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Opinion

A Spectacular Failure of Imagination

This article was prepared or written by Zach Colby in their personal capacity as an independent supporter or member of The SAM Party. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The SAM Party or Serve America Movement

You have read it in the opinion pages of the largest publications in the world, on personal blogs and social media, and everywhere in between. Politics is hopeless. We’re polarized and there’s no hope of compromise. The “other” side is irretrievably entrenched in their ideological camp and things are only getting worse. This outlook is demoralizing and unfortunately pervasive. BUT! There is a small sliver of people who view it as a silly, un-American sentiment and spectacular failure of imagination.

There are no hard and fast rules that confine us to two parties, or to partisan primary elections, or any type of system that decides how we elect our leaders. We don’t have to accept gerrymandering, dark money in our elections, and unfettered corruption at all levels of government or give attention to the hyperpartisan officials feeding red meat to their hyperpartisan bases and tweeting clickbait for made up online clout.

It’s time to reject this attitude and approach to politics. It’s unproductive and moving us in the wrong direction. Democracy expert and oft-cited scholar Lee Drutman calls this “The Two Party Doom Loop.”  Let’s stop talking about the problem and start talking about how to solve it.

Andrew Yang, one of the highest profile political figures calling for a new party, would tell us to look at the math. 62% of Americans agree that we need a new party. Over half of Americans now identify as independent. Dig a little deeper though, and you find those groups do not agree on what exactly that third party should represent. We can almost all agree on the failure of the two parties, but it gets a little trickier when we begin to seek solutions to that failure.

So how do we bring together independents, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Greens who believe in the need for a new party? By building a New Kind of Party.

The next great political party will be laser-focused on one thing, building an entity that Americans trust – a party that actually works and one that gives a home to constituents and ideas from across the political spectrum. Who says a party has to coalesce around a rigid ideology? “Toe the party line or get out” isn’t a recipe for success and we’re seeing that play out across the country. Congress has ceased to be a serious institution and the political figures that dominate our news cycle are not serious people.

It’s well past time for something new. Our founders rejected partisanship because they saw its insidious potential. Bemoaning the status of our politics is our fixed mindset based on the question “Why?”

I challenge us all to ask the question “Why not?” Why not reinvent politics? Why not change the way we run elections? Why not revolutionize and modernize American government with 21st-Century ideas? Let’s start living up to the ideals our nation was founded upon and make our nation a more perfect union together

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