CitizenReporter (aka Joe Hutchison) is a writer of prose (essayist) and published political commentary (home site) also featured at:
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Let's Get This (Political) Party Started

Many Americans recently have come to feel abandoned by their political party. They have become citizen refugees. Many lifelong Democrats have recoiled in horror from the gestapo policies and direction that party has taken. Others equally fear the complacency and loss of touch with the working class poor that has besieged the Republican party. The ranks of the politically disenfranchised are growing. The Libertarian and Tea parties attest to this. But these are still fringe movements, and to invest too heavily, and so early in these risks exclusion from the political process at a time when our country needs us the most. And most do not wish to recuse themselves from the political process. But the current two-party system is broken beyond repair. There has to be a better way.
Political parties have come and gone in the part. Many times in fact, especially in the early years of the republic. Indeed the two standing main parties today were once a single party that eventually divided over varying beliefs. Generically speaking the Republicans became the conservative party, the Dems the liberal party. But these labels are flawed to some extent as well. There are conservative Dems, and liberal Republicans. Those who just can't conform or meld into one or the other often label themselves as independents or moderates. But moderates don't truly exist. Very few citizens are moderate or neutral in their individual beliefs. Most have semi-extreme to extreme views on every individual topic or policy. Where do they 'fit' in the current labeling system?
Many Americans are trying to find an ideological home in the Libertarian or Tea parties. These two parties have some overlapping belief structures, ideals, and goals. Smaller, less intrusive government. Lower taxes and less government spending. Greater states rights. Stronger adherence to the constitution. Should they, will they merge to form a Constitutional Party? That would increase their clout. Is it in their makeup to even consider such a union? Or are they already, as the two main party's are, more concerned with their own agendas than righting what is wrong with this country? Will a viable third, or fourth, or fifth party help America unite or divide us further? Which would be better?
Look at some of the other multi-party free nations of the world. Many are marred in coalitions that weaken their platforms in order to hold majorities. But maybe it is these forced unions that keep them transparent and accountable to the citizenry. It is not the parties, the number of them, or their respective agendas that are the problem. It is the leaders of the parties. Power hungry life long politicians that are really only concerned with keeping themselves and their party in power – above all else. Only this is certain: there is no bi-partisan form of government any longer. So the creation of new and multiple parties may be the only thing that gets politicians back into that frame of mind. Eventually parties will distinguish themselves and major or minor parties depending on how they fare in elections free from intimidation.
It is time to expand the political process, if for no other reason than to have more choices at the polls. Picking the lesser of two evils in a gross way to select the leaders of the free world. Only when we have better choices in our leaders will we get better leaders. Yes, the two party system is broken. May it rest in pieces.

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