The Two-Party System: Bleeding at Both Ends (and from the Middle)

Opposition to the Democratic-Republican two-party state unites Americans across the political and ideological spectrum. On the left, Political Junkie writes:
Liberals, we need to move on -- the Democrats are no longer capable of governing so we must regroup and focus our efforts and resources elsewhere to channel our collective power and vision for the 21st century. I'm talking about taking the control out of the hands of the elitists in D.C. who have twisted the constitution in knots and putting it back in the grip of the people who build and sustain this countries back-bone, goddamn it!! That's why I'm putting my full support into the Green Party -- a party that refuses corporate money . . . It's time to shake up the system and show the robber barons and Boss Tweeds of our government that we're coming and their days of control and corruption are numbered.
PJ follows up in another post on "Republicrats and Demoblicans":
I just can't fight anymore for a party that doesn't fight for me. I know the Green Party doesn't have the best chances within our current system. However, I'm just tired of supporting a party, which takes my vote and then turns around and does the opposite of what they said to get my vote . . . The Greens aren't as powerful but they do stick to their convictions unlike the corporatists in D.C. I'd rather spend my life working to affect institutional change in fighting for a multi-party system than continue to suck it up and pretend I'm not being abused and taken advantage of by the Democrats.
On the other side of the political spectrum, Donald Borsch writes at Common Sense Citizen:
I had posted an earlier blog regarding my out loud thinking about if a Third Political Party had viability, or should I heed the words of Rush Limbaugh and throw my energies into the GOP. Tonight, Monday 7 Dec 2009, I came to my decision. I shall endorse, support, and throw myself into The Constitution Party.
You might remember Donald from a comment he left here a few days back. In a follow-up post on the decision, he argues against the assertion that third party and independent conservative activism guarantees Democratic victory, exlaining:
I disagree with Rush Limbaugh in that I do not believe it is a bad thing for there to be a Third Party to enter the political arena. I do not believe it will guarantee a victory for the liberals . . . since there are more Conservatives than liberals, let's look at what could happen if a TP were to rise. The GOP would lose members. Big deal. I believe in a Free Market and I also believe in what I call "Free Market Politics", meaning that if Party C happens to put out a better ideological product than say, the GOP, I will go with Party C, period. Nothing personal against the GOP. This is all about what I believe is best for America, not what is best for the GOP . . . You will have, of course, many who will decry the rise of a TP and say that anyone who walks in a TP is hurting the Conservative Movement. How so? I mean, if I, as a Conservative, cast my lot in with a party that is not a household name or has extreme brand-familiarity, how can this be construed as me hurting the Conservative Movement? Perhaps it's time for those who are embroiled in "business as usual" and have resigned themselves to either being Democrat or Republican to wake-up and smell the coffee.
Given their respective positions, I imagine that Donald and PJ would strenuously disagree on any number of policy prescriptions, yet they converge in opposition to a common antagonist. Taken together, they demonstrate that the two-party system is incapable of adequately representing the interests of liberals and conservatives, progressives and libertarians. The reasons for this are entirely clear: the two-party state is incapable of representing the interests of the people of the United States because it represents interests that are opposed to those of the people of the United States.

Update: It should also be noted that the two-party system is not only "bleeding from both ends," as it were, but also from the middle. Centrists and self-described moderates on both sides of the duopoly divide also welcome the prospect of third party and independent opposition to the two-party state, from the middle. Ed Gurowitz writes:
I'd love to see the moderates, centrists, and yes even liberals in the GOP form a new party that will stand for the values that the majority of Americans stand for – tolerance, responsibility, accountable government to name a few. I'd also like to see the Democrats suggest (after all, liberals don't command) that the likes of Joe Lieberman, Mary Landrieu, and Blanche Lincoln form a party that will stand for whatever it is they stand for. Maybe then we will have political parties that are FOR something rather than merely AGAINST.
Meanwhile, Ortho Cuban state
s:
There are many of us who are moderates, but, as the article explains, are forced to choose between alternatives that are phrased only in the catch phrases of the radical ends or each party . . . there is even outright lying going on in both parties. Each party uses only the most radical members of the party in order to make their point. And, sadly, all too often the most radical members of each party are the ones who write the platform that many in the party have no intention of supporting once elected. I am one of those who is about ready for a third party alternative if neither party can find a way to moderate its tone and to build a true coalition.

2 comments:

Samuel Wilson said...

Borsch's resolution is admirable. The electoral franchise is his right to declare his preference, not his obligation to any party. He does not need to have his preference validated by electoral victory; it is no less legitimate if his candidate loses. But the funny thing is, the more people think like Borsch,the more likely it'll be that their candidates win. The key to getting the Borsches to collaborate with the Political Junkies is to get them to agree on changes that would give their candidates equal chances to win while causing neither person to fear either outcome.

Liberal Arts Dude said...

I completely agree! I've been informally broaching with people the issue of third parties, independents, and voting one's beliefs and conscience instead of treating politics as a permanent game of settling for the lesser of two evils and it is surprising how much resistance I am getting! I think that more than anything, this type of mentality and psychological resistance is the biggest hurdle independents and third party advocates have to clear with the general public.

 
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