Monday, November 24, 2008

A friend asks: What's up with the 2 Party system?

The following is an e-mail exchange I had with a friend before the election. I decided to post it because it is highly relevant to our ongoing problems in Washington. Furthermore, our esteemed candidate for 'change', who is pulling half his cabinet from the Clinton Administration, is shaping up to be more of the same old problems. No suprise there. I'm sorry to say I told you so, but I knew this guy was going to win and continue the Bush/Clinton oligarchy on a larger scale. It's going to be an interesting 4 years.
Question: I was curious to get your thoughts on how America has ended up with a two party political system. I have a few ideas and they're all quite discouraging. I get the sense from your writing that neither of the two present front runners in our presidential election do a lot to excite you and there are certainly alternatives but most voters have this sense that, if they were to vote for one of them, they would be "wasting" their vote (a sentiment I find abhorrent). One possible reason is the amount of money spent on a political campaign has created a situation where the candidate must be backed by a corporation (RNC or DNC). The other possibility is a bit more philosophical but perhaps more plausible. Our culture, for whatever reasons, has come to see issues as strictly right or wrong. I notice that a great many peoples' political views are often not informed by the candidates' platform but by a few key issues that come to serve as pivotal for their vote. Once they have made up their mind on their candidate it means that the other candidates are clearly wrong. This mentality also seems to come up in foreign policy and even religion. It wont suffice that someone or some country may have differing world views. More and more, if someone has a differing view, there is no real debate or exchange, they are simply labeled as wrong and all further decisions are based on that premise. I'm just curious as to your thoughts on this and if you are seeing the same thing I am.
My Answer: I’m happy to answer your questions, please forgive me if I rant. It’s hard to get into politics and resist the urge to be a blowhard. I don’t presume to know everything, or intend to change anyone’s mind. I have opinions, and I’ve found that people like to hear what I think, so here goes.
I had no intention of voting this year until Bob Barr entered the race on the Libertarian ticket. I am sick of voting to keep someone out of office because there is no candidate worthy of my support. This year is different. The only point I disagree on with Barr is
going to Iraq, and I will concede that he knows things I do not. I do agree that it is time to pull out and let them take responsibility for their own country.
I genuinely believe that Barr has changed his mind on the issues that he once supported. I support him because he stands for limited government and individual responsibility. For the first time, I have given money and time to a campaign because I support Barr on principle.
The office of President is not a popularity contest. McBama and their sidekicks do not have a right to my vote by virtue of being insiders. You are right when you say the major parties are like corporations, in the sense that they are huge money machines. The platforms of McCain and Obama are not significantly different on policy, only on matters of degree. It doesn’t matter who gets the pork in an income redistribution scheme. The damage is the same either way. They are both big government, big regulation, and scaremongering good old boys. No one has a preordained right to my vote.
As to morality, it depends on who you talk to. I spend entirely too much time with Liberals who think everything is subjective. And, at the same time, they are
extremely intolerant. Maybe that proves my point. I tend to get labeled a Nazi for having the nerve to be an artist who isn’t Liberal. Although I would argue that some things are clearly right and others wrong(take theft and murder as examples), I will say that people have a tendency to extremism. This is not a specifically Christian or American mindset, but a human one.

On a seperate note, I feel the need to bring up the fact that the major party candidates are funded by federal money. Can anyone explain to me why my taxes should pay for political campaigns? In fact,
one of the candidates this year helped pass legislation on how much I can contribute as an individual. Can you explain the logic behind that? As if that isn't bad enough, they (Republicans and Democrats) work together to keep third party candidates off the ballot and out of the debates. Does anyone else smell the poop? It's ridiculous, and people need to get off their butts and start fighting back. Start writing letters, become politically active, make phone calls, and do what it takes to get these guys in line. If they don't listen, vote for someone else. Voting by party or issues are what got us in this mess. Pay attention to what your Representatives are doing and let them know what you think.


Ashok said...

Sorry I've been delinquent in dropping comments - just wanted to say thank you for reading, and that I do appreciate you saying something. It feels weird writing and then no one says anything, and I'm really grateful to hear from you.

machinepolitick said...

Thanks for stopping by, I understand. I still haven't gotten a schedule worked out for posting.
Good luck with your blog. I really enjoy the exposure to things I wouldn't search out otherwise.