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In the past year, both traditional political establishments, the Democrats and the Republicans, have become a disappointment to many Americans, and completely out of touch on issues that it seems they will never resolve. This only scratches the surface of why our political parties are so dysfunctional.

Now, I’m no Democrat, but for the first time in my life, as a lifelong Republican, I actually agreed with the message that came from Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders, when it came to addressing poverty. Yes, I supported Gov. John Kasich in the Republican primary and yes, I did vote for Donald Trump in the general election, but only as a means to shake up Washington, D.C., and actually drain the swamp. However, that didn’t happen.

In fact, I now believe we need a new solutions to ending partisan elections and becoming a society based on open elections — ending the political dominance of our two-party structures.

Growing up in a Baptist family, I sometimes would ask myself if I was supporting the right party — one can only read so many Jack Kemp or Noam Chomsky articles before coming to the realization that America’s Democratic and Republican parties just haven’t worked for the American public.

Long before the actions of President Trump, many bipartisan critics, including myself, have expressed concerns about the decay of our two-party system, and a Congress that currently lacks momentum for compromise. In fact, many Americans have claimed that they no longer want anything to do with the traditional party structure, and are identifying as independent.

Our nation’s political system has sadly become infamous for its exclusivity. Although plenty of Americans claim to have more progressive views, especially when so many issues appear to be overlooked, neither party has found a way to accommodate all individuals who seek to vote for issues, not ideology.

This brand of politics is ineffective, and it stifles debate by alienating and excluding the most important aspect of democracy — the people. This tribalism has created a concerning shift toward extremism, whether you’re recognized as a member of the Tea Party or of the Socialist Party.

I first became involved with politics as a student at Howard University. As a conservative, I have considered what made me vote Republican in the first place. It really comes down to who my heroes were in the past: Colin Powell, Kemp and William Buckley. 

I am happier now knowing that I can be honest about my political beliefs without regard for toeing any party line. I believe that the views of both sides are incomplete. Because, in reality, both respect for tradition and progressive reform are necessary, at any given time, to move forward a nation.

Brandon Brice is a political commentator and host of "The Brandon Brice Show" on the Patriot 101.5FM. He lives in Detroit. 

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