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The Common Sense Blog: It's Time to End Our Bi-Polar Political System

by William J. Limón last modified Nov 24, 2020 05:42 PM
Our Democracy is in danger of being strangled by the bi-polar system of only two major parties. The struggle between Republican conservative ideology vs. Democratic progressive ideology abandons the needs of mainstream America. We need a third major party, the Centrist Party, to bring sanity and effectively solve the nation's challenges.
The Common Sense Blog: It's Time to End Our Bi-Polar Political System

Bi-polar politics are crippling America.


Democracy is dying in America. The two-party system is killing it.

The vast majority of voters did not choose who ran for president, as both Trump and Clinton were nominated by only 14% of eligible voters. 

  • In the primaries, 30 million voters chose Clinton and Trump; 30 million voted for other candidates.
  • 73 million did not vote in the primaries.
  • An estimated 88 million don’t vote at all (New York Times: 8/1/2016). 

And what kind of choices do voters get? Democrats list to the left. Republicans lean to the right. Once chosen, the nominees pivot from their extremes toward the center. Why? Because most Americans are based in the center, that’s why. In 2015, out of all registered voters 29% were Democrats, 26% were Republicans, and 42% were registered Independents (Gallup). That doesn’t even include those eligible voters not registered at all.

The majority in the center has no voice, so it’s no wonder presidential elections bring out the same complaint: a choice between the “lesser of two evils.” In the 2016 election both candidates had the highest disapproval ratings ever for a presidential election. This frustration breeds apathy. Over 91.7 million eligible voters didn’t even vote this fall. That’s 39.8% of the voter pool (United States Election Project). This is democracy? 

The main problem is that voters only get to choose from candidates espousing one of two opposing ideologies.

Republican conservative ideology holds fast to small government, unfettered business, and a strong military. But this “small” government spends vast amounts of tax dollars outsourcing to private business which raises the debt, cuts social programs for the poor and middle class, and reduces taxes for large corporations and the top 1%. The promised improvement for the economy, fostered by reduced government regulations, is almost entirely a boost for the bottom line of large corporations, banks, and Wall Street managers. “Trickle down” economics doesn’t work as a rising tide doesn’t lift all boats. It only lifts the yachts of the wealthy while sinking everyone else because their boats have rotted hulls from neglect, and they can’t buy the political support to repair them. Republicans build a strong military all right, and at times send it off into ill-advised wars that enrich the military-industrial complex while unnecessarily endangering the lives of our men and women in uniform. We saw this happen in the Iraq war that started in 2003.

We need a robust major third party, a Centrist Party, to compete with Democrats and Republicans, one that is not stuck in Big Government or Big Business ideologies.

Democrats’ progressive ideology upholds beliefs in a strong government, regulated business, and a military sufficient to protect America’s interests. But “strong” government can become a bloated “Big” government, trying to regulate and administer countless programs in an effort to address everyone’s problems. This excessive bureaucracy creates boondoggles such as the V.A. hospital fiasco in Colorado and over-manages the economy with confusing regulations and taxation that burdens business creation. Democrats believe higher taxes and borrowing to increase the debt will advance the well-being of the average American, yet this tends to mortgage the future. Democrats often seem torn between a strong national defense and allocating funds for domestic use. Military force is used sparingly, and at times, too little too late.

What happens? Republicans create havoc at home and abroad. Democrats are brought in to fix things but overreach with government programs that frustrate the electorate who then bring in the Republicans again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. We get bi-polar, crazy-making swings in government, (none crazier than going from Obama to Trump.) Voters keep moving back and forth from one party to the other, seeking from the right or the left what we all really want—a well-centered government that works.

WE NEED TO END OUR BI-POLAR POLITICAL SYSTEM. Bernie Sanders nailed the sentiment, but it cannot come from the left because the right will always counter it. The Trump populist phenomenon tapped into the general frustration with governmental ineffectiveness, but his personal foibles and the influence of conservative Republicans will likely bring the same disastrous policies of the George W. Bush years. The change must come from the center.

We need a robust major third party, a Centrist Party, to compete with Democrats and Republicans, one that is not stuck in Big Government or Big Business ideologies. This Centrist Party will draw from the center where most Americans live and will bring to state houses, Congress, and the White House a flexible approach that will truly attend to the well-being of the American people with policies that effectively solve the challenges our nation faces. It can make government leaner and smarter, remove the big money lobbyists that unduly influence legislation and elections, and bring the freedom of opportunity back into our nation with practical capitalism, one without the monopolistic and oligarchic forces that gobble up resources and strangle true competition. And, it can bring sensible regulations not encumbered by overwrought government oversight.

Let’s build a Centrist Party to change our government, and our great nation, for the better.

Document Actions

zshaklah says:
Apr 19, 2017 06:16 AM

The dream is very big but I'm very confident that we can do it!

jonholiday says:
Apr 27, 2017 08:10 PM

I just came from the Federalist site where they are promoting local campaigns that they think they can win. What the Centrists need to is to elicit help from lawyers and political people to begin fund nominating qualified people to represent the Centrist Party. We can be a major factor in the 2020 elections if we start now.

jonholiday says:
Apr 27, 2017 08:15 PM

I would suggest consolidating the independent parties into the Centrist Party with the notion that something will get done for their causes under the Centrist Party which will be made strong because of their support. The Centrist Party should have no opinions or platform until a stronger party is created by the indoctrination of all independents. Then a platform can be formed.

jewissler says:
May 06, 2017 03:53 PM

As I talk with people in my community, which is predominately republican, the majority of people I speak with acknowledges the two parties are not working for us and that we need a Centrist
Party to begin changing the political landscape.

Caset57 says:
May 18, 2017 02:31 PM

If the Centrist Party could come up with a viable candidate to run against Marco Rubio in Florida, I think he would have a chance. Even conservatives are wondering where he is at this time. I have written him letters regarding the Affordable Health Care Act and other issues pertaining to the president and he has failed to respond to any of my correspondence. I think he is vulnerable in 2020. No Party Affiliate registered voters are on the rise in Florida and Florida is not as conservative as a lot of people think. (At least in the highly populated areas) Copy and past the article from the Miami Herald. It's older, but the trend is still the same. Everything discussed in this article are thinks that are being talked about here. The big problem getting people to talk about this publicly and open their wallets to support a proper candidate.

citizenR says:
May 30, 2017 03:38 AM

we need centrism in America if we dont want to implode.

John P. Reisman
John P. Reisman says:
Jun 18, 2017 01:19 PM

I could not agree more :)

citizenR says:
Jun 11, 2017 06:40 AM

a message to my fellow Americans:
neither the left nor the right will ever go away! one wont stamp out the other. the pendulum has been swinging since the beginning of the nation. compromise is key to survival. there are things we agree on even though we seldom hear about that. demonizing each other is how we got where we are.

John P. Reisman
John P. Reisman says:
Jun 18, 2017 01:21 PM

A message to my fellow Americans (and citizenR :)

Actually parties do change favor and rank. We don't hear much form the Whig Party, or the Federalist Party these days. And more interesting, the Democrats used to be considered the conservatives prior to the great depression and the Republicans were considered more liberal. This was more of a sway maybe than a swing, depending on how you view it.

Things change. And yes, there are things both major parties agree on. I question the lack of context in your assertion "demonizing each other is how we got where we are." as it lacks relevant context to achieve strong utility in understanding.

We should not demonize each other generally speaking. We are all human and therefore subject to err. That said, we can, when evidence and scope is considered appropriately and clear, attack and demonize arguments. Thus 'argumentum ad hominem' is generally inappropriate; and 'argumentum ad argumentum' is always needed in order to adjust to exigent realities.

rcardas52 says:
Mar 05, 2018 10:54 AM

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Isaiah 30:21

Tigertown84 says:
Jan 09, 2019 08:57 AM

I finally found a home, something that defines my socio-economic philosophy. I am fed up with bi-partisan games and how they make our government into a taxpayer funded shamockery. I mistakenly thought that I was a moderate by default, but after reading the information on this website, realize that I have in reality been a dyed in the wool Centrist since I first learned to think. I do believe that we Centrists are a long-suffering, silent MAJORITY in the United States. What we need is a bonafide candidate to break through. Someone that can unify the millions of Americans that are sick to death of the Democratic and Republican parties running our country like their own personal playground. It seems like a pipedream, but if Centrists ever figured out how to UNITE, we would be able to use our adherence to ISSUE BASED COMMON SENSE, rather than enslaved party line voting and politics, to make this country great again.

MajorDon says:
Jan 20, 2019 03:58 PM

It takes time to build a viable party. In the mean time there is a way to have a huge impact. Witness the last election in Fl. as an example. Both the Senate and the Governor's races were settled by less than 10,000 votes. Suppose there was a committed Center party that could marshal 30,000 votes out of the 8 million to be cast in Fl. Next cycle. That group would commit to vote in mass for which ever candidate would support a set of centrist goals. For example on immigration instead of the two parties determined goal on not solving the problem a centrist goal of developing a temp worker program combined with expanded immigration based on merit with complete background check. This augmented with a method to make sure bad actors that are deported stay deported. Not all the answers but you get my idea. With a solid block of center minded voters you could start having a huge impact on discussions. As the middle committed to solutions rather than emotions grows then you can begin to run candidates.

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