The results of the presidential election illustrate just how fundamentally divided and ambivalent the American people are on candidates and parties. ...
For political leaders to receive a clear mandate from the people, the people must first send them a clear message. The people now are sending our leaders a mixed message over the question of which direction the country should be headed. This is partly due to the fact that the major parties fail to give people choices which they agree with.
But it is also because the people themselves appear to be ambivalent and undecided over issues, ideas and ideologies. It is primarily up to the American people to reach a consensus and to agree on important issues, ideas and ideology.
There is no hard and fast rule that says we have to line up on either the political left or right on all issues. We are free to pick and choose. If we want to mix apples and oranges, that is up to us. But, we must agree beforehand that this is what we are going to do.
We must agree that mixing certain policies on the left and the right will be best for the long-term interests of the nation, if not best for us personally. If we are opposed to a particular policy on the basis of ideology, we need to be self-critical enough to ask whether or not our ideology is justified. Reason and knowledge should be our guides, not liberal or conservative ideologies.
Synthesis is the key to breaking political stalemate in the United States today. By choosing to define ourselves as "synthesists" rather than as liberals or conservatives, we gain the freedom to adopt a more liberal stand on one issue, and a more conservative stand on another issue, without contradicting ourselves.
This is not ambivalence; this is the triumph of reason, judgment, and free will over the narrow and one-sided ideologies...
Alex VanAllen, Augusta
(Editor's note: The author is Chairman of the American Synthesis Party.)