Many perspectives, 1 simple etiquette

50 Reasons to Bail Out of the Two-Party System and Become an Independent Voter

Created: 08 January, 2018
Updated: 21 November, 2022
9 min read

1. The two-party system came into existence at a time when people were still writing on paper with feathers dipped in ink.

2. And partisanship is as antiquated as that practice because we have better ways of accomplishing the same purpose.

3. Parties were invented because it was impossible in the late 1700s to have all the facts about a candidate for public office, so people relied on their party for direction about who to vote for.

4. We no longer need parties for this purpose in the age of the Internet and social media. It is easy to find all the facts you might want to know about a candidate for public office yourself.

5. People are already leaving the two parties at an accelerating rate, and being non-affiliated with a party is actually now the most common partisan affiliation in America.

6. There's a reason for this. Most Americans other than the most fiercely loyal political partisans, believe that the two-party system is tearing the country apart.

7. And as Americans leave the parties and become independent voters, they leave behind the most extreme partisan loyalists, which has made the parties even more extreme and intolerable to the majority of Americans.

8. But the extremism is not extremism in defense of principle or consistency.

9. The Republican Party preaches limited government and fiscal conservatism, but through eight years of Reagan, four years of Bush, and eight years of W. Bush, it raised federal budgets and deficits to record levels.

10. The Democratic Party preaches civil liberties and solidarity with workers, but through eight years of Clinton and eight years of Obama, it vastly expanded the police state and entrenched corporate interests.

11. In fact, both of the two major political parties in America are constantly switching positions on issues based on whether they are in power or not.

12. In doing so they also create a landscape of high uncertainty and volatility when it comes to things like taxes and regulatory policy. This is unfair to the public and it spooks businesses and discourages growth.

13. The parties also do this over procedural issues in the legislature like raising the debt ceiling and filibusters.

14. Democrats when a Democrat is POTUS and the economy is doing well: "Look how great the economy is doing!"

15. Republicans when a Democrat is POTUS and the economy is doing well: "The president can't take the credit for how the entire economy is doing. Besides this is the result of the last president who was in office, who was a Republican!"

16. Republicans when a Republican is POTUS and the economy is doing well: "Look how great the economy is doing!"

17. Democrats when a Republican is POTUS and the economy is doing well: "The president can't take the credit for how the entire economy is doing. Besides this is the result of the last president who was in office, who was a Democrat!"

ALSO READ: Tribal Politics Make Hypocrites Out of Republicans AND Democrats

18. And Democrats and Republicans keep having this conversation with a straight face every four to eight years and switch sides like it doesn't matter.

19. Anything that causes suspiciously timed mass amnesia on a regular basis is something very bad and we should get it out of our system and never go back to it again.

20. Thomas Jefferson swore: "If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all."

21. In his 1796 Farewell Address, George Washington said:

22. These days what both parties agree on is worse than what they disagree over. They are both beholden to the special interests of the finance sector, public sector unions, and the military-industrial complex, and regardless of what they say when they make campaign promises, both parties come together to hog up and transfer as many resources as they possibly can to these special interest groups.

23. Small businesses and the middle class continue to suffer as a result of this. People and businesses should be rewarded for contributing something of value to society and persuading society to reward them with profits for the enticement of some added value. The parties work to cull votes by promising political favors and influence that rewards those who are good at lobbying, not producing.

24. This limits our productive possibilities as a society and creates corruption. We are materially much worse off for it, not better off as a result of it. And we are doing very well in spite of it, so think of how much better we could be doing if resources flowed to their most productive uses, not into the hands of those good at lobbying and peddling political influence?

25. The entrenched establishment created and maintained by the two-party system also protects its position in the economy by lobbying politicians to create costly barriers to entry to their industry for startups and small businesses in the form of high regulatory compliance costs. This hurts economic growth, it's unfair to entrepreneurs, and it's unfair to consumers who are missing out on something better because entrenched special interests would rather lobbying for cover from competition than stay competitive themselves.

26. We also suffer from the mental poison that this system creates. It engenders never-ending, tribalistic group warfare over public resources, and the establishment always wins.

27. So the two-party system leaves many Americans at each other's throats in an exploitative Machiavellian divide-and-conquer strategy.

28. And no partisan voter can live without their daily two minutes' hate of the "other side," a really potent and venomous kind of vitriol that the system thrives on, but isn't really good for society at all or for any individual's mental health or overall well being in any way.

29. But what's really insidious about it is that this is all for show, and in the end, the same two parties that stir up so much division, ultimately serve the same special interests.

30. So the never ending turf war over the levers of power in government is just a distraction.

RELATED: Tame the Partisan Beast Before it Devours Us All

31. The Two-Party State in America is really a One Party State (like the one party rule of the Communist Party government in The People's Republic of China). It's a one party state disguised as a two-party state, because one party rule would be unacceptable to most Americans. But that's what we really have.

32. That's evident enough in how the two parties collaborate to keep any "third" parties out of any position of relevance in politics.

33. Take for instance the Commission on Presidential Debates and how it works to keep third party candidates off the national debate stage with Republicans and Democrats.

34. Or state voting laws that have written the two-party system right into their electoral processes in a bid to keep independent candidates and third party candidates away.

35. Americans have an inherent disdain for any system that is rigged. We generally believe in giving everyone a fair chance. Well, who could deny that electoral politics in the United States has been rigged by the two-party system?

36. The best the Republican Party could do in 2016 was a reality television celebrity and real estate mogul who bragged on the stage about how much influence he's bought from politicians.

37. The best the Democratic Party could do in 2016 was a Wall Street bought and paid for establishment shill who was one of the people whose influence the Republican candidate had bought.

38. The Republican candidate won almost without any party fundraising, proving it is now possible with the Internet and social media for an independent candidate with a resonant message to win without a party apparatus.

39. His victory in the GOP primary, while certainly cynical in many ways, demonstrated how irrelevant it is now possible to make political parties in the 21st century. Independent voters and candidates as well as third party candidates should waste no time in capitalizing on this opportunity.

40. The Democratic candidate rigged their party's primary and potentially stole the nomination from a true reform candidate with an independent streak, and stole a lot of their party's money from local and state elections to sink into their presidential bid. This is now a matter of record that party insiders along with leaks have made public knowledge.

41. After so brazen an act of systemic and institutional corruption, how can any one count on the Democratic Party again to pick its political candidates in a fair process?

42. The Democratic Party's lawyers arguing its case in court when sued for donations to be returned to Bernie Sanders supporters after the election rigging became public, argued successfully that political parties have no legal obligation to keep any of their promises.

43. That's something we should all already know about political parties by now, but it was fascinating to see a political party use it as a legal defense.

44. When you become an independent voter, you don't have to worry about a party keeping its promises to you or using your donations wisely and fairly.

45. You don't have to compromise your own beliefs and do mental acrobatics to defend your party's actions when they do something wrong. You can just be honest and speak your mind truthfully at all times without having to worry that it'll hurt your party and that "the other party" is lying too, so the only way to fight back is stretch the truth a little.

46. You can plant two feet firmly on the solid ground of 100% consistency of everything you've ever said about politics over a long span of time. It's a good feeling. It's just so honest and clean and pure and strong. You'll have a cleaner conscience as an independent than anyone who engages in the dirty business of partisan politicking.

47. You can start fresh and re-approach all the complex issues of politics with an open mind and not feel like you have to believe something about a given issue because your party does. Exploring these issues could be interesting and fun again.

48. You don't have to stay committed to a never ending fight.

49. It's not hard to change party affiliation. It's easy.

50. And in a majority of states, you can still vote in the primaries, so if you're in one of those states, you don't even have that excuse not to bail out of the two-party system and become an independent voter in 2018!

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