party of Governor Walter Hickel, Nixon’s former Secretary ofrnthe Interior, wfio was elected in 1990. But factionalism hasrnsplintered the group to produce the Alaska First Party, whichrnHickel may join. The name is the most appealing and repeatablernparty name to come along in years. Indeed, why not putrnAlaska first? Or Montana, Idaho, Nevada, or Texas?rnThe Peace and Freedom Party of California (P.O. Box 2325,rnAptos, California 95001) is less a full-fledged political partyrnthan a container for various left-wing groups that work to capturernits enviable ballot status. From year to year, it bouncesrnaround from sexual issues to racial issues to immigration issues,rnnone of which appear to have anything to do with peace or freedom.rnIn Illinois, a new party called Term Limits and Tax Limitsrn(215 Ridgewood Rd., Riverside, Illinois 60546) is devoted tornpushing just that. It was spawned by the statewide initiativernmovement, which kept getting swatted down by the staternsupreme court. Rather than continue having referendum topicsrnstolen away from them, a Republican pro-life businessmanrnformed this party as a way to vocalize opposition to judicial tyranny.rnConnecticut’s voters can choose between ConcernedrnCitizens of Connecticut (50-12 Northridge Dr., Waterbury,rnConnecticut 06708), a conservative group, and A ConnecticutrnParty (231 Farmington Ave., Farmington, Connecticut 06032),rnwhich is the party of current liberal governor Lowell Weicker.rnIn Vermont, a party named the Liberty Union (183 WesternrnAve., Brattleboro, Vermont 05301) does little but run a candidaternagainst Representative Bernie Sanders. You see, beforernSanders became famous, he ran as their nominee, so they haternhis guts.rnWashington, D.C., has its own Statehood Party (441 4th St.,rnN.W., Washington, D.C. 20001), which would be a goodrnidea if the party also favored an impenetrable partition aroundrnthe city—to keep outsiders away, of course. Unfortunately, thernmovement is an open scam to swell the Congressional BlackrnCaucus. This party’s goal gets set back with every eveningrnnews broadcast of the day’s death toll.rnMay the politics of the nation soon look like New York’s inrn1994. Besides the two major candidates, disgruntled Republicans,rnDemocrats, and Perotvians have formed the IndependencernFusion Party to push the other two around. ThernConservative Party (486 78th St., Brooklyn, New York 11209)rnis shoving Republicans to the right on tax issues, and thernRight-to-Life Party (Box 144, Centerport, New York 11721-rn0144) supports a Republican social agenda while others cower.rnThe Democrats have to worry about the Liberal Party (381 ParkrnAve. South, New York, New York 10016) holding leftist feet tornthe fire, while the New Alliance Party (500 Greenwich St.,rn#201, New York, New York 10013) will also be on the ballot forrnthose who want to stick it to whitey. Anyway, everyone willrnprobably vote along racial and ethnic lines anyway, as seems tornbe a still-legal tradition in New York.rnNone of this considers the explosion of “independents” runningrnat all levels. I confess to being overjoyed that socialistrnBernie Sanders is in Congress as an Independent. It forces therntelevision, radio, and print media to list something other thanrnthe two major parties—even though his votes are largely predictable.rnAnd Douglas Wilder in Virginia, lacking other options,rnhas decided to run as an Independent against DemocratrnCharies Robb and Republican Oliver North for Senate. At leastrnhe will get the black vote. Running as an Independent, thernRoss Perot phenomenon made for an interesting 1992; let itrncontinue in 1996.rnSome people say it is wasting your vote to pull the lever forrna third party. Not at all: you cement your irrelevance byrnvoting for the two major parties in any national election. Yournare statistically more likely to be hit by a car on the way to thernvoting station than to swing an election. Better to be one of thern1,000 to vote for the Prohibition Party than one of the 40 millionrnwho vote Republican. At least that way you cause the Establishmentrntrouble, however minor.rnOf course, third-party candidates always have problems dealingrnwith the media. The media rarely mention alternatives untilrna few days in advance of the election, and then they use disparagingrntones. Here is a representative example, from thernWashington Post (November 9, 1992): “On ballots across thernnation are the names of people utterly unlike George, Bill, andrnRoss: women, blacks, pensioners, a convict, and a mysticallyrninclined scientist—all seeking the highest office in the land.”rnGee, we had better stick with another honest, rich, and rationalrnwhite guy.rnWhen third-party candidates face the camera, they havernnone of the polish of those who have trained for it their wholernlives. That is because they are real people with actual jobs. Thernbest comment I heard about James Stockdale, Ross Perot’s vicernpresidential nominee who debated Gore and Quayle, was this:rn”How refreshing to see a real person on national television.”rnAnd that is exactly why most people found this debate so difficultrnto watch. We need to get used to real people like ourrnfriends and neighbors being on national television and in publicrnoffice; this is what used to be called self-government.rnIn the past, people would say there is too much at stake tornthrow your vote away on a third party. National security! ThernSupreme Court! Fiscal sanity! All these hung by a thread. Butrnthese arguments are less and less plausible. The next Republicanrnin national office will be very much like the last four, orrnprobably worse. Likewise for the next Democrat. So why notrnmake your voice count? For my part, I would vote for a man likernGus Hall before I would vote for a phony like Jack Kemp.rnNote the lack of real conservative options at the nationalrnlevel for Republicans. It is not clear why. There are plenty ofrnliberal candidates and groups, which is odd given how faithfullyrnthe Democrats have upheld a leftist agenda. But the Republicansrnhave betrayed their alleged principles for 40 years andrnpresided over the largest expansion of the regulatory and welfarernstate since the end of Wodd War II. OSHA, the EEOC,rnthe EPA, and the Disabilities Act are all Republican programs.rnAdd to that the advocacy of global empire, still a reflexive tendencyrnamong most of them, and the Republicans really shouldrnbe called the Big Government Party. Until they rethink theirrncommitment to globaloney and corporate welfare, they alwaysrnwill be.rnWhy, then, has there not arisen a formidable liberty-andpropertyrnalternative to mainstream Republicans? A theoryrnbatted around for years says that conservatives desire a depoliticizedrnsocial order, which is the proper attitude, but thatrndisinclines individualists to engage in radical politicalrnorganization and agitation. We might also point to the disincentivesrncreated by the media. They portray liberal thirdpartyrncandidates as affable idealists, but imply that anyone tornthe right of the official Republican nominee is probably a secretrnadmirer of Hitler.rn24/CHRONlCLESrnrnrn