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How we can reimagine a pluralist system for modern times

I’m a big fan of The Liberal Patriot and really liked their recent column — the first in a new series — about Federalist No. 10.

In No. 10, James Madison writes:

“A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points… have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good.”

Doesn’t sound all that different than today’s politics, right? The Liberal Patriot’s John Halpin writes that we are losing Madison’s vision for a pluralist system and proposes how we can reimagine it for today:

“In political terms, however, we are quickly losing the Madisonian advantages of a pluralist system that protects the nation by enlarging and checking factional impulses and promoting the common good without circumscribing minority rights. 

Instead of balancing interests, and forging compromises across factional lines, political competition today has virtually been extinguished across large parts of the country—and within the two parties themselves…

Instead, we could try to reimagine Madison’s pluralism for modern times.

This will require both a civic project to help citizens better understand one another and learn to accept people’s different viewpoints, and an institutional project to increase overall political competition at all levels of government and to implement more ideological diversity within each of the two political parties.”

I highly recommend reading Halpin’s entire column here.

— TR