9.13. Major Reform #1: Torch the Two-Party System

We can’t break our deadlock by going through this two-party system. We have to rise above it.

The American two-party system—which served the country well for nearly 150 years—has failed.

Increasingly, our partisan battles dominate everything.

Increasingly, we’re growing further and further apart on the issues—and more and more hostile toward each other.

Increasingly, people are putting their party ahead of their country.

And increasingly, we’re too deadlocked to move forward.

The problem isn’t with us, or our democracy.

The problem is with our two political parties that have spent several decades spending billions of dollars, collecting enormous amounts of data, and figuring out how to turn the American people into two permanent voter blocs.

They’ve gotten too good at pushing our buttons, riling us up, and pitting us against each other.

And while we’re hurling all our energies into trying to break this unbreakable deadlock, the politicians, corporations, and special interests are making out like bandits.

We can’t break this deadlock by going through this two-party system.

Our parties are too good at what they do. They’ve laid claim to half the American people, and they aren’t going to let them go. People invested in these partisan struggles aren’t going to back down.

Anything that tries to go through this system will disappear into the black hole of partisan politics.

We have to rise above it.

We have to disrupt the two-party system with a third party, and break the stranglehold of Republicans and Democrats on our political process.

The bad news is, that’s going to be an enormous, difficult project.

But the good news is, in some ways, the dominance of our two parties makes the way forward simpler.

There’s only a very narrow path to actually make a new, major third party a reality.

What this third party will look like, what positions it will take, how it will grow from a minor into a major player—these factors have to be determined by strategy, not ideals.

For instance, this third party can’t come from the far right or the far left.

It’s impossible. Because those types of third parties are always accused of “splitting the vote.”

They siphon support from one party exclusively…weaken the party they consider to be the lesser of two evils…and, if they’re successful, end up handing elections to the other major party, whose guts they hate even more.

There’s only one way to get around this problem:

The third party that successfully busts up the two-party system has to come from the middle.

It has to take a moderate position between Republicans and Democrats, and siphon support equally from both sides.

You don’t have to like that conclusion. But you can’t dispute it.

It’s the only way a viable third party could actually become a reality.

That’s just one example of what this third party will have to do.

But increasingly, I’m convinced that there is a way to get it done.

And I’m convinced that there needs to be a serious effort to make this happen in the coming years.

We know we can’t go on like this.

Eventually, these worsening partisan struggles are going to destroy us.

We need to act soon to torch the two-party system, and replace it with something better.

 

This is the 153rd in a series of over 150 videos about how to create real, lasting social change. Click here for a list of all titles, videos, and transcripts.

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