We are facing a myriad of problems within our nation. Our current lineup has fumbled the ball consistently for years. It's time to trade up...
The 2016 election has caused schisms among Republicans and Democrats, neither of which provided a nominee most Americans or even a majority of their respective parties could feel confident about. This resulted in some Republicans abandoning their party due to the vitriol and inexperience of its presidential candidate. For Democrats, this resulted in the resignation of its chairperson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and the narrow election of new chairperson Tom Perez over the more controversial Keith Ellison. The DNC schism was further revealed by a class action lawsuit wherein the DNC actually argued they did not owe their party a fair and impartial primary process.
This unfortunate election cycle and polarization has left many Americans yearning for an alternative.
Some believe this alternative should be somewhere in the middle, but the middle ground isn't always the best ground to stand upon. The old Whig party of the 1850s learned this the hard way when the issue of slavery caused a rift within the party that pulled the rug right out from under them. The old Whig party collapsed within a few short years due to this schism. The compromise of 1850 delayed but did not avoid the civil war because the old Whig party and Democrats in power failed to enact appropriate legislation to end America's most infamous evil, choosing instead to take a middle of the road approach which failed everyone. From the ashes of this political rift arose a new party, the Republican party, which has since strayed and morphed into something unrecognizable. We now have an opportunity to create a new party to tap into the pulse of the nation so that liberty may once again pour forth.
The Modern Whig Party does not pretend the middle of the road is always the correct or appropriate path. All issues deserve careful reflection and reasonable solutions which may be found along varying points of our political spectrum. Sometimes that solution may be close to the center, and sometimes not. We must weigh each issue and political option with logic and evidence to determine the best path to success based on the merits. This can be best achieved by a platform of principles rather than a tyranny of doctrines.
We as a nation are in dire need of campaign finance reform. Our politicians of both major political parties are bought and paid for before ever even assuming office. We have watched our nation descend into a paralyzing political quagmire whereby both major parties attempt to serve as an obstacle course to one another instead of serving the American people. This my-way-or-the-highway attitude has hampered us into a nation of hitchhikers without a ride. Congressional approval has not exceeded 30% since immediately after the 2008 elections. We can and we must do better. This will not happen by re-electing the same politicians stuck in the quicksand of their own polarizing ideologies.
We have watched and are watching the people of Flint, Michigan suffer from the ineptitude and apathy of their elected leaders. Their delay to inform and warn their people of poisonous water should serve as a warning of the dangers of mendacity among our politicians. This intellectual dishonesty in the face of contradictory evidence has become ubiquitous in American politics and we the voting public continue to allow it at our peril.
Our education and infrastructure are crumbling before our eyes. Our children are entering a world they are unprepared for while our teachers are increasingly relying on some form of income subsidies. Our nation is facing the greatest trade profession deficit we have ever seen while we stock our minimum wage jobs with overqualified college graduates who are on track to still be paying off college debt well into their forties. Our national rail system is virtually nonexistent. Our roads have almost as many craters as the lunar surface. Our children deserve to inherit a world better than the one we did, not worse.
Our elections are reduced to a choice between the lesser of two evils. Many of us do not vote for, as much as we vote against someone. We are told this false dichotomy is our only political outlet unless we surrender to despair and just stay home. If, however, we change our voting process to allow for approval voting, it would empower us to select any number of potential candidates we favor. The candidate chosen most would win and in the event of a tie, we would hold a runoff election. This process would ensure a more moderate electorate who would more clearly have acquired the consent of the governed. Such an electorate would represent more of their respective constituencies than the current one-or-the-other system allows. We should also declare election day a national holiday to provide everyone an equal opportunity to exercise their right to vote.
We are facing a myriad of problems within our nation. Our current lineup has fumbled the ball consistently for years. It's time to trade up. We can and we must do better as a nation so that we may rally round that which unites us, while preserving the temperament to discuss our discordance, so that we may continue our pursuit of a more perfect union.
By Lee Myers a writer from Austin Texas.