Ross Perot's 1993 visit to High Point (copy)

Ross Perot shakes hands with supporters at Showplace on the Park in High Point in March 1993.

Respected conservative journalist David Brooks wrote several years ago: “There has to be a party that unapologetically emphasizes public character formation. It’s not clear that our political culture is producing individuals capable of exercising freedom wisely. But citizenship is a skill that can be nurtured, by a party that insists on basic standards of decency in its candidates.”

Some denigrate my admiration for the “Greatest Generation,” but those folks were hardworking, responsible citizens of character and decency. Today the quality of both our citizenship and leadership are in question. One party reflects only wealth and greed, the other insane extremism. If responsible citizens still exist, where are they to go with their votes?

The tired, dogmatic Libertarian Party offers no sanctuary. It is entirely possible that a responsible third party would have won the presidency in 2016, but such an animal has not truly existed since Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 or possibly Ross Perot in 1992 (not Thurmond or Wallace!). Time to resurrect a viable, middle-class, third party, a desperately needed reform in American politics! History tells us that we need either a greatly admired public leader (Teddy Roosevelt) or a charismatic multi-billionaire like Perot. Anyone interested?

Bob Gaines


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