Readers weigh in on Tuesday’s election in today’s letters to the editor.
Pick of the day: Vote outside the two-party box
Have Americans decided that an endless string of wars and deficits is acceptable government policy, or is something else going on? I see a three-part problem.
First, the two parties that run our government are behaving like a business duopoly, the Coke and Pepsi of the political world. Each is offering basically the same mediocre product while frantically advertising to stay on par with its rival.
The tight race that inevitably results generates the second part of the problem, tactical voting. People feel compelled to use their vote in a vain attempt to tip the 50/50 odds in one candidate’s favor. Corporate news media contribute the third part of the problem by focusing on the ensuing horse race between two candidates. Other names, campaigns, poll numbers and even vote totals are left out of election news.
Through a chain reaction, various players in the election come to have something in common: They want nothing to do with third-party candidates. The result is a political marketplace starved of competition.
If there’s a weak link in this disastrous chain, it’s tactical voting. The unsatisfied voter can introduce real competition anytime simply by broadening his or her own range of choices.