There are inherent inconsistencies in the ideas of Unity08. It says that neither of todays major parties reflects the aspirations, fears or will of the majority of Americans. Moreover, both are dominated by money. Nevertheless, Unity08 wants a ticket based on a Republican and a Democrat for president and vice-president, or vice-versa - politicians who have been loyal to their party but who presumably are too moderate to win the nomination from their own party and are willing to abandon their party (though Unity08 maintains that its candidates would not be asked to leave their party) and run against its candidate. Does this bipartisan ticket offer a real alternative? Even a poll by the group found that a majority doubt that even a unity team would be able to clear out the corruption and favoritism in Washington. As to what is really needed, the group explicitly says that We are not looking to build a new and permanent party. Never mind the practical aspects of Unity08 succeeding; what matters is their implicit acceptance of the two-party duopoly. Indeed, without challenging the intentions of the founders of Unity08, their effort is the height of destructive political distraction that can be tolerated and even welcomed by the two major parties.
The core problem is that bipartisanship is sheer nonsense. Bipartisanship is not a solution to bitter and destructive partisanship. Bipartisanship inherently accepts the dominance of the Democratic and Republican parties in American politics and protects the two-party duopoly. Its as if blending two poisons offers a solution. In truth, as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. observed, the Republicans are 95 percent corrupt and the Democrats are 75 percent corrupt. Any rational American who sees the longstanding defects of both major parties should reject bipartisanship in any form. What the nation needs is a new competitive third party.
Bipartisanship creates the illusion of choice. At a deep level of reality the two major parties are not all that different. In 2004, Nader called the two presidential candidates corporate politicians with the choice being between heart disease and cancer and that we have one corporate party with two heads. Those two heads lie to each other and citizens; in secret conversations they work together to keep out third-party competition and split the riches. Both major parties sacrifice the public interest through equal opportunity corruption. Bipartisanship betrays American democracy. The dirty little secret is that bipartisanship is just a mutual protection pact against third parties and greater political freedom for the majority of Americans abandoned by both major parties.
Getting two moderates from both parties to run on the Unity08 ticket cannot erase the greater truth about the loyalties those moderates have had to their parties and their complicity in the destructive actions by those parties. This is what must always be remembered: Republicans are more open than Democrats about being corporate whores as they practice compassionate corporatism. At most, the two major parties offer near-term incremental change to tweak things, rather than more radical, systemic and status quo busting change. And that is also the inevitable problem with the Unity08 approach to providing a safety valve for the high blood pressure of many millions of Americans who are angry as hell about the current political system.
We desperately need a new competitive third party. Until then, the best action for angry Americans is to withdraw their votes and support from both Democrats and Republicans. Help reduce the fraction of eligible voters participating in elections in which clearly a Democrat or Republican will win. When a president of the United States wins with say just 20 percent of eligible voters, the legitimacy of Americas delusional democracy will finally vanish.