Professor Nemerovski Teaches Us How To Create A Third Party
Written by Amara Banks
The idea of a third party is not foreign to the American dream (at least to mine). I’d always thought of how nice another party would be in our country’s political system, especially given the circumstances of the 2016 Presidential Election. Steven Nemerovski is a political scientist who shares my fantasy, and in addition to teaching at SIPA, he founded a website and produces a TV show informing viewers on his solution to the polarization we face today.
After handing out free books and pizza, he began his quick hour-long lecture on why we need a third party in the first place. With public dissatisfaction with the government remarkably high, Nemerovski said most people turn to the following issues as sources of malfunction: poor campaign finance laws, Citizens United, redistricting, and voting laws. Completely focusing on these problems is not the answer, as incumbents become unproductive once they attain their seats. We instead need to focus on developing a third party.
His plan centered around the new party starting small– instead of jumping straight into the presidential election and attempting to run the country, Nemerovski stressed the third party establish itself at the state level. If the party worked toward a simple goal of obtaining five seats, it would acquire a lot of power. “It’s working in New York, just look at Klein,” he said. If the right number of seats can control the legislature, the third party will get the necessary conversations started, granted they pick a practical issue. He used the example of the Illinois budget, as passing that would make meaningful and immediate changes. “If you have meaningful results you will be respected and trusted,” and that is the key to getting a third party off the ground.
An interesting phenomenon he pointed out was the state of the government during the millennial upbringing. For the past 15 years or so, or the totality of time elapsed since we have become aware of our government and developed political opinions, this generation has only been exposed to chaos. “You guys have never seen a government that really works. And it’s about to be handed to you to fix,” he cautioned. “Trillions of dollars in debt and challenges with Supreme Court appointments are issues created by my generation, and you guys are going to fix it.” Perhaps a third party will aid our solution.
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