At what better place and time to have a third party. Make its ideology smack in the middle, with no axe to grind other than a platform to govern responsibly and promise to agree with any Republican or Democrat sponsored Bill that makes sense. A Party whose nominees sign a Norquist type pledge that they will leave their personal biases at the door, voting without any preconceived ideology to advance other than for the “will of the people”. Party philosophy should be simple; a platform of open, transparent government with a President that does the job from the middle, guided by Congress and without an issues driven agenda. Let Republicans and Democrats fight agendas, and be the stabilizer in the process. Go with the wishes of the American people, which is not so hard today with social media, surveys, and the ballot box. For our hypothetical Third Party, let’s call it the “M-N” Party; M for Moderate or Middle and N for Neutral. The primary objective should not be to nominate another Presidential Candidate or create a platform to advance issues, but to elect M-N party representatives to the House and Senate with a neutral stance, and to become a swing vote for reasonable issues based on merit. Candidates should be men and women of character that have signed a pledge with their party and their constituents to leave their personal biases at the door, to listen and represent their constituencies by voting their conscience.
Let’s face it, both Democrats and Republicans have good ideas, but party policies and politics keep reasonable men from doing the right thing. To demonstrate that point, we only need to look at the Grover Norquist group that threatens Republicans to sign a pledge that they will not vote for increased taxes, no matter what. According to their website 1,400 elected officials from state legislators to Governors to U.S. Senators have signed the pledge. The threat is that if they break the pledge, or fail to sign it, the Norquist group will finance and run another Republican in the next primary, ending their career. This fear keeps most Republicans inline, and even after President Bush reduced taxes immediately before the second Gulf war, the pledge holds on any lower amount. While both parties in Congress agree to spend more (military, police, homeland security etc.), paying for it seems to be another matter. Republicans then follow party lines with the Norquist noose hanging over their heads, and votes are made for personal reasons and not based on the needs of the American people. A catch-22 situation follows, and with only two parties to blame, rancor is always the result.
Why is it that we always want to redefine voting districts, ending up with weird little maps that make no sense other than to cluster voters helpful to our cause? Why is it that Republicans constantly want to make voting harder with fewer locations, shorter hours, increased identity vetting at the ballot box, etc. hurting minorities and the disenfranchised? Why is it that Democrats care more about those issues? We all know why, and we don’t always like ourselves for the answer.
If this hypothetical party existed, and a Bill came forth that made sense that either a Democrat or Republican could not get behind, the M-N Party might keep the Bill alive. Even better, the “Pork” that ends up in most Bill’s language to garner enough votes from the opposing Party to pass the Bill might be removed, because it wouldn’t be necessary in order to pass a “Clean” Bill with the help of the M-N Party. There are just so many benefits.
I agree with President Trump on a couple of issues, and currently he has the Republican votes to get things done. I hope. We need to rebuild our infrastructure, bridges and roads, and we need to drastically drop income taxes on corporations. I address the corporate tax issue in the next section. We also need to rebuild bridges, but why couldn’t we find the Republican votes when the country needed them eight years ago? Doing it now, with employment expanding closer to full employment and interest rates going up …SAD.
If this M-N Party were here a few years ago, we might have a healthcare Bill that works better for people, that has been continually fixed along the way. We would also have a much stronger economy with jobs and a higher tax base after building bridges and roads over the past eight years, and perhaps even have paid off more than one-third of a thirty-year government bond because most of the payments were applied to principal rather than to interest.
If we had a M-N Party now, we would not be trying to repeal a healthcare Bill without a workable replacement …mainly because we would already have a workable healthcare system in place. If it was still not working right we would be working on “Fixing” it, rather than “Killing” it.
This discussion and our hope for a Third Party is not to have another Presidential Nominee every four years, but rather to have more common-sense representation in Congress. The rest is a bonus. Can you imagine if a Third Party had a ten or twenty percent representation in Congress? Things would get done based on merits, and the loosing party wouldn’t feel they had to take it back from the other party, because they would have lost it to a coalition; a coalition party that they also need to work with to get some of their desired work done. Life moves on without the same level of rancor.
Why are our politicians doing the same things they have always done? And, why do we expect a different result?
We can do better!