Ross Perot and the Call-In Presidency

It is conventional usage to refer to Ross Perot as a third-party candidate. In fact, he is nothing of the sort. Unlike the classic third-party candidates -- say, Strom Thurmond and Henry Wallace, who in 1948 formed right- and left- wing offshoots of a real political party (the Democrats) -- Perot represents no party. He does not even pretend to.

Perot is a one-man band. The fact that one man alone could have had such a meteoric rise begs explanation. Yes, the country is disgusted with Washington gridlock. Yes, both parties have put up maddening mediocrities. Yes, America lionizes tycoons and...

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