I just sent this email off to Michael Medved, and figured I'd share it here, too. The brief background is that he had the Constitution Party presidental candidate Michael Peroutka on the show, and he couldn't seem to show him much respect. Plus, he kept displaying the attitude that since third parties are less likely to win elections (particularly for President), they are a waste of time and there is no room for them in the American political system. This attitude really annoys me.
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Dear Michael Medved,
I'm listening to your show currently on News Talk 1430 in Indianapolis. You have the Constitution Party's Michael Peroutka on the air at the moment.
I must say, despite your claim of showing a “modicum of respect” to him, you've done no such thing. All you have done is belittle him while maintaining your status quo of being an arrogant know-it-all. I cannot believe you actually brushed him off at one point for not participating in the “two party system that's been around for 200 years”, as if that is the only way this country could possibly run. It was said in the way a conservative Christian might cling to their favorite tradition: “We never used to do it that way before!”
The Constitution Party isn't a widely known party currently; so what? The party is 12 years old; did you really expect their name to become a household one like 'Republican' and 'Democrat' this quickly? It seems with your attitude, a third party must be instantly viable upon creation or it is a waste of time. What a load of bull. It's not surprising that third parties don't take off like wildfire when a majority of the media is already opposed to them. Even when someone like yourself actually gives a third party candidate air time (which I *did* appreciate you doing, at least until you started talking), what do you do? You ridicule and treat them as inferior. “Constipation Party”? “Losertarians”? “fringe party”? Many people listening to your show may be hearing about this party for the first time, and you cannot even bother to use their name correctly. You also use carefully-chosen, derogatory words such as “fringe” that will likely turn people off to the party right away. Sad. By the way, when you described these parties by the small percentage of votes they garner, the correct term is “minor”, not “fringe”. Just come out and say if you don't like a party - that's fine - but don't malign them by using grade school name calling and incorrect terms.
Let's dispell a myth. Many people like to whine about how voting for a third party will be wasting a vote and voting for the opposition. If I vote for a third party candidate, and then John Kerry wins the presidential election by ONE vote in the *popular* vote, and by fewer *electoral* votes than Indiana has - then yes, my vote was a vote for the opposition. Only THEN can you or anyone else rightly complain about that. As for “wasting a vote” (since third parties are less likely to win), I personally do not believe my vote only has “worth” if it is spent on the candidate that ends up winning. I will vote for candidates that I can stand behind, not candidates who I can “well, mostly support.. kind of”. If that means voting third party, so be it.
Please get over your uber allegiance to the 1.5 party system long enough to show some respect to third parties without patronizing them.