Monday, February 25, 2008

Beyond The Fringe*

Megan McArdle, guest-blogging over at Instapundit, makes a wise observation about near-fringe candidates, in the context of Nader's announcement that he is running again.
I know, I know--you want to move the party in the direction of Truth, Justice, and the American Way. But this is wishful thinking. The reason that those of us on the fringe--libertarians, Greens, socialist workers, or what have you--do not have more representation in government is not because there is some structural problem with the American political system, like a lack of IRV or minority party candidates. The reason we don't have more representation is that most people just don't agree with us. Oh, I know you can find a poll that says that voters want national health care, a guaranteed income, a carbon tax, or lower government spending. But voters like lots of things in the abstract. When you get down to the specifics of raising their taxes and restricting their choices, they tend to get balky. The Democrats cannot move significantly closer to Nader, nor the Republicans to Ron Paul, without losing more voters in the center than they gain on the fringe. (emphasis mine)

* What's that from?


cold pizza said...

Wot, wot!

Y'know, AVI, with google, finding a link to the British stage play wasn't a challenge. I suppose those who'd know the reference without having to google it belong to a fringe group of Anglophiles.

I grew up on Monty Python and was familiar with The Goon Show (thank you PBS) and I'm sure these shows, in no small way, are directly responsible for my decidedly twisted humor.

American by birth, location (SF Bay Area) and ancestry (going back 12 generations), nevertheless, I was raised on British literature, sports (we had posters of Manchester United in our dining room) and what few programs came across on PBS (Dr Who, Python, Benny Hill, Red Dwarf, Fawlty Towers, Keeping up Appearances, etc).

Of course, in the days before internet, it was difficult for a wee lad (such as I was) to keep up on the fringe aspects of English stage productions.

We are all fringe. Political satirically yours, -cp

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Yeah, search engines are magic. I was a theater major, so I had to do scenes from it in 1973 and remembered it. The most famous of them was Dudley Moore.

Anonymous said...

And I recall hearing on radio BTF's interview with the inspector looking into the Great Train Robbery. Using the identikit ("ee-don-ti-kee" in French), their drawing of a supspect looked a lot like th Archbishop of Canterbury.

Another problem with the fringe is that as one approaches part of it, one becomes further from the rest of it.