Following the debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, Google saw a surge in searches for the Libertarian candidate for President, Jo Jorgensen.
That should come as no surprise.
If there’s one thing that’s clear from this election, it’s that Americans are disgusted with both of our two major political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats. I’ve found people agreeing with my statement that, if what we’re seeing now is the best our two parties can do, we need new parties.
This sentiment has been growing for at least 30 years. In 1992, H. Ross Perot ran as an independent candidate. Ed Rollins, a Republican consultant, worked for his campaign for a time. He said Perot did just about everything wrong, but he still won 20 percent of the vote. As Rollins saw it, this meant many Americans were looking for an alternative.
In August 2020, registered Republicans in Arizona outnumbered Democrats, 1,389,960 to 1,293,074. What may come as a surprise is Independents and other parties numbered 1,306,180. There were more “Independents and others” than Democrats.
There is nothing in the Constitution that mandates a two-party system. It is something that has developed over time. Many of the framers of the Constitution feared political parties, or “factions,” as they called them, as they believed they led to England’s domestic turmoil and civil conflicts in the 17th Century.
The two-party system has actually served America well for 150 years. It works as long as both parties respect each other and remember they are there to serve the American people. The problem today is both parties are out for power for themselves, and they see the other party as an evil force to be destroyed. They’ve both been in power for too long.
As an example of the cooperation that’s needed, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a Democrat, had Republicans in his cabinet during World War II. He believed the war against Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan should be a non-partisan affair, and he knew that required Republicans to have some input.
Can you imagine one of our politicians doing that today?
So, what’s the alternative? I don’t think we want a parliamentary system like many European countries have. They have so many parties, it at times becomes almost impossible to create an effective government. Using Israel as an example (I know they’re not in Europe), it’s said they have four parties for every three Israelis.
There has been a push in this country for a “top two” system. What that means is candidates for any given office would face each other in a primary election, and the top two candidates in the primary would square off in the general election. These elections would be non-partisan, with no party affiliations.
The political parties would still be needed, in order to provide organization for candidates and for fundraising. Still, this might give candidates who are not beholden to one of the major parties a chance in the election. We might get some new, fresh voices into government.
The most important thing, though, is this: the politicians need to remember they work for the American people. That means you learn to work with your opponents, not try to destroy them. Arizona’s two U.S. Senators, Martha McSally, a Republican, and Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat, have proven they can work together for the good of the state and the nation. They’ve learned to put Arizona and the nation first and partisanship second.
They’re an example of how the two party system should work.
Maybe we need less red and blue from our parties and more red, white and blue.