Lyn Nofziger On Third Parties

Former Reagan aide Lyn Nofziger died in March at the age of 81--his website doesn't seem to be there anymore. This is an archived version of something he wrote about Third Parties, that I retrieved from Archive.org, because I think it's important.

May 19, 2005--Third political parties in the United States are notoriously unsuccessful. They don't win important elections, although from time to time one may garneer enough votes to give one of the two major parties a victory it might otherwise not win. In l992, for example, Ross Perot's third party may have prevented the reelection of President George H.W. Bush.

Likewise, Theodore Roosevelt's Bull Moose party caused the defeat of President Taft and gave the presidency to Woodrow Wilson. And Democrats like to blame Al Gore's loss in 2000 on the votes siphoned off by third party candidate Ralph Nader.

Nevertheless, despite a record of failures, the law of averages says that one day a third party will have the right issue(s) and the right candidate to win the presidency.

And right at this moment, far fetched as it seems, that that day might arrive as soon as the presidential election of 2008.

I'm beginning to believe the issue is there and what is needed now is charismatic candidate to rally Americans in support of that issue.

The issue: open borders and illegal immigration.

Currently both major parties are pretty much indifferent to it. Or rather, they show no desire to fix the situation by shutting down the border between the United States and Mexico. President Bush�s proposal is little more than an amnesty program for ten to twenty million illegals already here. As far as the Democrats are concerned the problem is hardly more than a blip on their radar screen.

Efforts by civilians to slow the flow of illegals across the border. far from being appreciated by President Bush, instead have unfortunately resulted in his calling them "vigilantes."

Leaders in both parties appear to be indifferent to the growing problem, which is especially prickly in the southwest where illegals threaten to become a majority and where they are making no attempt to integrate into the American culture. Neither do they appear to be paying any attention to Mexico's overt efforts to solve its economic problems by abetting the flow of illegals across the border.

Among other things the ease illegals have in entering the United States means its borders are also open to potential terrorists and to drug smugglers.

Unless the president and/or the congress take action in the next couple of years the situation will only get worse.

If the day comes when terrorists launch another successful attack within the U.S. and it is found that the terrorists walked across the border from Mexico how will the president explain it? How will congress defend its refusal to act?

The actutal launching or even the potential threat of a terrorist attack, along with the continuing influx of undocumented aliens, if properly exploited by a third party candidate, could well bring about a serious backlash against the two major do-nothing parties not only in the presidential race but also in the congressional races.

It seems obvious at this moment that both parties have become complacent about the problem. And in politics complacency, as the Democrats learned in the Republican sweep of l994, is the sure road to defeat.