Square Pegs, Round Holes
If you don’t support each and every thing a party believes in, you shouldn’t be a member of that party. Why? Because, at the end of the day, the politicians that belong to a party have to toe their party line or risk losing important funds and other support for re-election, risk not getting committee appointments, risk losing the support of their other colleagues, or worse, be punished at the polls for pragmatism, independence, and compromise. As voters, we like to think that our politicians work for us, and that we can decide to vote them out of office when they don’t serve our purposes. The truth, however, is that their first loyalty is to their party.
Compounding that problem is the fact that election law was written by the same two parties that have controlled American politics for many decades. Did you know that in most states it is difficult or even impossible for an unaffiliated (Independent) candidate to qualify for the ballot, much less be electorally viable? Why? Those who have written the laws have no interest in true electoral competition, they only wish to maintain their stronghold on power. The balloting process is onerous and building name recognition for a non-politician is incredibly difficult. The infrastructure to support Independents does not exist either while running or once in office – without your help, they must go it alone.
So, what is a candidate to do if he wants to get into office? He or she, like you, has no choice but to compromise their true beliefs in order to comply with a slate of party issues and strategies. This is the only route to successful election at the local, state, and federal level in every city, county, and state across the country. Is this the candidates’ or the system’s fault? While both share blame, a big part of the problem is that leaders cannot get elected without compromising the qualities that make them leaders.