Monday, October 25, 2010

Can Going Independent Save Our Government?

I'm just thinking out loud here but in light of the country's growing frustration with the two parties that we have, and given their general inability to get anything done amongst themselves due to partisan in-fighting, it seems fairly obvious that the current political system in this country is unsustainable.   The current political system is one in which the two major parties have become consumed with self-preservation and promoting their own respective ideology to the detriment and neglect of the public that they are supposed to serve.   What this means is that we have created a system where it is more politically advantageous to maintain the current problems of the day rather than attempt to solve them.  Why?  Because if you solve all of the people's problems then you won't have any more carrots left to dangle in front of them in order to induce them to vote for you.  In other words, folks, our system, for all its ups and downs, is broken and, contrary to conservative talking points, the answer for fixing it is not to send more Republicans to Washington who will engage in the same behavior as the Republicans who came before them.  Nor is the answer to send in more Democrats who will likewise engage in the same behavior as the Democrats who came before them.  I don't profess to know whether the current political system can be saved, but if it can, it would seem that the only way to do so is to send in the Independents.

It may be hard to imagine today, but when this country was first founded by the infamous "Founding Fathers" that everybody loves to talk about, there were no political parties.  The first President, George Washington (you remember that guy right?) was an Independent President affiliated with no political party whatsoever.  The second President, John Adams, was a member of a political party that no longer exists (the Federalists).  In fact, this whole Democrat vs. Republican battle that we all know and love today didn't even start until 100 years after the country was founded when America's first Republican President, Honest Abe Lincoln, was elected.  So we know for a fact that our country can get along just fine without Republicans or Democrats.

Moreover, the number of Independent voters in this country is on the rise. Nearly every state this year has reported a rise in registered Independents.  In the 2008 election, 39% of all the people who voted were registered Democrats, 32% were registered Republicans, and not far behind them, coming in at 29% were the Independent voters.  That's roughly 1 in 3 Americans.  So in addition to knowing that our country can get along fine without Republicans or Democrtats, we also know that about a third of our country has outright rejected the opportunity to affiliate with either party.

Given all this info I have few questions:

In addition to Mayor Mike Bloomberg in New York City, why have we not seen more viable Independent candidates take office?
Is it even possible at this point to remove the Democrats or Republicans from their positions of power as parties?
Can our current political system be sustained as it exists today?
What needs to change?
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