What if the problem isn’t the people on the other side of the aisle? What if the two-party system itself is creating a vicious cycle, making government less effective and driving us apart? The current ruling two-party duopoly is so ingrained in our system that we take it as a given but there is nothing in our Constitution concerning political parties. We have allowed the two ruling parties to institutionalize themselves in our political and governing systems not withstanding that legally political parties are not government but private associations. They therefore are not required to be open minded but can discriminate based on their own preferences. Along with being able to run the parties independently Congressional membership has the privilege of self-determining salaries, pensions, travel, and other TAXPAYER FUNDED perks while exempting themselves from certain federal laws, i.e. the Freedom of Information Act, safety and health investigatory subpoenas, protections against retaliation for whistleblowers, etc. Taxpayers are also asked to pay for these private clubs primary elections and campaign finance laws are rigged in their favor, just to name a few of the advantages they are afforded.

We have come to the point where one side of the aisle wants you to believe that they can declassify secret documents simply by thinking it and the other side of the aisle wants you to believe that you can change genders simply by thinking it. I believe America can survive the demagogues it’s the gullible audience that will kill democracy because democracy has no solution for how to fix itself when a large enough portion of the populace goes sour.

Everywhere in American life we demand numerous choices except in politics where we blindly give power to private entities to decide laws and determine who will run to be our representative, governor or president. WHY?

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Good article. But I’d suggest it’s a tad incomplete perhaps. I’d like to put this forth in the spirit of constructively helping you to think through the subject matter with the hopes of improving your conclusion and proposed solution.

Scott, you suggest that the solution is: “ The parties can be changed from within, if principled men stand up and fight for what they believe in.” But yet you admit earlier in the piece that part of the problem in Washington is that we have politicians who show up promising vaguely to “fight” for their constituents. And each election cycle, they claim they’ll fight harder. But without a clear idea of what that means, it’s nothing but an empty generality that does little to end the dysfunction and (depending on the politician) perhaps furthers it. So the solution can’t just involve the Ben Sasses and Liz Cheneys of this world to just rhetorically fight harder. So my question is this: how exactly should they be constructively “fighting” in a principled way that would accomplish what you suggest: changing the parties from within?

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