If “two-party” politics were a drug Americans are addicted to (telling themselves they need it, telling themselves it’s doing some good, unable to stop or try something else, etc.), we Centrists, Moderates, and Independents are the enablers who preach about how bad the drug is while (1) not offering an alternative or a program to quit, and (2) taking the drug ourselves, although maybe just not as often or just in smaller doses.
C/M/I have just wasted another two-year-long, prime opportunity to get active, organize and coordinate, and start working together to build something viable and positive. Probably the second best opportunity ever, after 2014-2016. And the clock for 2020 has already been ticking for some time.
The “two parties” will always have emergencies and boogeymen that they need C/M/I votes to help fix. But all those issues come from the “two parties” and how they do business! Within that dynamic, C/M/I have it in their heads that they are the ones balancing the ship, simply by voting every two years. But how has that changed/improved how the “two parties” do business over the past 30+ years? How has that changed/improved our overall political and civic condition over the past 30+ years?
C/M/I work part-time and as individuals and 1,001 disconnected small orgs/“parties”, on 1,001 pet projects, trying to slow, change, clean up, or improve what two huge and powerful orgs work 24/7 to fuck up. Then they turn around and undermine their own efforts with lesser-of-two-evils voting and rationalizations (“Maybe next election.” “If only we had a different voting system.” “If only the press would give us attention.” “If only it wasn’t a two-party system.” “My candidate(s) of choice can’t win.” “I have to do my part to stop .” And so on.)
And at the end of the day, what does all that get us? D/R haven’t changed. Government still sucks. Many good people for positive change don’t get elected and/or supported enough to encourage continuing their efforts. The rules haven’t changed. C/M/I opportunities haven’t improved. Americans are still being divided and more radicalized; or fed-up and apathetic. D/R continue to stack the deck to quash opposition. And all that adversarial and divisive D/R way of doing business continues to seep down into the lower levels of our society and everyday life.
It’s bad enough that D/R take our votes as a mandate and support when they work in their favor. But what happens when it doesn’t work out? Who gets blamed? (How many times have we been blamed for Trump getting elected because we didn’t vote for Hillary enough? Hillary beat Trump by 3M votes!)
Even better, how many times have our attempts to change the system from within or by conventional means by advocating moderation, collaboration, reforms, etc. been met with name-calling and contempt? Who among us, as a vocal advocate for Centrism (or as a candidate!), hasn’t been called part of the problem, a spoiler, a fence sitter, unprincipled, arrogant, ignorant? And the latest en vogue- RUSSIAN TROLL?
D/R don’t need our help or votes to continue fucking things up. They get better at it every cycle, the trenches get deeper, and their speed and efficiency seem to increase each step of the way, far outpacing our ability to get ahead of the wave or even just keep up. Here, there are two arguments. One: we don’t help them enough to perpetuate it. Two: they don’t help us enough to change it. Why continue shooting ourselves and the county in the foot by supporting theirs instead of strengthening our own?
If, as a Centrist, Moderate, or Independent, you continue to feel required to vote lesser of two evils, it’s because you have not done enough to connect and work with compatriots for change and give yourself and fellow Americans a viable and attractive alternative. Full stop.