Imagine that there were no partisanship?

By By Aaron Zundel

By Aaron Zundel

Once upon a time, there was a country populated by nearly 300 million people who all believed in freedom, but disagreed about what exactly that meant. Unfortunately for the people, they had a two-party system that preferred power and bickering to real progress. So it was very hard to get things done. It was a difficult problem to fix, too, because whenever members disagreed with their own party and tried to do what they thought was right, they were excised and cast out. As a result, the parties held the power and the people were locked in a death-grip fueled by their need to maintain control.

Then one day, one of these excised members beat the system and got re-elected to the Senate on an independent ticket.

His name is Joe Lieberman, and he’s my hero.

I may not always agree with Joe-in fact, we disagree on quite a bit-but I have to respect him for doing what he believes is right, no matter what his party tells him to think. But Joe’s victory got me wondering: What if some of America’s best politicians, others who aren’t afraid to think outside the box and vote their consciences, followed suit?

The answer? The independent McCain/Lieberman presidential ticket for 2008.

Let’s face it: John McCain, Arizona’s maverick senior senator, is popular with a lot of Americans-and just not the ones he needs to win a Republican presidential primary. Despite being the best Republican (or politician in general) for the job, when he runs for the Republican presidential nomination in ’08, he’s going to lose-for tragic reasons. McCain’s not going lose because he’s not qualified to be president; he’s going to lose because those who vote in party primaries are usually the people who toe the party line with the unquestioning fervor of a suicide bomber.

Now imagine, if you will, that when John McCain loses the presidential nomination (as is almost certain to happen) he gives the finger to the Republicans and declares his independent status. But if he picked Lieberman as his running mate, the two men would be nearly unstoppable against any opponent either party could field.

Nominees like Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney, two of the most likely candidates for 2008, are so socially divisive that more moderate party members on both sides will have a hard time voting for them. Nearly 30 percent of Americans consider themselves to be moderate “swing voters,” and their votes would easily be in the McCain/Lieberman bag. However, as Joe Lieberman has shown, even a good portion of regular party supporters are not afraid to back independent candidates as long as they have a record. In fact, the only candidate who could even possibly have a shot at defeating the McCain/Lieberman ticket would be Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.-and even then, he’d have an uphill battle.

How cool would it be? Instead of four more years of divisive rhetoric and stagnant policy, the executive leadership of McCain/Lieberman, with their proven willingness and ability to work with both political parties, could take America into a new era of real political progress. Perhaps if they did a really good job, by 2012, we could end the threat of terrorism, solve world hunger and stop global warming-just in time for them to run for a second term together!

Of course, as long as I’m dreaming, I’d like a pony.

Aaron Zundel