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March 20th, 2008
04:35 PM ET

Is Hagel right that it may be time for a new political party?

 Sen. Chuck Hagel at a Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
Sen. Chuck Hagel at a Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The U.S. needs independent leadership and maybe even a new political party.

Senator Chuck Hagel, the Nebraska Republican and one of the very few class acts in Washington, has a new book out, "America: Our Next Chapter." Hagel writes, "In the current impasse, an independent candidate for the presidency, or a bipartisan unity ticket... could be appealing to Americans."

Hagel, who is a Vietnam veteran, also suggests that the war in Iraq might be remembered as one of the five biggest blunders in all of history. He says that the invasion 5 years ago was "the triumph of the so-called neoconservative ideology, as well as Bush administration arrogance and incompetence."

Hagel says he held one of the Senate's strongest records of support for President Bush, but his standing as a Republican was still doubted because of his opposition to the administration's foreign policy – one he sees as "reckless" and "divorced from a strategic context."

Hagel announced last year that he wouldn't run for a third Senate term or seek the Republican nomination for president. His name was often mentioned as a potential running mate for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on an independent presidential ticket. But last month, Bloomberg said he wouldn't run.

Here’s my question to you: Republican Senator Chuck Hagel says the U.S. may need a new political party. Is he right?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Drew from Newburyport, Massachusetts writes:
Absolutely!!! We have an institutionalized two-party system that is sanctioned by the government designed to perpetuate itself instead of responding to the needs of the people. One party has been largely hijacked by the right while the other is beholden to the left. The relatively sane block of moderates making up nearly half of the electorate in this country are usually stuck choosing between two candidates that don't truly reflect their desires.

Donna from Galveston, Texas writes:
Jack, Are you kidding? Chuck Hagel makes absolutely too much sense. His idea, as well as any other like-minded, rational, logical, intelligent individual will be shouted down by political rhetoric, and the possibility of another party will be buried under more partisan strong-arm maneuvers. I have watched a new trend in politics over the recent past. They may as well post a new banner in Washington: "Politicians wanted; no backbone or brain required."

Aammar writes:
Yes, Republicans and Democrats alike have failed the American people. Gas prices are high, foreclosures are high, and the economy is in shambles. A new party would bring back confidence to the American people.

Anna from Missouri writes:
If the Democratic Party does not put an end to the Clinton campaign or the superdelegates override the pledged delegates and put her on the ticket in the fall, a third party will definitely be possible even this year. Obama/Hagel would take enough votes from McCain and Clinton to propel them into the White House.

Bill from New Jersey writes:
At least one. It seems that the third party efforts of the past were too closely related to a singular issue, so that when the issue went away the party did as well.

Barbara in Florida writes:
Yes, Jack. We could have an independent party similar to Canada's system, but they still get stupid politicians, too.


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (217 Responses)
  1. Scott L. - Wichita, Kansas

    How about no political parties for once? Let's give that a try and see a regular American rise to power instead of just the same families over and over and over like the Clintons, Bush family, Kennedys, etc.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  2. Joan

    Absolutely, it seems that the old Washington crowd are so entrenched in the old ways, and protective of their own patch, they will do nothing to change the status quo.Therefore we will never move the country forward for our children and grandchildren.
    Joan North Carolina

    March 20, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  3. Ed Reed

    Yes, the 20% that voted for Ross Perot in 1992 demonstrated the public's desire for a third party; however, the existing parties' stranglehold over state ballot access will prevent it from happening, to the country's detriment.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  4. Bernard

    Senator Hagel is only reflecting what a lot of American feel and say. The two parties are basically the same in more ways. Many of them are not listening to their constituents. They are taking care of the big businesses. They are not working for the good of the country and its citizens.
    West Orange, NJ

    March 20, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  5. Amy Pacheco, Fall River MA

    ABSOLUTELY!!!!! And the party should be INDEPENDENT!!! I think it is unfair to have no choice, oh, sorry, a choice between Dem's and Rep's, but I don't count that as a choice. I am an Independent and I am basically punished for that because I couldn't vote in the Primary Election. My taxes helped pay for it yet I couldn't vote in it.
    We have gone from Federalists to Democratic-Republicans to Whigs to the present (Not counting the minor parties which get no recognition). I think its time to make Independent a recognized political party.
    After all, isn't this a country "by the people, for the people"? It doesn't say only for politicians!!!

    March 20, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  6. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    Actlually, Jac k, we need several more political parties. The best way to prevent those ultra-conservatives-in-charge warmongering party is to counter their 30% with a moderate party (40%) and some far-thinking liiberals (30%).

    We might get some discussion about "the function of government" done that way – might even change our minds about a lot of things since each party would HAVE to work with at least one other to get a bill passed.

    I volunteer to be commander-in-chief of the liberal . . . woops .... leader of the liberal party. We could name it The Party of Philosophy, Fair Thinking, Good Acts, and Control by the People.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  7. Jane Kidder

    How come he's a rebublican?

    March 20, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  8. Jerry Wilson

    Yes!

    March 20, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  9. Mark - Asheville, NC

    Perhaps instead of a 'new' party we should go back to the 'old' Democratic party of my youth, the progressive, competent, and optimistic people who gave us the 1965 Civil Rights Bills, The Great Society, and many other pieces of landmark legislation that we take for granted nowadays. Let's have some Hubert Humphreys, Mike Mansfields, Bobby Kennedys, Abe Ribicoffs, Harry Trumans, and Lyndin Johnsons again (without Vietnam, of course), and let the young'uns just now discovering politics see what true progressive leadership is – style AND substance!

    March 20, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  10. Tammy -- Colleyville, Tx

    Are you joking? Not only is it time for a third party, since the two major parties have gotten far to comfortable, but it is also time for TERM LIMITS. Listen folks, these loser politicans will NEVER limit their own power, so it is up to US, the voters, TO PUSH them to abide by OUR WILL not theirs.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  11. Chuck in Eugene Oregon

    Yes Jack, Hagel is dead on. We do need a new party, and the name is so fitting "Unity Party". We as Americans need to unite and get our act together. We need to hold our government to a much higher standard, and we need to demand much more of them as to foreign Policy and general over all policy. The American public, those that live in this great country should above all else be top priority, we should never play second fiddle to individual politicians personal adgenda's, nor should we play second fiddle to those that live outside our borders.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  12. Brian From Fort Mill, S.C.

    Why do we even need a party? Why can't someone just run for President, and may the best man (or woman) win?

    March 20, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  13. Barbara Miller Florida

    Yes, Jack
    We could have a Independent Party similar to Canada's system, but they still get stupid politicians too. I think it's time we vote for the candidate and forget the party.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  14. Tony Benitez

    No, it's again another politician throwing a rock through a glass window. Anytime, someone starts complaining about our two party system, they rant a rave about starting a thrid party. If anyone who has taken a political science course well knows a thrid party system is doomed to failure. Immeadiately the other two parties take up the slogan, or addopt the cause for which the thrid party is railing about.
    In the end it's just a lof of wasted money, time.

    If we really want to do something we should overhaul the parliamentary procedures under which our Congress operates. Nothing waste more time, and reaks of back door chinandigans than our antiquated parliamentary system. The English may invented it but that doesn't mean it was a good idea.

    Tony Benitez
    Phoenix, AZ

    March 20, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  15. Anna, SW Missouri

    If the democratic party does not put an end to the Clinton campaign or the Super Delegates over ride the Pledged Delegates and put her on the ticket in the Fall, a third party will definitely be possible even this year. Obama/Hagel would take enough votes from McCain and Clinton to propel them into the White House.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  16. Mike S., New Orleans, Louisiana

    Yes. A moderate party which rejects both extremes of the liberal Democrats and neo-conservative evangelical Republicans.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  17. A.F. Cook, www.redzonepolitics.com

    Yeah, we need a SMART one (not like the Dems, who have managed to both their primaries in TWO HUGELY IMPORTANT GENERAL-ELECTION STATES - Florida and Michigan; and whose candidates haven't managed the perception game very welll).

    We also need an HONEST one that REPRESENTS THE PEOPLE (not like the Republicans - the list of their ill-gotten gains, miscreancies, etc. is too long to list here).

    The only hope is for a group to take over the Democratic Party and rebrand it as more closely in line with the views of Independents. I thought Obama was doing that, but due to his recent troubles, he may not have rebranded himself as "beyond race" enough to be the one to make that happen.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  18. Courtney, 24, South Windsor, CT

    It is more than time for a third, fourth, fifth, sixth... party in the United States. Truth be told, we already have more than two parties, but you'd be hard-pressed to prove it, Ralph Nader and Green Partiers aside. The truth of the matter is, as time goes by, both parties are starting to look more and more a like. It's no longer even a choice of the lesser of two evils, it's tantamount to being handed a menu with exorbitant prices and only one entree - and it's just plain, white bread, to boot. Not only do we need strong, new parties with popular support, we need to reassess the two we have now. I'm really curious where Abraham Lincoln's Republicans went, or where Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Democrats are.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  19. Bob L. Philadelphia, PA

    New political parties form all the time. We do need a new major political party. One that Independents can follow and be proud of. One that embodies good government, not dirty tricks. Good luck forming one of those. Every major political in the history of the U.S. has played the political dirty tricks game. From the Federalists and Anti-Federalists to the Whigs to the Progressives and Bull-Mooses, and evry party in between. Good luck.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  20. Erin in Battle Creek

    Our vast and varied population is pitifully under-represented by only a two party system. For years I've thought the Republican party would crack in two, like a spin on the old oldsmobile commercial, the new regime is no longer your father's republican. As a democrat, I fear a Clinton nomination will send many into the fold of the "independents" or worse, the apathetics!

    March 20, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  21. Jerry, Fayetteville Tennessee

    The Democrats have an opportunity this year to present the party as a new one. Even if Obama gets elected we may find that it's just business as usual, but hope springs eternal.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  22. Bonnie/New Port Richey FL

    I think it is time the 3rd party we have, the Independent Party, puts up or shuts up. They complain about the Republicans, they complain about the Democrats but I have yet to see them put up a candidate. Having someone to chose from that is not so right or left but more moderate, could be just what this election needs. They might be someone we can all get behind. Who do they have?

    March 20, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  23. robert from nc

    Jack, We can't even get two good candidates never mind three. Just look at the past 20 years of possible candidates and it becomes clear...You need to be a fool or a womanizer to be President.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  24. Angela, Kentucky

    Jack, A strong moderate 3rd party would be good. I am supporting Sen. Obama in this election and I believe he can work with both parties, but, if Clinton is the nominee the country will be right back to extreme polarization "on day one" if not sooner. The Clinton 24/7 haters will be out in droves and the thought of the country having to live through more of that again makes me cringe. If my candidate doesn't get the nomination I'll be voting for McCain.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  25. Rosalynd

    Absolutely! I am so tired of the antics of the Democratic party (not including Obama- good candidate) and Republican party that I want to puke! However, the new party can not be one that plays politics as usual, it must be a party that truly represents the people not the lobbyist and special interest.

    Florida

    March 20, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  26. MIchael "C" in Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Before we start adding more confusion to the existing political system, why don't the politicians take the responsibility to resolve their anomalies and differences. This concept of extending the hand across the aisle is nothing by words.....You get what you get, when you do what you do.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  27. Amy in Woodstock, NY

    He may be right. As I see how the DNC is allowing the Clintons to publically endorse McCain over their fellow democrat Obama I must agree. With Obama having won as many states and ahead as he is, the DNC should have ended this and nominated Obama long ago. The way the Clintons have influenced the party makes me wonder if we need a party that doesn't allow itself to be influenced by no power other than votes.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  28. Rich from WA

    Republican Senator Chuck Hagel says the U.S. may need a new political party. Is he right?

    Hurry someone actually seeing the truth. I agree completely.

    Here's a quick look (not detailed) of how I see the parties:

    Republican party becomes these parties:
    - Conservatives
    - Progressive conservatives
    - Liberal conservatives
    - Fundamentalists

    Break up the democratic party into these parties:
    - Liberals
    - Moderates
    - Progressive moderates
    - Labor

    The goal is to remove the extreme liberals from the democratic party and the fundamentalists from the republican party into their own dysfunctional parties we could ignore in all the election processes.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  29. William Decker

    Yes Jack we are long over due for a real third party. In Pa. where I live you either join the Dems., Republicans or you don't vote in the primary.

    This year we have a choose, which is the best (or worst) of three evils??????

    God help us. May God bless America and protect our troops in danger.

    Bill Decker
    York Springs, Pa.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  30. Brian, Cincinnati

    Yes, we do. It could potentially end the constant deadlock between the two parties if we had a third or even fourth major party so that no one party could block legislation. They have to actually work together. The horror!

    You might very well see it happen this year if Clinton steals this nomination from Obama. It would tear the party in half. The religious right of the Republicans aren't very happy this year either. A split into four parties would be a great thing to see.

    If Clinton steals the nomination ... imagine this 3rd party ticket Jack...

    Obama/Hagel

    Brian L.
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    March 20, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  31. TROY W FROM FT LAUD, FL

    DAHHHHHHHHH

    March 20, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  32. Jeff, Florida

    Hey Jack, I think he's coming down with Naderitis. Maybe he should be quarantined until November so that he doesn't give either party the sniffles.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  33. Richard, Washington State

    Absolutely yes Jack

    If the republicans can move the fundamentalists into a separate party and the democrats can move the extreme liberals into a separate party... we could then ignore those two new parties and get into to having decent elections without all the division.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  34. Brian

    Jack, if we can't get our elected members of Congress to do any thing for the American People with Two parties that are in constant grid lock, imagine how much less will get done with Three Parties!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Brian, Ohio

    March 20, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  35. Larry - Fulton, Ill.

    Yes, but the Republicans and Democrats both will never allow it and the regulations controlling elections are insurmountable. It would take a lot of money and Jesus Christ, himself, as a candidate to get it off the ground.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  36. George, Charlotte, NC

    Well Jack, maybe Obama will ask him to run as Veep. Now that would be landslide Change.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  37. Sharon from Michigan

    Just what we need, another Lou Dobbs, (By the way, I liked him until he starting slanting against Barack Obama). Didn't mind the War on Middle Class thing, but he's gone to far with his politicking. I turn him off.. Independents have tried for years, to create another party, it won't happen, but by all means keep trying. If it was the right candidate, I'd vote Independent. I just won't vote Republican..

    March 20, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  38. Allan,Cameron Park, Ca.

    It sure is but the establishment is too set against it ever happening.The "two parties" we have now wont let it happen, they have "loaded" the system against it ever happening. Good luck trying though.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  39. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    Definitely.

    I nominate Michael Bloomberg and Chuck Hagel as the first canditates of the "America needs help first" party.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  40. Tom Libby

    I've been for a third party for a long time because there didn't seem to be much of a difference between Dems and Reps. – but right now, at this point in our history, there is a hugh difference. We need a change, and that won't happen if the progressive vote is divided. Cllinton and Nader need to pull out for the good of the country.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  41. sarah, indiana

    he is absolutely right. the two parties we have are in constant battle to win points but are completely divorced from what average americans think, feel, and need. congress spends our taxes on hearings about baseball drug use and ignores the fact that we the people who pay their salaries are choosing between putting food on the table, gas in the car, or taking our kids to the doctor. we sure cant afford to do all three, and in some cases even two, at the same time. republicans only care about the wealthy people and democrats only care about gettin one up on the republicans. give us more options, please.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  42. Aaron B.; Champaign, IL

    Ron Paul, however much ignored by the bigwigs, always argued for an interesting point: the more people we have in the debate, the more ideas the nation will bear witness to... and it is with these new ideas that the country will have the opportunity to return to its democratic roots.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  43. phil

    Chuck Hagel is right. Mr. Hagel should team up with Colin Powell with whom, in my opinion, are the only two qualified people that can get this country back on its feet again.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  44. Nicki

    It's a great idea to have more political parties. There are already two segments among the Democrats: liberals and moderate democrats. There are two or three groups among Republicans: moderates, conservatives, and libertarians. If there were more parties, their candidates would have an easier time declaring what they really believe instead of pandering to the different groups in the two major parties. The voters would also have more choice in leaders.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  45. Terry from Calif

    Chuck Hagael who?

    March 20, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  46. K - in Northwest CT

    Jack, At last a really GOOD question !

    Of course we need another party, like a whole in our head.

    What we really NEED are honest, sincere, YOUNG, partiotic and intelligent caring people who want to serve their Nation and the interests of our future generations.

    We already have enough infighting with old men who belong to the "Party." That's why there is so much chaos in the current bid for the election of the next President. THAT AND THE MEDIA.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  47. C.Jones

    Do we need a new political party?:
    I don't think we need a NEW PARTY just because the two we have seem to have gotten overburdened with filth. Why can't we just CLEAN-IT-UP?
    Chuck OHIO

    March 20, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  48. IFEANYI AZUBIKE Houston, Texas

    Yes, both political parties no longer offer enough room for the emerging political philosophies. How else can you account for the extremes in both parties and those who believe firmly that the philosophies of both parties are tto stiffling and out of tune with prevailing circumstances. I believe that Hagel understated the facts because we need more than just one political party to arrest the nonsense that we are being forced to shove down the throat to be able to suport one of two candidates who may not remotely represent our views.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  49. James in Cape Coral, FL

    Jack,
    I'm glad Senator Hagel has finally realized what Lou Dobbs has been preaching for years. Both parties no longer represent the intest of the American Middle Class and it's time to move forward and reclaim our country from the CEO's and Washington fat heads whove destroyed it. I registered as an Independant a year ago and am looking forward to the day when America can loosen the strangle hold these two elitist parties have on this country.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  50. Jed from Chico, CA

    Lets take that idea and reverse it. Instead of increasing the number of political parties let's decrease that number – to zero. That way we could vote for individuals by what they say and what they do rather than what party they belong to.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  51. Bert, Iowa City, IA

    I think we'll get a new political party if Obama is denied the Democratic nomination by the super delegates. And there is no better candidate than Obama to break free of the two-party gridlock that can't seem to agree on anything in spite of the fact they both represent just more of the same politics as usual.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  52. Michael NY, NY

    The United States doesn't need a new party, it needs to rejuvenate it's soul. Our country quite possibly received one of the most brutally honest commentaries on race and it's effect in America on Tuesday and yet not one news organization has risen to the challenge of beginning the discussion on how bring true equality to all Americans. What does it say about a country who values 15 second video clips to dictate their opinions over real and honest dialogue about our problems? It shows you a country on the brink of recession, in an endless war, and idly sitting still as the world passes us by.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  53. Adrienne, Floyd, Virginia

    Absolutely. I have been watching this primary season with great interest. What has become abundantly clear is that the majority of Americans are sick and tired of the manner in which business has traditionally been carried out by both the Democratic and Republican Party. Moreover, the policies that members of both of these parties have supported over the past few years have done precious little to improve the lives of the majority of Americans as you, Jack, and others have so aptly reported.

    I have tremendous respect for Senator Obama's attempt to change the traditional political discourse to better reflect the concerns of a great number of Americans. However, we have all seen how older, more traditional politicians have responded to these attempts. More traditional Democrats have adopted the same distasteful, underhanded tactics that they have often denounced when practiced by Republicans against them. The hypocrasy is total.

    What is clear to me is that neither the Democratic nor the Republican Party truly represents "average Americans". The plain truth is that both parties are dominated by and cater to "older elites" in our society who have participated in partisan, adversarial politics their entire lives and have no true understanding of bridging differences through cooperation.

    The contest between Senators Clinton and Obama has revealed real differences in the electorate. Not the differences based on race and gender that have dominated the news for months now but rather differences based on generational and class affiliation. If Obama does not get the Democratic nomination, he and his supporters should form an independent third party that is an alternative to the Democratic and Republican dinosaurs. I have been an independent all of my life. Now is the time for those of us who are sick to death of the typical corrupt, unethical politics in this country to form an aternative that will better represent all of us.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  54. haiticuba

    Jack the senator is damn right! How can we be a certain way all the time.Doesn't everyone change their minds about an issue once in a while? With america being so diverse, how is it that there is only three political partys to choose from? One party being almost obsolete, and look upon as a nuisance. It's a shame that most american people are blinded by political loyalty. WE NEED CHANGE IN THIS COUNTRY, LETS STARET TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111

    March 20, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  55. Bob from Traverse city Michigan

    He is absolutely correct! Every election we the people are forced to choose either the rich guy in the suit (the republican) or the rich guy in the sweater (the democrat). Both of the major parties have become slaves to their corporate masters and no longer serve the voters. If we ever were presented with legitimate, viable alternatives all these bums would be on the street....er back in their mansions and out of our government.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  56. Judi from Dallas, TX

    No, we don't need another political party. We need the current existing parties completely over-hauled, as well as our entire political process when we find ourselves eliminating states and then trying to backtrack and include them to benefit a losing candidate, or a Presidential race where 500,000 people are disenfranchised because of something called the electoral college and the Supreme Court. How many times have we heard, "You are all equal in the voting booth, 1 vote" only to learn daily that those rules change and then change again. Let's stop creating parties which will only lead to more confusion and try to reign in the ones we have. Ever heard of common sense? It goes a long way, and its relatively cheap.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  57. Tony Rietveld Stevens Point, Wi

    The time has come and is probably way overdue for a third party in the U.S. to break the strangle hold that our modern(?) two party system holds over the political land scape. As a country that prides itself on innovation and ingenuity we seem to ignore the need for change in the public arena to bring us into the 21st century. Would a third party system stand a chance to win with the electoral college set up the way it is?

    March 20, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  58. John from Boston

    I don't believe in any type of "independent party" your either a democrat or republican. If you cant decide which one you are during an election year you aren't a frustrated person, you are clueless. Independents just serve as a base for people that are apathetic towards politics.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  59. Patricia

    Since the Religious Rightist have taken over the Republican Party it may indeed be time for the Real Republicans to find a way to seperate themselves from them & stand on their own.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  60. Ronald

    Bill Clinton advocated a new political party during his first term as AR governor . . . and now he's helping to destroy the Democratic party in hopes of fulfilling his vision.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  61. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    He's right, as usual, and I'm a Democrat. The Republican brand has been trashed by Bush and cronies. There is a real danger that America will swing violently progressive in reaction to the reigning bozos who pretend they are Republican. The nation needs leadership and good judgment such as we have seen repeatedly from Obama. Chuck Hagel would make another solid person at the helm. It would be in keeping with Obama's philosophy and practice to choose a Republican V.P. . He is Abe Lincoln without the beard.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  62. kimberley Vancouver, Canada

    it actually would be more democratic

    March 20, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  63. Terry C. in Hanover, VA

    No. We need two less political parties. I'm an independent who believes that when a candidate is sworn into office, he or she should leave their party affiliation behind and work for the good of all Americans, not just the corporations and big investors. Partisan politics is king in D.C. and gridlock is the norm as the result. It's time to throw all career politicians out and toss the party system out with them. In future Presidential elections, hold one national primary in June. Candidates would need "x" number of valid signatures on a petition. The top 2 candidates would vie for the Presidency, the next 2 would compete for the Vice Presidency. Because there would be no party affiliation, the problems incurred during our Republic's infancy may be avoided. Then hold the November election as usual. These elections would be paid out of a national campaign fund split equally among the candidates; air time would donated by the networks as part of their requirements for licensing; etc. But, it'll never happen. The good ole boys and gals go to Washington not to serve the people but to feather their nests with lucre for doing little work while looking down upon the rest of us as the great unwashed masses. A little electoral revolution may be needed to return our government to the hands of the people - all the people.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  64. Christian Maier, Germany

    Yes, i think the USA would benefit from a third political party.

    The problem with just two parties is that one of them will always have the majority, which means that unless the Congress and Senate are lead by different parties the party with the majority can do whatever it wants. And even if the Congress and Senate are lead by different parties, the president can, through his veto power, still ensure that one party is the one which makes the decisions as Bush demonstrated.
    When you add a third party, thinks aren't so bipolar anymore and it can happen that neither party gets a majority which means they have to compromise.
    That has its own danger of having a government which has a hard time with agreeing on anything but in the end I think that is still better, and more importantly more democratic than having a party which rules everything.

    Also, the more parties exist, the more, different ideas can be represented in the government. With the current system a voter either supports all ideas from the democrats or all ideas from the republicans or doesn't vote at all which is the worst case. The problem with this is that those are all extremes and that no middle ground exists. Additional parties can take and mix different ideas from the democrats and republicans to create a much more balanced government.

    It works for my country, so why shouldn't it for the US?

    March 20, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  65. Angelus

    For the change that we need We have to have a new party. The other two parties only want to fight over who have the most power.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  66. DJ

    Jack, After this years primary circus......History will be made but not just the first black president or the first woman president

    but history is to be made by the Independant party becoming the largest party!

    we will see an explosion of new Independent Party Members by democrat voters who are fed up with the DNC

    March 20, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  67. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Hell yes! We need a new political party that will represent and listen to the people,not just the rich and corporations. I would love to return to the founding fathers original idea that the government be run by citizen legislators who leave the private sector,serve for a limited number of years and return to the private sector. Also,it would get rid of the professional politician,lobbyists and corporate money. Let's give our government back to the people!

    March 20, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  68. Paulette Dallas,PA

    Senator Hagel may have a good idea here. Why not have a combination ticket? Hopefully the best of both parties,a Combo or Independent, certainly may be able to do a better job than the selfish clowns we have in D.C. now.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  69. Jay Webber

    Yes Jack, it is sure time for something to change, and this time for our better. I'm tired of electing officials into office, only to have them flip-flop on the campaign issues that were promised. This is what got them to office and "We the people" should be able to hold them to those promises, or get them the hell out of office, maybe for breach of contract, and not have to be stuck with them for two or four years. Jay from Edgewater, Florida

    March 20, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  70. Mary Whartnaby -California

    Senator Chuck Hagel has a great idea of an additional political party. The Republicans and Democrats are non-productive with their constant "mud-slinging" and it is tiring and not to mention the fact, that our Country is suffering.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  71. Allen L Wenger

    Yes, I've been saying that for 20 years. We may even need more than one new party, I would not mind having 4 or 5 strong political parties in this country. When you step back and look at what has happened during the last 30 years, it's obvious that the two party system has not served us very well and it's getting worse. However, a third party will have trouble getting any power as long as the Democrats and Republicans make the rules.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  72. W B in Las Vegas

    we don't need a new political PARTY, we need a whole new political SYSTEM.

    IF we had a parliamentary system, like Canada or England, we wouldn't have been stuck with Bush/Cheney for 8 YEARS because there would have been a "no confidence" vote and new elections LONG AGO.

    that probably would have happened after the administration's complete foul up in handling the Katrina and Rita disasters.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  73. Tina Ft Worth

    This is why we need term limits set. Two terms, pack your bags and get the hell out of dodge.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  74. S. Don McCormick

    I think Obama has a 95% chance to take The Democratic nomination. As far as Michigan and Florida it seems to be over . Hilliary is pushing to hard to try and change the rules so she can catch up. It sorta reminds me of how Gorge W. Bush (current President) In his need to draw his Texas SHOOTIN IRON , over looked all of the writeing on the wall There was no weapons of mass destruction, UN inspectors were ignored , our most Ardent allies tried to convince him not to go to war. But with a little push from Hilliary,and some of his insiders ,hopeing to capitalize on oil and other intrests in the region,They DROPPED THE BOMB. Yeah it was neccssary to go after Bin Ladin (however you spell his name I don't know)., but prevailing inteligence of our agencys ,our Military ,and also of our Allies Suggested that we pursue another agenda , to trackdown Bin ladin and bring him to justice. Anyway Hilliary seems to be trying to use the same old dry politics to try and force her way into the nomination SDM former military, emergency medical rescue ,firefighter and all around peopple person (currently helping seniors) Thank You!!?

    March 20, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  75. Mark - Gilbert, AZ

    Jack-

    Abolish all the parties, period.

    This will allow the citizens to really choose who they like versus what side they "most" relate to. I have friends who "always vote republican" and some who "always vote democrat". With this kind of system in place, US voters aren't upheld to any form of educated voting. Those voters might as well not show up at the polls as far as I'm concerned because they're not doing their country any justice.

    Same goes for the congressional leaders. I truely believe many of our elected officials fear voting conscience. Look at John McCain? He's a man who tried bi-partisan efforts to get things done and now that he's running for president, the right wing of the republican party won't let him forget it.

    How are we as a country going to ever truely unite under this kind of system? It cannot happen and it won't.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  76. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    How about four or five new parties then maybe we could have a decent choice of a canidate for president.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  77. Brad in Oregon

    Yes Jack, we need a new or more political parties. The two-party system has failed to keep up with the changes in American society. I have never voted for a candidate for president that I actually endorsed. I have always voted for the lesser of two evils. The House of Representatives should be based on proportional representation. This would help facilitate bipartisanship because House members would be forced to forge compromises and seek solutions that would be more inclusive than are possible with the two-party system. Those who do not align themselves with either party are often left out of the political process or find themselves voting for the candidate who is less distasteful.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  78. Ralph Taliercio - Long Island, NY

    More important that another political party or ten more parties is for the American people to wake up. Overwhelmingly we accept the same manure from almost every politican because it's what we want to hear. Until people make the effort to actually check the facts of disingenious garbage that is constantly fed to us things will never change for the better. Things will however get worse, much worst for future generations, but that is not what the seemingly delusional voters wish to face.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  79. Chris, Chicago IL

    Jack,
    When conservative pundits are pressuring their followers to vote for HRC, a member of the opposite party, because McCain "isn't a true conservative", the whole thing has gotten out of hand. McCain, a die hard Republican his entire life, has a few nuanced views that reflect him as a person and suddenly he's the enemy of the party he belongs to. Neo-Conservatism has polarized the Republican party to such a point that if a member doesn't fall in line with every issue and belief then they're the enemy.

    While I believe firmly in far more than 2 or even 3 viable parties, at this point it's the Republicans that need to split and reform. Liberals by definition are open to many ideas and so I see less dissension within their ranks (I mean come on, just watch a Democratic debate, there aren't many oppsing political stances). We are far too advanced a country to have to tell people that if they believe in low taxes, firm vorder contorl. and perhaps a woman's right to choose then they're out of luck becuase they aren't a "true conservative".

    March 20, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  80. Richard Sternagel

    We need only two parties! But what we also need is men and women running for office who tell the truth to their constituencies and who have integrity and character to go with it! These factors outweigh any political party!

    March 20, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  81. Bert

    I think he is right. Right now neither party is following the will of the people, to put an end to illegal immigration.

    Oak View, CA

    March 20, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  82. alexa, Lovettsville, Va

    Heavens No! Don't we already have enough problems with the two we have now. What makes you think a third party would not have all the problems that the other two have. Here's a better idea. Why don't we fix the two that we already have?

    March 20, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  83. Bill in New London, CT

    We should all agree that in a perfect world there would be no political parties. Why not elect individuals based on individual characteristics? In reality, there are a billion different issues that government deals with, and the idea that there are only two possible configurations of opinions on all those issues is insane.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  84. Ram

    Oh for sure. Don't you have Ralph Naders party? Democrats & Republicans are going to crush any new pary. Nader is very gunuine & makes lot of sense sense. But has become a laughing stock. We need a couple of failures like Bush before the country will be ready. We are not very smart people.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  85. David - Las Colinas,Texas

    Three choices are always better than two.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  86. earl illingsworth

    Senator Hagel is without a doubt one of the few contempory political hero's of the 20th/21st century! Whenever ,and whomever he nominates, will get my "independent vote". This man is what America is all about! It's time for a new political party....

    March 20, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  87. Charles Liken, Lansing, MI

    I certainly need a new political party. I haven't had one since Ronald Raegan became president. The Republicans want to spend all my money in Iraq. The Democrats want to spend all my money in Mexico. And John McCain wants to spend all of mine and my grandchildren's money in both places.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  88. Nuwan Sam

    May be not a new politcal party. But obviously a new way of thinking. American people are stuck with traditional sense of conservatism and liberalism. They take the traditions their enviromnent without questioning what is right and wrong or what is best and what is bad for this country. I see things are changing slowly. But that change is not happening fast enough.

    Nuwan from Houston, Texas

    March 20, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  89. Harry

    Of course we need a 3rd party. The Dems and the GOP are almost one in the same.

    Here is a summary of both..
    Dems: raise taxes and spend as if there is no tomorrow.
    GOP: cut taxes and spend as if there is no tomorrow.

    I would like a party that had the courage to raise taxes and reduce spending, until the deficit begins to decrease and THEN consider tax cuts.

    Unfortunately the person hasn't even been born yet, that will live long enough to see that happen.

    Harry
    Carlisle, Ky

    March 20, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  90. Eugene in Northern California

    Jack, Chuck Hagel couldn't be more correct. In the words of good ole Ralph Nader, " the only difference between the two political partys is the velocity, at which they fall to their knees, when big money walks through their office door". Every pandering and feckless incumbant must be voted out of office, in 2008 or we'll just get more, of the same. And that's a memo.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  91. tim from Ravenna, OH

    Not just one Jack, several. George Washington predicted that a two party system would not work better than 200 years ago. I think we have shown for the last 60 that he was right on the money. If there were as many as half a dozen political parties in this country the likelihood of such extreme polarization would be much less likely. It would also make it easier for people that really want to do good for this country to compete in the political arena.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  92. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Let's see, George Washington- No Party, then there were Whigs, Republicans, and Democrats and from time to time independents or freedom. Yes, it is time for our history to move in a new direction and have a valid third party whatever it's called. It may even happen this year if Hillary doesn't get the nomination, she may start her own and call it Kitchen Sink's Anonymous or I'll cry for you to get your vote.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  93. Carl Deshazer

    Jack,
    Yes we do need a new political third party. We also need change in the candidates we have running now, like all new candidates.
    Carl

    March 20, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  94. O. A. Eze a.k.a OGB in Austell, GA

    The Donkey (i.e. Democrats) and the Elephant (i.e. Republicans) have been having a tussle in the great American plains for decades. Should the United States establish a new and strong political party, I wonder what animal would represent them? A Hippo could be a good choice. Well, I think it will be quite interesting to have another strong Political Party – it will surely be a splendid scenario to see the Donkey, the Elephant and the Hippo slug it out in the battle for the White House. Also, I totally agree with Senator Chuck Hagel that, “the war in Iraq might be remembered as one of the five biggest blunders in all of history.” The next President has a lot of cleaning up to do and we need a President with a mindset of Change to be able to accomplish this. What can I say, “Yes we can.”

    March 20, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  95. Velle In Halifax

    Senator Hagel is absolutely right! Nowhere is it written that the US is limited to only two parties. Just because the Democrats and Republicans behave as if only they are entitled to seats in Congress doesn't make it so. America is ripe for a new party, a "reform" party with a new and clearly distinct platform. Most Americans are sick of voting for the "lesser of two evils" every election. A third party could, with just enough seats, be the "block" or "spoiler" to these old guard "deals" and compromises that have stagnated our legislative process into nearly total ineffectuallity. You go Sen. Hagel! If I was a person of "money" I'd be organizing a new party myself!

    March 20, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  96. Tom from Boston, Mass.

    A bona fide third party would be wonderful – and consistent with what we see in so many other democratic countries around the world. Personally, I would like to see a "libertarian"-like party that wants to dismantle much of unnecessary government (and taxes) from intruding in our lives and focus instead only on defense, providing a safety net for the truly needy, and protecting us from such things as environmental ruin. The IRS should either be abolished or drastically changed (maybe a flat-tax or even a VAT). Unfortunately, the folks who run along these lines always seem to be fruitcakes!

    March 20, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  97. Kevin from Sacramento

    Jack,

    If the super-delegates overturn the will of the voters, you can be certain we will have a new political party. I suggest the name : The One-Voter-One-Vote Party. The mascot could be a rattlesnake, and the platform can be very simple: Don't Tread On Voters.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  98. Chris MA

    ...Jack the time was right about 20 years ago. As far as I'm concerned Ross Perot and Ralph Nader would have made better Presidents Than the guy who couldn't control his zipper and this absolute idiot we have now. I don't know which is worse George W. Bush or the people who voted for him..

    March 20, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  99. Vinnie Vino

    Jack,
    A new political party is long over due, it is that simple...

    C.I., New York

    March 20, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  100. George Wilson

    It looks to me like the Democrats have just come up with one, because they are really splintered. John McCain can just sit back, and wait to be sworn in because neither Barrach, or Hillary can beat him in November. No matter how the nomination for the Democrat Party comes out, half of the electorate will either vote for McCain, or stay home. This is a political no-brainer. The Dems have done it again, and did it in the year where a could have won it all. The only prayer that the Dems have is for Hillary, and Barrach to sit down, and agree to hand the nomination to Al Gore. The Democrats would win handily if this were to happen.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  101. Al, Lawrence KS

    Sure Jack. Let's have a third party. Then I can vote for the lesser of three evils.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  102. onenibble

    Jack, yes definately.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  103. Angela

    Well – I would say that you need a political party that is socially democratic and fiscally republican.

    I think that is how may of the independants would categorize themselves....

    March 20, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  104. Al --- Palmdale California

    We have had changes to our political party names since we started, so changing the name wont help. The Federalists arent running anymore, nor are the "Whigs", so changing the name is like changing a diaper. You just have to do it again later. Character will always be a factor, which is why it is attack so frequently. Lets focus on substance, not symbolism.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  105. Mary

    Jack, as a Nebraskan that Hagel nearly knocked to the floor while he was busy talking in the Omaha airport a couple years ago, I'm pretty sure that he needs to learn to concentrate on little things, like paying attention to his big arm movements while talking, instead of worrying about big issues like this one.

    I do not agree that we need another party at this time. We have enough fence-sitters as it is. The purpose of the party system is to provide yet another level of check and balance. Three parties opens up the fact that from that point on – it will always end up 2 against 1.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  106. Elise

    I think if the democratic party throws Obama to the back of the bus and gives the nomination to Clinton,Obama should form that party and run against that McCain/Clinton ticket.They are planning to run on the same ticket aren't the Jack?

    March 20, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  107. Bill in Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Jack I think there are a lot of people out there that are ready for a third party. The Congress with its two party system cannot get anything done, especially when they hold hands with special interest groups. The last important legislation that would have saved this country a lot of money was the pork barrel spending bill. They had to hold it in closed session to vote it down. If there ever was a perfect time for a third party, it is now. Where do I sign up?

    March 20, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  108. kodi

    how about a 'none of the above' choice?

    March 20, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  109. Tom, Y-town, OH

    Correct el mundo! The only problem is we have all talkers and no do'ers.........Lou Dobbs for one. People sure can criticise both political parties, tell everyone how it should be done, stir up the pot of anymosity and then stand back, watch the pot boil over and then say, "see, I told you so. Boy am I glad I'm an independent." I finally realized Independents aren't independent at all.......they either vote republican or democrat or just drop out and don't vote at all. We do need another political party with some do'ers, some risk takers and those that want REAL change and not just recognition.....but where are they?

    March 20, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  110. Farzin

    I think a new political party is long overdue. The diversity of political views in this country has grown while the platform of the two parties in this country has narrowed.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  111. Angelina Julie

    Cafferty,
    You've been a McCain bashing, Clinton-slamming OBAMA supporter and everyone knows it. Now that Obama has "layed down with the dogs and woken up with fleas", you try to cover your tracks by throwing out an article about whether or not we should have another political party. Nice cover

    March 20, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  112. Pete Armetta, Waynesboro, VA

    The trend over the years has been of either party holding the top leadership and the pendulum predictably swinging back and forth. The thought of a "unity ticket" or a third party is certainly appealing. Don't we have to do things differently and have consensus built? Neither party has begun to delve into solutions for the challenges we face, and the "same old, same old" isn't working. We need bridge builders, not politicians acting out of pure self-interest. It's way beyond tiring already and our future is up in the air here.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  113. Timothy

    My vote is NO political parties... all parties do is magnify the differences between groups or ideas... There are more shades of gray, than black and white.. Do away with them both.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  114. Jim Croft

    The current two-party system has become nothing more than a fiasco. Something needs to change and a third party is certainly an alternative.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  115. Kate

    Yes! A fiscally conservative, socially liberal party. One that doesn't support the welfare state, yet does support gay marriage and abortion rights.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  116. Bob H

    Prior to establishing a new party the rules of the game have to be rewritten to support another party. Ralph Nader has talked at legnth about the in's and out's of an individual even getting on the ballot in each state. It appears that those in power have protected themselves with laws, rules, and hoops in order to safely adhere to the status quo. A new party has no chance unless the laws and rules create an even playing field. Get the process out of the hands of the lawmakers and big buisness as the discontent with the disconnect ha produced many that would like to participate in a true respresentational system.

    Madeira Beach Fl

    March 20, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  117. chris

    two words: RON PAUL!

    March 20, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  118. Mike, Carver, MN

    Jack,

    We need more than one. Imagine 5, 6, or even 7 parties. They would be forced to work together and actually compromise if they want to get anything done. It should be made law that both the Senate and House have at least 3 or 4 parties with equal representation to force them to negotiate in good faith.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  119. PD in CA

    What? And miss out on Hillary Clinton as president for eight years? Followed by eight years of Jeb Bush? Then eight years of Chelsea Clinton (I'm sure she'll be ready in 16 years)? God knows what Bush offspring will follow that. Maybe a Bush and a Clinton will mate... and we'll have a Bushton or Clinush in future generations - we could just go to a monarchy at that point and keep it all in the one family.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  120. Annie, Atlanta

    We don't need a new party. We need the politicians in the parties we have to actually give a damn about something other than themselves. What about an Obama/Hagel ticket. That's something worth talking about.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  121. Bob, Massachusetts

    A third party sounds good to me! The only thing the existing two have produced is a bunch of morally bankrupt and corrupt people who are completely deaf to and unconcerned about the wishes of the people. Any and all members of this "new party" must be required to pass a lie detector test on a regular basis in order to remain a member in good standing.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  122. Joe

    I believe that the biggest problem with the American political system is the inability for a third party to participate. The system is rigged to only allow for candidates from the two major parties unless one has enormous wealth. It's clear that neither the Democrats or Republicans are in touch with anything in the hearts of voters, and unless a third party candidate has a chance to compete, we will only see a prolonging of our countrie's demise.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  123. dan

    It's time for "no political parties."

    "Registered Independent" should be the norm for all. It could end the cookie-cutter candidates, and end the lazy voter base who knows nothing but toe-ing their chosen party line.

    A party-less system is the first step toward fixing the political polarization that has us deadlocked and unable to get things done.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  124. Ben Johnson

    YES. We are left with often choosing between the lesser of two evils, which is still a vote for evil. But it would take a serious overhaul of the whole election process to give any non-major party a chance at all. The process is currently stacked against anyone who does not join the 'left' or 'right'.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  125. Jan Davis, Knoxville, TN

    Jack, if Obama does not get the Democratic nomination, then a 3rd party would be a good idea. Obama deserves the nomination but it looks like Hillary will do anything to cheat him out of it. This is being written by a Yellow Dog Democrat! Thanks for your great comments on Wolf's show. I agree with you most of the time but Lou Dobbs turns me off!

    March 20, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  126. Jim

    Yes, I agree. The republican party has been hijacked by the conservatives while the democrats have been hijacked by the liberals. We used to see moderate and liberal republicans in the republican party while the democrats had moderates and conservatives in their party. Seems like the extremists of both parties control the political environment of our country. Too bad.....

    March 20, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  127. Adela Brown

    Yes. Plain and simple. The question to be asked is: Who will answer the call to rebuild the faith of our citizens in our government and what path our country will take for the future? Los Angeles, CA

    March 20, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  128. Evan

    The only way you are going to get a viable third party is by changing the outdated election laws

    Our electoral system is a first-past-the-post, majoritarian system – the kind that forces people to align into 2 political parties because you need 50%+1. A plurality system would be much better, where people can vote for their own conscience and have their vote count no matter where they live.

    Changing the system that favors 2 parties is the only way you are going to get any change. period

    March 20, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  129. Anthony

    Jack, a new political party won't do much. Don't we have parties like the Greens and the Constitution Party, etc.

    Preventative medicine to cure a diseased person doesn't do much good. As long as we have winner-takes-all style style elections, the Dems and Repubs will keep their monopoly over political power, and mathematically shut out any outsiders.

    What the current political parties need are two things: 1. proportional representation which could give outside parties a chance, and 2. a good square kick in the you-know-where. That's what the doctor ordered.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  130. Stephen

    Yes, you are correct. Just look at the divide within the Democratic party. We have a liberal democrat and a moderate democrat both trying to walk the fine line that appeals to a majority of voters. The Dems wouldn't be in this mess if more parties were functioning with credibility in Washington. Instead of encouraging third parties, we blame Nader for the 2000 election.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  131. James

    Let's do away with all political parties, revise the way political campaigns fundraise and spend money, reduce the effect of the incumbent candidates ability to use their position to gain unfair advantages (ex: Presidents calling press conferences and touring the US to talk about campaign issues under the guise of normal routine), and basically, make all candidates stand on their issues instead of rhetoric and fear and who can spend the most money. America wants and needs people who stand up for issues instead of blindly following party lines or thinking only of their re-election instead of thinking of the greater good for America.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  132. Evan, Highland Park, IL

    We've needed another political party for more than 150 years. I think Americans are tired of the same old candidates rehashing the same ideological arguments every four years. Both Democrats and Republicans expect that if you agree with them on the hot topic of the day, you will be lock-step with them. It doesn't allow room for disagreement and dialogue where real change happens.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  133. Rick

    I am really tired as an American not really knowing who to vote for. There is so much hatred between the Republicans and
    Democrats. I like some of both partys stands but I think we need an Independent party to work with both sides of the issues and is willing compromise when it affects the American people. I want him to be able to do this so we can get something done instead of always being unwilling to give in to the other sides point of view. I am not always going to agree but at least we get something done.

    Columbus, Ohio

    March 20, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  134. dennis north carolina

    yes, but you will not see it happen because the power struture in this country control both parties and will never allow a third party to gain power. ask Ross, he tried.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  135. Bert from Omaha

    The two major political parties should be disbanded and we should rebuild a political infrastructure in this country from scratch. A structure that will truly be a representative cross-section of our complex society.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  136. Gary Shaw

    Political parties should be illegal. Everyone should be an independent voter....never promising their vote to "anyone" before election day.
    There are too many sheep...and not enough shepherds.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  137. Patrick Johnson

    Wigs!!

    March 20, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  138. Brent

    A "bipartisan unity" ticket will never work. Why? Because someone has to be President. Remember, unless the president cannot finish his/her term, all the vice president can legally do is be a tying vote in the Senate. Other than that, it's the president's way or the highway.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  139. Mike from Glenolden, PA

    I don't think he's necessarily right Jack. Democrats can't even choose between Senators Clinton and Obama! What would the addition of another good candidate do to politics in America? The race would start on inaguration day, and we'd have upwards of 25 candidates. The American people, most notably Democrats, can't decide between two candidates. I think this would complicate things. One more thing, if Mr. Hagel is suggesting such things, why doesn't he start the movement rather than talk about it. The problem isn't our parties, it's our candidates talking more than acting. Actions speak louder than words, Jack.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  140. Dave

    Jack,
    California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger seems to represent the "center" that people are looking for - socially liberal but fiscally conservative. Or as the Libertarians say, "Free Minds and Free Markets".

    Dave from Palos Verdes CA

    March 20, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  141. Mike - Sammamish, WA

    Yes!!! Hagels the man! Another party that balances the extreme views of the current system is just what we need. When do we sign up, Chuck?

    March 20, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  142. Christopher Tedor, Chicago

    Thank God someone in politics said it, yes we need a 3rd party to represent the center of the aisle. The far-right can keep the Republicans and the far-left can keep the Democrats. I don't see it happening though.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  143. Jack MPLS MN

    A New Politcal Party? And one would think this is possible how? Let's be realistic.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  144. ron melbourne, fl.

    He's right, we do need another set of options. the cynic in me wonders how long before the new party becomes just like the old ones. until the system is rewired to actually reflect the will of the people, and not the will of the rich people, I don't really see anything changing in a positive way.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  145. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    It is about time! Independent would be fine with me. The more this goes on, the more we are finding out the character of each candidate. Not getting pretty. Need someone who will listen and do the will of the people, ban big government and lobbyists from Washington and not be beholding to anyone for favors.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  146. Simone from New Jersey

    A third (or fourth or fifth) party would be great. It seems like the two major parties polarize each other into such extremes. It probably won't fix all of our problems, and I'm sure we'll hit some speedbumps along the way, but the overall outcome would be a positive one.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  147. David Orlando - PA

    Let's us reason together... We need a third party is cliche... The last thing this country needs is more politicians fighting for positions in an already complex party system... Please... The Republicans and the Democrats have enough problems with their own internal bureaucracies as it is now...
    Want to solve the crisis, go to a parliamentary system like the UK (unlikely as a snowball's chance in a blast furnace) or proportional representation by state or nationally in Congress (better chance of the Second Coming happening tomorrow)...
    If it weren't for the freedoms we enjoy now, there would have been a Third American Revolution by now...

    March 20, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  148. Omar from Texas

    Exactly what we need, 3 groups of lying politicians and a Ralph Nader.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  149. Dee

    I believe so. Especially after seeing Democrats acting like Republicans.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  150. Gretchen from Indiana

    If we can get the Republican party out of the clutches of the "Religious" right and the neocons, I see no need for a third party. They are like weeds choking the life out of true conservatives. Nominating McCain was a big step toward purging the neocon influence. Getting rid of Ann Colter (now that she is a Democrat for the next four years) will also move the ball forward. Americans are largely moderate. Periodically, we get over-run by radicals. The trick is to get all of them to move to a third party and leave the rest of us be.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  151. Bill in Dayton, Ohio

    Of course he's right Jack.
    The two party system IS, as the late libertarian leader Harry Browne reminded us time and time again, a "two headed monster"!

    Despite Americas' faults and problems, voters continue to elect and re-elect candidates who, regardless of the rhetoric and promises they make, "captivate" their imagination. They can whine and complain but it is THEIR candidates, democrats and republicans both, who have ignored and virtually eliminated any need for constitutional authority, accountability or, as your question yesterday related to, consent from the american people regarding business being conducted by our elected officials. Much of that behind our backs in total secrecy.

    The two partiy system blocks state ballot access by independents, blocks those other than the 2 parties from debate participation, forces registered voters in many counties to register as specified, democrat, republican or independent. There are MANY independent parties, not just one!

    Third party sounds good Jack but...
    current system in place to lead this country or congress?
    Probably not in our lifetime. The two parties won't allow it!

    Bill in Dayton, Ohio

    March 20, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  152. Dale Ashley

    Yes, Chuck Hagel is right. We do need an true Independent party. One without ties to any other political party. It will never work if members of "new" party were long time Democrats or Republicans. It may seem like it for awhile but eventually the ideals and influence of past affiliations would creep into the new party and "contaminate" it.

    Dale Ashley

    March 20, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  153. Barbara

    It is past time for a new party. The Democrats can't get their act together, and the Republicans are too partisan. We need a party that is FOR THE PEOPLE.
    Barbara
    Warner Robins, GA

    March 20, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  154. Will K. San Jose, CA

    We need a new election system.

    As it currently stands, no third party can challenge in the current structure as way too much money and power is held by the parties.
    We need to switch to a two round run-off election system. Preferably with a low fixed spending cap, and free and equal TV time given to each candidate that passes some national selection criteria.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  155. Mark Berwyn, PA

    Amen!! Yes, yes, and hell yes!

    March 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  156. Mary - Santee CA

    Why not? With the way the Democrats and Republicans are going, a third party would be a breath of fresh air.

    Mary – Santee CA

    March 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  157. Richard

    Over the last few years, I've changed my answer to the question of what political party I'm a member of. My new answer? The human party. I agree with many of the Republican ideas when it comes to fiscal responsibility but I just can't stomach the outright hate they carry around with them concerning their ideas on social issues. I agree with the Democrats when it comes to the social problems but have difficulty with a party that seems to spend more time trying to find an answer than actually having one. Give me a liberal conservative candidate that actually seemed to want to listen to everyone and is willing to right the wrongs (civil/sexual rights, creating fair taxation levels for all Americans be they poor or rich, repairing our destroyed public image around the world) that have been prepetrated by the current standing government and I might just consider sending my vote that way.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  158. Ralph

    Absolutely! It's time to get the Bull Moose out of the garage. The Republicans are so far to the right the Constitution is being trashed. The Demoratic Party is so far to the left it accuses President Clinton of being a Republican. Both are out of touch with Americans. We want solutions! We want the big truck driven down the middle of the road. We want leadership! We don't want "Change" just being a label on an empty bottle. Rick, Yakima, Wa.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  159. Lauren

    "Unity Party?"

    Ugh, that sounds entirely TOO New-Agey and would turn a LOT of people off!

    March 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  160. Greg S.

    A candidate free from machine party politics would be just what the country needs. Liberal or conservative is irrelevent if you can utilize common sense. If you want things to change, you'll have to start by electing a new congress one by one. Can we get a Bull Moose?

    March 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  161. Joey McAdams

    Republican Senator Chuck Hagel says the U.S. may need a new political party. Is he right?

    He may probably be right, but to state this right now is more Republican propoganda to steal votes from the Democratic party. With an extremely tight race comming up before november, all the votes are going to count, and if the Republicans can get more Democrats to vote independant or green, or whatever is trendy these days, they're going to win.

    (Traditionally, Dems are more apt to vote for the 3rd guy than Republicans, or Independants or more likely to vote D. Either way it costs the Democrats votes.)

    March 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  162. Rob Cutts

    It really is amazing how reverent we are of our forefathers, yet completely ignore their suggestions. Washington was right, political parties were bound to ruin our government, and sure enough, theyre doing exactly what Washington thought they would do. Divide and conquer our own nation.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  163. Jeanne: Holland, PA

    It does not matter how many parties we have to choose from, what matters is that after they are elected, the congress, senate, President and VP should not be considered one party working for the people. One party coming together to pass bills, etc. that the american population can count on their voices being heard. With two parties, they dont seem to be able to agree on anything. I would like to have our government put out the bill to the american voters, we vote together all in one day and then congress would pass laws, bills etc based on the people, not the politicians. I also think that congress, the house etc. meetings should be televised, so we americans can see how petty the elected officials are, at the detriment of what americans want and need. I think its time to re-vamp the whole thing.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  164. William Garreans

    As a lifelong citizen of Nebraska and proud to say that I have always voted for Hagel and regret his decision to not seek a third term in the Senate. As far as a "new" political party I agree that as interesting as the idea sounds, what gurantees do we have that a "new" political party wouldn't become like the ones we have now? History tells us that when these two "fine" parties first came into power they were great, wonderful, and worked for the people. Bottom line is I would rather see Hagel run for governor of Nebraska and keep his wonderful ideas here where they belong, the don't call Nebraska "the good life" for nothing!

    March 20, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  165. skylar from austin

    yes it has been time, 2 parties just cannot get it done in this world of many issues. what ever happened to 3 heads being better than 2?? besides the people need more options i say we have 4-5 but thats far off

    March 20, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  166. John-MO

    I'd like to see a party that is socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Sort of like the best of the Democratic party and Republican party combined.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  167. David, Laramie, WY

    It could easily happen if dissatisfied Democrats decided to vote for the Green Party and dissatisfied Republicans decided to vote for the Libertarian Party. A nice start would be some press coverage of these two parties and inclusion of Nader and the Libertarian nominee in debates. It might even bring about an honest discussion of the issues.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  168. Lynn Thompson

    I "totally" agree with Mr Hagel!
    We / America, need to clean out the White House, Congress, Senate
    and all. We need people with no ties to the corruption that has
    made America a laughing stock in the eyes of other Countries.
    Where can we find a man that is actually of the people and for the people without greed in his pocket?
    For the sake of America, this man needs no ties to ANY group
    or sect that has been allowed to exist here.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  169. DUCK SLC UTAH

    IT IS TIME TO VOTE ALL THE INCUMBENT'S OUT
    AND PUT A TERM LIMIT ON THEM

    March 20, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  170. Vinit from Berkeley

    Jack, as a student at UC Berkeley and perhaps the only Republican here, I can assure you that the system of two party politics has never been stronger. In a time of polarization over so many issues, a third party is a mere distraction and would only gain minimal support with a radical platform.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  171. Christian Chicago, IL

    Republican Senator Chuck Hagel says the U.S. may need a new political party. Is he right?

    Finally!! A politican in the public eye who brings attention to this issue. How many times have people gone to the voting booth and thought, "Which of the two is a lesser evil?" The two party system is broken! It's time to create a party devoid of the extreme right racists and gun nuts and the extreme left pot smokers and atheists and create a moderate centrist party. That is where most Americans stand and it's time to to give the people of this country a voice that can be viewed as their own!

    March 20, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  172. Stephan L.

    We already have other political parties. It's time that Americans stop thinking a vote for a smaller party is a waste and that a vote for either a Democrat or a Republican is just a "lesser of two evils" vote. There are very appealing values to the Libertarian, Green, and Constitutional parties. Try 'em out!

    March 20, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  173. Steve

    I'm sick of Hillary Clinton's attitude of "Me or Nobody!" There is no mathematical way she can make up the necessary popular vote or delegates to surpass Obama so instead she is relying on character assassinations against him. She is ruining the democratic partys chance of winning this November and if she is actually the nominee, I'm voting for Nader.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  174. Randy

    Another real candidate would be great. I don't think there is a bit of difference between the three current candidates.
    If you want to see real party unity, watch them unite against the threat of a true third party. Hagel might be the right choice.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  175. Paul C

    This country's system is a 2 party system. a 3rd party candidate will always steal votes from the rival that they are most closely aligned to. Perot and Nader have proven this.
    We would need a parliamentary system for the 3rd party to work and that pesky constitution is standing in the way of that.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  176. karen

    Forget the party! – let's just vote for the candidate straight off. Really what good is a 'party' when it only covets dirt, accusations, untruths, and too many truths? Parties are just "he said , she said , " all with a good excuse making everything circumstantial and a waste of brain power. Let's unclutter the election system! May the best person win.
    ------Indianapolis

    March 20, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  177. Jim F.

    This country already has a third political party. It's called the Libertarian Party, and it takes the best of the Democrats and combines it with the best of the Republicans. In simple terms a libertarian is a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. Combine the Democrats' defense of personal liberties (i.e. no wiretapping without a warrant, free speech, rights of the accused, same-sex marriage) with the Republicans' defense of fiscal liberties (i.e. low taxes, small government, economic deregulation) and you have a party with a consistent philosophy in which the rights of the individual are paramount in all regards. The LP would appeal to the vast majority of freedom-loving people between the socialist and fascist extremes at either end of the spectrum if we could only give up the partisanship that we've been raised with, and reject the false choice between the Democrats and the Republicans.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  178. Deidra Major - Ohio

    Yes it is time for one that works together rather than one that points blame.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  179. Sean, Salt Lake City

    I agree with many here, that BOTH of the major parties should be dismantled, as well as the electoral college. I find it infuriating that even though my decisions count toward the "popular vote", in the end, my vote counts for nothing. Until I wield a delegate or super-delegate, my voice will continue to fall on deaf ears.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  180. Eddy of Vermont

    We don't just need another political party. New parties spring up every year, such as the reform party or the greens. The problem is not the existence of new parties, rather it is how we preform our elections. We need electoral reform, now more than ever.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  181. Jonathan Sarnoff

    America definitely needs a new political party, but history tells us that as long as there are two major parties around, a third one can't be viable for very long. Where have you gone Free Soil Party, Constitutional Union Party, Populist Party, Progressive Party, Reform Party . . . .

    March 20, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  182. Dee

    How about voting for a candidate than a party.
    I discovered that even though I was Republican all my life, I was more inclined to Sen Obama. Hence, I changed myself to Independent.
    It is easy- fair and you choose the BEST candidate that way.

    March 20, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  183. Jeff

    If a third party was introduced you would just have that much more corruption in the politcal system. We need to look at the two parties we currently have and somehow fix them. We don't need more politicians, we need more honesty and integrety. Term limits would definitely be an option.

    March 20, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  184. Bob from Chicago

    The Republicans pushed out the Whig Party. It looks like an independent in John McCain is on his way to victory. He leads the head to head with Clinton by 8% and Obama by 6%. Doesn't look like there is room for Hagel unless Hillary steals the nomination from Obama and Obama joins Hagel as the anti-war party. They would make a formidable team.

    March 20, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  185. Drew in Newburyport, MA

    Absolutely!!! We have an institutionalized two-party system that is sanctioned by the government designed to perpetuate itself instead of responding to the needs of the people. One party has been largely hijacked by the right while the other is beholden to the left. The relatively sane block of moderates making up nearly half of the electorate in this country are usually stuck choosing between two candidates that don't truly reflect their desires.

    March 20, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  186. Eric

    party – a social gathering, as of invited guests at a private home, for conversation, refreshments, entertainment -

    And you telling me we need another one of those give me a break!

    March 20, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  187. Ray Houston, Tx

    Jack, I believe that Chuck Hagel might be right, I have thought this myself. I would have suggested to Barack Obama to move to a Unity party if I were a counsilor to him. Even now it would not be a bad Ideal. I looked at things such as the numbers that have come out to vote this primary season, and I do believe that if we want someone who is the same old politician Senator Obama is the closet to fit the bill. He has not had the time to become jaded as his fellow canidates, and he has not run a campaign based on destroying his opponents. His only problem seems to be guilt by association as many would like us to think, but I don't believe the majority of Americans think this way. Yes a 3rd party would be a good thing.

    March 20, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  188. Jeff Myhre

    We have plenty of parties: Libertarian, Socialist Workers, Communist, Prohibition, Constitutional. All that has to happen is for someone to actually vote for them.

    March 20, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  189. Sam Shaw, Houston, TX

    I'd love to see a third party – with Barack Obama/Chuck Hagel being the candidates. Like this year. Let the Republican party stay the course although they have no clue where they're going, and let the Democrats swerve around out of control because they don't know how to drive. Obama/Hagel would be a terrific ticket.

    March 20, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  190. Derrick Gardner

    I'm down with a new political party, if it would allow our country to be a better country and release us from the partisan bickering!!

    Detroit, Michigan

    March 20, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  191. Bob

    FOR SURE!!! How about you Jack, and Lou Dobbs on the same ticket in 2012. If anybody can shake up those BOZZO"S in DC. You guys are my pick.

    Bob in PA

    March 20, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  192. Nick in Missoula, MT

    The United States is in DIRE need of a new political party. The 2 existing parties are in essence the same party, aimed at appealing to the “older” rich, white folks in this country. Minorities, the younger generations and the poor/middle classes are all disenfranchised by the Republican & Democratic parties. The more time goes by, the more we pull away from politics and the more dire the situation in this country becomes. Every day there is another push being started to get more youth voters involved in politics and every day there are actions taken by both of the major parties that push us even further away. The time for change is now, before it is too late, if it isn’t already.

    March 20, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  193. Jerry Knafel

    If we do not get big buisness out of having so much influence on our goverment it won't make a difference.

    March 20, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  194. tim larsen

    Jack,
    In stead of a new political party what america needs to do is get back to the constitution and the example of our founders. Washington is running amuck with individuals who seem to be out for their own interests and that of the "party" not whats best for america. George washington did not seek a nomination but rather accepted it for the good of the nation. he was against political parties rather let all good men(or women) vote their convictions. today with the grid lock of special interests nothing seems to be getting done. No party is best but each person doing what they know in their hearts to be right and let the parties and special interests be dambed.

    March 20, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  195. Bryce

    Adding a new political party won't do anything. Then moderates like McCain and his pal Lieberman will jump over and it will still be the same ol' people and lobbies and money. I think the first step to fixing our mess is to put term limits on Congress so that they can't be in DC for 30 years. Then, we need to decentralize the parties back to big state conventions and less emphasis on the national committee. Last, is that the parties need to actually stand for something. As a Republican, I feel like we have lost our roots into what the party stands for. Democrats don't even have a platform besides whatever Bush does we'll disagree with. Both parties need help. It is the people in the parties that have to stand up...people like Sen Brownback of Kansas who is self imposing term limits, and as much as I disagree with most things he says, Ron Paul because at least he stood up for what he believed in...not what the media believes in.

    March 20, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  196. Tom

    PLEASE LET IT BE TRUE! Getting beyond a two party system is one of the most fundamentally important challenges that face America. It's just as important as getting rid of money buying votes on capital hill. The two party system help's perpetuate the polarized beliefs of the citizens of this great country and making us incapable of working together for the betterment of the nation and the world. I am ready to follow Obama to the end in order to get the lobbyists off the Hill. I would be just as happy to get behind Hagel to create a legitimate new party. And if somehow Clinton ends up with the Democratic nomination I would love to see Obama join him so the could initiate both of these important changes in policy.

    March 20, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  197. Daniel Hood, Bowling Green, KY

    Jack, in my heart I certainly do wish that a 3rd Party was formed with the same strength as the Progressive Bull-Moose Party had in the 1912 elections. However, we have to face reality Jack that it would be only a cosmetic feature only to the already Independent slots in Presidential elections. That 3rd party would only steal votes either from the Democratic or Republican parties and guarantee the other opposing party to win. America had 2 major political parties for so long that I believe that a 3rd party would have a terrible time trying to win any political offices.

    March 20, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  198. crown justice

    I think Senator Hagel is very brave. I am grateful to him for finally coming out and speaking the truth. This is what people are thinking but not saying it. A third party is very necessary. I wish I could see Obama/Hagel ticket right now.

    Hillary and the democrats deserve each other. Obama is too good for the democrats and the republicans.

    A bi-partisan ticket such as Obama/Hagel is a wonderful idea.
    Crown Justice
    Toronto, Canada

    March 20, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  199. Scott

    Chuck Hagel and Joe Lieberman would be a great Independent ticket. Lieberman would be the hawk, the war monger, and Hagel would be the anti-war pot smoking liberal

    March 20, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  200. Ken Jackson - Columbia, MD

    Yes, I agree with Sen. Hagel. But it has to be a true third party, not a 3rd party candidate or a one issue party (i.e., the Green Party). It has to have clear, unambiguous positions on issues such as illegal immigration, gun ownership, abortion, social welfare, health care, etc. It should also advance fresh, pragmatic ideas on problem resolution rather that placing politics above problem solving.

    March 20, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  201. chuck from Indiana

    Jack., Hagel is only half right what we need is two new political parties. Lets get rid of all this nonsense and start all over. Watching this fiasco with the Democrats has been as i heard one pundit call it, "a circular firing squad" truer words were never spoken.

    March 20, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  202. Robert, Grand Forks, ND

    Absolutely! As a Republican who thinks the decision to invade Iraq will stand as one of the most ideotic decisions in U.S. history, I find it absurd that there is no natural political home for social and fiscal conservatives who oppose the Bush administration's mad policy of global domination. I think I speak for many Americans when I say that neither the pro-big government Democratic Party nor the imperialist Republican Party have any real solutions to our nations problems.

    March 20, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  203. Thomas B/Houston, TX.

    Unless potential candidates can stay focused on the issues at hand and stop the unnecessary bickering (same old dirty politics) between each other, another party will not do anyone any good...

    It's time for a new face with new ideas and a new political strategy....

    March 20, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  204. Michael in Seattle, WA

    I don't think so, Jack...I personally prefer the two-party system. It allows for a rotating majority in Congress. Introducing a third party would eliminate that majority and often create an impasse, exactly the problem they've been experiencing in Pakistan for some time. The two-party system is more dynamic, for better or for worse. But it's been said several times, and I honestly believe, that if Barack Obama becomes President, we will see a value-realignment within the parties, partly because of widespread disillusionment with the Republicans, and partly because of the new generation of voters that Obama is securing for the Democrats. I think that both parties will be forced to adjust and update their platforms as a result of this.

    Obama/Hagel 08

    March 20, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  205. roy baker

    jack, i have alway's admired senator hagel, altho iIam a democrat,he has always spoke honestly not just sticking with his party no matter what! he and jim webb would truly be a dream team!, thank God there are still honest sincere politicians, its unfortunate that he has deciede to not run ,the pressure on him must be intense!GOD BLESS MEN like him!

    March 20, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  206. Peter

    A third political party wouldn't help much if the way candidates run for office didn't change. Would an elected third party congressman or senator still spend most of his time working to retain his/her seat, rather than writing good bills and voting against bad ones and trying to work toward agreements that could get things done? If any political party, new or old, is allowed to raise money they way they currently do it, or if the media continues to inform us based solely on sounds bites rather than full, expansive reporting, than it won't matter how many parties we have.

    March 20, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  207. Adam K

    Third parties are needed in this country to house those on the political fringes who believe the center path that most Americans follow is fundamentally wrong. I have no problems with third parties, just as long as they do not delude themselves into thinking that they are always right and most Americans are being deceived by the Democratic and Republican "conspiracies."

    March 20, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  208. Doug

    Like all complicated questions, yes and no. Yes, it would be nice to have more viewpoints represented. However, under the current system it wouldn't work. The current rules don't allow for coalition building like a parlimentary system does. If a majority of citizens feel strongly about something, but end up splitting those votes across two parties, it becomes easier for the single party with the contrary viewpoint to unify and actually win a race. What I'm talking about is nicely demonstrated by those good old 2000 elections. If the Nader supporters had chosen between Bush and Gore, does anyone doubt that Gore would have had the office? Or if that election has too much baggage associated with it, wasn't the conventional wisdom that Clinton's first term was made possible by Perot taking support from Bush I?
    So under the current system, please don't give me a third party. Give me a new system...

    March 20, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  209. MARILYN SNORF

    I've been a registered Independent for fifty years. I think it's time we are recognized as a party. Three parties aren't going to do anything to the other parties except giving us a candidate to vote for. There has been very little out there to vote for, for several election cycles.

    March 20, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  210. Derek from Apex, North Carolina

    Jack, what we need is the rise an already existing party, the Libertarian Party. What McCain, Obama, and Clinton all have in common is that they want to spend massive amounts of money further increasing our already substantial 9 trillion dollar debt. McCain wants to spend billions more dollars on the failed Republican Iraq War and Clinton and Obama want to spend billions on hundreds of Democratic domestic welfare and class war programs that are corrupt, and failing, and have made millions of Americans dependant on the federal gov't, . The Founding Fathers held Libertarian ideas of limited gov't, civil liberties, and self-reliance, and if history's taught us anything its that these guys knew what they were talking about. If you can't trust Washington, Jefferson, or Franklin then who can you trust? Vote Libertarian!

    March 20, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  211. Karl in CA

    Senator Hagel is probably the only politician in Washington that isn't a true politician. He actually represents the people of his district and the rest of the country. He is a true leader and it is sad he isn't going forward with an Independent movement. We definitely need more voting options and the Chuck Hagels of this country need to step forward and give them to us.

    March 20, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  212. Linda S.,Fairfield, CA

    I have long felt that all political parties should be abandoned. I think candidates should be allowed to run for president which would allow the best man/woman to win without the complexities involved with party nominations. I am sick in tired of all of the political garbage, and I only wish the people can actually decide, and not delegates or persons apart of the electoral college.

    March 20, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  213. Wayne

    Jack,

    Althoughy both parties have been hijacked by their extremes, a third party really isn't viable. What we truly need are term limits. That reduces/eliminates the power of special interests, but of course, at the same time it will create even more lobbiests (what else can a term limited pol do?)

    March 20, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  214. Bruce Marshall

    yes Jack he is right and it is way over due, I don't think the Dems or Reps. will let them into the club very easy as it hard to share things when it is a three way split.

    March 20, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  215. Zabajones Chiarella

    Senator Hagel is absolutley right. However, history has proved that America is a two party system. The Populists, Greenbacks and Progressives were never the top shelf parties of their era. Perhaps the United States would be better suited to a new two party system...

    March 20, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  216. pete

    Hey Jack,

    How can you mock Wolf for caring too much about presidential NCAA brackets, then proceed to a story about Chuck Hagel thinking it's time for a third political party? There are not too many more irrelevant people out there than Chuck Hagel. What's he done? Why should we care at all? You're as boring as Wolf today, in my opinion.

    March 20, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  217. gina

    Absolutely, Jack....

    My husband and I have been waiting most of our adult lives for a 3rd
    party.!!!!

    We have been staunch democrats all of our lives, and now have never felt so let down as we do from the present democratic congress.

    You may be interested to know that a large group of retired people
    we mix with also feel the same way we do.....so, bring a 3rd party on
    Mr. Hagel...we just hope we live long enough to see it happen.

    p.s. love the Cafferty File...you are so un-biased, Jack.

    G.

    March 20, 2008 at 5:19 pm |