Why I support the Independence Party
Ever since I was a young child I have pledged my “allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” There has of course been intense debate about separation of church and state and even the challenge that a democratic republic built on freedom of dissent should not require its citizens to pledge allegiance to it. It certainly did little to protect thousands of Japanese Americans who were deprived of their liberties and their livelihood under suspicions about their loyalty.
We live under a government where corporations are recognized as people and women are not. That has given me serious pause to question, “to what exactly have I pledged my allegiance.” A recent study from Princeton University, Testing Theories of American Politics, has concluded that the U.S. is no longer a republic. “The US has become a country led by a small dominant class comprised of powerful members who exert total control over the general population — an oligarchy.” Would that not invalidate any pledge made to that republic?
For me these questions are rhetorical. Robert H. Jackson writing for the majority asserted in clarion words how such ideological dogma is antithetical to the principles of the country, concluding with: "If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.".
Political polarization is the fundamental failure of our two party system. It is emphasized in a recent Pew Reseach report, Political Polarization in the American. Public. “Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in the last two decades.” Politics is becoming increasingly extremist and a majority of American citizens are becoming increasingly disenfranchised. That contributes to the power of the ruling elite.
The future of our Democracy depends not on our ability to concentrate wealth and power but on our ability to distribute power and create a shared sense of responsibility. The common good demands compromise that maximizes the worth of the individual. Too often negative consequences overwhelm any potential benefits. As a society we can not afford to limit the collective intelligence of our leadership to a minority demographic that lacks any shared experience with the majority. In a political environment where the wealth of a small minority can dominate the will of the majority, the most important voice in the room is the dissenting opinion.