In times that strain our system of checks and balances, trying for more party purity – meaning moving the two major parties even further apart – is the wrong way to go. Instead, it is time to restore big tent politics.
One of the most fundamental aspects of a democracy is that citizens vote for their leaders rather than politicians selecting their voters through partisan redistricting (gerrymandering). On October 3, 2017, the US Supreme Court heard a case that could end this practice forever. It is hard to know how the justices will rule on this issue but one thing is certain: anything that leads to more political competition will be welcome. As noted in our August 14, 2017 blog, too many states, and too many districts within those states are currently noncompetitive. More than a few districts don’t even provide voters with a choice: no-one wants to waste time and money running as an opposition candidate, knowing they are doomed to lose. Americans deserve better. Let’s hope the Supreme Court justices lend a hand.
Democracy truly is under attack. Cyber techniques are the latest weapons. They are aimed directly at us, seeking to stimulate emotion over thought, sowing doubt and distrust. More computerization is not the answer.