Current Black intellectuals tend to skew to the liberal side of things. From the ancient thoughts of Cornel West (tuh!) to the Millennial-enticing Ta-Nehisi Coates, Melissa Perris-Harry, Michelle Alexander and Marc Lamont Hill, these modern philosophers tend to skew far left compared to the general African American community. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because “centrist” intellectuals become doers ascending to the highest political position in the land while liberal/“progressive” intellectuals become commentators. (Shade intended.) But that’s another subject for another time. What I would like to focus on is Marc Lamont Hill’s plea for a third party to shock our current political landscape—or what is mistakenly characterized as a “political revolution.” Is a third party necessary? What will it take for this “political revolution” to succeed? There are several fallacies with this notion of a third-party revolution.
A need for anarchy to spark a revolution.
During his Breakfast Club interview, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill said he wouldn’t mind a Donald Trump presidency. We can survive four years of Trump because it can potentially catapult a third-party movement. He expresses the same thought process as his other liberal colleagues like Rosario Dawson and Susan Sarandon. But at whose expense do we have to suffer a Trump presidency though? At the expense of Mexican immigrants? At the expense of Muslim immigrants? At the expense of women? At the expense of Somalis? At the expense of veterans? At the expense of American principles? When liberals mention Trump as an evil necessity for a revolution, they often speak from a place of privilege. Those who are often willing to sacrifice for the “revolution” are often those who don’t have to sacrifice much. This is often the fault of liberals (especially white liberals). Marc Lamont will definitely have a job as a news pundit under a Trump presidency. (CNN ain’t gonna pass on those TV pundit argument ratings.) And Rosario Dawson has enough money to move to Timbuktu or even buy it. “Just accept this lost, then we’ll get to solving your issue,” is the mantra of the ultra-liberal. And often that resolve comes too late or not at all. Anyone can see that after 8-years of Bush, African Americans received the butt end of the stick. What happened to the political revolution then?
No legitimate perception of the long-term effects.
The impact of a Trump presidency for the sake of the rise of a successful third-party candidate is not only an entitled point of view but also a very myopic point of view. Beyond the next four years, there will be Supreme Court justices appointed that’ll serve the court. There are imperative cases that will impact our lives or the lives of our peers significantly. Some of these issues include election reform, voting rights, immigration and a lot more. It’ll take a significant amount of effort for the House and Senate to block Trump’s absurd nominations, which will result in a further unproductive government. There are other presidential duties that’ll take years to undo after a Trump presidency. This clearly isn’t a vote for a lesser evil, but a vote for pragmatism. This short-sightedness reeks of immaturity and a lack of foresight, which leads to my other point.
For every action, there’s an equal…or sometimes bigger reaction.
There is such a thing called precedence and the best leaders have a full grasp of it. They understand pros and cons—that every action has a reaction. Once slavery was abolished, there was Jim Crow. Once the Voting Rights Act passed, there was the Southern Strategy and the rise of George Wallace. Whoever wins this election, expect opposition.
Some may argue that without Bush, there wouldn’t be a Barack Obama. And I argue that without an Obama, there wouldn’t be the emergence of the Birthers, the Tea Party and ultimately Donald Trump. What do you think will happen if a far-left candidate is elected? The Right will move farther right. This isn’t a plea to avoid leaning to the left or the right. But a plea for pragmatism and an understanding that this “revolution” will not come as easy as people think. Maybe, slow and steady does win the race? Any successful third-party must climb through the ranks to successfully implement their “revolution.”
With the rise of media, political scientists recognized a trend in the way the public elected a president. The public look for a president they could have a beer with. Now with the rise of the Internet, where you can easily pull up a candidate’s voting records and stances, we’re now looking for the most perfect candidate—the one without a flaw, no matter if they’re unproductive or politically lack experience. When employers ask you about your biggest challenge and where you failed, they’re looking to see what you’ve learned, how you’ve worked to solve your issues and how did you improve. If you’re a politician, however, this seems to be a chance for your opponent to deem you unqualified. How is a candidate with no voting records, no political experience or no education in constitutional law qualified to be a leader of one of the most powerful nations in the world? How can they successfully make bi-partisan deals with a majority Republican congress?
Don’t get me wrong, I think a viable and proven third-party would be beneficial for politics. It’ll challenge our current political parties further and give the American public another, maybe better option. However, the keywords are proven and viable. As of right now, I don’t see those options. I would have more respect for this “political revolution” if it represented more of what the general public wants (not just White Liberals) and if it had a proven track record at a local or lower political level first. America is defined by precedence. We build on history. We don’t destroy it to recreate it.