Let’s take a trip down the Middle of the Road—–

Compromise has always been a part of our political system.  The best example of that is in our Constitution.   The Founding Fathers needed something to replace the weak Articles of Confederation, and the chief attribute this document needed to have was the ability to get ratified.   Hence, it is filled with examples of compromises too numerous to mention without getting sidetracked.

Lately, however, our legislators have gotten into the habit of treating “compromise” as a dirty word, a sign of weakness in the ongoing battle to create a one party state.    There is another word for a one party state that everyone knows: dictatorship.   This is the very reason the Founding Fathers were concerned with having strong minority rights.  It’s also why we have three branches of government.

For whatever reason, our nation is now split into two halves that view each other as the enemy.   If you are a citizen, the only way you get representation is if you happen to share all the views of the party that is in power in your particular district or state.  Widespread gerrymandering only intensifies this.   49 percent of the population may have a view that is never even presented in any deliberative body of government.

Truly Bi-Partisan efforts are so rare as to produce headlines when they do happen.   Politicians also seem further to the right or the left than the actual people they represent.   Our primary system is currently functioning as a device to ensure adherence to the party line with politicians who always seem to tack to the center during general elections.

I’m thinking if our representatives can’t see there way to reach compromises I think we should supply some for them.   Most of you have probably heard of A.L.E.C., the American Legislative Exchange Council.   They are a conservative non-profit group of mostly state legislators and Corporate members who draft model legislation that members can introduce in their own state legislatures: this type of legislation is quite common in  Arizona, Wisconsin, Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Maine, as well as other states.

I keep hearing people say “We need a new party!” that looks out for the interests of ordinary people.   The two party system is so entrenched in our country that starting a new party is practically impossible.   The Green Party and the Libertarian Party would be good examples of this, with  little chance of accomplishment save for getting the party with views furthest from their own elected.

What I’m proposing, and it’s more “food for thought” than anything else, is to form a non-profit and find young, politically minded and idealistic attorneys and others with political interests, (such as retired legislators, attorneys and even lobbyists) and charge them with developing model legislation with the interests of ordinary middle class and working folks in mind.  I’m not talking about a political party, but a national clearing house for ideas.

Make it a real grass roots organization and focus on small town city councils, county commissions and small states with economic issues.    I’d start out with economic issues to start, as voters do tend to “vote with their pocket books”.    This would require some research and some real nosing around to find other places that have tried some new things and had some success with them.   Also, some of these smaller entities already function in a mostly non-partisan fashion and there are some great examples out there to examine.   There are many organizations that exist for foster civic leadership, in many corners of the country.

Just as ALEC tailors bills to a conservative audience, the organization would be aiming for the middle of the road.  You might have to take a few conservatives and a few liberals and lock them in a room until they came up with a compromise that would appeal to the middle of the road: something of a lost skill that successful legislators used to apply, when compromise was the order of the day.

Since the audience is going to be the public, rather than legislatures, a good social media strategy would be key.    Take surveys, ask the public for input, find volunteers and ways to address issues with that information in mind.

For all I know, there may already be an organization or several such as I’ve mentioned that I just don’t know about yet.   My instincts tell me there is a lot of room out there on the wide open road, a largely vacant spot if you will.     It seems to be a niche that nobody is bothering to even try and fill.

Author: fauxsuper

Guitarist since 1964, motorized vehicle enthusist all my life, Married with two step children. Born and rasied in Lebanon, Ore.

2 thoughts on “Let’s take a trip down the Middle of the Road—–”

  1. I just discovered your blog and found it interesting that you posted this at the same time I was invited to join an exploratory group that called itself “Citizens for a Moderate Political Alternative”. We were Utah voters who were frustrated by the direction our Republican one-party state was going. The name didn’t stick and we were soon a political action committee called United Utah. Our goal was to determine whether a new political party that was focused on centrist ideals would be viable in the state. After commissioning opinion polls and focus groups, we “pulled the trigger” and announced the United Utah Party in June. The Lt Governor’s office didn’t want to certify us but we completed every requirement and had our first organizing convention on June 17th. Our platform is intentionally vague. We prefer to have candidates that speak for themselves and voters who think for themselves. The point is, the best solutions are usually found in “the middle” with input from all sides.

    We don’t know whether our state party will live long; we recognize it is an uphill battle. I find people are usually sympathetic, most agree this sort of change is needed but many are dubious about the likelihood of our success. However, I often find people who are willing to support us (if not financially, at least by sharing our message) and a few have jumped in with both feet. It’s exciting to see the growth. That gives me hope that, whether or not we survive and spread, other parties may recognize the need for collaboration, cooperation, and compromise for moderate public policy. It would be a big shift though, one that shifts focus from strengthening party leadership control to serving the people as they should.

    I liked the graphic you used in this post: “Compromise is not a dirty word” on a middle-of-the-road photo. May I use it on a post for our website? unitedutah.org

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