Hey, It Worked For James Brown and Afrika Bambaataa


Behold the Unity campaign, a political movement whose seriousness is somewhere between the Perot boomlet and an episode of Sesame Street.

This Internet-based third party is spearheaded by three veterans of the antique 1976 campaign: Democrats Hamilton Jordan and Gerald Rafshoon helped get Jimmy Carter elected; Republican Doug Bailey did media for Gerald Ford before launching the political TIP SHEET Hotline. They are joined by the independent former governor of Maine, Angus King, and a collection of idealistic young people who are also tired of a nominating process that pulls the major party candidates to the extremes. Their hope: to get even a fraction of the 50 million who voted for the next American Idol to nominate a third-party candidate for president online and use this new army to get him or her on the ballot in all 50 states. The idea is to go viral–or die. "The worst thing that could happen would be for a bunch of old white guys like us to run this," Jordan says.

How is it not run by old white guys already?

The "issues" page of this party-without-a-point is expectedly gooey. The party's concerned with "Global terrorism, our national debt, our dependence on foreign oil, the emergence of India and China as strategic competitors and/or allies," and so on, but doesn't have any stances on the problems themselves. Our current political parties were formed around the ideals of ending slavery and screwing over John Quincy Adams, respectively. What chance does this top-down, slogans-before-ideas style of politicking have?

UPDATE: Explanation of this post's title here.