Fusion and Unity in ThirdPartyLand

Unity 08 is pushing for people to write Op-Ed’s. From their latest e-mail:

For this 10 Minute Tuesday, get your own Op-Ed published! In your Op-Ed we’d like for you to answer the question, “Why do we need a Unity Ticket in 2008?” Write an article that tells us an interesting personal story about why you feel we need Unity to reunite our country. [snip]

Here are some guidelines to follow:

Op-Eds must be 650 words or less.
Submissions must be received by January 7, 2008.
Send your Op-Ed in an email to [email protected]
Include your name, address, and phone number in the email.
Visit our web site for more information.

On a related topic, David asked the following:

[Ron] Paul couldn’t consider a 3rd party run at this time. Publicly saying so would undermine his GOP bid. But it does beg the question, if he looses his bid, where do all his voters go? We certainly won’t be voting for Guiliani, or any one else who supports more war and more government. That’s a lot of people who aren’t represented by either of the two major parties and are going to need a new home. Should we support the Constitution Party? Or the LP? Frankly, I’m confused between the difference. Why can’t the two of you work out your differences and form one strong/credible 3rd party? What’s up with that? Sorry if this is too “elementary” of a question for you.

I’ve been asked many times to work on some sort of fusion activity between Libertarians, Greens and/or Constitution Party members, but have never been presented with any long term solution which looked viable. Obviously, the Ron Paul campaign has a lot of support from both Constitution Party members and Libertarians, as well as some Green support. However, I see this as a one time alignment of the stars, based on one particular candidate (as contrasted to the other leading major party candidates) and the current international and domestic political situation.

Unity08 seems to be trying for a different sort of political union and I’m curious about what might or might not work for them, too.

Frankly, I don’t think any such fusion or union has much of a chance of succeeding for more than one or two election cycles because there are so many divisive issues (abortion, immigration, race issues, foreign policy, taxes and spending) that it can’t work. Am I wrong?

36 Responses to “Fusion and Unity in ThirdPartyLand”

  1. Eric Dondero Says:

    The guy “David” is very smart for asking such a question. It’s quite natural that Anti-War Libertarians will not be happy with Rudy Giuliani on the GOP ticket of Wayne Root on the LP ticket.

    They should link up with Cynthia McKinney, Green Party candidate for President. Perhaps Cynthia would accept one of their own in the VP slot.

    Tom Knapp right here at TPW recently said that according to his findings, “Cynthia McKinney and Ron Paul voted together 80% of the time in Congress.” That’s a striking find.

    Why shouldn’t the Ron Paul people and the Cynthia-ites get together?

    They’re both stridently Anti-War and blame the United States for all the ills of the world. They’re both conspiratorialists. They both dislike Jews. It’s a match made in heaven.

  2. Derek Fronzero Says:

    Eric and Hillary probably have more policy points in common than McKinney and RP do, btw.

  3. Robert Milnes Says:

    Steve, I thought I’ve mentioned & described the progressive alliance here & on my websites & elsewhere enough for you to get it. But I guess not. You just don’t get it. You are stuck on Ron Paul. & he aint it.

  4. Jay Matthews Says:


  5. Stephen Gordon Says:


    I understand the issues involved and would love for your pipe dream to come true, but you’ve not yet provided a workable solution. The obvious evidence of my claim is the amount of support for your campaign. When you can figure out how to match your desired goal with practical realities, please gimme a ring.



  7. Fred C. Says:

    Eric Dondero has a mustache? The pic of him in spandex on his site leaves me confused…

  8. Tom the Trotskyist Says:

    The new order of world constitutional socialism is coming, and the 2008 green/libertarian/socialist/Kucinichite/centrist/Paulite fusion will bring in this order, as the socialist faction takes over as the Bolsheviks did in 1917 Russia.

    In Memorium, BRMS, Great Socialist, Died Redding CA 12/07/07

  9. Google Yahoo Says:

    The guy “David” is very smart for asking such a question. It’s quite natural that Anti-War Libertarians will not be happy with Rudy Giuliani on the GOP ticket of Wayne Root on the LP ticket.

    But why not imagine a more realistic scenario?

    Ron Paul on the Republican ticket, Phillies or NOTA on the Libertarian, NOTA on Constitution Party, Cynthia McKinney on Greens.

    Eric Dondero starts Libertarians for Hillary to support the most pro-war candidate in the race.



  11. Robert Milnes Says:

    Steve, how about these quickie numbers?: Cato lib. vote =13%; liblists vote 72% support Ron Paul. 72% of 13%=9.36%. RP polling in NH 8%. (pretty close to 9.36). other states gradually lower. Isn’t it logical that the most support for RP would be in the known declared lib organization? & that is about 2/3 to 3/4. The next logical most support comes from the first primary & also (coincidentally) Free State Project state-NH. My point is the Cato numbers seem to be accurate. Max=20%.

  12. Robert Milnes Says:

    If so, then maybe my educated guess of the max. leftist vote at 27% is also accurate. Then 27+13=40%. Max. Therefore a candidate/ticket that could get & maintain (the Cato polling gradually goes down to 1/2 of 1% as the election approaches due to attrition-wasted vote & lesser of 2 evils phenomena) the max combined vote could wind up VERY competitive in a 3 way race at 40%. This & near 100% ballot access could win the election.

  13. Carl Says:

    An upper-left party has the potential to do what Robert Milnes proposes. Robert’s campaign cannot for several reasons:
    1. The LP is too close-minded
    2. The Green Party is too socialist
    3. Both parties have serious branding issues
    4. The upper left agenda needs to be explained
    5. Robert is nowhere near qualified to be U.S. president

    Unity08 suffers from the same problems of other moderate efforts:
    1. Moderates get squeezed from both sides
    2. The definition of moderate is iffy. See table at http://quiz2d.com/essays/plan/constraints/moderation_not_enough.php

    Finally, the current unity between greenies and Paulites comes from the war. This is a fragile way to build a coalition. Views on war depend on who the enemy is. Leftists were very gung ho to fight against the Axis powers. Rightists against the commies. Go to netflix and rent “A Face in the Crowd.” The “good” leftists favor interventionism. The “evil” conservatives (including a very Clinton like character played by Andy Griffith) favor isolationism.

  14. Stephen Gordon Says:

    “Finally, the current unity between greenies and Paulites comes from the war. This is a fragile way to build a coalition. ”

    I agree. I’d just modify the last sentence to read in this manner: This is a fragile way to build a long term or permanent coalition.

  15. Preston Says:

    Anyone who claims to hold Green values and supports Ron Paul is either doing it for pragmatic purposes or stupid.
    The greens lean very close to socialism, Paul to anarcho-libertarianism (or something in that general vicinity)...Those are opposite sides of the Political spectrum.
    As an opponent of the two-party system I support Paul, but as a Green voter, the only way I’d vote for him in 2008 was if my other choices were Clinton, McKinney, and any Repub besides McCain. Now that I think about it, that is actually a pretty probable scenario. Maybe I will be supporting Ron Paul after all….

  16. Robert Milnes Says:

    Carl, thank you for this input. I agree with your evaluation of the current support, such as it is, from green/left for RP comes from the war & Steve’s modification. 1. Agreed. The closed minded LP seems to be the first barrier I’ve encountered. 2. Agreed. I can modify the socialists to accept progressivism & anarcho-capitalism. 3. Agreed. I’m open to suggestions. 4. Agreed. I can do that via campaigning & websites & blogging. 5. Agreed. In one sense. Qualification to be President boils down to who gets the most electoral votes. I submit that I’m MORE qualified than ANY of the dems & reps INCLUDING Ron Paul because I have a far better idea of what needs to be done as far as getting things on the right track for political/social/economic change.

  17. Stephen Gordon Says:


    As a libertarian, I sometimes don’t understand motivations of people more to the left. I clearly understand why you wouldn’t support Hillary. I’m interested in your viewpoint, as a Green voter, as to why you wouldn’t support McKinney.

  18. Robert Milnes Says:

    Unity08 moderates/centrists I wish moderate success because they will be taking votes from the dems & reps thus lowering the threshold for the upper left ticket.

  19. Stephen Gordon Says:


    It’s not enough to simply have (possibly) the right message. It also requires other political elements, such as leadership, organization, money, media, and a whole lot of supporters.

  20. Robert Milnes Says:

    Preston, another word for left libertarian/reformist is pragmatist. Your vote for RP in your scenario requires him to run LP, CP or independent. He & McKinney would split the progressive vote. Keep in mind that anarchists are at the end of BOTH sides of the political equation.

  21. Robert Milnes Says:

    Steve, agreed.

  22. Robert Capozzi Says:

    I toy with the idea that an “upper left” Libertarian-type party could do extremely well in the current environment. That would mean a foreshortening of the LP’s penchant for long term solutions for more practical incremental steps. It would also mean that one or both of the major parties schisms. The LP has peeled away Bob Barr, and at one point, Ron Paul. Were Paul to come back to the LP, a Paul/Barr ticket has some credibility nationally.

    If the LP is to step up, however, it needs to become more flexible. Even Ron Paul is now acknowledging that there are few absolutes in life. A big issue that requires a more thoughtful, flexible positioning is on abortion, and I say that as a pro-choicer.


  23. Google Yahoo Says:

    Preston, please explain re: McCain.

  24. david Says:

    We normally look at politicis in a left vs. right framework some times establishment vs. anti-establishment or populist framework is more accurate lense to view things through. Paul is gathering support from anti-establishment populist types both right and left. The question in coalitions like those being discussed is which issues are most important to the voters the issues that pull them on left right axis or the populist establishment axis.

  25. Zeleni Says:

    There are many reasons why the Greens wouldn’t want to fuse with Ron Paul or the Libertarians. Though we are in agreement with the war and civil liberties, Paul and the Libertarians are weak on the environment. The libertarian response to many environmental concerns is that with strong property rights, you wouldn’t be able to pollute into your neighbors yard. To fight problems such as global warming requires the government to get involved. I don’t understand how the libertarian position can effectively mitigate global warming.

    Paul doesn’t accept climate change as a fact, even though the vast majority of scientists agree that it’s a manmade problem. He’s an OBGYN by training. He doesn’t decide what’s happening with our climate, and the climatologists don’t decide whether a woman’s pregnant.

    The environment, while it is not the only issue of concern to Greens, is a very significant focus for many of us. This is a huge stumbling block in any sort of fusion between the two parties. Not to mention single payer health care.

    Both parties have strong, consistent values. Why should either one want to sacrifice these values for political expediency? Why not just merge ourselves with the two corporate parties?

  26. Robert Milnes Says:

    Zeleni, For myself, I’m not talking about green/lib fusion. Rather cooperation in not splitting the vote. Each would retain their identity. The only fusion involved is a consequence of the necessity of green endorsement of LP ticket. This is to get near 100% ballot access for it as possible. & please exclude Ron Paul from such discussions involving my version of progressive alliance strategy. The LP p should be a left lib, not a right lib like RP.

  27. Jay Matthews Says:

    “The LP p should be a left lib, not a right lib like RP.”

    What it is and what you think it should be are completely different.

    “The only fusion involved is a consequence of the necessity of green endorsement of LP ticket.”

    Greens will not vote Lib any more than Libs will vote for a GP candidate. These two platforms are very different.

    Have you sent this idea to the Green Party brass and if so what was their response?

  28. Robert Milnes Says:

    Jay Matthews, I bet Greens & libs will vote for one or the other depending on ballot if it is the only way they can win significantly. Yes, I’ve tried to communicate with green brass. Not much has come of it. Greg gerritt was pretty pessimistic.

  29. Mike Indiana Says:

    Since the GP didn’t place any of the “Lib” Candidate’s seeking a Fusion campaign (Jingozian, Imperato (who is delusional), or Milnes) on their primary ballots and the National Committee issued a statement pledging to run all out in 2008. It’s fair to say the “progressive alliance” - Fusion idea is dead in the water.

  30. Robert Milnes Says:

    Mike Indiana, what are you a government agent? I already stated my reason was that I cannot be a candidate on LP & any other party. Some other method of getting green endorsement of the LP ticket will have to be found.

  31. Jay Matthews Says:

    Robert, something you’ve never commented on regardless of how often it’s been mentioned is your proposal for a eugenics program for Native American. What twisted MST-3000 movie gave you this idea?

  32. Mike Indiana Says:

    “Mike Indiana, what are you a government agent?”

    Yes Robert I’m a government agent, I’ve been sent to keep an eye on you, and your heavenly inspired progressive alliance.”

    One of the reasons “Third Parties” remain third parties and your progressive alliance idea can only be a theory is because of the way you reacted to my comment. Rather then accept criticism or defend your case, you relied on the holier than thou if you don’t agree your just stupid/government agent defense. While my previous post was based in fact (Greens have no Libertarians on their primary ballots) the party has stated it’s intension to run all out (even passed a Resolution) using the election to promote the reforms of ranked voting (i.e., instant runoff voting and proportional representation).

    your post on the other hand was based in sarcastic slander. In debate as in politics the goal is to get people to see an issue from your perspective and ultimately agree with you, (Not piss people off and make enemies, by acting superior). My post simply pointed out that structural obstacles prevent a “progressive alliance” with the GP, thus it will not work (at least not in 2008) because the GP doesn’t want it. It might surprise you to know in theory I agree with the “progressive alliance” idea, hell I’d like to see it happen, but wanting something and it being so are two different things. Furthermore if it were to happen it would more likely be either the LP or GP with numerous one state parties (Liberty Union, VT Progressive, Independent Party of Delaware). While I did not write my last post to prove you were nowhere near qualified to be U.S. president, you none the less proved this on your own. To be elected president of a nation of some 300 million people you need a little bit thicker skin.

    Oh, by the way
    “In one sense. Qualification to be President boils down to who gets the most electoral votes” - getting electoral votes in no way has anything to do with being qualified, it has to due with the process of being elected.

  33. Robert Milnes Says:

    Mike Indiana, yes, I’m sensitive about this proposal. It is the culmination of years of bitter loser experience. Then you came along & stuck in a fork & declared it done! Things are going bad enough without such sort of declaration of impossibility. Getting the GP to endorse the LP ticket is all that is necessary. With the quoted green resolution & the honor system of first come (to ballot) first served for greens & libs, the friendly competition should get all ballots taken. Jay Matthews, this proposal is on my campaign website. “What …gave you this idea?” Well, on looking at how massive the problem is & longstanding, the solution is probably going to be a whopper! So I didn’t let any possible solution go without consideration.

  34. Robert Milnes Says:

    Evidently the other fusion candidates went by the same thing I did. LP bylaws-it is LP only. Now, whether after getting the LP nom, one can seek the nom. of another party additionally, I’m not sure. I doubt it. Ask Tom Knapp.

  35. Robert Milnes Says:

    Every little bit counts & helps. Green endorsement of LP ticket gets it on D.C. , which it cannot now(no LP affiliate). 3 electoral votes & about 1/2 million votes possible. & maybe W.Va. OK is very difficult & in litigation.

  36. Yosemite1967 Says:

    On the subject of a merger between the LP and the CP, it should only happen if the LP starts acknowledging, as the founders did and as the CP does, that our rights come from God. As long as we fail to recognize the true source of our rights, they’re up for grabs.

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