I'm not supporting a 3rd party (at this point). And as far as "steering" people in one direction or another, I suppose, no argument there.
Not to parse words, but simply to explain myself better, I am on a mission, to "influence" people to look in the mirror instead of at the government (or said political party). It's not about them, it's about us, "we the people." Look in the mirror, and you take control of the party.
I want the Republican Party to change, passionately I do, but reality dictates they won't change until they have to. As long as enough people just go along (holding their noses) with what they do, not only will they not change, but they'd be stupid too!
To get into why 3rd parties are weak electorally would take a book (and let's face it, I'm long-winded enough). Why Obama won is a very long and complex answer too. However, Republicans and Democrats both win for two very different reasons. In other words, looking to Obama for answers on how a conservative can win, is barking up the wrong tree! The Republican base had no passion for McCain. You can't win without passionate supporters. The only bit of energy he got, was from Sarah Palin (who I talk about a lot, and in vigorous support, on my other blog - The Classic Liberal Blog.
I should do a series of posts on the above 2 topics one of these days.
I heart Sarah Palin! Here in MI, I like McCotter. There are a number of Republican politicos I like, but that doesn't mean I'll blanket support all of them anymore.
As far as your father's health care insurance costs ... When I said "to be blunt, who cares", I was giving you my personal opinion in regards to "government solutions." About your father, I care deeply! But here's the thing ...
Outside of education, there isn't another sector of the economy with more government intrusion, er, involvement, than health care. Not only is health care unaffordable for most, but it's price is sky-rocketing too! My father has cancer, so I'm in the trenches with you.
Can you see the correlation though? Government = higher prices!
I want affordable health care just as much as the next guy! The only difference is, I ACTUALLY want affordable health care. "We the people" can either have affordable health care, or another government health care scheme. The 2 are mutually exclusive. A "Republican solution" can no more change this fact, than a "Republican solution" can change the law of gravity.
And finally ... I was talking about Barr to illustrate a point, not in recommendation of him (although I think he's a good man). I'm talking about sending a real message to the Republican Party! A message that works. I'm after real change, not promises.
I don't know how old you are, but if you're around my age (40), your father is probably familiar with the man known as "Mr. Republican," Robert A. Taft ... and I'd bet your bottom-dollar, he'd be in support of Taft today! So no, I don't think people actually fear small government, or what we label today - "libertarian" government.