Is it time for a Third Political Party?
When Emmanuel Macron became France’s youngest president at 39 years old he did so in typical youthful style, with a brand new political party. Mr. Macron was not voted in as a part of the Socialist Party or the National Front. He was voted in using his own newly minted En March! which means Forward.
Mr. Macron describes his movement as neither right, left nor center, thus winning over traditional center-left and center-right voters.
Is it time for California to do the same?
New voter registration numbers have just revealed that Republicans have dropped to third party status in California behind No Party Preference (NPP). Numbers for the Democratic Party have changed little over the years.
The breakdown is: 44.36% Democrat , 25.07% Republican, 25.51% No Party Preference.
Could some of the NPP registrants form their own party?
The registration trend has been even more pronounced with teenagers. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced that 100,000 pre-registrations of 16- and 17-year- olds show a split of 37.42% Democrat, 9.44% Republican, and 44.69% No Party Preference.
It’s no surprise to see more California teenagers register as Democrat over Republican. What is surprising is that in conservative counties such as Kern, Kings and Tulare the trend held, and in Kings and Kern Counties the numbers were double in favor of Democrats.
While the trend doesn’t bode well for the Republican brand, it doesn’t mean all that much politically. It just means that voters are becoming more independent which has been made possible with the top-two primary.
The numbers show that most of the newly minted registrants of NPP are Republican defectors, but there are plenty of Democrats in the mix also.
Meaning extremism has forced out centrist Republican, and elitism has forced out centrist Democrats.
So what would California’s third political party look like?
Democrat Ruben Macareno, who is currently running for State Senate District 14, has been frustrated for years. He said, “Many people are tired of the partisan politics. There is a growing disconnection.. . and people just don’t want any part of it. The bickering within, the exclusion of groups from decision making positions.”
Republican Xavier Avila, active on many local boards, said, “I’m skeptical of third parties. Most independent registered people are tired of party politics. So why would they form a party?
“I know many (people who have) voted for Reagan and Clinton and then Obama and Trump. With a pattern like that how could a third party ever form?”
Mr. Macareno feels differently, saying, “When I talked about starting a third party I wasn’t kidding. For me the most important part about getting away from the current partisan politics is the backroom politics in hand picking candidates. The Platform would be not too much to the left or right and have a real focus on family issues.
“It would be a true people’s party focused on true representation and how that can be achieved.”
An opinion piece in the New York Times said that California Republicans now have a chance to help break the dysfunctional duopoly that is the American political system, and suggested they should take it.
And if any state could, it would be California.
What’s in a Sign?
For the first time after many elections Congressman Devin Nunes has put up campaign signs. He put road signs up in 2014, but only when juxtaposed to candidate Rudy Mendoza’s Assembly District 26 campaign signs, but none stood alone.
Facing a well-funded challenger for the first time since he was elected in 2002, Mr. Nunes’ campaign signs for the 2018 election went up months ago. But a strange thing happened. Huge black hammer and sickles are showing up painted across his name.
In fact, Mr. Nunes’ sign on Ben Maddox and Tulare has been vandalized so often in various ways that it has had to be replaced four times.
Why would someone paint the internationally recognized symbol of communism on the sign of a congressman who is known as a hawk on Russia? In addition to the vandalism, opponents have erected billboards on Highways 198 and 99 inquiring why Mr. Nunes is putting so much of his focus on Russia instead of his district.
But Mr. Nunes has a proven track record of being tough on Russia, and excluding his relationship with Mr. Trump, that hasn’t changed.
In 2014 he wrote, a typical for him, critical editorial about Russia to the Washington Times that criticized Russia’s aggression against Georgia, its invasion of the Ukraine, the seizure of Crimea, blamed the Russians for the downed Malaysian Airlines flight, and complained about Mr. Putin’s suppression of the press.
He lamented their propaganda network Russia Today or RT. –” these are all part of Putin’s attempt to reassert Russian hegemony over the former Soviet Republics. Viewing the United States as a central obstacle to achieving this goal, Putin’s international propaganda machine denounces America as the principal enemy of world peace.”
Mr. Nunes released the following February of this year,
“The Putin regime presents a pressing threat to American interests, including through Moscow’s long-running influence operations against the United States. The House Intelligence Committee has been investigating these threats for many years: in 2014—the year the Russians began their operation targeting the 2016 elections—I warned about Russia’s worldwide influence operations. In April 2016 I stated that the United States’ failure to predict Putin’s plans and intentions is ‘the biggest intelligence failure that we’ve had since 9/11.’ Although the Obama Administration failed to act on the Committee’s warnings, it’s gratifying to see that Russian agents involved in these operations have now been identified and indicted.”
But Mr. Nunes’ defense of Mr. Trump, who is enmeshed in Russia, has muddied the waters.
Mr. Trump has a financial relationship with several Russians identified as part of the Mafia, had to be forced to impose sanctions on Russia by the House, and often compliments Russia’s dictator Vladamir Putin.
But most puzzling of all, Mr. Nunes has tried to delegitimize the Russia probe at the same time as the United States Intelligence Community has confirmed that Russia meddled in our elections in favor of Mr. Trump.
If Mr. Trump was Russia’s choice for president, why is he Nunes’ also?
Smug pundits think they know the answer to that very intriguing question, but they do not.
Even though I am 3000 miles away from Washington DC, and don’t exactly have my ear to the ground, I do know why it’s not.
It’s not because Mr. Nunes wants to be appointed to Trump’s cabinet. Credible scuttlebutt says he was already offered a position but that Mr. Nunes wants to remain our congressman and declined the offer.
It’s not because Mr. Nunes is now pro-Russia.
It’s not because he uses Mr. Trump as a fundraising tool, because Mr. Nunes was a prodigious fundraiser before he ever met Mr. Trump.
My theory is because Mr. Nunes and Mr. Trump hold a special kinship that they discovered on the 2016 campaign trail – they are both conspiracy theorists.
There is a powerful bond between people who believe in conspiracy theories. They tend to feel biased against and a little bit persecuted. Conspiracies also tend to bond people who may otherwise have nothing else morally in common.
Mr. Trump and Mr. Nunes both believe there was a massive Obama cover up in the Benghazi attack even through nine investigations over two years and seven million dollars found no wrongdoing by Hilary Clinton or the administration. They believe that the CIA suppressed the release of documents concerning Al Qaeda and Iran.
Most importantly, they both believe in the “deep state” whatever that is.
The bottom line is that Mr. Nunes is not pro-Russia, he is pro-Trump.
A vote for Mr. Nunes in November will be a vote for Trump, and a vote for Congressional Candidate Andrew Janz will be a vote for his impeachment. It’s that simple.
When a conservative Christian Republican called a few weeks ago from Texas wanting to submit a Letter to the Editor I was intrigued. Why were people from Texas reading the Valley Voice? It was a light bulb moment when he stated that the 170,000 votes for Mr. Nunes in 2016 cast by the people in poor rural counties affected his life.
The writer was not complimentary to our area and only knew of Mr. Nunes in the context of his defending Mr. Trump. But if this is how he sees us, how many other conservative Americans see us in the same way?
In his letter he says,
“As a Texan, I have been reading the Valley Voice to stay abreast of your local politics because I want to understand how any place could have elected Nunes more than one term. I’m interested in seeing if District 22 is such a pathetic place, or not, in the great state of California, to have elected such an apparent unresponsive and ‘loose cannon” representative as Nunes appears.
“Politics is NO LONGER LOCAL when your lone “renegade” attacks all of our American Justice and Judicial System to cover up the Russian infiltration and possible involvement by U.S citizens. Russia infiltrating America-mind you-this is big; Russia-our biggest enemy.”
The entire letter can be read on our website under Opinions.
Our readers didn’t share my enthusiasm about an outsider’s view of Congressional District 22. Some of their Facebook comments were,
“Fake news (along with a bogus letter from a “conservative”). Valley Voice you aren’t worth your sale price (free).”
“sounds fishy to me!”
My favorite was, “Valley Voice strikes me as a little to the left.”
Congressman Devin Nunes was the cover story on our inaugural issue in 2013, Assemblywoman Connie Conway was the cover story on our second issue, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Congressman David Valadao are pictured on the front on our last cover. The only Democrat we write about is Tulare Mayor Carlton Jones, and though sourced and documented, that reporting hasn’t exactly been flattering.
I’d like to ask, a little to the left of what?
But back to the Texan’s letter.
Xavier Avila commented, “I’m very surprised the VV posted this. Not worth reading.”
So I asked him to expand.
He said, “Wow where do I start? It was almost comical to read. A Texas conservative telling us to vote for liberal democrats. Really?
“We support Devin because we know him. So the opinion of an outsider is worthless. I don’t believe this guy is a conservative in the first place. If he is then he is a sad excuse for one. … No conservative would call a conservative stronghold ‘pathetic’. Most of us Devin supporters voted for Trump and the Russians had nothing to do with it. We believe the whole Russian interference is a joke…. I know the efforts Devin has done first hand to get us water. He didn’t fail. Boxer is the reason and other Democrats. I think the whole thing insulted our intelligence.”
Mr. Nunes used to cut a low profile in Congress but not anymore. Americans are weighing in over his actions in Washington not only in letters but with their dollars.
Of the more than $1 million Mr. Nunes raised this year from individual donors, roughly $19,000, or two percent, came from people in his district,
The same is true for Democrats. When the “Nunes memo” drama broke out exonerating the president from Russian collusion, Mr. Janz raised $600,000 that month from people all over the country.
They say all politics is local, and that may be true for you, me, and Xavier. But it’s not true for people like the gentleman from Texas.