“A revolution is coming – a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough – but a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character; we cannot alter its inevitability.” ~ Robert F. Kennedy, in a report to the U.S. Senate on his trip to Latin America and the Alliance for Progress, May 9-10 1966
Whether we realize it or not, the United States under the current two-party system is being subjected to a type of colonialism. But, rather than someone coming from outside to control us economically and socially, it is being done to us by our own leaders.
In the United States, the two-party system has dominated the political landscape for centuries. Democrats and Republicans have been at the helm, steering the country through various challenges and triumphs. Although the ideologies and priorities of each party have shifted over the years, the dynamic remains the same: a duopoly that serves its own interests over those of the people.
The “father of propaganda,” Edward Bernays, put the current political system down to a necessity for simplicity. When given too many choices, people become overwhelmed and chaos ensues.
On a more granular level, it’s what child education advocates teach parents of unruly toddlers. Don’t tell them to get dressed or eat their vegetables. Offer them a binary choice of one from two options and avoid a household meltdown.
In a sense, the founding fathers of our country thought of the average citizen as an unruly toddler who was unread and incapable of making tough decisions. For example, they feared that limiting the right to vote would lead to oppression of those not in the elite classes, but extending the right to vote equally to all would amount to mob rule.
So they crafted a solution that “cured” the ills of the monarchy and instead gave us a duopoly where we have the illusion of choice with limited options.
However, in recent years, there has been a growing disillusionment with this binary political structure. More and more Americans are identifying as independents, seeking alternatives to the entrenched party lines.
Read on as we explore seven signs that indicate it's time for an independent revolution, addressing the concerns of independent candidates, voters, and those who are weary of the status quo.
One of the most glaring signs that it's time for an independent revolution is the pervasive discontent among voters. According to a Gallup poll from September 2023, 46% of Americans identified as independents, compared to 24% who identified as Democrats and 28% as Republicans.
This growing segment of the population is disillusioned with the two-party system, feeling that their voices are not heard and their concerns are not addressed. They’re tired of choosing the "lesser of two evils" and crave a political landscape that offers more diverse and representative choices. Others feel that the parties have been captured by extremists on both sides, and that a more centrist approach would better serve the majority.
When polling indicates that the majority of Americans are in favor of a woman’s right to choose (55%), want sensible gun regulation (58%), and trust in the government is at an all-time low, but they see no progress on any front, perhaps it’s time for independents to take the wheel.
The current political climate is characterized by extreme polarization. Democrats and Republicans are often at loggerheads, unwilling to compromise or find common ground. This divisive atmosphere is detrimental to the nation's progress because it leads to legislative gridlock and an inability to address pressing issues.
Over the past few months alone, we’ve been subjected several times to the threat of a government shutdown because the parties cannot come to an agreement over the most basic aspects of a functional government. It’s more about preventing a perceived win by the “other side” than working together to devise a way forward for the good of the country.
Independent candidates, on the other hand, are not beholden to party ideologies. They’re better positioned to bridge the gap between the two extremes, fostering a more collaborative and productive political environment. When paired with a transition to coalition governance through multi-party representation, alliances can form to pass vital legislation.
The two-party system has been criticized for its lack of representation, particularly for minority groups and marginalized communities. Independent candidates offer a viable alternative because they’re not constrained by party platforms and can advocate for the unique needs and interests of these underrepresented populations.
By supporting independent candidates, voters can help to ensure that all voices are heard and all communities are represented in the political process.
The recent rise of populism in the United States is a clear indication that people are fed up with the establishment and are seeking change. Independent candidates, being outsiders to the two-party system, are well-positioned to tap into this populist sentiment and offer a fresh perspective. They can provide a genuine alternative to the status quo, resonating with voters who feel neglected by the major parties and are hungry for a new approach.
The two-party system is deeply entrenched in the world of campaign finance, with both Democrats and Republicans benefiting from vast sums of money from wealthy donors and special interest groups. This has led to a perception that the political process is rigged in favor of the elites and ordinary citizens are left out in the cold.
Independent candidates, who are less reliant on big money, have the opportunity to challenge this system and advocate for campaign finance reform that ensures a more level playing field for all.
Trust in the government and other key institutions is at an all-time low, with many Americans feeling disillusioned and disenfranchised. The two-party system is seen as a major contributor to this crisis of confidence, with its perceived lack of transparency and accountability. Much of this mistrust is intentionally fueled by those in power with the aid of mainstream media.
Independent candidates, free from the baggage of party politics, can help to restore trust in the political process by championing transparency, accountability, and ethical governance.
The challenges facing the United States are complex and multifaceted, requiring innovative and forward-thinking solutions. The two-party system, with its tendency towards ideological rigidity and resistance to change, is ill-equipped to meet these challenges.
Many are also out of touch with the realities facing average Americans, either due to age or the insulation of wealth. One need only watch any Congressional hearing on technology to see this demonstrated in real time.
Independent candidates, on the other hand, tend to be younger and untethered from party dogma. They’re free to think outside the box, bringing fresh ideas and new perspectives to the table.
Due to systemic barriers to electability erected against independent and third-party candidates, many people believe that an indy revolution is a pipe dream that can never become a reality.
The first step is to dispel the notion that voting independent or third-party is a wasted vote. Instead, it injects new ideas into the national political discourse and highlights problems that the establishment can’t or won’t address because they’re either out of touch with the very real struggles of the average American or their true allegiance is to corporate donors.
While such barriers as the electoral college and term limits at the federal level would require constitutional amendments and other solutions that could only be solved by the legislature, changing the makeup of the legislature is certainly in the hands of the people.
In order to achieve such a widespread, national change of mindset, voter education is in order. Too few have a comprehensive understanding of civics or how incumbents gain the advantage in terms of name recognition, funding, and media attention.
We can also enact change starting at the local level by running candidates for offices that don’t require party affiliation. This will help independent and third-party candidates to achieve that all-important brand awareness and gain real-world experience in the intricacies of governing.
It will also acclimate the public to the possibilities that independence from the establishment can achieve. When we find something that works, we tend to ask for more rather than feeling forced to vote for more of the same whether it works or not.
The signs are clear: it's time for an independent revolution in the United States. The two-party system, with its limitations and flaws, is no longer serving the needs of the American people. Independent candidates offer a viable and attractive alternative, promising a more representative, collaborative, and innovative approach to governance.
As voters, it’s our responsibility to support independent candidates and help to build a political landscape that truly reflects the diversity and dynamism of our nation. By joining Good Party, you can embrace the indy revolution as we work together to create a brighter, more inclusive future for all Americans.