Toward a new Politics, episode 1

I think the current United States federal political system is hopelessly, irrevocably broken. Not only is the system so thoroughly corrupted as to be unsalvageable, it’s also inconceivably byzantine and convoluted, not to mention supportive, in the main, of policies I just don’t agree with.

It’s clear that neither of the major political parties – Democrats or Republicans – offers a real change, or even much of a choice. While I feel Democrats are somewhat less offensive on some topics, it’s not universal, and in some selected areas, they’re even worse than the Republicans. While they may be the lesser of two evils, it’s pretty much like “would you like 90% evil, or only 80% evil?”

So what to propose instead? I have lots of ideas, but let’s start by looking at existing parties and advocacy organizations to see who has interesting ideas I find compatible with my beliefs.

First, I’ll dispose of the useless ones (that I always see on the ballot):

  • Libertarians. There’s almost nothing to say: their entire platform is a sham, often achieving the opposite of what they claim. It’s also ridiculously against anything reasonable as far as having a functioning society, not to mention being a near opposite of my beliefs in many areas. That they happen to seem to align with certain of my beliefs in a few areas is sheer coincidence. Note that Ron Paul is in the same category: half Republican, half Libertarian; I admire his independence, but not most of his policies.
  • Peace and Freedom. While I admire, and increasingly agree with, many of their basic goals, their actual proposals are just ludicrously unrealistic, and likely to be counterproductive (ie, leading to neither peace nor freedom, in fact likely less of each). They are espousing failed models with no regard for the significant, known downsides.
  • Ditto for the many other fairly unknown parties. (A handful of past parties had some reasonable ideas, but aren’t very active now.)
  • Why not the Democrats? They demonstrably have not changed the system even while controlling the White House and both houses of Congress. Also, they are even more in favor of increasingly strong, broad, severe and destructive “intellectual property” rights than the Republicans, in addition to being generally pro-corporate and anti-freedom and privacy.

So what’s left? I’ll go into more detail on my own ideas later, but here is a list of organizations and parties I admire and support:

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