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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student


Vote and party on, America

Election time is coming up once again and, big surprise, the American people aren’t happy.

Fifty-eight percent of United States adults want a third political party to represent our interests, according to the latest Gallup poll. 

Republicans and Democrats just aren’t doing it ?for us.

They’ve bickered too much, stalled too long and failed to get anything done. A change is needed.

Still, when the polls close, I doubt any drastic changes will occur for the people in charge.

We like to say we’re independent political thinkers. But our votes say otherwise. It’s hard to break away from the two-party system for many reasons.

The two-party system is fashioned to be self-?sustaining. It benefits both parties to be as big as possible and keep the voters to themselves.

The parties don’t divide that drastically on that many issues. Sure, one party says they like gay people and marijuana more than the other. But economic policy rarely changes with new leadership, corporations still get what they want and wars are started just as easily.

The two parties are set up to capture as many votes as possible.

They have to appeal to everyone. This means you get to pick a side, but it also means there’s very little difference on what your side stands for and, if you’re not happy with it, there’s ?nowhere else to go.

Politicians don’t help the matter out. For many of them, representing their people isn’t so much a noble civic duty as it is a steady paycheck.

Even if a politician has radical new ideas, it’s in his or her best interest to stick with the crowd.

Maybe there’s something to hard-lined pragmatism.

Maybe an Underwood style of politics allows our leaders to serve people better by always being in office and being there when it counts. But it seems like an easy way to abuse the system for no one’s profit but your own.

Voters aren’t blameless. There’s a prisoner’s dilemma when it comes to voting independent. You know no one else is doing it, so if you go third party, your vote is essentially useless.

Better to pick a lesser of two evils and get some of what you want. But then nothing ever changes.

And we get caught up in the fun of the two-party battle. It’s so much easier and more satisfying to pick one side and shout about how you’re right and they’re stupid than admit that both parties have valid concerns and shortcomings.

Politics and government are confusing, complicated systems. But you can always vote differently.

The change isn’t easy or quick. But not many good things are.

And until we do try to change the system, it’ll continue to let us down.

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