One of the most interesting things to watch in America’s last two election cycles has been the conservatives having to choose between voting for someone they agree with and someone they think has a chance to defeat someone they disagree with even more. The problem with choosing a compromise is that it is impossible to get the level of excitement needed to win.
The liberals have the opposite problem. They have found someone that everyone can get very excited about, but there is no way that he can fulfill everyone hopes and dreams.
Things were the same in the Bush and Clinton years with alternating parties.
Really, the two party system has rarely been sufficient to adequately represent the diversity of the population. There have been times that it worked, but it is really not ideal.
That said, starting a third party will not solve the problem. The United States election system is set up to only handle two-parties at the federal level. This was not too much of a concern for the founding fathers because they assumed that most of the decisions that people really cared about would be made at the state level.
The idea of having multiple states was to allow each state to have very different laws. If people did not agree with the laws in their state, they could find a different state. So each state essentially becomes a different party.
The states joined for mutual protection, economic opportunity and also a side purpose – to make it easier for those who disagree with their neighbors to more easily move to a different state. America has since lost the diversity of states and we are quickly losing the diversity of nations.
Thus we find ourselves in a all or nothing situation where we have to get 51% of the world to agree with us and hold onto that majority so that we can force the rest of the world to live the way a few thousand influential people want to live.
I have a few ideas on how we might be able to resolve this that I will write about later. But first, do you think this is an accurate description of the problem? Do you even think it is a problem? What are your thoughts on how we got here? Any initial thoughts on how to get from here to a better form of representation?