Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Microstory 1302: Third Party Founder

Blog Reporter: If you would, please state your name.
Third Party Founder: My name is Third Party Founder, and I’m here to talk about my new political party; Ban Religion.
Blog Reporter: It sounds like a band name.
Third Party Founder: You’re thinking of Bad Religion.
Blog Reporter: And why exactly do you want to ban religion?
Third Party Founder: Religions have been destroying this country ever since it was founded, and before that...they were destroying the rest of the world already.
Blog Reporter: Yet, we are still standing.
Third Party Founder: Aren’t you supposed to be unbiased?
Blog Reporter: How would you go about banning all religions?
Third Party Founder: We will pass laws.
Blog Reporter: You’ll pass laws; the party, that is?
Third Party Founder: Yes.
Blog Reporter: You mean your candidates will do that.
Third Party Founder: What?
Blog Reporter: Parties don’t make legislative decisions on any level of government; be it federal, or local. All you can do is fund and promote candidates you believe will support your platform.
Third Party Founder: Well, yes, that’s...what I meant.
Blog Reporter: Of course. So, now that we know your platform, where are you in the process? Have you already registered as a party?
Third Party Founder: No, not as of yet.
Blog Reporter: How many signatures have you received?
Third Party Founder: Seven.
Blog Reporter: How many do you need?
Third Party Founder: Would you like to sign?
Blog Reporter: No, thank you. Which candidates are you backing in order to fulfill your goals?
Third Party Founder: Well, I’m a candidate.
Blog Reporter: For what?
Third Party Founder: I’m running for governor.
Blog Reporter: Of a whole state?
Third Party Founder: [clears throat]
Blog Reporter: Do you have any experience as a civil servant?
Third Party Founder: Well, no, but neither did Donald Trump.
Blog Reporter: And look how that turned out.
Third Party Founder: I really think you’re not meant to have a personal opinion.
Blog Reporter: I’m not a real journalist. As I understand it, I’m the only one who agreed to your requests for an interview. You’re clearly only interested in exposure, hoping to secure those thousands of more signatures you need to so much as register as a new political party.
Third Party Founder: The woman said I only need three hundred to represent my local area.
Blog Reporter: You won’t be able to run for office on a statewide ticket if that state does not recognize your party.
Third Party Founder: That’s why I’m trying to get the word out. Look, I may sound like a crazy person, but there are tons of atheists in the world, and we’re all tired of not having our voices heard.
Blog Reporter: You’re right; religion has been fading from American culture for years, but most nonbelievers aren’t going to back a candidate, or support a party in general, if your only platform is that you want to get rid of religion. Even if they’re radical enough to support the idea—and I make no judgments about whether it is or isn’t a good idea—they have other issues they’re more concerned with. For instance, what is your stance on firearm safety laws? What about the environment? Civil rights? Taxes? Government spending? Third party candidates don’t fail just because they’re not one of the big two. It’s also because they’re often built around a single issue, and no one can really tell who they are.
Third Party Founder: Well, you’ve given me a lot to think about.
Blog Reporter: You’re not crazy, but you are naïve if you think you’ll ever be able to move the needle. I understand that you want to make change, but I don’t think this is the way to do it. It’s just not practical. Don’t take it personally, really; few third parties have any real impact on social change. At the very least, there are too many of them for enough people to notice any one of them.
Third Party Founder: Yeah, that makes sense.
Blog Reporter: I’m not going to write or publish this story. My readers aren’t interested, and I know you think exposure will only help you, but the most it’ll do is make you the butt of a few jokes for the few website visitors who will actually bother.
Third Party Founder: This was a bad idea, wasn’t it?
Blog Reporter: Trying to start a new political party, or asking me to interview you?
Third Party Founder: Both.
Blog Reporter: I wouldn’t say that. You’ve made a new friend.

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