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Whose are the “values and goals” that a party’s candidate should reflect? For the Democratic Party, are they those of the Far Left, the Progressives, the Classical Liberals? Are they those of the professional politicians that control all the levers of the Party, or one of the large interest groups that the Party panders to, and if so, which one? Certainly, the Blacks and the Teacher’s Union and the Open Borders segments present major conflicting values and goals.

Same for the Republican Party. The professional politicians and the TEA Party segments are at odds in major ways. The Evangelicals and Republican Progressives will never agree on issues of culture and morality. Hardliners and Centrists stake out uncommon ground.

Race, abortion, immigration, culture, etc. etc. ad infinitum divide our civil society. We already have four or five parties, but even that number is insufficient for anyone to find a party that matches more than a few of our own beliefs and desires. The inclusion of multiple parties on the ballot only makes it more likely that the winner will have less than half of the votes. Not a good thing.

I have a different take on the 2016 election. The conditions that are breaking our system have nothing to do with its structure. For one thing, once elected, our politicians are finding it impossible to agree on anything. Winning has replaced the general welfare as the standard. Journalism has morphed into advocacy, the voter has become less informed, money is the indispensable asset of politics.

The worst thing is that Americans no longer share common values. Too many unwelcome changes have been forced on society at large by sheer power, choosing the quick and dirty result over the painstaking path of debate and persuasion and consensus forming. Society has fragmented into a multitude of small identity groups. The successful tactics of Alinsky have been perfected and the new cultural dogmas of those groups using those tactics are hitting society at a faster and faster clip.

Non-interference with abortion in early pregnancy is now openly advocated as taxpayer funded abortion for any reason up to the moment of birth. Non-discrimination to gays is becoming marriage without definitions. Society is now being told by government fiat that gender is a personal decision, that it is changeable, and that there are a great many genders to choose from, none of which relate to one’s DNA or biology. The new idea from the Open Borders group is that the First World has a responsibility to ameliorate world poverty and violence with their money and residency in their countries; no further discussion needed. The new idea is that the Constitution can be ignored if a president or supreme court justice feels strongly enough in the merit of their intentions. The new idea is that environmental activists can simply declare, as Hansen did in 1988, that their next position is beyond debatable, and our government can then spend unlimited billions on that agenda without the need for congressional authorization.

I wish to amend a previous statement. It is not that America no longer has shared values, but that our culture has been twisted to leave those values behind. Inevitably, that means that today’s culture is shared by decreasingly few Americans, and increasingly many Americans don’t recognize it.

And that accounts for the 2016 election. It’s not the structure, it’s We the People.