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Wang dang yang gang

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Jamelle Bouie observes that while there have been relevant (if not nationally competitive) third parties in American history, they have been the precise opposite of the Unity 24 Forward Party’s proposal to take the politics out of politics:

This is all to say that there’s nothing about the Forward Party that, as announced, would have this kind of impact on American politics. It doesn’t speak to anything that matters, other than a vague sense that the system should have more choices and that there’s a center out there that rejects the extremes, a problem the Democratic Party addressed by nominating Joe Biden for president and shaping most of its agenda to satisfy its most conservative members in Congress.

The Forward Party doesn’t even appear to advocate the kinds of changes that would enable more choices across the political system: approval voting, in which voters can choose multiple candidates for office; multimember districts for Congress; and fundamental reform of the Electoral College. Even something as simple as fusion voting — in which two or more parties on the ballot share a candidate — doesn’t appear to be on the radar of the Forward Party.

The biggest problem with the Forward Party, however, is that its leaders — like so many failed reformers — seem to think that you can take the conflict out of politics. “On every issue facing this nation,” they write, “we can find a reasonable approach most Americans agree on.”

No, we can’t. When an issue becomes live — when it becomes salient, as political scientists put it — people disagree. The question is how to handle and structure that disagreement within the political system. Will it fuel the process of government, or will it paralyze it? Something tells me that neither Yang nor his allies have the answer.

And the unstated assumption of every iteration of this particular grift is that one the politics (i.e. the actual preferences of the voters) have been removed from politics, we can all finally agree that we need the socially moderate and fiscally conservative policies favored by a narrow slice of the Beltway elite and nobody else. (“Fiscal conservative” means “the law in its majestic equalitude should require rich hobbyists and people who clean bedpans for minimum wage alike to work until they’re 81.”) The idea that this could appeal to Trump voters is particularly delusional, but then it’s all dreadful fan faction akin to “overruling Roe v. Wade will turn Republicans into social democrats.”

…Dave Karpf has more.

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