17 July 2008

The Presidential Candidates: John Blyth

Blyth is the founder of a new political party, modestly named Blyth America, less modestly the Blyth America Independent Party. The 48 year old Chicago native is a journeyman bricklayer and health insurance group plan salesman. He has no prior political experience.

As he writes, "John is not a politician. Therefore he will make the best President of the United States." His object as President is to "put our country back on track amongst other nations as a fair but powerful nation that we can once again be proud of our own eyes and in the view of the world."

He has a succinct list of issue positions. On Iraq: "End the war now. Support the troops." He wants national healthcare, a new power grid, more secure borders, nationwide high-speed rail service, and more free trade. He considers gay marriage and a declaration that English is the official language of the U.S. to be non-issues. On some questions, his position is condensed to one word, e.g. "Tariffs. No." He extends his list to let us know who his favorite sports teams and entertainers are. The sports teams are all from Chicago.

Blyth held an official kick-off ceremony for his campaign last September 29. He went to New Hampshire to appear on an interview program, but why an independent candidate whose self-made party has no primary needed to be there is unclear to me. His last listed campaign event was a trip to New York City in late January. He keeps his blog up to date, however, adding some questionable novelty to it by calling it a "blyg." The latest entries demand decreases in gas prices at the pumps reflecting the recent drop in crude per-barrel prices. He has recently promised total withdrawal from Iraq by May 2010, and has hinted at a to-be-announced "Blyth America New Deal" to match FDR's. Most of the entries I've perused are tiny items; many are simply links to other articles. He also has a frequently asked questions page -- with nothing in it.

Occasional blyg entries express his interest in getting out to independent-candidate debates. These always come with reminders that he needs money to go, but as far as I can tell he hasn't made it to any of them. So it goes with self-appointed candidates. You can understand the impulse, the ambition, the frustration with existing candidates, but our electoral system wasn't designed for someone to join the fray without a constituency and recommend himself for the highest office in the land. The national scope of the Bipolarchy makes candidates like Blyth even more futile. Assuming a four-tier hierarchy of candidates, with Senators McCain and Obama on top, celebrity independents like Barr, McKinney and Nader on the next level, and long-established small national parties like the Constitutionalists, the Communists, etc. on a third tier, Blyth belongs with Aparicio, Bilyeu and others at the bottom. Nevertheless, here's his website.

No comments: