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View Diary: Caught Between the Scylla and Charybdis: The Existential Dilemma of A Liberal (104 comments)

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  •  Your binary philosophy has lead to a binary (none)
    decision making process. And since it's so easy to fall into that Manichean simplification of right vs. wrong, good vs. bad, we have a binary party system that isn't satisfying you. And you're buying into it and perpetuating it by simplifying things as left vs. right.

    In reality, there are a million issues each of which has its own spectrum. Most of us care about only a handful of these; you're having problems because you care about a lot of them.

    For most average bears, the binary simplicity suits their single-issue (or few-issue) mindset, and they simply have to align themselves and concomitantly buy the rest of the party line wholesale. The party teaches them what to think; they choose channels on their TV accordingly, and it self-reinforces and polarizes.

    While this may seem the root of all evil to you, it actually succeeds in getting people more involved in the political process than they otherwise would be. As sheep, for sure, but at least as sheep that show up on election day. The only question is who has a bigger flock, and that usually hinges on who has dealt themselves a better hand of single issues. Or a hand with less jokers.

    Meanwhile, "real business" gets done out of the sight of even us political junkies here. Most of it is done deep in the bureaucracy; the White House might pay attention to only a fraction of it.

    I would be thrilled to get a more complex voting system (say Condorcet) installed, and perhaps a legislature that had one house with proportional representation, which would allow the binary system to be shattered into more representative groupings. I doubt any group larger than 1 member would represent all the opinions of its constituents, but it might make people believe more in their representation.

    It would, however, be incredibly complex to follow: there's no way TV news could cover such a system. And that would threaten the numb majority.

    So you're left with what we have, and your conclusion...that you should just tug as hard as you can to get the party you're in to better represent your positions on the issues...is all anyone has anyway under the circumstances.

    Increasing your pull is your political imperative. You've got a lot more than I do already.

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