So which team are you on? Demos? Republicans? Why do we have such a team orientation to our politics? And why does it always seem to come down to two “sides”? Given the sheer number of issues it is ludicrous to think that only two different viewpoints could adequately represent everyone. However, it seems we believe it is adequate. And when it comes to voting or working on the issues, it is one team vs. the other. In my experience it is best to have differing viewpoints to work together in order to come up with the “best” solution. Differing opinions help spot strengths and weaknesses of a given approach. However in our current political environment that is anathema. Since it would require acknowledging the other side has valid points.
So how do we get away from this? Well I suggest that the government should not be supporting the political party system. First it should no longer keep citizens that join one party from joining others. In fact the government should not care. There should be one method for getting candidates on the ballot, and the parties should adhere to that method. In other words the general election would just be a set of valid candidates hopefully with a well-communicated platform. If parties want to participate in the primary system, they should pay to defray any additional costs and provide a list of their members to be given ballots. So at that time a given voter may have multiple party ballots.
Without this we instill an idea that we are divided into two teams, and lose the fact that we are all affected by the same problems. Slinging “pithy” statements and expending energy to denigrate the “other team” may be fun entertainment but do little good. We often think using these tactics will help “our” team “win”. However, this tendency toward win-lose just makes us all lose out. Putting this thinking to an end will weaken the idea that candidates should work in the interest of the party and hopefully get them focused on solving real issues.
A Madman has spoken…