George F. Will: Virginia's third-party choice: Poll says Americans would support third party candidates
William Buckley won only 13.4 percent of the 1965 mayoralty vote but he energized a growing constituency and legitimized the practice of voting outside the confines of traditional political choices. Five years later, the New York Conservative Party's U.S. Senate candidate — Buckley's brother Jim — was elected with 38.8 percent of the vote in a three-way race.
Third-party candidacies are said to be like wasps — they sting, then die. Still, Sarvis is enabling voters to register dissatisfaction with the prevailing political duopoly. Markets are information-generating mechanisms, and Virginia's political market is sending, through Sarvis, signals to the two durable parties.
"The saddest life," said the dyspeptic H.L. Mencken, "is that of a political aspirant under democracy. His failure is ignominious and his success is disgraceful." Sarvis will escape both fates.
George Will's email address is email@example.com.
- Kathleen Parker: The GOP's toxic messaging
- In our opinion: U.S. schools still separate...
- Richard Davis: Don't turn A.G. into an...
- About Utah: His business is fun, games and...
- George F. Will: Why Iran should be contained
- Robert J. Samuelson: Economics lacks the...
- In our opinion: Letting Afghanistan revert to...
- In our opinion: U.S. schools still... 41
- Robert J. Samuelson: Economics lacks... 40
- Charles Krauthammer: The real problem... 37
- Letter: Preventative care 29
- Robert Bennett: 'Nuclear option' ends... 27
- Kathleen Parker: The GOP's toxic messaging 27
- Letter: Insurance website 21
- Letter: Buying politicians 20