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Letter: Time for a third party

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
Deseret News

Stand up, Utah, and demand politicians that represent your beliefs. If you are tired of the last 20 years of political division and stalemates, the only way to fix it is with a strong third party that represents the true center and not the fringes.

The current political (and governmental) structure that guides how we elect candidates ensures that the fighting will continue (without major change). When the country is split down the middle, party politicians are rewarded by going to extremes. It gets them attention and “teams.” Collaboration means abandoning one’s team, and a loss of party cachet, never mind the wants of the electorate. Suddenly, rather than working for true compromise where all voices are heard and represented, collaboration is seen as being a traitor to the party and a one-way ticket out of office (thanks to smear campaigns in the future by members of their own party).

Where is the third party that our state's and nation's politics so desperately need? Why hasn't a viable third party started to emerge since the results of the polarizing presidential election? A strong, centrist party would gather those in the middle and represent the true majority and not the extremes.

I am not alone as a disenfranchised former Republican, standing out in the cold wondering what happened to her party. According to a recent Rasmussen Poll (an organization known for skewing very conservative), 49 percent of respondents think a third party would be good for the country. There has also been a 39 percent increase in voters choosing a nontraditional party candidate since March.

And yet, no viable, strong third party has started to emerge.

If we want to see fewer electoral wins but popular-vote losses, we need to grow a third party. Otherwise, our country will stay polarized at opposite ends of the spectrum. Half of the country will be left unrepresented, out in the dark. Those who were left by the GOP haven’t found a new home in another party — yet.

In Utah this past election cycle we saw a major shift in voter preferences, away from traditional parties. And yet, politicians seem to be clinging to those same parties the voters have left.

There is a need and room to form a viable third party that represents the majority of individuals in the middle, who deserve a voice.

Utah, it is time to demand a new party and politicians that represent you, and not extremes that reward them when they ignore you. It’s time for a third party. Let’s make it happen.

Erin McBride

Salt Lake City