The paradigm that’s wrecking our country
Paradigms are defined as a way of looking at something or a prospective. They are often formed by people’s experiences or what they are used to. Note that paradigms don’t have to be based on facts, and they don’t have to represent the best or most efficient way for things to be done. In other words, you would not want to design a bridge or build a rocket based on a paradigm.
And yet, the United States is being run based on a real doozy. The paradigm that I am talking about is that we only need two major political parties to run our country because that is the way it’s always been. And that is the case even though each of the two parties only represent about 30 percent of Americans. The remaining 40 percent, known as Independents, are stuck in the middle with little to no real representation in running our country.
The Republicans represent primarily the ideological right and the wealthy and the Democrats represent primarily the ideological left and the poor. They sometimes refer to themselves as conservatives and liberals but these terms have become meaningless for the simple reason that you can’t divide everyone into just two buckets. Based on the recent events in Washington, moderate conservatives and moderate liberals have a lot more in common with each other that with those at the ideological extremes.
Having only two political parties to choose from is ripping our country apart. It is also causing all of our problems, such as our out-of-control national debt and the inability to do anything about climate change, to get worse. As simple as it sounds, a third major centrist tie-breaker political party would allow us to solve all of our country’s problems. Plus, the government would start doing things that make sense because the centrist party would be the one to determine which policies get enacted. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Based on recent polling data, over 60 percent of Americans and over 70 percent of millennials agree that we need a third major centrist political party. Unfortunately, when I talk to people about the topic of a new political party the typical response is: “that will never happen.” That type of thinking is unfortunately very prevalent and, just as with the paradigm itself, it is self defeating.
The U.S. is one of only a few countries in the world to have a two-party political system and it is failing us. We need a party to represent the moderate majority – moderate conservatives and moderate liberals, the middle class, and millennials who don’t have a very bright future to look forward to.
But nothing will happen without you. Don’t buy into the “that will never happen” philosophy. If everyone else in the world other than extremist countries like Russia and China have multi-party systems, why can’t we? There are several fledgling efforts out there to accomplish this such as the Alliance Party (theallianceparty.com), the Reform Party (reformparty.org), and Represent.Us.
Besides supporting these groups, there are other things that you can do individually if you feel frustrated and scared about what is going on in our country. Start a local group such a Facebook or Meetup group. If you are a student, start a group at your school or university. Do anything that you can to get the message out.
We need to push for the formation of a third major centrist tiebreaker party to start making progress in solving our festering problems, to make sure that our democracy is never again threatened, and to do things that make sense. Join with others who understand that the problems that we are facing are due to our failing two-party political system.