Erosion Of Trust
Our institutions are degrading. Over two-thirds of Americans believe the country is headed down the wrong track. When banks have a higher trust rating than Congress, the presidency, our public schools and our Supreme Court, we know we have a big problem.
Decades of stalemate in Congress have led us to believe that our leaders can’t get anything done. Constant reversal of the other party's policies has shown us that the Democrats and Republicans are in a political war and they’re not concerned with good governing. Elections that are more about insulting your opponent than staking out a policy position have proven that our leaders just want to win – they don’t care what they’re winning for.
This selfish partisanship destroys our institutions and our trust in them. Look at the last three decades of partisan politics:
In the last thirty years, we’ve had three impeachments that split almost entirely along partisan lines, each one dividing America.
Two of the last six presidential elections had a winner who lost the popular vote but still won the election.
We have constant and countless leaks from positions of confidence - Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, our intelligence agencies.
Our last presidential election saw rampant, disproven claims of voter and election fraud that were rebroadcast by the sitting President in an attempt to retain his seat in the Oval Office, disrupting the peaceful transfer of power.
A little over a year ago, an armed mob broke into the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the same presidential election.
The current President campaigned on promises to forgive student debt, decriminalize marijuana, make two-year community college free, and increase the minimum wage to $15/hr — none of which have come to pass.
The partisan battles have become so bad that even the Supreme Court – the last bastion of the people's faith in the federal government – is facing an erosion of trust. Justices deceive and misdirect the American people during contentious confirmation hearings to win lifetime appointments to the highest court in the land. This is the highest breach of the body politic’s trust and the reason that faith in the Supreme Court is fading so rapidly.
This has caused such an erosion of trust in our government that only 1/5th of Americans trust the government to do the right thing - down from 3/4ths in 1964.
Not What They Intended…
The Founding Fathers built our government on a system of checks and balances, intending that the government would hold itself accountable and wouldn’t be subject to the whims of political partisanship. Further, Thomas Jefferson fully expected the system to be revised, rewritten, and rebuilt every twenty years in order to “be handed on, with periodical repairs, from generation to generation, to the end of time.” And yet, we have only passed one amendment in the last half century. This system isn’t the infallible bastion of democracy that we were taught it was in middle school - many scholars would not model the constitution of a democracy created today off of ours.
We must fix our institutions before the entire system collapses.
You may think this is sensationalist hyperbole, but this country is more divided than it has been at any point since the Civil War. If you compare the data on trust in the government to that on polarization in Congress and its constituencies, the highest point of trust in government also correlates with the lowest point of polarization in the last hundred years. Coincidence? Decide for yourself, but this author thinks it’s unlikely.
Can We Save Ourselves?
That answer is entirely up to you.
This is a democracy. The only thing required to change it is the will to make it happen. Do you want to fix our government? Are you tired of the hatred and the culture wars getting in the way of solving problems that benefit everyday Americans? If your answer is yes to either of these questions, then you’re in the right place.
Our legislators don’t do the hard work of solving the problems voters most care about. They pass only a handful of bills every year, and even though they’re often thousands of pages long, these bills barely help the everyday American. When something is difficult they don’t work to find a solution, they punt it for the next person to figure out. We must make the choice - elect leaders that make real change.
Are you tired of platitudes from the major parties? Yes? Help the Forward Party change the game.
Did your elected official live up to their promises? No? Vote them out.
Do you like how much time the country spends focusing on the partisan fighting in Washington? No? It’s time for a new party. It's time for a new way of doing things.
Choose to turn away from the hatred. Bring your friends with you.
Choose to leave the left and the right behind. The old parties are driving us towards calamity.
Choose to build a better, more stable, modern democracy that isn’t rooted in ideals that went out of date before the lightbulb was invented.
Choose to move the country Forward.
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