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.

Pete Barkett.blogspot.com

June, 2017


zapdam.'s picture
zapdam. 2 years 8 weeks ago

The ONLY way to end gridlock is to remove the republicans from office. Anything else the democrats will be bargaining with a ruthless group who will bargain in bad faith. Personally i hope the democrats give these right wingers a taste of their own bullshit and refuse to cooperate on any government legisaltion. After all Trump just named a right wing climate deniying talk show host, to head up the US Department of Agriculture, a man who has no knowledge or scientisfic training. To cooperate with this bunch who are deliberately trying to subvert government, is to give the whole Trump presidency legitamacy. Stone wall EVERYTHING they attempt to do, PERIOD.

Add comment

Login or register to post comments

Come Cruise with Thom Hartmann in July 2020

Join me for an exciting Bermuda getaway aboard Oceania Cruises, the world’s leading culinary and destination-focused cruise line. Set sail on the reimagined Insignia for 7 nights beginning July 25th 2020. Take advantage of Oceania Cruises’ OLife Choice promotion, where you can choose shore excursions, a beverage package, or onboard credit – Oceania Cruises also includes Wifi! You'll also receive complimentary gratuities, a $50 onboard credit and two exclusive cocktail parties. Did I mention we are planning special onboard events with yours truly? Prices start at $1199.

Reserve your stateroom today by contacting Keene Luxury Travel, and mention the Thom Hartmann Group 800.856.1155

or go to https://www.keeneluxurytravel.com/th-bermuda/default.asp

GM Shows Why We Need Medicare for All

Thom plus logo General Motors just pulled healthcare for 50,000 workers. There are some Democratic candidates suggesting that people love their health insurance companies, but this calculated move by a giant corporation that you and I helped bail out proves that employer sponsored healthcare is just another tool to control workers.