Defeat the Democratic-Republican Political Alliance: Vote Conservative, Vote Socialist

One facet of political polarization that often goes unnoticed by those in the professional commentariat is that polarization is not only an inter-party phenomenon. In fact, and in many respects, the appearance of polarization between the Democratic and Republican Parties is strictly rhetorical in nature, and is necessary in direct proportion to the level of convergence between them. In other words, the more similar the duopoly parties become, the greater the need to distinguish themselves from one another. While such rhetoric turns off moderates, the underlying ideological reality alienates hard-liners. The result is thus intra-party polarization on both sides of the duopoly divide. In a commentary for McClatchy, Carl Leubsdorf draws attention to this phenomenon:

Recent years have seen the Democrats and Republicans evolve into predominantly liberal and conservative parties, respectively, rather than the broad coalitions of the past. But some current developments suggest neither has achieved total unity and that internal conflicts threaten both parties' short-term goals — and possibly their long-term ones.

For the Democrats, resistance from their more conservative members, mainly from Republican-leaning states in the South, the Plains and the Mountain West, threaten passage of the health care bill, President Barack Obama's top legislative priority. For the Republicans, conflict between conservative purists and their more pragmatic faction could undercut efforts to rebound from sweeping electoral defeats in the past two elections.

Leubsdorf goes on to cite the campaigns of Doug Hoffman and Chris Daggett as indicative of the "split within the GOP." Clearly, he has not been paying attention to Daggett's campaign for very long, since, unlike Hoffman, the independent NJ gubernatorial candidate does not refer to himself as the "real" Republican or the "real" Democrat in the race, but has rather explicitly positioned himself against the two-party system as such. Hoffman's candidacy, on the other hand, is significant precisely because it has externalized the "split within the GOP." If conservative Republicans –including Hoffman!– have to tell themselves that Hoffman is the "real" Republican in the race in order to rationalize their support for someone other than the actual Republican candidate, that is fine, but it does not change the fact that Hoffman is a third party candidate. As Brian Mann recently argued at the North County Public Radio blog In the Box, Hoffman is a "true third party candidate":

The media -- including myself -- generally accepted the notion that his candidacy reflected a deep divide within the Republican movement. But the two independent polls conducted so far contradict (or at least temper) this portrait of the race. In fact, Hoffman is winning only a little more than a quarter of Republicans -- 27%. That's a whopping twenty points behind Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava, a landslide of difference. Hoffman is only faring 9 points better among Republicans than Democrat Bill Owens, who's attracting 19% of the GOP vote. What's more, as the race has continued, Hoffman's share of the GOP vote hasn't grown much, if at all, when compared to the earlier Siena Research Institute survey. Hoffman's strength, such as it is, comes among independent voters. He's splitting that part of the electorate pretty much evenly with Owens (35% for Hoffman, 32% for Owens).
Though they benefit from the mainstream liberal's and progressive's inability to conceive a politics that is not bound to the duopoly charade, Democrats, on the other hand, are under significant pressure from both the left and right wings of their party's electoral alliance. Ironically, among principled liberals and progressives, the conservative Republican strategy of branding the reigning Democratic majority as "Socialist" has served to underscore the Democrats' similarity to the GOP, that is, the extent to which the Democratic Party is nothing more than an arm of corporatist interests, bought and paid for by the sponsors of the global warfare and corporate welfare state. Liberal Pro just joined the Socialist Party, and explains why:

I recently paid my dues and joined the Socialist Party USA. Why did I do this? It’s pretty easy to figure out. I don’t believe that this nation has ever been threatened by those that control the government and Wall Street as it is today . . . in this country, with few exceptions, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer . . . both the Republicans and Democrats are virtually a “millionaires club”. If they are not millionaires when they get elected, they are after a few years in office. They are controlled by corporations that pay for their re-election campaigns. If that isn’t bad enough, each member of the House and Senate has over two lobbyists for every elected official in Washington. They are given presents and in some cases outright bribery. Want me to go on? We are fighting wars overseas to keep the military industrial complex humming along. Boeing, Northrop-Grumman, Raytheon, General Electric, the list goes on and on. Does anyone try to stop this wholesale slaughter and financial giveaway? A few, Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul are two that come to mind. There’s not many . . .

So why did I choose Socialism? It’s because Socialism wants to give back the power to the people. They want democratic elections paid by federal funds with no corporate money involved. They want democracy, not just in government, but in the workplace. They want and end to this robber baron society that makes its wealth off the backs of the workers. It wants those “institutions that are too big to fail” to be owned and run by their workers and accountable to the people. Democracy is Socialism.

Ironically, the first comment on the post is, I assume, from a bot and reads: "Make Money Online From Investment (High Return Liberty reserve Investment Plans Without risk)."

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