Letter: The American political system is broken | Opinion


Editor, the lawyer:

The American political system is broken and has been for some time. The world has changed considerably and the mentalities that have guided us over the past decades are no longer representative of the ideas and needs of the nation. Calls for term limits and growing dissatisfaction among elected officials, particularly at the federal level, have never been higher. With dissatisfaction comes apathy. In addition, young members of established parties monopolize influence by polarizing parties. This has led to more and more young politicians moving further and further to the extremes of the political spectrum to get noticed and get funding. American politics has become a spectator sport with larger-than-life characters rather than a deliberative process for governing and dealing with day-to-day issues. This polarization leaves a void in the middle or moderate zone that comprises the majority of Americans.

In economics, when there is a vacuum created by changes in the market, a new firm usually arises and fills that vacuum, as the market seeks equilibrium. Only in the presence of a monopoly does this generally not occur. In our political marketplace, the time for an artificially reinforced two-party system is over and opportunities for meaningful reform abound. The only path to a satisfactory political situation in America includes the destruction of the two-party system, the primary system it demands, and the artificially restricted choices among which we Americans can choose.

There are at least four major American political ideologies in play today: classic conservatives, populists, classic liberals, and progressives. Each group would be better served by forming its own party with none retaining the old infrastructure of the party machine. This would mean that parties should compromise and work together to achieve goals and form governments rather than letting party machinery and voter apathy dictate our ruling class. We must fill these voids in our political market and move forward.

Multiple parties combined with other reform measures like term limits would allow Americans of all stripes and creeds to have a choice in a party that actually aligns with their views, rather than trying to squeeze in everyone in two overly similar political establishments. We could combat obstacles to a functioning representative democracy like voter apathy and false dichotomies that have degraded our government and disappointed many Americans.

Greg KnowltonVictoria

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