Therein lies my problem too, Chris Travers. I never fitted either because my political views are either considered fringe or completely misconstrued. To identify as a socialist in the European tradition is to be labeled a communist by many Americans who have no idea of the difference between the two. It’s also more than a little tone-deaf given that Communists are the reason my ancestors had to run, but I digress.
The two-party system is likely at the root of America’s current political predicament and diversity would fix this by forcing different factions to work together in a coalition for the common good rather than for the benefit of a few.
What’s more, political diversity is better for civic engagement because when you have a wide array of parties to choose from, there’s bound to be one that closely matches your values. In Europe, it’s not uncommon to vote for different parties depending on the kind of election we’re having (local, national, European) and of course we have cross-borders coalitions at EU level too.
And that’s nothing short of amazing when you consider that we are not bound together by a common language like America although many of us are multilingual. The EU uses English, French, and German as working languages (and employs an army of translators); in total, we have 24 official languages.
I also believe American exceptionalism has a lot to answer for because rare are the people who actually question bipartisanship and try to figure out alternatives. In 6 years in the US, it isn’t something that ever came up in conversation until I started reading ATrigueiro here.
Further, there is little to no awareness of how other countries do politics, or vote, as if the rest of the world didn’t exist at all. America is convinced it does everything better than everybody else. Looking down on others precludes the willingness to learn from them and yet it doesn’t exactly look like America has got it all figured out, does it?