It does not take a rocket scientist to see that a third party does not make much sense in the American electoral system. At least, this is true by conventional wisdom. The logic is simple, a third party would take votes away from the party most closely aligned (politically speaking), and ensure that the party that is least aligned with the new party would win. Therefore the worst possible scenario is created if a third party enters the picture. Ross Perot did it, and to a lesser degree, Ralph Nader did it. It is difficult to even argue against this, but I will attempt to do so here.
The problem that a lot of people have with the Republican party is the meddling in social policy. I think most people under the age of 60 are pretty liberal minded, on the social level. Each successive generation is more liberal than the previous one, so clearly society is moving in that direction, at least in the near future. It has been moving in this direction for some time.
Now when it comes to fiscal policy, most people would prefer a small government that focused on a few key issues, and handled them efficiently. Common sense regulation is called for, but no undue interference in the economy. The reaction to the bailout of banks, insurance companies, and car makers, is evidence that people do not want the government getting involved in these areas, and rightly so.
It is time for a third party to emerge, one that has a fiscally conservative nature, but is also socially liberal. I think the Libertarian party comes closest to the mark on this, and I hope to see a serious influx of cash going into the Libertarian coffers, as well as some legitimate candidates running under that banner. I can think of no time better than now for a legitimate and viable third party to emerge as a serious contender, but that party would need to be well organized.
People are tired of the Elephants and Jackasses that are the current choices out there.