So if you’ve been reading about the government shutdown in the news recently,you’ll know the general consensus on our congress at the moment is that they are just below cockroaches in the latest popularity polls. This is, of course, a joke because they were less popular than cockroaches nine months ago, they’ve dropped nine percent more in popularity since then.
Some might say that these stats indicate a huge failure in democracy, when a lawmaking body can be so unanimously disliked, yet still manage to keep their jobs and hold the country hostage at the same time. Still, this has not stopped congress, or in this case just Michelle Bachman, from informing us that “This is exactly what the public wants.”
While some see a colossal failure here, I personally finally see a chance for new parties to start shining. I don’t think it’s any secret in America that our two party system would require some sort of ridiculous catastrophe to finally convince people that we may need another political party to smooth out the large-scale partisan conflict that has turned America into a nation so torn it can’t even fund its own government.
Its become increasingly clear that the difference between to two parties in America are irreparable. As part of a younger generation though, I feel like it’s time that we now have a chance to set the tone for the next era of American politics. A major point of this new era must also be that two parties cannot be so irrationally conflicted that even basic governmental tasks become impossible.
The lack of competition among parties has led to a sort of complacency that needs to be upset. The parties know that no matter what they do, no matter how zealous or ridiculous their actions are, they are still one of two choices the people have. It’s now part of our duty as a people to show that this isn’t the case. It’s not uncommon or unprecedented by any means. On a worldwide scale, many other countries have countless other parties who run for government, with viable chances at holding valuable spots in congress.
Whether it’s due to the actions of the party they normally associated with or just a dissolution with the current political environment, more and more Americans have also started considering themselves independent voters, stripping off the previous party loyalties that so many had previously defined themselves by. Never before has the stage been so set for a new party to emerge.
The major challenge for a new party though may go beyond just popularity, with the growing disparity in party funding in party funding since the rise of corporate personhood in the Citizens United decision may stop any future parties in their tracks. It raises the question whether its truly the people of the United States who hold the political power anymore, or whether we are indeed at the mercy of those who can afford politics.
In the wake of these problems come the major questions that will likely define our generation’s politics. It’s now up to us to prove that we have the will to change a process that is no longer in the interest of the people, but in the interest of furthering political bias and putting money in the right pockets. Being indifferent to politics is no longer an option in an era where these politics are defining our lives, our jobs, and our decisions.
Regardless of which other parties you may support, if you had ever wanted to become more active, now is the time. The system is at an all time low and more than ever people seek the real and meaningful change to a dysfunctional government. The two juggernaut parties may well be paving their own path to self-destruction, but that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t use a little help anyway.
Brian Fosdick is a senior JTC major with a minor in political science and enjoys when you send all of his hate mail/love confessions to firstname.lastname@example.org