilema. Trusting these crony crooked criminals in office now to pass any constitutional amendments that benefit the people and not just their campaign contributor corporations who are deep in there pockets, would be way too much to ask for I suppose. As opposed to actually putting these amendments on the ballots every two years. I think most people that actually vote in the 2 year elections have a better idea than most people who don’t vote in these elections. Because yes this is another problem brought on by the gerrymandering crooks, actually getting voters to the polling places across the country.
  • Mr. Gorbea, it was Mr. Hackenbrack whom I was quoting, not you. Please reread my post. Like you, I disagree with his assertion.
    Yes, plebiscites on proposed laws would be a great exercise in democracy but it presents two problems. At the national level, the logistics required would be enormous as well as expensive and it would require informed voters. Considering the last election, finding truly informed voters would be difficult at best. That brings us back to OAI’s efforts to get more candidates up on the stage but to be effective, people would have to watch and listen. Unfortunately, not many would.
  • Julius Marold I believe you mis quoted me in your response. I never said “Laws should not be passed simply because simply because Majority Rules!” In fact I totally disagree with that statement! Whenever a law is up for amendment, I believe to my soul it should go for a special vote by the people, and NOT the crony’s in the congress! This how they have usurped the power of the people, in order that they can now rule us with impunity! Just look at this Memo business in the news, you will know what I mean. They only care about covering their asses, and maintaining the status quo, and keeping us as their sheep! I am done with these politicians! They are all crap! Straight up!
  • First, to address Mr. Noel’s comment on pot, one issue parties wouldn’t have a chance. Now, if a party (no doubt libertarian) candidate said “using or not using pot is your business, not the government’s”. That party could succeed but not on that issue alone.

    To address Mr. Hackenbrack’s comment, I agree with everything you said except your last sentence: "Laws should not be passed simply because majority rules. " That’s exactly what democracy is, letting the people choose what laws they are willing to live under. Even in a libertarian utopia, laws would be necessary and the majority should establish what those laws are. And, at least in this democracy, if you don’t like a particular law, and you voted against its enactment but the majority favored it, you can move somewhere else that doesn’t have that law. And that is a good reason why states laws should preempt federal laws as the Constitution requires though our federal “leaders” don’t agree.
  • Not only time for a third party, but also time for term limits for Senators and Representatives. I’ve talked to numerous people that cast an anti Hillary vote and not a vote for the Donald. Voting for a third party candidate is viewed as taking a vote away from the worst if two evils in many cases. Our current political landscape is an embarrassment. I welcome not only an alternative, but a vote from a party that is not necessary liberal or conservative. Laws should not be passed simply because majority rules.
  • The only third party that can be successful at this point would be the Marijuana party. Not just legalization but telling the truth about the benefits of hemp and Marijuana. The federal government and many local governments still operate with the underlying assumption that even though the voters have spoken and the laws have changed that there is still something ‘wrong’ with pot and pot smokers. While there is a liquor store on every corner.

    That assumption must be challenged at every level. We need people in government from city council to the president who know and speak the truth. Politicians who will not speak the truth about Marijuana and the drug war http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/23/politics/john-ehrlichman-richard-nixon-drug-war-blacks-hippie/ can not be trusted to speak the truth about anything else nor can they be trusted to represent the interests of the people.

    There are more ‘one issue’ voters than there are voters who actually trust either the Republicans or the Democrats.
  • Easier said than done, as far too many Americans are brainwashed into thinking that a vote for a third party candidate is “a wasted vote”. The corrupt duopoly will do whatever it takes to derail any third party challenger that poses a legitimate threat to their grasp on power. They did it in 1992 with Perot (At the time he temporarily withdrew his candidacy, a number of polls had him as the front runner, which triggered a “dirty tricks” campaign by the corrupt duopoly. There are still folks in the GOP that blame him for Bush’s loss in 1992, even though there is data that indicates that Perot saved Bush from suffering a Carter-like landslide defeat.), they did it in 2016 with Gary Johnson. Even if the lawsuit against the CPD results in third parties getting access, they’ll figure out some other way to keep them off of the stage (Maybe require that a party had to get 5% in the previous election to be allowed on the stage.).
  • This is exactly what we need to fight the corporate owned Republican and Democratic Parties. We need everyone’s voice to be heard and not just what interests the oligarchy. I stand with the American Dream and this is how we can make it a reality.
  • Here we are in an election year, and not one word about attacking those states with laws that restrict independent candidates from ballot access! The press are owned by corporations, these corporations are considered individuals in the eyes of the courts. These courts wont even hear a case if it doesn’t have the backing of at least one of the major media outlets. They laugh plaintiffs out of the courtroom proclaiming the suit to be frivalous. Indiana needs major change to stop this. Right now, in Indiana, judges are no longer elected, but appointed to the bench, by, guess who…the duopoly! They are forcing themselves onto the pulpit and forcing the voters to accept that which they cannot change themselves. A travesty of the worst kind against our country, and our constitution. Thats why I am leaving when I retire. Eastern Europe here I come!
  • I think Michael Burns has the right idea. Who says a third party will be libertarian? So a forth, fifth, or sixth party would be needed. And the Communist party was on many ballots for many years. Remember Gus Hall? I live in Japan where there is a large number of political parties and special factions within those parties. That divisiveness virtually guarantees the powerful and mis-named Liberal Democratic party continues in power. If we are going to challenge the increasingly inept Democratic and Republican parties, it needs to be done at the state level. Independents can be sent to Congress and as independents, can vote with either Republicans or Democrats which is what libertarianism means. Hope I live long enough to see it.
  • Wrong fight at the wrong time with the wrong people. As a libertarian, I’ve read the writing on the wall and no longer support national efforts of this kind. We don’t have a dog in the hunt on national elections. Period. A much more worthwhile fight would be the pursuit of local and state-wide ballot initiatives to tie the fiscal hands of Congress and state legislatures, without getting into who is or who is not libertarian, third-party, etc., find the right candidates, or trying to raise such a large amount of funds to change a deeply broken system where too many Americans still favor such top-down control. All of this emphasis on changing Washington cultivates a sense of magical thinking that we don’t need and causes more delusional thinking. Give it up and focus on your individual state to find unique ways to tell Congress to stop this nonsense.
  • I tried to contribute, but it refused to accept it. Some technical glitch I guess. This is very very bad fundraising.