Farmer-Labor Politics in the Midwest

Farmer-Labor Politics in the Midwest

Why is there no labor-based radical political party in the United States? There are two main problems. First, organized labor has always been too
weak and too self-involved to be the basis of a new party, which could only succeed as a coalition effort of progressive groups—a real Rainbow. The second problem is that labor parties, indeed, all insurgent third parties (excepting the Republicans), have failed in the past, primarily because of winner-take-all elections that institutionalized the two old parties. Third parties have a dismal history at a national level. The insurgent presidential candidacies of Senator Robert LaFollette in 1924 and former Vice President Henry Wallace in 1948 signaled the end rather than the beginning of alternative political formations.

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