Today I noticed a poll question on the front page of CNN.com: “Is it time to break out of the two party system?”
Much to my surprise, the results:
- 84% – yes
- 16% – no
Rarely a week goes by without me discussing the two party system with someone. The story is always the same. They feel betrayed by their public officials. They’re tired of the partisan bickering, they’re tired of the big money in politics, they’ve lost faith in their party’s ability to effect positive change, yet, when it comes time to go into the booth, there is only ever one thought on their mind: I’ve got to keep the opposition party from getting that crazy so and so into office.
The two party system has become nothing more than a con man with two puppets, each trying to scare you into voting for the other.
In the end, most of the big donors are contributing to both campaigns.
In the end, you are voting-in the same special interests either way.
Partisanship is what happens when you give your power away and stop thinking for yourself. The elections are a sham and will continue to be, so long as people are too worried about the puppets to notice the puppeteers. If partisan insiders decide the candidate selection process, to whom does the nominee owe allegiance? Good luck moving the party’s ideology or agenda after you’ve sent the message that you’ll back down and accept their selections regardless. At that point they only need to care what their big donors think.
The party leadership is making the real decisions. They hold the keys to reelection. Their decisions can be the difference between getting big donors and not, an endorsement from a former president, or that endorsement going to a competitor in the primary. If a politician wants to stay in the game, they have to play by the party rules. This is most clearly visible in the unity of party votes in Congress. They aren’t all voting together out of ideology, they’re following their marching orders.
What we need is a party without a centralized leadership. The American people want to elect an individual, not a party. The poll numbers above reflect this loud and clear. All the people need is the confidence to realize that the majority is with them, and they won’t be alone. In the end, the only way to get a good candidate in office is to reject all of the bad ones. Voting for the lesser of two evils only ensures that there will be two more evils to choose from next time.