Opinion: Don't Like all the Partisanship? Here's How We Can Stop it

Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 09:00 AM

Most negatively themed political news is aimed at politicians and political organizations, usually deservedly. But we often overlook that these people wouldn't be in office unless millions of people got up and voted them into office, and those organizations wouldn't have any power if we didn't support them.

Far and beyond even unfair political rules that the two major parties have put in place, the fact that people who do want a more effective government don't get out and work, donate and volunteer for political efforts at a rate remotely close to what they should helps to force division on the Left and Right. Lower their standards enough to vote for lesser evils... this is the biggest root problem of them all.

Bill Clinton touched on this a bit, in an interview on over at ABC News: "We live in a time where there's this huge disconnect between the way the political system works and the way the economic system works," President Clinton told "This Week" anchor Christiane Amanpour. "If you want to put people to work, we've got to focus on what works, and what works is not all this back and forth fighting in Washington."

"Conflict has proved to be remarkably good politics," Clinton added. "It's very hard for the people in Washington, who got there based on pure conflict, pure attack, pure ideology, to take it seriously when their same constituents are saying please do something positive. That's not how they got elected."

Regular people not being as active as those who dominate the two major parties is one of those chicken and the egg problems. Grassroots organizing 101 level training will teach you that the people who come out to vote and participate in politics the most are the ones that are engaged the most by politicians, on one side of the coin, and also the ones that make the most noise.

The majority of people, who are not dyed-in-the wool liberals or conservatives, have very little to latch onto in our political system, the major campaigns don't see them as reliable voters so they spend their time elsewhere and the people who are at the ends of the political spectrum are the most likely to be the ones that are angry about how things don't fit into their worldview—making them the squeaky wheel that are hard to ignore for politicians trolling around for supporters.

But even at the true fringes of the political spectrum, people do themselves, and the nation, a disservice by continuing to support the kinds of people Clinton talks about above. We continue to support not only those that are lesser evils, but doing so gives those lesser evils a warrant to keep acting in divisive ways that only leads to further conflict and making it harder for politicians in Washington to work together towards getting work done that the country so badly needs.

We need to have higher standards, no matter where we are on the political spectrum.

Solomon Kleinsmith is a former nonprofit worker, serial social entrepreneur and strident centrist independent blogger from Omaha, Nebraska. His website, Rise of the Center, is the fastest growing blog targeting centrist independents and moderates.


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Comments [1]

Perhaps you’ve heard Einstein’s pithy saying: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Most people think this is one of those obvious and well understood pieces of wisdom. Most people would be wrong.

We are currently witness to a long standing example of an American insanity. America is expecting that the electorate can choose political leaders, especially a President, who will solve their problems, vanquish their fears, and insure their future security. And certainly we have a great deal of evidence and confidence from having elected our present and previous presidents, senators, representatives, governors, mayors, ya-da-ya-da-ya-da to be proud of the obvious success of our proven judgments. Why these must be some of the most admired people in the country today. These officials must be role models that we hold up to our children and others as individuals who are doing exactly what we need and would want. And the country must be in the best condition anyone could hope for. Are you starting to see the insanity yet?

Because we have a first term Democratic president, we are only able to watch the Republican Party’s struggle to find their presidential candidate. Well, you can’t expect to have everything you would want readily available just to make a point. Fortunately, the Republicans’ are making up for the lack of another group politicians aspiring to the position of the most incompetent bunch of fools in history.

How has this happened? How have we come to this?

How, it’s the inevitable consequence of the electorate’s evolutionary breeding program of politicians of course. No one would be disrespectfully enough to place the blame for these people on God. No! We are responsible for these people. So there is only one solution to this dilemma, only one thing that Americans can do. Americans are going have to do the things that they resist and avoid at every turn. Americans are going to have to think and make sacrifices.

Now not all Americans are going to be able to do this. For instance, the core Republican and Democratic parties’ bases are not likely to be able to engage in one or the other, certainly not both. Fortunately, we are not at an impasse like the ones’ we are persistently seeing in Congress and with the President. There is still a group of Americans we can turn to that can step up and do the heavy lifting that is necessary in these turbulent times. Since this aggregate of Americans is as culpable as any other group in allowing our country’s situation to have progressed to this untenable state, it is only fair that they must carry this burden.

Who then are these people? They are known in the colloquial political nomenclature as Independents. The best hope for America rests with the Independents, because only they can act in the interests of the nation and the people.

The rest is at

Sep. 25 2011 10:43 PM

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