What are the odds of a 3rd party in America?
Not bad, according to one Westporter — a man who should know.
According to alert “06880” reader Tish Fried — who wrote the following report — over 40 people attended a book launch on that subject last Friday at Write Yourself Free in Colonial Green.
They discussed Robert A. Levine‘s latest work, Resurrecting Democracy: A Citizen’s Call for a Centrist Third Party. Levine — a Westporter for 40 years — is fed up with the extreme partisan bickering that’s paralyzed the federal government.
A Vietnam vet who became a medical doctor, Levine has watched the evolution of American politics with increasing alarm. Energized by his faith in democratic processes, he wrote this book.
“Is democracy dead if it needs resurrecting?” asked Patrick McCord, the event moderator.
“The current form of democracy serves to reinforce sitting Congress and the established parties’ self-interest,” Levine replied.
He proposed “a 3rd party, not bound by a single personality and structured on the principals of transparency, integrity, competency; a party with a commitment to finding pragmatic solutions to our most urgent problems.”
An energetic discussion of the viability of creating a 3rd party ensued.
Levine believes the moment is now. “This is a great time for this discussion. Congressional approval is at an all time low of 9%, the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street Movements are gaining numbers. Why not now?”
Audience members shouted out names of possible leaders: Chuck Hagel. Michael Bloomberg. Russ Feingold. Even Republican presidential nominee Jon Huntsman.
“The talent is out there,” Levine said. “We need men and women who will become a part of this movement.”
Levine said that he has been a political junkie since his days as a history major at Columbia University. But many Westporters know him as their doctor. A neurologist in private practice, he’s been on staff at Norwalk Hospital for over 4 decades.
A 3rd party. Just what the doctor ordered?