Like it or not, the political structure of this country is predisposed to a two-party system. With force and counter-force, and checks and balances, since 1789 our government has been dominated by two political parties. Even as they decried “factions” (what we call political parties), Madison (Republican later to be called Democratic) and Hamilton (Federalist) took helped form the first two parties.
By the mid-1800s the institution of chattel slavery had so devastated this country that a new party, formed in 1854, was able to gain a foothold. The Republican Party was founded on a platform of abolition of slavery and of economic reforms. That Republican Party and the Democratic Party have remained dominant since the Civil War.
With power comes the ability to place the “fix” on things. In Indiana the two “major” political parties have written into the statutes advanatges for - well, the two “major” political parties. A candidate for a “third” party or - even more against the odds and the house - a candidate who runs as an independent must clear hurdles, not faced by candidates of the two “major” political parties, even to appear on a ballot.
Neither “major” political party can make a claim to an ideology. The party of Jefferson and Madison, after the Civil War, came to rely on the “solid South,” as people in the States that had seceded from the Union reacted to Reconstruction and efforts to extend rights (such as the right to vote) to former slaves. The Republican Party of Lincoln, now taken by charlatans such as the current occupant of the Oval Office, has turned its back on issues such as protection of the environment and protection of voting rights advanced by the GOP as late as the 1970s.
In 2010, far-right activists saw the chance to take control of the Republican Party. Today we see two “major” political parties: one that appears to value hatred and ignorance, and the other that seems gripped by indecision.
I have chosen to run as a candidate for the United States House of Representatives in Indiana’s Fifth Congressional District as a Republican. Decent people cannot cede one-half of the playing field to a team in white robes and hoods and believe our country has a chance to win in some game of survival.
“Conservative” should be no more a synonym for prejudice as “liberal” should be interchangeable with “communism.” The primary election of 2020 will be a chance for people who never have considered voting in a primary to do so. We need to take back our system from people who tell us we should leave this country if we do not like it here. During the Vietnam War some people said of protestors: “Love it or leave it.” A more mature, and far-sighted, view was “Change it or lose it.”
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