John Sauls: The political world order

March 29, 2014 

The writer of the March 23 letter “Outside the barriers” revealed his idealistic vision of how Tar Heels could (and should, in his opinion) organize themselves to overcome the dominance of the two major parties. He even believes his vision of “independent voters” will come to dominate “given time.”

But two things have and will continue to prevent his dream from coming true.

First, winning political elections requires disciplined and organized effort by members who follow orders and ignore their smaller ideological differences in favor of big-picture goals. Over 220 years of U.S. political history does not offer examples of successful campaigns executed by ad hoc organizations composed of independents.

Second, contemporary electoral politics is dominated by large contributors who insist on strict, top-down organization, the antithesis of what truly independent political actors can offer.

Why does this matter? Because one cannot navigate the contemporary electoral jungle if one is handicapped by an unworkable vision of what politics “should” be.

Those who seek progressive politics must accurately recognize and understand the world as it is in order to change it.

John Sauls, Raleigh

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