There really are three parties in this country.

In 1800 there were no political parties. Soon the politicians saw merit in having two parties.

We have been struggling in various degrees ever since to make bi-partisanship work. In recent years, however, ‘party loyalty’ has become a lethal weapon against independent thinking.

The Liz Cheney contretemps notwithstanding, it is a weapon used by both parties, but seemingly more often and better by the Republicans.

When elections produce a closely divided Congress, the results become especially acute, which is where we are today.

If we had a third party today – drawn from the middle of both existing parties—it might (and rightfully so) be the largest party, though much of the time it probably would need extra votes from either or both the left and right to achieve majorities.

The dynamics of that political process likely would be dramatically different from today and be more likely to serve the interests of most Americans by avoiding long-standing stalemates.

To be sure, this idea is not new. But perhaps the extremism in both parties makes this moment propitious. Surely enough people are sufficiently disgusted by the current circumstances that it would be possible to fund and mount a widespread effort to recruit candidates and manage ballot access petition drives – a difficult but necessary first step to any third-party initiative.

Party names usually are irrelevant. This one seems simple. A Center Party that bypasses left and right and might just be the perfect answer.

Yes, both existing parties will fight this idea. No one likes to give up any control or money.

But we really should not let the existing parties love of their status quo get in the way of better running our cherished democracy!


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