Unity08.com seeks to end polarization with bipartisan ticket

by Autumn McCartan
STAFF WRITER

Are you fed up with the American political system? When Congress is in session, is bickering and empty rhetoric all you hear? Do you agree that something needs to be done, but feel like neither the side will fix the problems? Perhaps you’re just a passionate moderate? You’re not alone. An organization called Unity08 hopes to field a Democrat and Republican on the same presidential ticket to remedy all these concerns.

Founded in 2006 by former Maine governor Angus King and several former presidential aides, Unity08 is convinced the current system isn’t working. They feel as though they have what it takes to fix what has been broken for many years.

In their opinion, lobbying has played a large role in the polarization and corruption of the American political system. According to their Web site, unity08.com, “In 1991, there were 3,500 lobbyists in D.C. Today, there are 38,000.” They feel a bipartisan ticket “funded solely by small-dollar donations from everyday Americans” would amend this. The only people to whom the new president would be indebted would be the people.

Unity08 divides the issues facing the nation into two categories: critical issues and important issues. Critical issues, such as terrorism, national deficit, dependency on foreign oil, climate change, education, universal health care, etc. are ticking time bombs. If not solved: or at least addressed: immediately, the future of our county is bleak.

They feel that important issues, or “hot topics” such as gay marriage or abortion, although “vital to some,” will not “determine the fate or future of the United States.” Unity08 feels that they have dominated the political debate for far too long. These issues are so heated, many Americans become fixated on them and refuse to compromise. Partisanship is the result of this rift.

As a result of partisanship and polarization, voting turnouts have been progressively worse. In their opinion, a bipartisan ticket is just what the county is looking for, claiming that 82 percent of Americans feel that the Republican and Democratic parties are incapable of tackling the country’s problems and 73 percent would like more than two options (with a fighting chance).

Anyone who is constitutionally qualified can run for the Unity Ticket. All you have to do to become a candidate is announce on their Web site. Unlike the majority parities, before the primary vote is cast, each candidate will select a running mate.

In June 2008, Unity08 delegates will vote online on the secure Web site to select the Unity Ticket. To become a delegate, you must be registered to vote and register on their Web site. This is with the goal that the not just the president but the presidential nominee can be chosen by the people, for the people and of the people.

“The genius of America is that every generation redefines freedom in its own terms for its own times,” the Web site states. “Unity08, in a tradition as old as our country itself, is committed to still another rebirth of freedom.”