Tilting at Windmills

January/February 2012 Spoiler alert

By Charles Peters

Americans Elect, a group that’s generously funded by secret Wall Street donors, according to Salon’s Jason Elliot, promises to put a third party on the ballot in fifty states. It should be immediately disowned by every responsible American. The party is obviously designed to appeal to moderates. I know that smart fellows like Peter Hart and Chuck Todd think the group will hurt Republicans, but it seems clear to me it will take votes from Obama and the Democrats, who, despite their many faults, are far preferable to any foreseeable Republican alternatives. Shame on Elliot Ackerman, the chief operating officer of the new group. His threat from the center could end up doing to Obama what Ralph Nader’s from the left did to Al Gore in 2000.

Charles Peters is the founding editor of the Washington Monthly and the author of a new book on Lyndon B. Johnson published by Times Books.


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  • John Huie on January 16, 2012 1:53 PM:

    So you're saying... we need more and better candidates for school board, for state senator... but God forbid, NOT for President? Yes, it's true that a three-way Presidential race screws up the system, and may produce a result that's opposite the intentions of the voters. And your conclusion is...that only 'approved' candidates of the two established parties should run?

    But that ignores the larger issue. No school board race would install a candidate who got less than 50% of the vote. Why do we accept this in presidential elections?