For the past few years, many people that I talk to, both conservatives and liberals, have stopped or reduced how much they watch the news, both on television and on-line. I know that I have. Most people don’t want to hear stories about partisan politics and poor decisions being made in our government. These decisions often don’t reflect the will of the majority of Americans and often make no sense because they are based on ideology rather than facts.
A poll by the Pew Research Center done in 2019 confirms how bad the problem is. The poll found that 85 percent of Americans say that the political debate in the U.S. has become less respectable, fact-based, and substantive. And this situation will only get worse as time goes by. It will also continue to threaten our democracy, a moderate form of government which has served us well for over 240 years.
As an engineer you learn that decisions have to be made based on facts, data, and science-based logic if the solution is to successfully in solving the problem at hand. Decisions made otherwise will likely end up in failure. Unfortunately, when extreme ideological beliefs don’t align with facts, the ideological beliefs often win out. And more often than not, this is the way our increasingly extremist government on both sides is making decisions.
Moderate conservatives and moderate liberals don’t allow ideological thinking to overwhelm facts. And that’s why extreme ideology bothers us so much. Luckily, there is something we can do about it. We can grow our own political party. This new centrist party would make common sense decisions to fix our escalating problems and end the gridlock in our dysfunctional Congress.
And it would also do something else. The Republicans represent largely the wealthy and the far-right, and the Democrats represent largely the poor and the far-left. A new centrist political party would represent the four M’s: moderate conservatives and moderate liberals who make up most of those who identify as political Independents, our middle class which is struggling to survive, and millennials who, for the most part will not have it as good as previous generations had it.
There is an old saying that goes: “When you do what you did, you get what you got.” Having only two political parties to choose from has caused us to get mired in gridlock and it is ripping our country apart. 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.
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. 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.
You can do something to help change the direction that our country is heading in. Don’t buy into the “that will never happen” way of thinking that is so common regarding the formation of a third major political party. There are several fledgling efforts out there working 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 frightened 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. Nothing will happen without your help.