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Smyth: Are citizens rejecting both major parties?


If you’re as depressed as I am about American politics, you could use some encouraging news.

Here it is: Common sense Americans now outnumber Democrats and Republicans, and they’re ready to take their country back. The 2024 election could be the end of the two-party duopoly that has dominated — and has now decimated — American politics.

Independent voters (35%) now outnumber both Democrats (33%) and Republicans (32%) — and the lead is growing. That’s astounding when you consider that many independent-minded voters are still registered with one party or the other — not because they want to, but to participate in primary elections that are closed to independents in many states.

Who can blame people for giving up on the two major political parties? Both parties once had principles. Even when they disagreed, they could work together to try to do what’s best for the nation.

Now, our two-party system is tearing our country apart. Instead of trying to solve problems, they use every issue to raise more money. With help from partisan media outlets, they demonize the other party, and frighten and enflame their followers to get them to donate more money.

For the sleazy politicians — and I’m afraid that’s now most of them — politics has become one of the easiest ways to become wealthy. But it has become such an ugly business that most politicians with any remaining integrity are dropping out.

Sometimes things have to hit the bottom before something better can rise from the ashes. With both parties insisting on the Biden-Trump rematch in 2024 — a rematch that most voters clearly don’t want — politics in America will have hit bottom.

The nation has already survived the first terms of Trump and Biden, so if we must, we’ll hopefully survive a second term of one of them.

But no matter who wins this dreadful rematch, millions of Americans are looking for new answers, and they’re finding them in nonpartisan movements that are already gaining momentum. If you’re one of those looking for better alternatives, here are some that you might want to consider:

OpenPrimaries.org is one of the most important. It makes no sense that taxpayers have to pay for primary elections for private political parties, and that millions of independent voters are barred from participating. Because of gerrymandering by both parties, many districts are “safe” for one party or the other.

Whoever wins that party’s primary election is virtually assured of victory in the general election. With low voter turnouts, the most rabid Democrats often nominate far-left radicals, while fanatical Republicans nominate far-right extremists.

Most Americans aren’t far right or far left. They’re reasonable. Yet in the general election they often feel forced by the major political parties to choose between “the lessor of two evils.”

OpenPrimaries.org is changing that, state by state, including MakeElectionsFairAz.com in Arizona. Another worthwhile group is IndependentVoting.org. They estimate that roughly 40% of American voter are independent, and that over half are interested in seeing a new kind of political party that focuses on reform and restructuring.

It’s a bit too soon to tell since they haven’t been much of a factor yet nationally, but could the ForwardParty.com become that party?

NoLabels.org never wanted to be a political party but instead has focused on encouraging bipartisan cooperation between the two parties. They took the risk this year of trying to offer a “unity ticket” as an alternative to the Biden-Trump rematch — only to attacked by the hacks who control both of the entrenched political parties. Lesson learned, so No Labels has returned to their bipartisan mission. But many like-minded common sense Americans are joining OpenPrimaries.org,

MakeElectionsFairAz.com, IndependentVoting.org, ForwardParty.com, NoLabels.org and/or other nonpartisan groups too numerous to mention here.

They aren’t here to pit Americans against one another as our politicians do, but to unite them around the freedoms and values that made this the greatest and most prosperous nation the world has ever known.

Put them all together, and they — not the past-their-expiration-date Democrats or Republicans — are the future of America. They’re ready to rise from the ashes of the 2024 election.

Joe Smyth is the author of Fixing America’s Broken Politics. A former journalist, he’s now retired, and the opinions expressed here are his own. Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at AzOpinions@iniusa.org.