“I have never been much of a Party Man myself… and the more I learn about the realities of national politics, the more I’m convinced that the Democratic Party is an atavistic endeavor – more of an Obstacle than a Vehicle – and that there is really no hope of accomplishing anything genuinely new or different in American politics until the Democratic Party is done away with. It is a bogus alternative to the politics of Nixon.”
– Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ‘72
What is a democracy? The definition is extremely complex, and some scholars take up entire books trying to explain it. I will not do that here… but I can tell you what a democracy is not. A democracy is not a simple choice between one thing or another. It is not the choice between Democrats or Republicans. When the people are restricted to only two viewpoints, how can we say that we are a country run by the people for the people. Do the people only think in two distinct ways? Is there no in between? Does a third viewpoint not exist?
This is what America has been reduced to. An oversimplification of the political process that allows corporations and politicians to run amok in a land of greed and corruption while we, the citizens of this country, can only stand on the sidelines and observe. Because of this oversimplification, Americans have become lazy. We no longer need to bother ourselves with political issues. We only need to know whether we will vote Democrat or Republican. The vast majority of us are terribly uninterested in the day to day activities of our government. There are very few things that matter to the American public. Gas prices, unemployment, and crime just to name a few. As long as these things are taken care of (or at least promised to be taken care of) a politician is a shoe in to get elected.
Once elected, there are a number of techniques they can use in order to retain political control. The most popular and commonly used option seems to be fear. It has been used again and again throughout history. From the fear of blacks gaining racial equality as early as the 1800’s to the 50’s fear of communism to our modern day fear of terrorists. Fear is a dangerous, but useful political tool. A frightened nation is an obedient nation… One that will follow their fearless leader unquestionably into the darkest abyss, all in the name of the United States of America – the greatest, freest country god ever gave man. But I digress… the thing I started out to write about is the state of our current two party system.
The two party system has clearly outlived it’s usefulness. Leave anything around too long and the scum of society will find a way to exploit it. Democrats and Republicans have a monopoly on American politics. Of course, third parties exist, but most end up getting absorbed by the two major parties. Libertarians for example, only get elected as Republicans. Besides, it’s common knowldege that it’s almost impossible to elect a third party candidate for a number of reasons. Mostly money. Campaigns have become much too reliant on money, but that’s an entirely different topic for another time.
Perhaps it’s time for a third party to rise up, challenge these issues, and take charge of politics. I sense that people are starting to realize that no matter which party they vote for, both Democrats and Republicans are first and foremost politicians, and they act accordingly. As a country we must make a choice. Will we continue to move forward with our current broken political system, or will we make a change and elect someone different, someone new. I’ve been around politics far too long to get optimistic about this… and so have the Democrats and Republicans. These fuckers are ruthless, and there willing to do anything to keep control. Even if that means working together.
Like I said before, fear is a dangerous but useful political tool. All it would take to destroy a third party candidate would be for one party to nominate a candidate so alarmingly frightening, that it would scare voters into electing the other major party candidate out of fear of not being able to rally enough support behind the third party choice. These bastards aren’t above playing dirty. They’d feel no shame at all in trapping us, forcing us into voting for one of them… and that’s a dangerous trap to fall into – you know, the lesser of two evils.