How Third Parties Transform Politics

Continuing to put U.S. media to shame by giving voice to leading U.S. intellectuals not heard in their own country’s corporate news, Real News Network founder Paul Jay interviews (10/22/08) author of the immensely popular A People’s History of the United States, historian Howard Zinn. Even after expressing intense skepticism of third-party candidates’ hopes for presidential election, Zinn looks to a currently all-too-relevant period of U.S. history to nonetheless emphasize their importance:

Third parties can have an effect on the existing parties. In the 1930s there wasn’t a third party that won, it was the fact that there was a movement throughout the country. Part of it was Socialist and Communist, but a lot of it was working people and tenants and so on. And they had an effect on the Democratic Party, which up to that point had not been a very militant or very energetic party–as a result, it had lost elections in the 1920s to nonentities like Harding and Coolidge. But I think it will take the kind of energy that we had in the ’30s to not necessarily create a third party that will win office, but that will transform the Democratic Party.

See the newest FAIR Media Advisory: “More Than a Two-Person Race: Corporate Media Largely Ignore Other Presidential Candidates” (10/21/08)