Hey, post-partisan public policy wonk JJ has been singing this song for YEARS! She’s not completely alone in the universe [choked sob of validation] . . .
What can we do? Issue the traditional call for “a return to civility” in political discourse? That’s a waste of time. There have always been demagogues, paranoids, and idiots, and always will be.
Even more idiotic would be to try to restrict speech — to threaten broadcasters with legal sanctions for being idiots. The only alternative to idiocy in free speech is the imposed idiocy of restricted speech.
A better approach is to outsmart the idiots, and those who use them.
Here’s my strategy: Form a strategic political force that can render the idiots impotent. It’s not that hard. We need a third political movement in this country — not today’s ideological right or left, who pander to idiots, but a group of radical centrists who step past their initial ignorance, fear, and prejudice, and actually think through solutions to our problems, borrowing ideas from all sides.
We don’t need 51% of the population. In our democracy, all we need to do is to control the middle — the large body of people who, despite the rhetoric, are not fooled by extremism. We need only win 5 or 10 percent. We could put the idiots and their panderers in their place – out of politics, and in school.
This third force can’t be a new political party — the system is stacked against that. We simply need to get between the two parties, and control the balance of power between them, tipping elections to one or the other, depending on which candidates support radical centrist policies.
That means — get ready — it has to be able to endorse, and campaign for, non-idiots from both parties.
I wish I could send you to the website of this third political force. But there is none yet. So, if you would like to join, sign on to my Twitter, and I will keep you informed as such an alliance comes into being.
Or, one of you passionate activists can form the alliance, and draw the pent-up energy of the millions waiting for you.
So let’s not be idiots, and get to work.