Partisan control of government is almost dictatorial

I​​ ​attended the recent forum hosted by American Public Square​ in Kansas City​​ ​titled "The Elephant & Donkey In The Room: The Future of American Political Parties." One of the panelists was Jacqueline Salit, president of She used the phrase "institutionalized authoritarianism" to describe the way partisanship has​ ​begun to operate, and interestingly enough I totally agree with this phrase.

As an independent I feel the institution of government has given way to a dictator-like environment rooted in partisan control where the voice of the people is crowded out by the demands of party loyalty. It was also mentioned by another panelist (Greg Ormann) that "partisanship has become the new prejudice."

What is disconcerting about this statement is the reality that parties seem to be OK with separating the American people as long as it​ ​serves their interests. As I write this, the cynic in me wonders ​​will anyone care how much parties rarely represent all Americans while choosing candidates for all Americans?​​ Yet as an attendee of the event, I saw different people from different sides of the fence coming together to discuss bridging the political gap among Americans and that keeps the cynic in me​ ​at bay. At least for now.

Natesha Renee Oliver, Founder/President, Missouri Independents Stand Together (M.I.S.T.)