Third Parties

The Most Bizarre Third-Party Fantasy of the Year So Far

Politico's founder wants a president who builds apps while raining death from the skies.

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Very special guest star: Tom Friedman!
20th Century Fox

At first, Jim VandeHei's third-party fantasy may seem like just another dull #NoLabels manifesto. But don't be fooled: Something strange is moving under the skin of the Politico co-founder's article in The Wall Street Journal today. Before the essay's over, that strangeness will break through to the surface—the op-ed equivalent of the chestbursting scene in Alien.

The piece starts out quietly enough, with a patronizing introduction meant to establish the author's bona fides for explaining what Americans really want. While he has "spent the past two decades in the Washington, D.C., bubble," you see, VandeHei has "also spent a lot of time in my hometown of Oshkosh, Wis., and my adopted hometown of Lincoln, Maine, two blue-collar towns in the heart of Normal America." Several banalities follow. The establishment needs "disruption," we're told, but not Donald Trump's vulgarity or Bernie Sanders' socialism. The ideal third-party candidate "has to come from outside the political system." That candidate should "be authentic." You've heard all this before.

Then things start getting weird:

Joe Rogan for president
PartyGamesPlus.com

Exploit the fear factor. The candidate should be from the military or immediately announce someone with modern-warfare expertise or experience as running mate. People are scared. Terrorism is today's World War and Americans want a theory for dealing with it. President Obama has established an intriguing precedent of using drone technology and intelligence to assassinate terrorists before they strike. A third-party candidate could build on death-by-drones by outlining the type of modern weapons, troops and war powers needed to keep America safe. And make plain when he or she will use said power. Do it with very muscular language—there is no market for nuance in the terror debate.

So…the candidate must talk plainly about exactly how he will kill people? I suppose that's preferable to doing it behind closed doors, but I'm not sure voters are demandi—

Social media allows us to tweet our every thought, snap our every mood and Facebook our every fantasy, but it hasn't done much to create shared purpose. We have breathtaking technology to find a ride or a date with the swipe of a screen. Those same innovators could help create a "National App" to match every kid who needs a mentor with a mentor, every person who wants to volunteer with someone or some group in need; every veteran with people and companies who want to reward his or her service with thanks, help or a job.

A "National App"? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? We already have a great online service that can connect people with volunteer groups or help veterans find a job. It's called "Google." I don't think this op-ed could get any more bizar—

Right now, millions of young people are turned on by a 74-old-year socialist scolding Wall Street; millions of others by a reality-TV star with a 1950s view of women. Why not recruit Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg or Sheryl Sandberg to head a third-party movement?

"…the Aristocrats!"
Facebook

Hang on. Let me try to put all this together. YOU THINK VOTERS ARE YEARNING FOR MARK ZUCKERBERG TO TELL THEM HOW HE'D KILL TERRORISTS. Because you spend time in Oshkosh and Lincoln, where hard-working Norman Rockwell Americans sit around the general store demanding a National App. Tell me: What do you call this act?

I will even throw out a possible name for the movement: The Innovation Party.

Let this be a cautionary tale. Never eat the brown acid at a TED Talk.

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  1. I like the third Alt-Text best.

    I think that the image would also go well with “… off Slaver!”

  2. It’s pretty interesting how often “No Labels” means “Fascist ideas taken from both parties.”

    1. You missed a base. We went from ‘No Labels’ to ‘Innovation Party’, where the ‘innovation’ consists mixing hot capitalist products and practices with long-cold nationalist-socialist ideas in the hopes of getting something more lukewarm than our current political system.

    2. This. It’s pretty much a combination of the worst ideas of the two main parties, pitched as a “moderate” third way between the two “extremes.” IOW: a load of horseshit that only a complete moron would think are good ideas.

      1. The first priority of the new #NoLabels Republic will be to add thermobaric transgenic pig’s blood waterboarding to the Bill of Rights.

    3. We just need leaders who can do it right this time!

  3. “Those same innovators could help create a “National App” to match every kid who needs a mentor with a mentor, every person who wants to volunteer with someone or some group in need; every veteran with people and companies who want to reward his or her service with thanks, help or a job.”

    I’m pretty most of these things are already being accomplished by Careerbuilder.com.

    1. And Careerbuilder is failing to provide these services in an affordable manner to the nation’s most vulnerable populations. That’s why we need a National App to break this capitalist monopoly so we can finally start fighting income inequality and creating/saving jobs.

      /derp

  4. I’d vote for a Godzilla-like President that protects liberty from other monsters while indiscriminately crushing Washington D.C. He obviously supports the Second Amendment since he also carries a concealed weapon.

    It sounded good in my head, but since the article is about bizarre, acid-laced Presidential candidates, it seemed relevant.

    1. So, what’s your opinion on the Cthluhu campaign?

      1. Why vote for the lesser of two evils?

        1. Awakening evil is like ripping off a band-aid…

    2. Dr. Evil for president: why vote for the lesser when you can vote Mr. Evil?

      1. I thought you were Mr. Evil Loki?

    3. I’m working with the Darkseid campaign. Are any of you interested in becoming Parademons? Also, we’re going to build Fire Pits at Washington, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Good Times!!

    4. I’m working with the Darkseid campaign. Are any of you interested in becoming Parademons? Also, we’re going to build Fire Pits at Washington, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Good Times!!

      1. Ted Cruz =~ Glorious Godfrey? Hillary =~ Granny Goodness? Bernie =~ Mantis and his hive of insect warriors?

        How will Trump’s wall deal with Boom Tubes?

        Kevin R

  5. Jesse this is the best thing I’m going to read all day.

    1. I agree with Hugh(which makes my insides feel itchy); this was great.

      More like VandenCray, am I right?

    2. I usually enjoy Jesse’s articles, Hugh, and I enjoyed this one as well.

      I especially liked the way he cuts himself off as if being interrupted: “I don’t think this op-ed could get any more bizar-”

      Nice touch.

      1. That’s when they put the Cosmo drink in his hand.

  6. Bizarre is an understatement.

    Politico-home of progressive neocons-founder of Politico rants about need for neocon in White House-not so bizarre after all.

  7. A “National App”? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?

    An example.

    1. Call 1-800-F1UCK-YOU

    2. Is Thomas Friedman writing under a pseudonym now?

      “It’s time that we start app building at home.”

  8. YOU THINK VOTERS ARE YEARNING FOR MARK ZUCKERBERG TO TELL THEM HOW HE’D KILL TERRORISTS.

    Please stop, I shouldn’t be laughing this hard at work.

  9. The “national app” sounds to me a little like a halfassedly futurified version of New Dealish fantasies about drafting people into a national work corps. It’s always the New Deal with these types.

    1. New Deal 2: Deal Harder

      1. Live Free or Deal Hard.

      2. That one definitely deserves a round of applause

    2. It’s like a national meatgrinder that produces a very consistent end product.

      1. Turns out the meat is mostly apple cores and chinese newspaper.

        1. Hey, Deng Xiaopeng died!

          1. At least we still have Lou Reed.

      2. And we’ll call that end product “Soylent Green.”

    3. Yeah, Warty, in the 90s the Clintons called it Americorps.

  10. There is not enough cake in all the world.

    1. Maybe we can make an app that displays virtual cake and send it to him. Do you think that would appease him?

      1. Perhaps a large enough tablet or pad so that he can use his elbows to tap the app with ease?

        1. He’ll just keep trying to bite the screen.

  11. “Let this be a cautionary tale. Never eat the brown acid at a TED Talk.”

    That’s GOOD!

  12. I bought brand new white Ferrari by working ONline work. five month ago i hear from my friend that she is working some online job and making Q—-01..more then 85$/hr i can’t beleive. But when i start this job i have to believed her Now i am also making 85$/hr if you want to try. Check Here…..

    ——- http://www.Buzzmax7.com

    1. Have you considered running as a third party candidate?

  13. Let this be a cautionary tale. Never eat the brown acid at a TED Talk.

    Also, stay away from the red rope licorice!

  14. I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh, people out there in our nation don’t have maps and, uh, I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian Countries, so we will be able to build up our future [for our children].

      1. Sometimes, Loki, the truth is stranger than fiction.

        1. Um, uh. Would?

          1. As long as she keeps her trap shut.

          2. Fortunately for her, Caitlyn Upton got a chance to explain her non-answer and an opportunity to answer the same question on the Today Show.

        2. I figured he was probably quoting something that someone actually said – not surprised that it was a teenaged beauty queen. It would be hard to come up with something that incoherent on purpose, and I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he wasn’t actually that stupid. After all, he was smart enough to figure out to register and make comments. I just thought i would be funny to have Samuel L. Jackson berate him anyway.

          1. I enjoyed your link, Loki, and I hope that Conchfritters has read enough on H&R to know how rough it can get on these threads and doesn’t take your response personally.

            1. “I think we agree, the past is over.” – George W Bush

          2. I was trying to infer how Jim VandeHei’s thoughts on who should be the next President are about as intelligent as the teenage beauty queen’s thoughts on maps, er, or whatever… I’ll try to bring my A game next time.

            My favorite Bush quote:

            “More and more of our imports come from overseas.” – George W Bush

            1. I was trying to infer how Jim VandeHei’s thoughts on who should be the next President are about as intelligent as the teenage beauty queen’s thoughts on maps….

              I know. I wanted Loki to see that it was an actual quote.

            2. Not Mexico or Canada.

    1. Well, a very, very heavy hairy burtation tonight… We had a very dairy derson, but… Lets go terry got tazed and goes for the bet.

  15. Honestly John McAfee more or less fits the whole criteria of the article.

    1. That was my first impression too.

  16. The political philosophizing just gets more bizarre and almost conspiratorial in nature.

    I was reading another op-Ed going on how Obama really gets Asia. Why? Because he was born in Honolulu and went to first grade in Indonesia. So, he’s an Asian expert more so than anyone before him.

    I assume that, if the author grew up in North America, he considers himself an expert on the continent.

    This is considered informed political discourse.

    It’s all pure silliness. I’m surprised anyone can take it seriously.

  17. YOU THINK VOTERS ARE YEARNING FOR MARK ZUCKERBERG TO TELL THEM HOW HE’D KILL TERRORISTS.

    Wouldn’t be the worst thing Zuckerberg has ever done.

  18. A national app? OPM can’t even manage to make an app that pushes notifications to its users. Like, app 101.

  19. More proof that political junkies are among the dumbest people on the planet.

    1. Except for us of course.

  20. This “third party” yearning never goes away but never benefits the Libertarian Party. Case in point: today is election day in Penna. I was at meeting this morning where the speaker urged everyone to vote. After the meeting, little groups clustered and one fellow was saying “I like some of the ideas of each party’s candidates but not all of them – I wish there was a third party that combined the best of the ideas.” I mentioned the Libertarian Party and his comment was “But they combine the worst of the ideas.” So maybe there should be three or four major parties in America, but if there is, I’m afraid the LP will always be one of the minor ones with

    1. How odd. If he considers both wings bad, and libertarians somehow worse, that would seem to put him in the authoritarian quadrant of politics, so it would seem like Trump should be his favorite politician in decades.

      1. Odd, perhaps, but not the least bit surprising

      2. Well, Glide, he seemed to like Trump’s tariff policies and bringing back jobs, Sander’s anti-Wall Street/break up the banks rhetoric, Hillary’s “rebuild our infrastructure and protect women’s health” views, and Kasich’s thoughts about “working across the aisles in Ohio.” As with most “we need a third party” advocates, their views have no ideological consistency and they pick and choose what they consider the pragmatic solutions for the greatest good for them and the hell with other people who have to pick up the tab.

    2. LP needs to change its name and rebrand if it’s going to be competitive.

      Possible replacements:
      America Party
      American Party
      Justice Party of America
      Victory Party
      Trump Party
      No-Trumps Party

      1. But we can still have *one* Trump, right?

      2. … maybe we should take advantage of misinformed voters.

        Rebrand ourselves as “The Republican Party”. Or maybe “The Democratic Party”.

        It wouldn’t give us any MAJOR election wins, but I bet it’d screw with the people who show up to local elections to vote along party lines and maybe we’d pick up some local-level wins.

    3. Most bernie bots think LP=Randian Paradise.

  21. Are we sure this whole thing isn’t a sarcastic “Modest Proposal” exercise?

  22. There comes a point when I can’t even tell if I could even…

    National App … Maybe he means we need a NAP?

    1. I could use a nap.

  23. Just another Goddamned idiot who’s too dumb to know he’s stupid mouthing off. It’s yet more proof that massive talents in a given area of expertise are often accompanied by massive deficits in others.

  24. At first, Jim VandeHei’s third-party fantasy may seem like just another dull #NoLabels manifesto. But don’t be fooled: Something strange is moving under the skin of the Politico co-founder’s article in The Wall Street Journal today. Before the essay’s over, that strangeness will break through to the surface?the op-ed equivalent of the chestbursting scene in Alien.

    Jesse’s a Reason Pimp.

  25. Do it with very muscular language?there is no market for nuance in the terror debate.

    Wait, did we just get a Politico essay dictated by the Hillary campaign?

    Jesse, this isn’t weird, it’s exactly what I’d expect for someone shilling for Hitlery.

    1. Those same innovators could help create a “National App” to match every kid who needs a mentor with a mentor, every person who wants to volunteer with someone or some group in need; every veteran with people and companies who want to reward his or her service with thanks, help or a job.
      A “National App”? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? We already have a great online service that can connect people with volunteer groups or help veterans find a job. It’s called “Google.” I don’t think this op-ed could get any more bizar?

      It… takes… a village…

  26. You know who else wanted to give his nation a shared purpose?

    1. Gandhi?

    2. Henry Agard Wallace?

    3. William Wallace?

    4. Theodore Herzl?

  27. “So…the candidate must talk plainly about exactly how he will kill people?”

    The answer to this is such an obvious yes that only a Reason bubble member could possibly question the necessity of a president to talk openly about the very real enemies of the US and of civilization.

    “millions of others by a reality-TV star with a 1950s view of women”

    By which you mean a normal view of women, recognizing that women are, you know, women, not men in a different packaging.

  28. Democrats = Donkey

    Republicans = Elephant

    Innovators = Naked Mole Rat

    1. Innovators = Naked Mole Rat

      So, a violent, ugly, subterranean hive-mammal that lives in rigidly hierarchical colonies where only the top individual has breeding privileges, and which would probably be dangerous if it wasn’t so small and ineffective? Works for me.

  29. I only wanted to say this was one of the very best reason posts I’ve read in recent months & I had no idea Jim VandeHei was such a fruitloop. Politico itself doesn’t publish crap like that very often, how did it end up @ WSJ?

  30. It is always a good thing when other people starting sharing my stuff for their purpose. What could go wrong? Not a smidgen of wrongness could occur.

  31. That reads more as satire than anything.

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