Foreign Policy Insider Declares Independence from "Intellectually Bankrupt" Democratic-Republican Party

Foreign Policy blogger and political insider David Rothkopf has declared his political independence from the Democratic-Republican two-party state, calling the Democratic and Republican Parties "intellectually bankrupt" and "increasingly irrelevant." Ironically, Rothkopf is CEO of Garten Rothkopf, which, according to Wikipedia, is an "international advisory firm specializing in transformational global trends." Better late than never, I suppose. An excerpt:
When I started this blog, I wrote that I was a Democrat . . . I no longer feel comfortable identifying myself with a political party. That's not to say I suddenly feel greater sympathy for the Republican Party. Quite the contrary . . . I just feel that both political parties in this country are intellectually bankrupt and, fortunately, increasingly irrelevant to the politics of the Internet era. . . . What if disaffected Americans said, "Wait a minute, this system is broken, you guys broke it, I don't owe you an ounce of loyalty. Quite the contrary. You lost my loyalty when you sold out to special interests or when you placed a premium on your own reelection rather than serving the electorate. Now you have to win it back. ntil then, I'm an Independent. I'm going to remake the system from the grassroots up." Don't vote the party line. Don't buy the party line. Demand new ideas and vote for results not slogans.
More importantly: demand choices. Support third party and independent candidates for office. Vote for them on principle.


Anonymous said...

The dominant voting system in the US
is first-past-the-post plurality. This makes it very hard to depose the duopoly.

d.eris said...

This is true, but misleading, I would argue. I have addressed this exact topic on a number of occasions here. Here's my working theory: Duverger's Law predicts that SMDP results in two-party contests; but the Democratic-Republican two-party system has devolved into a one party state in polities across the country; therefore in polities with lopsided majorities in favor of the Democratic or Republican Party, Duverger's Law suggests we should expect a third force to arise to fill the void left by the deterioration of the other major party.

Nancy Hanks said...

If it was easy, it would probably just support the status quo. I say right on! to David Rothkopf and millions of other Americans who are saying no! to the duopoly and who are creating a true independent movement that can put forth innovative solutions to the problems created by the stagnation and dangerous policies fomented by the symbiotic Democratic and Republican parties.

Thanks for finding this article, Damon!

Anonymous said...

Duverger's Law suggests we should expect a third force to arise to fill the void left by the deterioration of the other major party.

Instead we got Scott Brown in MA and Nick Begich in AK. The mayor of Burlington, VT and a handful of VT state legislators doesn't amount to much in comparison. What generally happens is that residents of deep-blue and deep-red areas just switch to the other major party when they get too disgusted.

Putting the FPTP voting system to the side, the homogenizing force of national media is probably cementing the national D and R tribal brands and therefore preventing the emergence of any significant "third force". You can't introduce polite but persistent Canadian-style regional politics into the US: regional politics in the US-aside from cynical porkbarrelling- effectively came to an end when the South was reformed via the Second Reconstruction.

If there's an existential crisis-like the one over slavery in the 1850's-then anything can happen. Barring that, I think people should work for a combination of PR and two-round voting in states with initiative and referendum. The first seems to always create multi-party systems (e.g. Ireland, Netherlands, Israel) and the second eliminates the spoiler effect.

d.eris said...

I definitely appreciate your point Anon. This year there are promising independent candidates for governor in Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts; as well as Green, Libertarian and Constitution Party candidates for governor, Congress and Senate in Illinois, Ohio, Arkansas, Texas, to name a few.

I think efforts for electoral/political reform and independent, third party campaigns for office should be seen as mutually reinforcing aspects of a wider push against the entrenched power of the duopoly parties and system, rather than mutually exclusive.

I'd definitely be interested to know about any movements toward PR at any level in any state.

You might be interested in the series of posts on proportional representation just begun by Maikeru at Attack of the Machine Elves, if you haven't seen it already.

Also above, I meant to link to a search for "Duverger" at Poli-Tea, which didn't work. Here's another one, which, hopefully, will work.