This is a follow up to my previous post about fixing the primary election system. It’s broken, obviously. But what’s even more broken, and even worse that it is, would be our entire political system. It’s an utter mess. And it is corrupt beyond belief. But can it be saved? How can such a monstrosity possible be fixed? Easily, that’s how.
First, what is the problem? The Republicans say the problem in this country is the Democrat Party and liberals. The Democrats say the problem in this country is the Republican party and conservatives. In a rare moment, I actually agree with both sides on something. They’re both right- Republicans and Democrats are the problem!
It is a rigged two party system. Whether you’re talking at the federal, state or local level, they have rigged the game to ensure Republicans and/or Democrats are always in charge. Always. Mega donors know this. Huge lobbying groups know this. So what do they do about it?
They give candidates a ton of money. A ton. But here’s the best part- every other lobbying group pays off both the Republican and the Democrat in the race, ensuring that regardless of who wins, they are taken care of. Whichever candidate gets elected to whichever office doesn’t matter. They would both do much of the same things. In fact, look at what they do when one party is in charge of both Congress and the White House.
Do Democrats take care of any big liberal agenda issues? Do Republicans take care of any big conservative issues? Under Bush we got big tax cuts. Under Obama we got healthcare reform. That’s it. Everything else? It’s called status quo. And there are a lot of people who make A LOT of money from maintaining the status quo.
And that’s how it is. And that’s how it will always be unless people wake up and open their eyes. The Republicans don’t care about you or their conservative principles. The Democrats don’t care about you or their liberal principles. They’re about keeping their jobs and their power, first and foremost. And they do that by getting mega donors to give them money. And they keep that money coming in by giving back to the mega donors the favors they want. And what they want is for the status quo to stay exactly as is.
Now, understanding this problem, what can be done about it? First a few stats are in order. On social issues, America is exactly divided right down the middle. According to Gallup, one third of America identifies as socially liberal, one third as socially moderate and one third as socially conservative. On economic issues, that picture is a little different. One fifth of America identifies as economically liberal, two fifths as economically moderate and two fifths as economically conservative.
And in a new low for the parties, only 26% of the country identifies as Republican and 29% as Democrat. 42% identify as independents. Think about what this means. Barely half of America claims to belong to one of the two major parties. That means almost half of America doesn’t want to claim them (myself included).
So what is the trend? America is economically a fiscally conservative nation. On social issues, America is quickly liberalizing more and more. And finally, less and less people are identifying with either major party. Why is that?
Because Democrats are supposed to be the liberal party and Republicans are supposed to be the conservative party. But here’s the catch- no one is socially conservative and economically conservative, and no one is socially liberal and economically liberal. Well, some people are, obviously. But the majority of voters are not. A majority of people are socially on the moderate to liberal side of things and economically on the more conservative side of things. And neither of the major parties represents this view.
And that’s how you fix the problem. We will call it the Libertarian Solution. Why? Because Libertarians socially lean liberal and economically lean conservative. In poll after poll after poll, Americans most closely identify with the platform of Libertarians, not Republicans or Democrats. They just don’t know it. And why not?
The problem is so many Libertarians are just crazy fringe folks. Conspiracy theorists and preppers come to mind. And that’s what most people think. Ron Paul had a good run in 2008 for the Republican nomination as a Libertarian candidate. What did he campaign on? He wanted to eliminate 4 of 5 of the U.S. Departments. That’s right, just terminate them like that. Now this may be a very good idea. This may help. It may improve the government. But people don’t want to make drastic changes like that all at once. You have to ease into it.
And that’s why Libertarians haven’t caught on in the mainstream. They philosophically represent the largest percentage of Americans, yet their candidate for President managed 1% of the total vote in 2012. There is a disconnect of some kind between the ideology and the voters recognizing it. Is it an education thing? I’m not sure. But let’s look at what Libertarians stand for and where they are on the issues.
1. They want simpler, lower taxes for all. Proposed reforms range from this to that and everything in between, but the principle is for less taxes.
2. They want less military intervention around the world and a foreign policy that is more “hands off” with other countries. This doesn’t mean isolationism, it means building our own country before we build everyone else’s.
3. They are fine with same sex marriage and equal rights for homosexuals.
4. They are in favor of legalizing marijuana.
5. They generally accept the science and dangers of global warming, although proposed solutions are again wide ranging.
6. They favor balanced budgets and less wasteful government spending.
Guess what? On all six points, a majority of Americans agree with them. And guess what? Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats agree with all six points. Americans do. Libertarians do. The two major parties don’t. There’s the disconnect.
Deep down most Americans are Libertarian minded. We want people out of our business. We want people out of everyone’s business really. We don’t want our government to oppress us or anyone else. We want to be free to do as we please so long as we aren’t harming anyone else.
So you want to fix the political system? Get rid of the Republicans and Democrats. Vote in politicians who have Libertarian views. Imagine if our next President were a Libertarian. Congress would actually have to come together. Our foreign policy would get cleaned up. Our wasteful spending would get reined in. The next Supreme Court Justice might be unlike the other 8.
Are Libertarians immune to corruption? Not at all. But Americans are ideologically Libertarian more than any other ideology. And if our Congress reflected that and we had a major third party, things would look a lot different. Our economic outlook would be a lot better. Heck, the outlook on everything would look better.
Changes and solutions like this don’t happen over night. So I’m asking you to do one thing. This November, you can vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. One of them will be the next President. Let’s just be honest about it though. Hillary Clinton will wipe the floor with Donald Trump. It won’t even be close. She could win by double digits in the popular vote.
So, you can waste your time voting for one of them. Or you can make a difference and vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate. If he gets 5% of the total popular vote, then the way campaigns finance laws work would make the 2020 Libertarian nominee have some money to compete with the major parties. If Gary Johnson even managed to win a state like New Hampshire or New Mexico, he could have an impact on the electoral college. This is unlikely though. Still, voting for Trump is a complete waste of time. Voting for Clinton in a red state is a waste of time. Voting for Clinton in a blue state is also a waste of time. Why waste your vote? Send a message to the two major parties- vote Libertarian!