Parties and Outrage
Blogs are a convenient outlet for venting outrage. Reading so many I find it hard to spread my passion in so many directions and I often become numb to the steady flow of crisis. Then mainly for my mental health I try to shift focus to ponder constructive responses to our challenges.
I often wonder if the two party system is irretrievably broken and that special interests are so entrenched that pragmatic, open minded, reasonable deliberation and action is no longer possible. I consider the need for a new party with a platform made up of all the policies that are currently mired and diverted.
Then I consider if the members of this new party can actually agree on this new platform. And if they were to miraculously agree could they avoid the seduction of special interests to derail even this new noble attempt at progress? And if they avoided the seduction of money could they also avoid the traps of becoming fragmented, hyper partisan or inflexible?
I am dubious that a new party would be an improvement; and that if it failed it could cause another generation of jaded potential activists, (such was my concern with Unity 08).
And I find myself pondering what seems like a better use of our time and resources: To liberate the integrity, compassion and pragmatism of our politicians, both conservative and liberal, by freeing them from the influence of selfish interests and hyper partisan, inflexible, constituents and donors.
So while I empathize with the urge for a new Party, I believe that it would be far more efficient to focus on the few essential adjustments necessary to make the current system work. And we can do this by focusing on leveling the playing field by reforming Campaign Finance, Redistricting, and Elections. For far less money than it takes to organize and operate a new party we could refine that system we already have.
All it takes would be a few high profile champions like Mayor Bloomberg, the consolidation of most of the existing reform groups into a single focused force, and the creation of a Reform PAC to give us an outlet to turn our outrage into productive change.