Political Parties In the US
"There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution." -John Adams
My Stance on the Democratic Party and the Two Party System
I am a Democrat. But I have no loyalty to the Democratic Party.
I have a checkered past with the Democratic Party. Growing up, I’ve seen the presidency bounce back and forth between Democrat and Republican- the same can be said about the House and Senate. Decades with both parties alternating back and forth leading this country. And you know what? Little has fundamentally changed. All of the issues that I am running on- corruption, healthcare, foreign policy, infrastructure, education, etc. have improved very little regardless of the party in power.
This is particularly true on the federal level. Decades of war. Authorization and reauthorization of mass surveillance. A minimum wage that hasn’t budged since 2009. Roads that continue to crumble. I can go on. If you look at the political donations, you will see that Democrats and Republicans alike share many of the same big-money donors. Corporations don’t care about your political affiliation- they just care that you are the one in power, and that your vote can be bought.
So, for the majority of my life, I have not identified as a Democrat. Sure, I’ve voted for Democrats 99 percent of the time, but I didn’t want to be affiliated with the party itself. That’s why in the past, I have supported the formation of new political parties and I still support Ranked Choice Voting, which ensures that people can vote for the candidate and the party of their choosing, without feeling like they are “throwing away” their vote.
That being said, I am well aware of the American political system. America has a two-party system. Yes, there are “third parties”, but they stand zero chance of winning any federal elections without serious election reform (which I support). So, since I wanted to run for Congress, I needed to select the party which represents my values the best. That would be the Democratic party, and it isn’t even close.
So, I decided to get involved with the local party. I consider the local party as a unit of organization. It is a group of like-minded individuals seeking common goals. You know that if you walk into a room with Democrats from Kalamazoo or Allegan county, you are bound to have some principles and values in common. And, being a group of individuals, each person is free to form their own opinions and can also be persuaded to change their opinions. My job as a progressive and as a populist is to persuade the people in the local parties to adopt progressive and populist policies.
As long as the US remains a two-party system, I will be working from within to reform the Democratic Party to make it the party that it claims to be- the party of the people. That being said, I respect those that choose to force change from outside of the party. All the while, I will continue to be an advocate for electoral reform that empowers third parties. Whether it be the Libertarian Party, the Green Party, or a new party that has yet to be formed, they should all have the ability to earn your vote.
And if time shows that the Democratic Party refuses to be reformed, and another viable party emerges that will truly be the party that represents the people- I will not hesitate to jump ship and join that party.