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Leave the Party!
If you're a Republican—leave the party!
If you're a Democrat—leave the party!
Why is electing Independents the solution?
It's simple really: Because we can! We can do it now, from where we are—instead of from where we might be someday.
We can do it now—One district at a time
The right candidate, in the right district, with a well-run campaign and the right message can be elected now—this November. And if one can be elected now, others can. The day will come when ten can, or twenty or more. When we win such elections in either house of Congress, with enough Indies to deny majority control to both parties, we can begin doing the business of our nation.
If we only begin the job this year, with a few victories—and finish it with a few more in 2016, or even 2018, we'll be far better off then than if we keep doing what we've been doing.
This isn't easy, but it's doable. And every one of us can be working on it today—not years from now. We don't have to wait in vain for our political disease to be cured by other means.
Disempower the parties
Three of the problems people believe must be fixed to cure our sick political system are:
There is no question that all three of these poison our body politic. But solving them requires either disempowering the Democratic and Republican parties, or somehow changing those parties from the inside, so they'll make the changes we seek. We can achieve the disempowerment by finding, developing, and electing viable Independent candidates. On the other hand, we'll never implement meaningful party reform, because those within the party actually survive by the status quo.
The parties will never make the changes we need
The money, lobbying and safe districts are powerful tools for keeping the parties in power—they'll never willingly give up those tools. What the parties will allow—and even encourage—is weak, ineffective diversionary measures. They thrive on the kinds of efforts that make us think we're making incremental progress, but in fact change nothing. Exemplary are all the ineffective legislative efforts we've seen for campaign finance and redistricting reform, starting with the much amended Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. We've occasionally seen decent legislation at state levels, but Federal efforts only nibble around the edges of the problems, then are completely quashed as parties and candidates find their loopholes.
Break the parties first—Then fix the problems
The parties are masters at clouding our vision. We've come to believe—or they've made us believe—that we can't disempower the parties until we get money out of politics. The truth is the opposite: we can't get the money out until we break party dominance. The same applies to other roadblocks. We can't control lobbying until we bust the parties.
Gerrymandering and other political reforms, such as open primaries, are a bit different, because those things can be, and have been changed state-by-state. But even in those arenas, if we break party power, we have a far better chance of implementing better policies, nation-wide.
If we wait until election day in November, and hope to find viable independent candidates on our ballots, we'll be exactly where we were two years before. We have to find the good candidates now, and work with and for them to create successful campaigns. There are candidates available in this election cycle who are worthy of the effort.
Citizenship is work. Democracy is work.
Voting is not enough; we have to be responsible for the institutions of our democracy.
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