Reunion with Reality
A 'Technocratic' Caucus
The founding fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers were all worried about the creation of political parties and their worries were well-founded. Political parties have become self-perpetuating and self-destructive. The parties seem more interested in gaining power than in governing. Their efforts are designed to keep their momentum going with little consideration of where they are going, and thereby leading us.
The skill set that is required for success in the electoral arena doesn't seem to be the same skill set it takes to govern. Leaders of both parties have demonstrated this phenomenon. Both parties seem driven by ideologies that are not standing the test of time. Both claim as principles what are really ideas, and often bad ideas. As each party moves to the extreme, as a result of our electoral process, neither is able to govern from a consensus middle, which has become nearly void of voice.
No one can govern from either extreme; we need people who will govern from the middle. We need problem-solvers rather than problem-exacerbators. We have to find a way to apply common-sense solutions to issues of the day and break out of old mind-sets that do not function well in the current era.
I might argue for a third party, a 'Technocratic Party', but third parties are have had only temporary success in our national politics. They do change the discussion and the dynamic, but often are counterproductive as their impact on the electoral count helps elect the person least aligned with their goals.
So, what I suggest is the creation of a 'Technocratic Caucus' in Congress, in both houses. The caucus should be joined by members of both parties, by politicians who are more interested in solving problems than espousing rhetoric. At this intersection of interest, they could find not only common ground, but common sense.
Our politics and our politicians are so polarized at this point that there may not be enough in the middle, or rather enough that are not vested in the rhetoric and ideas of the extremes, to create a meaningful caucus. So, we must change our electoral process to create a more robust middle.
One way to do this would be to institutionalize 'open primaries'. The parties would resist this, especially the extremes of the parties, but the people should rule, not the parties.
We do need extremes in order to stretch the political envelope; we just need to realize that you can't govern from the extremes. I do wonder whether we might have a government with no political parties as such, but rather a spectrum of idea-leaders who are less interested in self-promotion than in problem-solving. I imagine that such leaders would have to be drafted, as volunteers with purely selfless motives might be a rare breed.
Whether we envision a political system without parties or not, a good place to start would be a caucus that reaches across the isles of Congress to solve problems we all recognize and can be approached with common sense and common purpose.
Copyright 2017 James Phoenix