Today I read an editoral written by Thomas Friedman. It was titled "This country Needs a Tea Party of the Radical Center".
It was in the Houston Chronicle. Friedman is a columnist for "The New York Times".
In this column he discusses how our current form of government has been taken over by the extremists on both sides of the political spectrum. He thinks that our political system of only two major parties has allowed that, and that it is only going to get worse. The extreme fringe of each party seem to be the powers that control who gets elected. That has evolved into a system where nothing can be accomplished. The vast majority of americans fall somewhere between the liberal and conservative extremes. So it would seem that our government should be composed of people who were representitive of that group. That is no longer true.
The same type of polorazation has accured here on tbd.
Not that I'm comparing tbd to a system of government; I'm addressing tbd as a large group of individuals with a wide range of political ideas. There are two Groups on tbd that I think represent the two extrems of political thought. On the right is the "We the People" Group. On the Left is the "Liberal Thinkers" with the "No Flamers" logo. Even though members of these two groups sometimes participate in inflamitory discussions in their opposite group, agreement on any subject is yet to occur.
Friedman points out one simple indication that our political system is "Broken". The fact that a Republican will be voted out of office for doing the right thing.(raising taxes when needed) Democrats will be voted out of office for doing the right thing.(cutting services when needed)
Friedman thinks that a key cause of our current political divide is the current method that most states use to establish the shape and size of voting districts. I agree.
California recently took took away the power to design congressional districts from the State Legislature and put it in the hands of an independent, politically neutral, Citizens Redistricting Commission. If this works we should see more candidates that appeal to the center.
Another thing that would produce more centerest candidates is "alternative voting".
Under our current voting system, most of us feel that if we were to vote for a third party or independent candidate, we will be actually throwing our vote away and thereby helping elect the person that we most want to not be elected.
Alternative voting allows you to rank your choices. If the person that you rank as number one does not win, your vote goes to your number two. This means that if you rank the republican #1 and the independent #2 your vote does not help the democrat to beat the republican.
"Nothing has held back the growth of independent, centrist candidates more", said Larry Diamond, a Stanford University democracy expert, "than the fear that if you vote for one of them you will be wasting your vote".
Alternative voting can overcome that.
So, let's have a Tea Party of the radical center.
I am not sure what the correct answer to the current political log jam is, but I think that most Americans are not satisfied with the current system.