Historical Fatalism + Hysterical Alarmism + Political Impatience = the Reproduction of the Two-Party Staus Quo

In an article for American Thinker, Steve McCann provides us with an object lesson in the complete and utter bankruptcy of duopoly ideology. In the piece, pure reaction mixes with historical fatalism and condescension, yet its deeply ironic conclusion leads one to wonder whether it is not rather an ingenious parody. As I've documented in these pages time and again, supporters of the two-party state are often incapable of marshaling anything other than cliches and platitudes in support of maintaining the reigning two-party political status quo. While this is not convincing, it is nonetheless good for a laugh. McCann begins by setting a histrionic tone: "The 2010 [sic] will be the most important midterm election in the history of our nation." Of course, demagogues and those who allow themselves to fall prey to the delusions of political enthusiasm trot out this claim or some version of it every election season. Following the elections of 2008, at the American Spectator Daniel Allott chronicled its use and abuse over the last thirty or so years:
In 1992 Bill Clinton called his challenge to President George H.W. Bush "the most important election in a generation." In his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech, Sen. John Kerry informed us, "My fellow Americans, this is the most important election of our lifetime." In 1984 Ronald Reagan said, "This is the most important election in this nation in 50 years." And in 1976 President Gerald Ford, running against Jimmy Carter, declared "I think this election is one of the most vital in the history of America." . . . John McCain supporter Rudy Giuliani said in September that "2008 is the most important election in our lifetime. And we'd better get it right." Campaigning for Obama, Caroline Kennedy said, "But I do believe this is the most important election since I was a child."
Unveiling the purely negative motivation of the piece, McCann continues:
The coalition necessary to vote out of office those members of Congress who are supporting President Obama's effort to turn the country into a socialist utopia is still fractured and pursuing individual agendas.
In other words, the author urges nothing more than a lesser-of-two-evils strategy of electing Republicans, not in order to implement a positive program of political reform, but simply to displace one set of duopolist legislators with another. Arguing in support of conservative third party candidate Doug Hoffman in NY's 23rd, Manly's Republic notes that a strategy of lesser-evilsim is insufficient:
Reversing and then destroying the Obama agenda will require more than simply voting Democrats out of office - it means they will have to be replaced with conservatives.
McCann bemoans the fact that more and more Americans have begun to realize that the two-party system is nothing more than the form of their political alienation and a tool for their economic exploitation by the parties of the political establishment and the interests they represent. He counters what he calls the "Perot Doctrine," i.e. that there is no difference between the two factions of the Democratic-Republican Party, with a well-known duopolist cliche:
History has shown that with our representative republican form of government combined with the effect of 50 individual states and an independent executive branch only a two major party arrangement is viable.
This is nothing more than historical fatalism, and is highly unbecoming of any "American thinker." Moreover it is false. US history demonstrates the powerful effect third party and independent movements have had on our politics, society and government. The two-party dictatorship, on the other hand, has brought us to where we are today. However, even granting the absurd assumption that "only a two major party arrangement is viable," there is no reason why we should assume that the Democratic and Republican Parties are the ideal vehicles for the representation of the interests of the people of the United States. Rather the opposite is the case.

In explaining how Democrats have been able to construct a governing majority, "despite the wishes of the majority of the citizens," McCann condescendingly argues that the ignorant conservative masses have been duped by liberal elites:
There are four distinct factions among the groups that make up the right of center majority. The first are the single issue voters. The Democrats quickly learned that mere words well delivered would successfully affect these voters . . . The second faction is the fiscal conservative, but social liberals . . . The third and fourth groups are even more easily manipulated. These are the ideological purists and leave-me-alone fundamentalists . . . Thus we had the campaign to portray the entire Republican Party in Congress as corrupt, spendthrift, not responsive to the people and with President Bush, an illiterate, bumbling, incompetent fool thus besmirching the Republican brand. [Emphasis added.]
In the deeply, and likely unwittingly ironic conclusion of the piece, McCann constructs a counter-strategy "to benefit the Republican Party" that attempts to dupe these very same people, whose political intelligence and media literacy he has just finished insulting, into reproducing the reigning two-party political status quo:
To our conservative and libertarian pundits, talk show and television hosts: swear off the promotion of the Perot Doctrine even if it means lower ratings . . . To the folks organizing the tea parties: these gatherings, while allowing the participants to vent, should have a purpose and an objective. That objective should be the nomination of true Republican conservatives . . . More importantly support the winner of the nomination . . . To our libertarian friends: the ideological purists and leave-me-alone fundamentalists, please understand what is happening in our country will directly affect you . . . You must now get involved in the political process within a major party. [etc.]
Ironically, in making this pitch "to the benefit of the Republican Party" McCann demonstrates the truth of the "Perot Doctrine," namely that there is no difference between the Democratic and Republican Parties insofar as both are interested in nothing more than perpetuating their duopoly on political power and elected office in the United States. As I've noted before, historical fatalism, hysterical alarmism and political impatience are three primary characteristics of the duopolist mentality. With his parting shot at third party activism, McCann hits upon all three: "There is not the time for a third party to achieve sufficient power to influence events." Time is indeed a precious resource. It's time we stopped wasting it to the benefit of the ruling parties and their corporate masters.

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