Hello and welcome to the Forward Party!
I started the Forward Party for a few big reasons. The main one is one we can all see – the current two-party duopoly is not working. While the two major parties have different issues, we can all see that polarization is getting worse and worse, with 42% of both parties regarding the other as not just mistaken but evil. Neither side is able to meaningfully solve problems, so we all get angrier and angrier.
Worse, the incentives of our leaders are not necessarily lined up with ours, in large part due to a closed primary system that disproportionately empowers those with the highest stake in government. Approval of Congress stands at about 28% while individual members sport re-election rates of 92%.
We are also left with an out-of-date bureaucracy ill-suited to solve the problems of today. Washington D.C. is painfully behind the curve, in part because of a seniority system that has led to a gerontocracy.
Indeed, 60% of Americans now regard both parties as out of touch, and 57% want a third party. Most Americans want common sense solutions that would improve our lives - like Universal Basic income - and sense that we will be waiting forever for those solutions to arrive.
So why, if a majority of Americans want a third party, has none succeeded?
One, the Internet is still a relatively recent phenomenon.
Two, the gravity of the dysfunction and the polarization are higher than ever.
But the main reason is structural – the two parties right now control the primary system, which makes it very difficult for any meaningful third party to emerge. You can’t win races.
Imagine a duopoly that prevents any effective competition. That’s what we presently have in the United States.
Changing this is both extraordinarily difficult yet imperative for our future. We need to push for open primaries and ranked-choice voting in Congressional races around the country. This would both diminish polarization by making it so that our representatives answer to the broad majority rather than the partisan few, and enable new parties and perspectives to emerge. It would make our entire country more reasonable.
I also have a hope for a positive political movement that is not born of rage and demonization, but on optimism and solutions. This is an inclusive movement. You can participate while retaining your current party registration if you’d like, as we know that in many locations de-registering would effectively disenfranchise you from your local politics. Forward is positive and practical. We believe in people of every political alignment that want to help the country.
If this is the kind of mission that appeals to you, welcome to the Forward Party.