Political ideas have become too precious

Let's stop clinging to the past and comport ourselves with the 21st Century

Republicans and Democrats have contributed significantly to the advancement of our society over the last century — God Bless them both. Our problem, however, is that both parties are clinging to beliefs and viewpoints that are quickly losing, or have lost their usefulness.

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Both political parties grew up during the industrial age and still carry with them positions, methods, and practices that are no longer useful to our representative democracy in the information age.

A false sense of security is tied up in the belief that every problem can be answered with either a traditional liberal or traditional conservative solution. Binary thinking, which Republicans and Democrats instinctively perpetuate, is outdated.

Both parties are failing to recognize, or are simply resisting, what the electorate has already realized: there are solutions not even being articulated because they don’t fit into either party’s traditional ideology.

Maybe a third party is a bit too much. But electing a few independents who are not tied to either party would at the very least force both parties to consider alternative solutions.

By denying either party an outright majority in our national and state legislatures, we would signal that we want to see tangible progress made on our most pressing problems, like healthcare, education, and economic security.

The huge surge in registered independents is a function of thinking men and women recognizing that binary political thinking is dead.

Going forward, solutions won’t fit into neat little corners of the political world. They will be messy, require seeing the glass half full, and take a good measure of what Adam Grant, Wharton Ph. D., refers to as otherish thinkers.

Otherish thinkers are concerned about benefitting others, but they also keep their own interests in the rearview mirror. They will look for ways to help others that are . . . “win-win,” as opposed to win-lose.

We only need a few independents, or otherist thinkers, to make a difference. The Centrist Project calls it the fulcrum strategy.

We can address our immediate problems and leave the world better for future generations by electing a few independents to our federal and state legislatures — independents who respect both parties and see ways forward that benefit everyone.

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