Why I am Considering the Forward Party

David D. Hopkins

Andrew Yang delivering a speechImage by Gage Skidmore on Wikimedia Commons

Democrats and Republicans, you can both stop driving me crazy. I can walk from here. Thanks for the ride. It has been real. It sure hasn’t been much fun. I’m out.

I’m not prone to be nihilism or pessimism, but my faith in both parties is gone. Completely gone. The rhetoric, corruption, and embarrassing lack of intellect have finally done me in.

I guess John Adams was correct in his letter to Johnathan Jackson in 1780:

There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.

Wow, did John Adams nail it 241 years ago. Pretty impressive.

Flash forward to 2021, from the 80-year old jaded dinosaurs to the wild-eyed young ideological zealots in Congress, I do not want to associate with any of them.

On every issue, I know the party talking points on the left and right before they even say it. The name-calling and divisiveness is dull, old, and tired.

But what is a political nomad without a team to do?

I am seriously looking at Andrew Yang’s Forward Party.

Yes, yes, I know. It seems silly. Half the zealots will say, great, throw away your vote. Voting third-party will help my team win!

The party zealots on the other side will say, oh no, you idiot, you are throwing away your vote. This will ensure the bad guys win!

I no longer care what they say.

May I suggest that now might be the right time for a third party to become viable? At least to consider the potential of a viable third party in America.

Here is what the Democrats and Republicans have given us since their unbroken reign of power. It is an impressive level of failure:

So I asked myself, “self, is it really that crazy to jump off this merry-go-round of lunacy created by the Democrats and Republicans? Is there really that much to lose by abandoning these parties completely?”

My answer is becoming more and more a definitive “NO.”

What is this thing called the Forward Party?

After studying this movement, I found aspects of their strategy intriguing.

Before getting into specific policies, a third-party has to break through the voting machinations of power the Democrats and Republicans have quietly and skillfully put in place to ensure they hold power forever.

They have two planks targeting reform of the voting system:

  1. Rank Choice Voting (RCV): eliminates the argument that a person is “throwing away their vote” when selecting a third party candidate. RCV is already being used in some cities and municipalities across the country. However, it needs to be expanded to the entire nation. RCV reduces ideological extremes as it forces candidates to draft more inclusive policies to win. It creates the opportunity for third party candidates to compete on equal footing.
  2. Open Primaries: Party restricted primaries disenfranchise the majority of voters. Independents have no voice until the general election, so the candidates embarrassingly pander to the ideological extremes during primary season. Thus, the candidates that emerge tend to hold more extreme views. Again, we already have open primaries in 26 states. It needs to expand.

It is sound judgement by the Forward Party to throw the bulk of its energy at these two things first. If they don’t fix the vice grips both parties have put in place with voting laws that ensure third parties can’t succeed, nothing else matters.

Many say I am just throwing away my vote

My response is voting for these two decrepit and corrupt political parties every two or four years has felt like throwing my vote away.

The Elephants and Donkeys have been brilliant at brainwashing everyone into believing the voters have no choice. I reject the mantra there is only A or B. I am not going to be coerced or bamboozled into that line of thinking anymore.

What do I have to lose? My choices in the last election were a bombastic, egotistical ideologue or a sleepy, incoherent lifelong politician. Lord knows what choices will emerge in 2024. I cringe at the thought of what these two parties will “choose” for me as my options in the next election.

The United States is one of the only democracies in the world with a duopoly, and it’s not working. Voting for a Donkey or a Elephant won’t fix anything. We already know what will happen. Nothing. At least nothing good.

Jumping off the bandwagon

With a potential Trump vs. Biden rematch looming in 2024, I cringe at the thought of seeing this circus replay a second time.

Maybe it’s my mini-revolution against the ugly, nasty, and destructive duopoly. I don’t have to be a party to the destruction of the nation. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and the Democrat and Republican parties have become rotten to the core.

I won’t give either of them my vote, and maybe, just maybe, the time is upon us where America can transform itself and break up the dominance of the two-party system.

These parties are ripping apart the nation. If we are not careful, the split could become violent and permanent. So I won’t give either party a begrudging nod and vote for the least worst candidate they put in front of me anymore.

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David Hopkins has been a college professor for 20+ years, published author, podcaster, and editor of the online journal "The Road Less Traveled." You can follow him directly on Substack: https://daviddhopkins.substack.com/ Follow me on Substack: https://daviddhopkins.substack.com/

Tampa, FL

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