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The Third Way And The Future Of Politics In America

In the event that you are not following, the Third Way is a political philosophy that aims to break up false dichtomies frequently seen in the public sphere. The articles can be found in the source notes 1) 2) 3) 4) 5). There is no bigger false dichotomy to destory than the belief that only two parties are necessary or can get things done in American politics. Every four years, people come to this conclusion when they look at the voting ballot. “I can't vote for a party outside of the Republicans and Democrats because they won't win”. Yet during the other 47 months they are complaining about each side being useless.

The time has come to formulate a plan to break up the left/right paradigm. One plan is mentioned in here and it involves creating a political database that establishes a political mean, or average, of a politician's voting record. This mean or “range” will be infinitely more useful to reference than a political party. Once these political means are being used by the general public, it will become self evident that political parties are no longer useful. But first, allow us to explain more on why the political party system must perish.

Many Of Our Blind Spots Are The Same No Matter The Party

The American political system is controlled by its own blind spots. In 2000, George Bush ran on a political platform that stumped for small government 6), famously saying, ”[m]y opponent trusts governent, I trust you.” 7). Yet when a crisis happens, George Bush reverses course completely and creates one of the largest governmental presidencies in history. His PATRIOT Act created new powers for the government to invade the privacy of Americans under the guise of protecting its citizens against terrorism. He led America to occupying Afghanistan and Iraq, and god damn did he and his administration try to find a reason to occupy Iran. His government ballooned the national debt from 6 trillion dollars to just under 12 trillion dollars, only some of which came from the increased war spending. His assault on civil liberties, mainly due to the PATRIOT Act, was well documented by progressive liberals. They called for Bush to end the now apparent regime of torture that was occurring on military bases such as Guantanamo Bay, holding detainees suspected of terrorist action and breaking the Geneva Convention. There was so much terrorism to fight, his government created the Department of Homeland Security to be able to manage it all. A small government, indeed.

Yet looks what happens as Obama enters office in 2009. Torture is not ended as a practice nor has Guantanamo Bay been fully revamped 8) . While While Politifact.com claims Obama has ended torture 9), human rights organizations are calling the end of torture merely a shifting of strategies and words used to describe torture 10) Obama (sort of) shifts the focus of American military presence out of Iraq, only to move more into Afghanistan. He also found time to invade Libya and twice tried to use the excuse that Bashar Assad, president of Syria, gassed his own people and we should invade that country for humanitarian reasons. Hey, that excuse was a stain on Saddam, right? We can use it against another dictator. Unfortunately, the evidence was suspect and each release of gas had evidence of both the rebels and the government being involved 11) 12) 13) 14). This is a non conclusion, and thankfully the president saw a majority of Americans against action and backed down. But he hasn't backed down from spending. The federal reserve has added 8.5 trillion dollars in debt with its Quantitative Easing programs I, II, and III 15). The assault on civil liberties continues unabated. Indeed, the assault is expanding. The NSA-Edward Snowden scandal should have sent the government scrambling to dissemble this monstrous eavesdropping program. What did Obama do? While even his own panel suggested strong pullbacks on NSA capabilities, he makes minor reforms and leaves the bulk collection in place 16). Plus, Obama now is the author of a “kill list” where he can drop drone bombs on anyone he deems is an enemy of the state, including American citizens like Anwar al-Awlaki 17).

What happens when Obama continues the same aggressive war path that Bush started? There were liberals galore jumping up and down to impeach Bush for war crimes 18)? The liberals fall silent. Some moan and complain at his over 100 promises broken from the campaign trail, but for the most part liberals rest their laurels on the fact that he isn't a Republican 19). Yet, paradoxically, Obama and his policies place him as authoritarian and right leaning on most political spectrums 20).

Glenn Greenwald Is A Good Example Of A Third Way

There was one assumed liberal, a diamond in the rough, Glenn Greenwald. He started writing about the destruction of civil liberties during the Bush administration, with his notable book, “How Would A Patriot Act?”, but thankfully never stopped as the administrations switched places. He continues to pound on Obama's enhanced destruction of civil liberties 21) 22), much to the chagrin of liberals who still defend Obama. Greenwald was the trusted source that Edward Snowden contacted to release the NSA documents. Perhaps Snowden also saw that Greenwald sees through the two political parties. If he wanted real reform, he needed someone who wasn't partisan.

Obama is Bush On Civil Liberty Crushing Steroids

Can anyone see the insanity? Obama has turned up the destruction of civil liberties, one of the very things progressives were crying wolf about during Bush, and yet most of the liberals are not to be seen. The reality is each party craves power and once it has it in the form of the presidency, the game changes for them. They can nitpick the opposition in power to their hearts content, but their critical faculty turns off when their own party is in power. Since both the Republican and Democratic parties are both shutting down their ability to critically look at their own actions, their blindspots are pushing the worst aspects of the system down the road. Every four years, the worst aspects of government, such as lobbied interest groups dominating subsidies and other laws, never ending wars abroad, and the civil libertiese being destroyed at home are non platform arguments. Well, Obama campaigned on ending the Big Oil and Gas subsidies that provide billions back to these already billion dollar profitable companies. But then he never got anywhere with that idea in 6 years of office 23). Whoops.

When will all of this end? One suggestion is the creation of a third party to rival the two party system that kicks the can down the road with no end in sight. While a third party is something that can make a difference, it is actually not the end goal of the Third Way philosophy.

Left/Right paradigm Is Mirrored Into The Third Party Potential

The attempt at a third party rising in the United States is failing, despite record low support for either of the two dominant parties. The reason for this is because there have been two popular third parties that are in effect pure distillations of the popular Republican and Democratic parties. The Libertarians represent a pure Republican, firmly adverse to government intervention without compromise. The Green party is a pure form of the so called progressive Democratic party, fully commited to using the power of government to provide for everyone and the planet. For those who wanted a decent third option in the political arena, they just got highly electrified versions of the same parties they are trying to avoid.

When Americans go to the polling booth, third party votes are split mainly between Libertarians and Green party candidates. While it is certainly possible a Libertarian or a Green Party candidate could come along and pick America up off her feet, it is more likely in this author's opinion that a non describeable third candidate will show up advocating an end to parties as we know it. This person will defy the normal description of any party currently in existence. They may have to run under an Unparty or something of this effect, but one of their main platforms will be to encourage the dissolution of the two party system; not by introducing a rival third party, but by advocating for everyone to be their own political party. By this we mean to say that they must stand up for their beliefs and their party can in no way take the blame for their errors in reasoning.

Not Political Parties But Political Ranges

We effectively have two parties. The goal of the Third Way is to bring in the ultimate of third parties. They will not be Libertarian and they will not be Green. They will be a party that represents integrity and they will draw attention from all areas of the political spectrum. Once this has been accomplished, a third party is in no way the end game. The goal will be to introduce the third party and its candidates as IMPOSSIBLE to pin in one party. They have 50 political positions that they hold, and each of those 50 positions are accountable to the logic and reasoning behind them, nothing more. The goal is to obtain a political system where the parties still exist…but they barely reflect reality anymore. People recognize that Democrat and republican are not the best descriptors of people, especially considering all the members of congress have different ideas about certain things. Not only that, keeping it limited to two choices encourages one dimensional thinking. no, what we want is political parties to fade into the background. What will come in to replace it is a “political range”, where we use a few words to indicate the range of their political stances, but to never judge a book completely by its cover. You need to get to know all of their positions as you can, and establish a logical range or expression of possibilities that this person represents. This is a more accurate reflection of who the political candidates are and it incourages the public to THINK. What a concept! Instead of “it was the republicans” or “it was the democrats” who caused the newest problem, we can drop the pretense of “the other side is always wrong” and “we are always right” for the load of bullshit it is. Every action and every political stance must stand for its own merit. There are other ways out of this hell hole, but this is the platform that provides structurally for critical thinking and not line voting.

How does a range work? Take a look at this Political Compass 24), which expands the traditional left/right spectrum of politics into a new demension of authoritarian/libertarian. When considering a political candidate, the first thing you will probably see is their fucking political party. It's unavoidable at this point. What we want to do next with political ranges is to flip right past the political party and see if there is a political range established for that candidate based on their voting history. Instead of seeing someone as just left or right, you can picture them in a way that encompasses all of their votes.

You could view it like a video game character and their attributes. Let's go back all the way to NBA Jam. You could pick a team of two players, and each of those players had a handful of attributes on a scale from 1 to 10. It was things like speed, shooting ability, blocking ability, etc. Political ranges could be created for politicians in a similar manner. Not only this, but once a range is established in open source format, people can investigate why a candidate shows up on their range with certain high or low attributes by looking at their voting record. More ranges can be deduced, as there will be no perfect system to determine any one politician's political mean. The slight discrepancies will encourage people to know more about the candidate and each individual stance, not just their political party.

The Future Of Politics In America

An Unlikely Agent of Change

How will this come about? incredibly, we look to the people entrenched within the two party system at its highest and lowest levels, from national to local politicians. Those poor souls who are stuck in a republican or democrat suit and they can't get out! Some of these people will recognize the value in a political system that encourages free thinking, not herd thinking, and they will announce while in office that they no longer recognize their former party and their supposed membership in them. They think freely and the people will vote on their free thought, however it might appear to the public (conservative/liberal, etc). This will be wildly popular if the right people do it.

It also paves the way for how third parties get into the political system. We have been trying for so hard and long to enter the old fashioned way. Why not go the way of revolution? Allow the system to change from within. We need to encourage this sort of thinking. We need to support those who are stuck in the system and want, nay need, a way out. Once politicans find their comfort zone and step out of the two party system, they can pave the way for other free thinkers to be elected into Congress and other local forms of government.

Conspiracy Theorists Have Friends Who Listen

As mentioned elsewhere, conspiracy theorist are agents of change 25) 26). For almost a decade now, conspiracy theorists have recognized the futility of a two party system and they have pushed for a third party vote. They just tend to be non efficient agents of change. But the more sound and logical the conspiracy theorist is, the more likely he has friends who are sound, logial and overall good thinkers. And good thinkers listen to arguments that are outside the box and make sense. Once we have enough conspiracy theorists who succeed in being successful agents of change, we will see the friends of conspiracy theorists, begin to speak up and show support for a system like the Third Way. Remember, the 911 conspiracy theorists were boycotting the Federal Reserve years before the 2008 financial crisis. The next few steps of the Federal Reserve made them everyone favorite punching bag. The same can happen to the two party system.

We Need Nuanced Thinking In Politics

Who will this awesome, awe inspiring Third Way candidate be? Time will tell. We can expect them to be able to see the best of each political position. Conservatives make a lot of sense when they talk about balancing a budget. Progressives make a lot of sense when they talk about providing basic needs for people in this country. This problem can be solved in a way that balances the budget and provides basic social safety nets, but it requires thinking outside the box. They will pull votes from Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and Green party members. Sure, each of these voters compelled for this Third Way candidate will have their disagreements, but they will recognize the larger picture.

We are going nowhere in this country if we view politics on a one dimensional spectrum of left and right. The idea of a political range is not novel to this author; people are happily taking tests to see where they fit on expanded, multi dimensional graphs 27). We need more of this and we need the good politicians in office to stand behind the idea of a political range instead of a political party. No one will be villified for voting against their party. They could be villified for having terrible reasoning, and this seems like the kind of constructive criticism our political system needs. If you have an asinine argument, you cannot hide behind your party. The more people view politicians as people with a variety of belief systems that extend beyond authoritarian/anarchy, libertarian/communionism, and any other dichotomy, the better off we will be as a nation.

Politics | Political Philosophy


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