The Current Rules are Set Up to Preclude Genuine Competition
Political parties thrive by emphasizing social and economic wedge issues – such as pro-life vs. pro-choice – designed to drive people apart. These types of wedge issues present citizens with extreme alternatives that don’t solve any problems while promoting the view that “We are right; they are wrong.” The current rules make it difficult to run a viable campaign outside of this two-party monopoly as well as restricts the range of candidates offered within each party.
The Focus is on Blame and Ideology
Republican and Democratic establishments pretend to compete on solving important national problems when, in reality, the real focus is on blame, negativity and unworkable ideas that appeal to ideological extremes. We call this “pseudo-competition.”
Approximately one-third of Republicans and Democrats see the other party as “a threat to national well-being.”
Candidates Run as the Lessor of Two Evils
Republican and Democrat candidates don’t need to run on a record of genuine accomplishment. Under the rules of pseudo-competition, they only need to be viewed as the lessor of two evils. The competition is waged in terms of energizing your base and suppressing turnout for the other party. The facts testify to the success of this system for the politicians: In 2016, Congress had a 95 percent re-election rate, despite a 17 percent approval rate.In the business of politics, members of Congress buy top spots on the most powerful committees. To raise the money, they often collect from the interests their committees are supposed to oversee. Dark money floods the system through Super PACs. Pollsters, strategists, fundraisers, consultants, media experts, direct mail services, digital services and many other professions have a huge financial stake in the system.
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