-- and --
The Two-Party Party
(i.e., "Why am I working on THAT, instead of spending
ALL my efforts and energy, running for the Senate?")
In addition to running for U.S. Senate, I'm also working on a related effort/project, identified by the phrase, "The Two-Party Party." There is more information on that effort at a separate website, at 2partyparty.org. A button with a link which will take you to that website is near the bottom of this page.
As a brief summary/overview, that effort weaves together the following points, which are part of my platform as a candidate. I will be trying to describe, explain, and advocate these points, in any presentations I make as a candidate for Senate. Therefore, I regard that effort -- and my Senate candidacy -- as mutually-supportive, rather than conflicting.
1. Whenever a third party becomes large and strong enough to actually change the outcome of an election, it always creates THE EXACT OPPOSITE of what its leaders and members actually want. Two classic examples are provided by Ross Perot, and Ralph Nader. When Perot joined the 1992 Presidential race as a conservative, he drained away enough votes from the other conservative (Republican George Bush, Senior) to give the election to Bill Clinton, even though Clinton received only 43% of the votes.
Eight years later, when Ralph Nader joined the 2000 Presidential race as a liberal and environmentalist, he drained away enough votes from the Democrat, Al Gore, to give the election to the Republican, George Bush Junior, an "oil man" who stacked his administration with other "oil men", who then scorned and trampled on every environmental initiative that Nader and his supporters had wanted, and worked for.
History and logic both show that ANY third party which becomes strong enough, will ALWAYS drain and suction whatever support and votes it gets, by taking those votes AWAY FROM the main-party candidate which the third party otherwise would have supported.
In all seriousness . . . how could it be otherwise?
So . . . third parties do NOT offer good answers, to our political problems. Indeed, a strong case can be made that Ross Perot's candidacy, in 1992, triggered what can now be called an era of "hate politics". Beginning in 1992, the levels of polarization, division, anger, and outright hatred, between liberals and conservatives, began growing steadily worse. Those partisan divisions have continued to grow worse, ever since, and today, they have rendered Congress effectively paralyzed, and pathetically dysfunctional.
2. Nothing above is claiming or pretending that two-party systems are always good, and always work. Instead, America is struggling with terrible partisan dysfunction, which is being rendered even worse by the deliberate efforts by many Republicans, Trump supporters, and Trump himself, to deliberately drive people into even more more polarized, antagonized, and angry divisions, rather than trying to heal wounds, and bring people together. Congress's almost-complete inability to pass any "substantive" legislation is just one symptom, showing that America's two-major-party system has become so badly damaged and dysfunctional that the problems we are now facing are jeopardizing our entire nation, our form of government, and our Constitutional rights and protections.
3. A major factor which is making the situation even worse is that the people that most moderates and centrists regard as "extremists" at both ends of the political spectrum (i.e., openly-avowed socialists, and people who are scornfully labeled by Republicans as `woke progressives', in the Democratic Party; and, Q-Anon-spouting wingnuts, weirdos, and worse, in the Republican Party) have figured out ways to make the nominee-selecting process unpleasant and nasty, to levels that are deliberately designed and intended to offend, insult, repel, and drive away any moderates, thereby creating "last man standing" battles where only those who are mean-spirited, cruel, obnoxious, and ruthless will still be in the room. Why? Because, for the extremists, that reduces the competition, and gives them more power and control. And, the result is that when the GENERAL election arrives, moderate and centrist voters are often forced to choose between two nominees, when they don't like either one.
Somehow, moderates and centrists need to find ways to push back against those efforts, and do more to push, pressure, and persuade BOTH parties to nominate more moderates, centrists, and respected/respectful problem-solvers. One of the keys to that effort will require hammering -- hard -- on the fact that, in ANY classic "bell curve" which represents a large population, arranged in a graph which indicates the number of people who have varying levels of some trait (such as height, weight, or political leanings), most of the members of any large population will be in the middle, as shown by the very nature and shape of any "bell curve", such as the following:
Accordingly, whichever main party is the first to fully recognize and respect that fact, will begin winning more elections; and, THAT is what will drive the OTHER party to begin doing more of the same.
4. Moving on to another political topic: the most divisive, polarizing, antagonizing, and hate-generating issues -- which, today, are tearing apart the fabric, cohesion, commitment, and social order of America -- are NOT being solved -- or even improved, to a point where they might become tolerable -- because MOST POLITICIANS TODAY DON'T EVEN TRY (OR WANT) TO SOLVE THEM.
Instead, politicians have learned how to exploit, manipulate, and `milk' the most angry, divisive, and polarizing issues, to get: (i) free publicity; (ii) more campaign contributions; and, (iii) hard-working campaign volunteers. As an analogy, steam engines can't run on cold water; someone must start a fire, and then keep it burning, to turn that water into steam, to provide power to that engine. In the same way, too many politicians have reached a point where they actively WANT to keep terrible problems which are tearing us apart, as angry and as divisive as possible, because -- regardless of how badly it might be hurting the nation -- ANYTHING which can get them more money, more publicity and attention, and more campaign workers, is part of a `Holy Trinity' for politicians trying to win elections.
Rather than taking that approach, my Senate candidacy -- and The Two-Party Party -- will be announcing bridge-building, problem-solving positions and proposals, designed to provoke at least some type of active response from the logic centers in moderates on both sides. Those proposals will address each of the five most divisive, polarizing, hate-generating issues that are tearing America apart, today. THE GOAL is to create areas, and ways, where people on both sides of an issue can begin working together, again, to actually help solve problems, in the hope that at least some of them will notice, and be reminded, that that type of work is far more satisfying, productive, and fulfilling, than merely saying ugly and hateful things about anyone that one might disagree with.
In my assessment, the five angry battlegrounds that are doing the MOST damage to the cohesion and fabric of American society are:
(1) arguments over abortion;
(2) gun rights/controls;
(4) education; and,
Accordingly, those are the five areas I will focus upon, in the bridge-building proposals I will soon begin announcing, explaining, advocating, and defending.
5. Shifting gears somewhat -- to a different but aligned thrust of The Two-Party Party -- the history of every city-state, every empire, and every nation that has ever existed, in all human civilization, shows that the strongest, happiest, best, and most prosperous and productive period for ANY city-state, empire, or nation, was when it had the largest, strongest, and most stable "middle class". Accordingly, our federal government should make "Helping enlarge and stabilize the middle class" its highest priority. Every piece of proposed legislation -- and every provision of our federal tax code -- should be discussed and debated with the question, "And how will this affect the middle class?" as one of the FIRST questions asked, during ANY such debates.
However, Congress has allowed itself to be corrupted and degraded in ways which actively pull it in exactly the opposite direction. Instead of helping the middle class, most federal legislation (and tax provisions, and deficit spending, and fiscal policies) today are undercutting, eroding, and hollowing-out the middle class, instead of helping it.
6. Congressional elections have reached a point where campaign expenses require any incumbent to make enough promises, to potential contributors, to obtain campaign contributions at levels which typically are 10 (or more) times higher than the salary that an office-holder will receive, from taxpayers (supposedly, to work for those taxpayers). Stated in other words, only about 10% of the "income" that members of Congress need, in order to stay in power, comes from voters and taxpayers, while about 90% comes from campaign contributors. Accordingly, voters can and should be skeptical about who Congress actually works for. This is not advocating any particular proposal, for change; instead, nearly everything I say, in my Senate campaign (which will include nearly everything I say about global warming) will be dedicated to simply trying to help citizens and voters understand what the actual facts are, so that those citizens and voters will be in a better position to decide what THEY want and choose to do.
7. If it can generate sufficient interest and support, the Two-Party Party will also make at least some initial efforts to provide better ways than TV ads, for voters to actually evaluate candidates. For multiple reasons, TV ads are "severely sub-optimal" in providing accurate, useful, balanced information about what the different candidates in various races actually stand for, and what they most likely will do if elected. Accordingly, logic and reason say that an alternate system likely could do a better job, if it would use:
(i) "interview committees" which are carefully and properly balanced (such as, 1/3 active Democrats, 1/3 active Republicans, and 1/3 not-previously-political members who have led good lives, had good careers, and raised good kids). These committees would get to actually know both major-party candidates, in each of the 10 to 20 most important races in some particular state, during any even-year election cycle (with a different committee, in each different Congressional district); and,
(ii) statewide "Two-Party Party" organizations, which will assess the recommendations of the interview committees, and come up with a slate of candidates -- balanced at some level, such as somewhere within a 60-40 split, between Democrats and Republicans, to gain the trust of voters -- who will then be endorsed (and actively supported, with events, paid advertising, etc.) by The Two-Party Party, as being the better candidate, in each race that is being analyzed and rated by the Two-Party Party organization in that state.
As mentioned above, those are just brief introductions to some ideas and proposals which are described in more detail, in a separate website I've created, which is at 2partyparty.org. This button will take you there, if you want to see more:
If I do not win the Democratic Senate primary for Missouri, in August 2022, I will spend the three months between the primary election, and the general election, trying to gain traction, attention, and funding for at least some of those proposals.
For now, I will point out that if I'm elected to the U.S. Senate, that would provide a MAJOR boost, to efforts to begin trying to address the concerns described above. Therefore, my efforts to describe those issues -- and, my goals, in working on those issues -- are part of my platform, as a candidate.
And, I cordially challenge any of the other candidates, for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate, to come up with either or both of:
(i) a better, more clear, and more succinct statement of the political problems we are facing; and/or,
(ii) a more logical and reasonable approach to trying to address and solve some of those problems.