1992,the NBC News/WSJ poll asked whether voters would be willing to check a box on the ballot that would defeat everyone in Congress, including their own representatives. Sixty percent of those surveyed were willing to play 52-card pickup and start all over again with 535 new members of Congress.
Imagining a vibrant third party is a political fantasy that ranks right up there with a deadlocked national convention going to a ninth ballot. But two decades ago, there was the out-of-nowhere emergence of Ross Perot. Before Perot became known for his paranoid claims and his bizarre (and temporary) withdrawal during the 1992 Democratic Convention, he touched off an outsider populist movement with a centrist cut-the-national-debt ideology.
Lessee, there’s all the banana wars, the series of gawdawful presidents and the families running US Congress probably wouldn’t have happened they way they did. Then there’s NAFTA, millions of trainloads of Chinese toasters we’d have to do without, maybe. Bank bailouts, auto industry bailouts, where does it all stop once you begin trying to digest it all?
Luckily it never made it onto the ballot.
Might have, though, if anyone found a way past the people who control what goes on ballots.
All I can be certain of is that if it had been on the ballot I’d have voted. Might even have kept voting in some of the others between then and now. Saved me one hell of a lot of trouble, them not putting it on the ballot.