from the end-bipartisanship-now dept
I tend to think that partisan politics is a big problem, and am always interested in truly independent politicians -- a few of whom always pop up every election season. This year, for example, we've got Angus King in Maine, who ran (and won) as an independent for the US Senate (as he had formerly done in winning governor of the state). I got to meet King earlier this year, and without being beholden to partisan lines on things, he seemed a lot more reasonable than many politicians on key issues. Plenty of other politicians I've met seem reasonable on certain issues, but also are often pressured to toe the party line on certain issues, even if they're apologetic about it.
In the end, the horse race "us vs. them" becomes more important than good governance, and that's a problem.
Google founder Sergey Brin seems similarly concerned about the state of partisan politics these days, noting that his "dread" about the latest election round had more to do with partisan politics, rather than any particular candidate. As such, he's urging politicians to drop out of their parties:
...no matter what the outcome, our government will still be a giant bonfire of partisanship. It is ironic since whenever I have met with our elected officials they are invariably thoughtful, well-meaning people. And yet collectively 90% of their effort seems to be focused on how to stick it to the other party.Wouldn't it be nice if we had politicians governing based on principles rather than on what will harm the other guys?
So my plea to the victors -- whoever they might be: please withdraw from your respective parties and govern as independents in name and in spirit. It is probably the biggest contribution you can make to the country.