two-party system is failing us everywhere we look:
Why are the too big to fail banks still too big to fail? Why is there still so little emphasis on jobs at a time when 26 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed? Why did our system recently fail us in three spectacular ways: the financial meltdown, the Upper Big Branch mining disaster in West Virginia where 29 miners died, and the BP oil spill in the Gulf?
Because the two-party system is hopelessly broken -- only capable of producing what Tom Friedman calls "sub-optimal solutions" to our major crises. And, as he put it, while sub-optimal is okay for ordinary times, these are not ordinary times.
On issue after issue -- education, our crumbling infrastructure, the rising costs of health care, the deficit, the steady decline of the middle class, foreign policy (where the two parties marched arm in arm into invading a country that did not after all have WMD or pose a threat to our national security) -- our current two-party system has failed us.
It has ossified to the point where it can only deliver short-term fixes. It has led to entrenched thinking, complacency, and the deification of conventional wisdom -- all conditions that have made it harder and harder to challenge a broken status quo.
And the two-party system has not just narrowed our choices, it's narrowed our thinking. It has deeply infected our political discourse, our media, and our politicians. To paraphrase Einstein, the problems we are facing today cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.
The hunger for change is evident on both sides of the political spectrum -- from the meteoric rise to power of an outsider candidate like Barack Obama to the lightning in a bottle creation of the Tea Party -- both the result of grassroots, anti-establishment movements. The American people clearly want alternatives.
On practically every level, potential nominees in each party are running away from the establishment label and desperately trying to show their independence from the establishment wings of the two parties that are held in such low esteem.
And the Internet and social media are making the shakeup of the two parties much more likely, with young people less and less aligned with large, established institutions -- and more empowered than ever to connect with each other and cut through the spin perpetrated by politicians and special interests. . . .
From Arianna Huffington: