I'm calling on all Democrats to end the gridlock in Congress. The plan is theoretically simple, perhaps a bit more difficult to achieve. Here's what you do: register to vote as a Republican. "Are you crazy?," you say. Let me explain.
I first conceived of this idea after the umpteenth election where a Democrat led in the polls, then was defeated handily in the election, due to voter suppression, redistricting, racial and political gerrymandering, and blatantly biased election laws, not to dismiss the possibility of tampering with unaccountable and hackable voting machines. I thought that if Black, Latino, Asian and other minority voters registered as Republicans, it might make it more difficult to unethically suppress their ability to vote.
But then, thinking back to the days of Dixiecrats (Southern Democrats who beginning around 1948 began voting Republican as a protest against civil rights actions by the federal government), it occurred to me that the reverse could also be effective, not only for trying to fight against voter suppression, but also in bringing moderation back into our political system. It could be argued that Dixiecrats started the push to the right in both the Democratic and Republican parties that is now continued by the Tea Party and vast corporate funding. Republicans fear being "primaried", that is, being opposed in the primary election by a far right opponent. Similarly, Democrats feel pressured to move further to the right to win elections.
I have been coming around to the opinion that the problems are not so much liberal vs. conservative as they are zealot vs. reasonable. I believe the zealots are wielding far more influence than their policies should receive.
So, here's what I'd like to see: vast numbers of Democrats register as Republicans. Moderate Republicans then are able to win primaries against "tea party type" candidates. If more moderate Republicans are then represented in general elections, Democrats would have to move further left (where they belong) to distinguish themselves from their opponents. "Republicrats" are then free to vote for whomever in the general election. Either way, more moderate people are elected to Congress and compromise and courtesy start to flourish again in politics (at least, in public). I'm tired of voting for the lesser of evils; let's vote for reasonable candidates. Keep in mind that polls show that substantial majorities of Americans support many of the same principles, such as election reform, Wall Street regulation, keeping jobs in America, addressing climate change with urgency, etc. While I do agree with the principle of protecting minority views from the tyranny of the majority, it's time our government started representing the majority a bit more often.
An added benefit might be that powerful groups in both major parties might wield their influence to get their extreme candidates back into the mix. I wouldn't be surprised, say, to see the Koch brothers pressure both major parties to allow candidates from the Tea Party and the like into the debates, which would then open up the debates to Libertarians, Greens, etc., which I believe would be a good thing.
Basically, I've seen little progress in trying to move the Democratic Party back to the left, even with the success of Bernie Sanders. By moving out of the party, we might be able to move better Democratic and Republican parties back into contention again. And let's do it right away, because there's no time to waste.