Well … it’s barely been three months into the primary season and the whole process now seems moot; no wonder some voters feel they’ve been cheated.

It would appear Mitt Romney, the Republican challenger, will square off against the incumbent Democrat, Barack Obama, in that fall heavyweight bout.

I’m already starting to hear people say: “We’re gonna be stuck with choosing the lesser of two evils again this fall.”

For the Republican Party, the candidate will no doubt be Mitt Romney.  Some claim he’s a conservative, but far more say he’s a moderate willing to ride both sides of the fence.  A few commentators have said he’s a “flip flopper” willing to say or do anything to get elected.

And for the Democratic Party, the candidate will be Barack Obama who’s a staunch liberal with a socialistic pedigree.  That, in itself, stirs fright in many an American.

But what does that all really mean?  It means we’re stuck with a dysfunctional two-party system that’s absolutely out of control.

We have the Democratic Party whose affiliation symbol is a donkey.  It’s symbolic of a stubborn hardheaded mule that’s always kicking up its heels to buck something; that bucking, more often than not, is against the Constitution.

Then we have the Republican Party whose affiliation is with an elephant.  It’s symbolic of a lethargically large beast in no hurry for change.  Elephants roam in a herd, not willing to break ranks, there’s security in that they say, but many tend to believe it’s a “Good old boys club” mentality.

A friend, one I’ve been trying to persuade to vote, who’s in his 40s and never voted before, told me he’s disenfranchised with the whole process.  He claims: “Politicians lie!  They just wanna blow smoke up your derrière to get elected.”  (I can’t repeat one of the words, so I censored it)  I hear that same sentiment from a lot of folks nowadays.  It would seem our elected officials neglect to recognize “Thou shall not bear false witness” – the ninth of Ten Commandments.

The campaign strategy for each candidate will be, no doubt, that of a frontal assault against their opponent.  It’ll be an ugly and messy war of words and images leading up to the general election.

If Romney plays a strategy of defense, one where he handles the President with kid gloves, not to offend any potential voters, he’ll lose the election.  His strategy will have to be one of offense focused solely on Obama and his failed policies.

Obama, on the other hand, will no doubt take on a persona of a carnival barker running a house of mirrors during the campaign.  That attraction should be avoided for it gives credence to a distortion of reality from many angles.  The President can’t say his policies have failed, he won’t win, he will have to deploy diversionary tactics to avoid the true distinctions of his presidency.

John McCain, who lost to Barack Obama in 2008, was a moderate Republican like Romney is.  But the circumstances are a bit different this time around though.  For not very many people knew who Barack Obama really was back then.  He didn’t have much of a record to examine because he often times simply voted “Present.”  However, he now has an abyssal record Romney will no doubt lambast him with.  Many of those who got caught up in all that sanctimonious hoopla of electing a first black president now claim to have regretted it.

Then there’s the tea party.  They’re like a tike wanting to tag along with the Republican herd, but some of the established ones in the group are thumbing their trunks at them.  Since the tea party is yet an infant, born in 2009, it couldn’t support itself so it relied on the Republicans to be their foster parents.  Trouble is little ones grow up to have a mind of their own.  (That might make for a great political cartoon)

Furthermore, the tea party hasn’t lost momentum or its appeal like some may claim.  It’s now growing to be a rebellious teen and will soon be developing into a young adult and leaving home, if it grows dissatisfied with its parental overseers in the next few election cycles.

If the Republican Party retains control of the House of Representatives and regains the Senate and the White House, the tea party will be watching their every move.  And, after the election, if the Republicans don’t embrace a moral fiber, smaller government, a balanced budget, and all the things the tea party strives for there might just be a viable third party arise in the not-so-distant future.

Greg Allen’s column, Thinkin’ Out Loud, was published bi-monthly from 2009 to 2017.  He’s an author, a former nationally syndicated columnist and the founder of Builder of the Spirit Ministries in Jamestown, Indiana.  He can be reached at www.builderofthespirit.org.

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