It’s July in the middle of primary season, and the text messages are flying in from all sides. As a political junkie, I’m signed up for text messages from the left and the right. The messages are urgent, the fate of the nation is in my hands, my $10 will save democracy, and the “other side” is my enemy. Nancy Pelosi screams at me in texts that read like Republican parody, and Trump’s team tells me I’m a top supporter despite never having donated a dollar. Candidates from around the country are introducing themselves to me and telling me why their victory over their opponent is a crucial step in rescuing us from woke liberalism, or from authoritarianism.
I could unsubscribe, but seeing those texts reminds me why I wake up each day to do this job at this time for this movement. We can’t guarantee the text messages will stop. In fact, we can almost guarantee that they won’t. But they may change – radically. After all, one of the most important benefits of a third major party is for candidates to rely on building broad support, and that means that isolating half of America’s voters with divisive text messages just won’t work…. not in a Forward future!
The FORWARD Difference
How will things look different when we have a third major political party? First, with a new home for all those currently dissatisfied with their options, we can guarantee a lot more voters who don’t feel left out. The degree of disenchantment with our current state of democracy is overwhelming.
- In a recent survey, just 1% of voters aged 18-29 reported being happy with the Biden administration, and
- 94% of young Democratic respondents said they would prefer an alternative to President Biden in the 2024 elections.
- 64% of Americans believe democracy is in crisis.
- The percent of Americans preferring to remain independent remains consistently well above a third of registered voters, while both major parties struggle to keep pace.
Doing nothing is not an option. The status quo is leaving too many voters out, and in a system where partisan membership unlocks voting power, it’s unacceptable for a representative democracy to ignore the will of that many people.
The Forward Party is stepping up to do what nobody else has done – give America a choice.
The problem, as we’ve said time and again, is the system. We have to change it. To change it, we must elect representatives who will promote ranked-choice or approval voting and open or nonpartisan primaries. Elected leaders must put democracy before dogma, and that means instituting voting reforms and independent or nonpartisan redistricting commissions. If you’ve been following this blog, you know all about that. If not, be sure to check on the links!
Let’s talk vision
Once we have elected Forward Party leaders who will put the people back in the driver's seat, what does America look like?
In our homes
With political leaders modeling civility and productive dialogue to solve problems, the American people can tone down the rhetoric at home and focus on electing leaders who are interested in the problems we face everyday. Maybe instead of fighting with relatives who see the world in a different light, we can start talking about what we share – a desire for a stable economy, a community that respects personal liberty, and a nation where we all have the opportunity to build the lives we want.
In our communities
In communities across the country, one political side dominates while those on the other feel left out. When we elect officials who answer to all voters in elections that provide choice and competition, people will be empowered to speak their minds and participate in our democracy. Ranked-choice voting and open or nonpartisan primaries mean that voters, even independents, can have a say in the candidates elected, and less extreme candidates will be elected to office.
In our country
Partisanship and plurality voting have made elections and attaining the majority in Congress the number one focus of our politicians. The stalemate that follows when every bill is judged by how it will impact elections, rather than how it will impact people, means the country is hard-pressed to get the solutions we need.
With more focus on collaboration and less on politicking, Forward representatives and Senators can lead the way in passing bills on merit, not partisan agenda. A legislative approach with Forward Party leaders will:
- Embrace dialogue and seek common ground so bills arrive on the floor with greater support, rather than individually write thousands that will never pass.
- Lean on evidence and responsible debate as Forward leaders bring people together rather than divide along partisan lines
- Maximize liberty and maximize good in order to secure opportunity for all because we all have the right to get as far as hard work will take us.
In our elections
With uncompetitive elections and plurality voting, our votes carry too little weight in holding officials accountable. Democracy reforms advocated by the Forward Party and pursued by Forward Party’s elected representatives (as well as those representatives we endorse from other parties) will empower us to hold our elected leaders accountable for their impact on improving the lives of Americans.
By changing how candidates win nominations and win elections, we can refocus campaigns on seeking a broad base of support and renew the focus on the issues instead of divisive campaign slogans.
When we put this tug of war between two sides in the past, we will be able to find common ground on any issue from government regulation, taxes, and wages, to foreign trade, education and healthcare.
The value of our leadership must be judged on the value it brings to America. Government was intended to serve the people.
Forward stands for doing, not dividing. It’s time to elect leaders who are determined to get the job done and and re-humanize American politics.
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