The US is, beyond any doubt, a two party State. It has been that way since pretty much forever, and that is the way it is very likely to remain, pretty much forever.
Let's explore that a little.
This is going to be reasonably brief, and concise, and necessarily missing out on detail.
If you can supply the missing detail, please feel free to add comments.
There are Democrats and Republicans. It was ever thus, and our current disquiet with those on our side of the aisle will not change this situation, however attractive that idea may seem in the early onset of spring.
Where are all the Green Congressmen? How many attempts have there been to formulate, and form, political parties in this country? How much success have they had?
Why does anyone think that the Independent voters, who love mainstream Democratic policies, and quite like our President, will vote for a Third Party with a Liberal (Socialist and probably Communist) platform?
They answer is that they won't. Even if they did, in a few True Blue districts, all that you achieved was to displace some of the better Democrats and replace them with good Democrats who, whatever their label, would caucus with the Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party would get all the credit. Next go around the Democratic Party would gear up the machine, thank you for your help, and kick you into the weeds.
I am not saying that the formation of a third party is impossible. What I am saying is that any real success, any real benefit for the people we wish to help and promote, would be a very long time coming, if at all. Sure it would be exciting. Hell it would be fun. But fun and excitement have a way of wearing off in the face of the obstacles that would be erected, and the frustration that your effort helped the Democratic Party, if indeed they didn't split it so severely that the GOP had a free run.
Let's take a case study:
The UK has a decently well established Parliamentary system. So the UK is already ahead of the game, because government there has to be fairly responsive. If they are not then they are all washed away by the next high tide. The US has a disadvantage here. Even if you can persuade the people that you have most of the answers, it is going to take you several election cycles to build enough traction in the Senate to prevent obstuctionism ... Ask Barack Obama how that feels.
The UK has a Third Party. That third Party has morphed a few times, but remains a broadly left of centre party with green credentials and libertarian tendencies. It is a decent party with some very good people. It has been the Third Party since God was a boy, and shows few signs of ever really making a major impression.
Their latest stupidity is a coalition government with their natural foes, the Conservative Party during a time of austerity and recession. When the next vote comes they are likely to be decimated. There have been times when they have received 25% of the popular vote, but no real power. That is the best a Third Party here could hope for, and remember, people like the Liberals. They are nice people, non-threatening with a good social agenda. Any Party here that is left of the Democratic Party is unlikely to be painted quite so benignly.
If we want a progressive political party in this country, and I believe we need one, not just want one, then we need to wrest control of the Democratic Party from the corporatists, the Blue Dogs, the vain, the terminally stupid, and give it back to the people. It's not like there are no good Democrats in the party, there are, and they need help not abandoning because mostly they will not come with you.
The Tea Party, bless their little cotton socks, are showing us the way. They are a faction, a rump, a fairly small group who have their Party Leadership bending over backwards to please them. We have our leadership bending us over too ... forwards, to shaft us!
We do not have a Parliamentary system. Rapid and effective changes cannot be made. We cannot ride the crest of a popular platform into power, but we can ride that wave right into the DNC.
Why try to build a new Party with little more than enthusiasm, when we already have one? It makes no sense and the constant clamour for this kind of action serves only to divide us and give comfort and aid to those who would do us harm. In the process, the very people we seek to help the most become the first victims.
We have progressives, we have liberals, we have a surplus of folk only too willing to help move this country towards social justice. What we need to do is put them in positions where they have real authority.
We need them in local Parties. We need them selecting candidates. We need them elbowing out the time servers on the State organisations. We need them on School Boards, City Councils and in the Judiciary. We need them organising labour .... the fire-fighters, the Police, the Teachers and others.
These targets are smaller than the grand vision of a new Party. They do not have the allure of a grand gesture. What they have is a chance of working. If they work we would, in fairly short order, realise that we just built a new Party, in our image, and responding to our agenda, and serving the people we believe are being poorly served right now.
We will not rid ourselves of the Blue Dogs over night. The DINOs will fight back, and some will hang a round for a while, but we can make changes and in doing so we will signal that we are not to be dismissed, we have a seat at the table.
Just doing this much will change the attitudes of Beltway Democrats ... Ask the Tea Party.