COMMENTARY | America is in a quandary. The economy is failing to correct itself at anything approaching decent speed and threats of a double-dip recession still loom. Europe faces economic turmoil, China grows ever stronger, the Middle East is riddled with violence and the Mexican drug war threatens to spill more bloodshed across our borders.
The most important issue to voters, the economy, sees independents and moderates unimpressed with Democratic incumbent Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, an ABC News/Washington Post poll reports.
Obama's economic policies are seen as unfavorable by 54 percent of independent voters, with 38 percent viewing them favorably. Romney's policies are seen as unfavorable by 47 percent of independents, with only 35 percent viewing them favorably. The poll found liberals support Obama more strongly than conservatives support Romney, but that Obama has increasingly lost support among wealthier Americans needed to supply invaluable political donations.
With Obama and Romney flagging and sputtering on the campaign trail, time is ripe for a dynamic, pragmatic independent candidate to make a bid for the Oval Office. While an independent will almost certainly not win, he or she has the opportunity to force practical concessions from Democrats and Republicans.
With unprecedented amounts of political polarization among the voting public threatening to ruin bipartisan efforts in almost any policy area, it is imperative to find some way to bring Democrats and Republicans back toward the political center.
An independent candidate threatening to capture invaluable moderate and independent votes is the right tool at the right time, virtually guaranteed to force both major parties to snap to attention and refocus on pragmatism.
The five months until Election Day is more than enough time for a wealthy and well-connected independent candidate to dramatically alter the political landscape in a positive way. Obama and Romney need some healthy competition and voters need more choices.
Our nation's future success hinges on being able to rededicate our politics to pragmatic solutions and enlightening debate, not hostile rhetoric.
- Politics & Government
- Barack Obama