My father used to say that nothing is ever accomplished without extremists. While there is some truth in that statement, I wonder how he would feel if he was alive today. Although it is true that some of our most influential thinkers, like Albert Einstein or Martin Luther or his namesake Martin Luther King Jr., have obsessed on one idea for most of their lives, it is also true that fanaticism can be very dangerous.

Why not

A party that draws moderates from both camps could offer an alternative to extremism.

Not all ideas are worthy of such single-minded devotion as the ideas of the above mentioned people were. When our tunnel vision operates to subjugate all other truths and values to our personal concerns, we jeopardize the rights of other people who disagree with us, and shut down the processes of higher reason. Free speech and free thought, the most basic American values, depend on the diversity of intellectual opinions.

Right now, various special interest groups have come to have too much influence over both political parties. Nobody wants to compromise in order to find that line in the sand where nobody gets everything he or she wants, but everyone has some maneuverability under the law. As much as I detest the corruption and the influence of big money on both parties, I fear more the tyranny of well-intentioned rebels who don’t want to allow for others the rights they want for themselves.

Why not create a third party that advocates a reasonable compromise on all the hot-button issues that concern us?

While both political parties claim to protect the interests of grass-roots Americans, both in reality advocate big government. But each party wants government to control other people in order to advance its own agenda. Why not create a third party that advocates a reasonable compromise on all the hot-button issues that concern us? Such a party may actually draw moderates from both camps and win the election, or at least have a big impact on the party that wins. The other best alternative is to choose a more mainstream candidate from each party and continue to work for the issues we care about. Patience may be risky, but hysteria is even a more real and present danger.

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