“We cannot be a union of states if we fail to unite as people” – DaShanne Stokes
For my first philosophically political questions, I’d like to discuss the usefulness of political parties. For everyone here in America (or so I’d like to think), I think we can all agree that over the last few presidential elections a problem has been cropping up. That being political parties getting in the way of our progress as a nation.
Let me enlighten those of you who want to see things from my eyes. It would seem that every politician who has run for president has been trying to erase the things that their predecessor has done. While I am only twenty-two years old and have only seen a handful of elections, I am certain this is true. Obama tried to undo the policies of Bush and now Trump is trying to undo the policies of Obama. The parties went from Republican to Democrat and now Republican again. Through all of these switching parties trying to undo the other, we are left right where we started. This stagnation I feel has been one of the core reasons for Americans anxiety lately about our government. While I’m certain its not the only reason, it certainly doesn’t help when approval ratings for a president are often below 50% of the population. From where I’m standing, that just seems insane. As the United States of America, how is it that more than 50% of us are divided on key issues.
My target to blame for these transgressions against humanity in America is political parties. Whether you lean more Republican or Democrat, the issue is the same. Everyone is trying to oppose the other based off political party alone. If a Republican is in office, we try to get Democrats into power to oppose their actions, and vice versa. It seems to me that we have all forgotten what the point of political parties even is in the first place. It was simply a gathering of people who held similar political goals and ideas. Now, it has become an us versus them mentality. We argue based off the fact someone agrees with one party more than the other, rather than the ideas themselves. I believe that if humanity has any hope of progressing we need to address this issue immediately.
So, I propose this solution. We need to remove political parties from the political system. Let me make something clear though, I’m not saying to remove political parties in their entirety. After all, to obstruct the gathering of similar minds and ideas is the same as obstructing our human rights. However, I do think that when running for an office, political parties don’t need to be advertised and shown to the public. For example, it is not Dem. Party member John Doe, it is just regular John Doe running for office. This gives us a few advantages.
First, it allows us to judge whether a candidate is qualified based on their abilities and ideas, rather than their political party. Voting for a candidate based simply off the fact they are Republican or Democrat is an insult to the democratic process. Second, it allows other players to come onto the field. Currently, only the two big parties are contenders for president and if you want to be president you almost need to choose one or the other. Third party candidates are such a joke in the political system it’s not even funny anymore. How can we hope to find the most qualified president for millions of Americans if we only choose from two people? Third parties don’t get even near the amount of money or advertising the other big two get which leaves them at a severe disadvantage.
It makes no sense to me that we aren’t voting for our representatives based off of actual ability or merit. I believe that this can be fixed on a legal level, or constitutionally amended just like other items we have fixed in history. Simply remove the political party banners from candidates names when running. Also, make advertising one’s parties to promote their political position against the rules. Now the next item to fix is something I’m still debating in my head. That being the monetary rules of a political campaign. There are a few items I thought of in my mind that might be potential fixes, but there are potential issues as well.
First, making all candidates have a funding ceiling or a kind of “allowance” if you would. This would allow each candidate to have equal marketing opportunities and chances. However, it becomes a problem of how much money would be allowed and who would do the funding. If we allow private companies to fund it, it will make the business start to have political sway in the government which I don’t think is ok. A business in order to be successful must always do things with profit in mind, something that creates a loss is unacceptable in the long term. While a business certainly has a right to protect its interests when it comes to political campaigns that become to narrow minded. The interests of a business don’t represent the interest of a nation. The other problem lies with government-funded allowances to candidates. Once again, the money needs to come from somewhere and if there is a particularly large turn out for people hoping to be president well… that’s expensive.
My second idea is this, have all candidates start on a neutral starting ground in one big tournament like setting. Ok, ok, I know that sounds crazy but hear me out here. Currently, all candidates do a sort of competition amongst their own parties and become the primary candidate to be supported by their group. These happen separately and on their own schedules. What I propose is that we have a collective competition in a neutral setting. Not just only Democrats one day and Republicans another day. This is how it would work: We will collect all the hopeful candidates onto one televised platform and broadcast it over a series of days or weeks. The candidates only have their names revealed, no political alignments even mentioned. Then, we should give the people themselves a chance to choose their candidates. Just like American Idol or a TV show like that, viewers will cast their votes on who they liked best based off of debates or interviews or something. After that, the top like eight or so will be the ones who can actually run for president after that. The popularity ranking of those top eight won’t be released, its just eight winners, that’s all we would be told. Then, the election can proceed in group competitions just like that from there. They could take a tour around the country appealing to the whole nation state by state, not just swing states. Then the election can proceed as normal.
Ok, I’m done talking about why I think the political parties need to go away and a few ideas on how to deal with the question asked. I’d like to know your thoughts and what you think about this. Do you think it’s necessary to promote political parties? Why? What would you do if asked this question? Did I get any facts wrong? Let me know in the comments below and let’s talk.
P.S. Let me know if I should make a tl;dr version of these as well. While I do enjoy typing about my ideas, I think I can be a little long-winded on these issues. I was considering making a summary for these should the need arise.