Why We Need a "Middle Child" in American Politics

12/08/2011 10:26 am ET | Updated Feb 07, 2012

During this holiday season I am reminded of the importance of family, dysfunctional and otherwise, and the wider lessons learned from these primary relationships in our lives. Most especially are the relationships between siblings (sorry "only children") and how it helps shape our self, our function within the family, and our perspective on the world. I grew up a middle child -- the second out of three girls and I can assure you, my position in the family helped shape me, my sisters, and how my family operated.

Being the middle child, I definitely had a sense of being the "glue" in my family. My two sisters were far apart in age and I was the bridge that helped my two sisters relate to one another. The lack of commonality, as a function of the age gap between my sisters, propelled me into the role of liaison and mediator. I am struck by the similarity -- two disparate parties in sore need of a "bridge" that we currently face in our government. Ideology and extreme factions in each political party is keeping Democrats and Republicans apart. The fact that the Republicans and Democrats in our Congress can't and won't work together to tackle extreme challenges that threaten the welfare of our country is proof we need a third political party. The third political party can be a middle child of sorts, comprised of a more moderate position. This moderate position can help bring Republican and Democrats together by providing an alternative to the American people, who actually prefer some combination of Republican and Democrat policies.

The American government was created to provide checks and balances to make sure the system worked effectively and to curb power from residing in any one area of government. The problem that couldn't be avoided is what happens when the system is in perfect balance -- caught between two extreme positions -- hindering legislative action during crucial times when decisive action is needed. The trends are showing decisive action is needed in the short and long term -- as we see boom and bust cycles and bubbles happening with greater frequency and with larger consequences. The American people need a third political party to ensure Republican and Democrats cross party lines to make the tough decisions needed, now and in the future, to tackle the issues that threaten the country.