10 May 2010

Stop Bailing Out The Two Party State

While I was away, Poli-Tea kept on blogging against the the two-party system. It's all good, but here's two I especially like:

If You Buy What the Democrats and Republicans are Peddling, You're Probably in the Market for a New Bridge as Well

Of course, nothing will be achieved by throwing out Democratic and Republican incumbents only to replace them with their Republican or Democratic analogues. At Veterans Today, Sherwood Ross quotes extensively from Lawrence Velvel to make the case for the urgency of third party opposition to the Democratic-Republican global warfare and corporate welfare state:

both parties are “incapable of doing the right thing. They are too beholden to big money—money is virtually all that our politicians care about,” writes Velvel, dean of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover. The political parties “have gotten too used to the ethically crooked, morally criminal ways of our system, (and) cannot even envision serious change in the political and electoral system.”

If you recognize Democratic-Republican Party government for the problem that it is, but nonetheless continue to vote Democrat or Republican, then you are the problem you seek to resolve. Fortunately, the solution to this problem is relatively simple: stop bailing out the two-party state, vote third party and independent.

At Washington Monthly, Steve Benen comments on Cantor's article at Big Government, writing:

For voters who remember the last several years, it's awfully difficult to take the GOP seriously. The party that's running on a platform of fiscal responsibility was fiscally irresponsible. The party that's running on a platform of shrinking the size and scope of government grew the size and scope of government. The party that's running on a platform of competence, maturity, and integrity was incompetent, immature, and corrupt.

For those who remember the last several years, it's awfully difficult to take the Democrats seriously either. The party that ran against "Bush's war" has expanded it. The party that ran on openness and transparency continues to claim the privilege of secrecy. The party that ran against the erosion of rights and liberties continues to chisel away at them. The party that promised to combat the corrupting influence of lobbyists continues to endorse their proposals and accept their massive campaign contributions. The party that claims to fight for the interests of "the little guy" never fails to privilege the interests of multinational corporations.

And so on. Support for the Democratic or Republican Party today appears to be predicated upon either willful ignorance or reckless irresponsibility or both.

If the Founding Fathers Were Alive Today, They Would Be Turning Over in Their Graves: It is Time to Break with the Two-Party State

The primary system and its accompanying strategy is the means by which the Democratic and Republican parties ensure their continued control over the government of the United States, which they rule in the service of the corporations that own them. Our interests, those of the people of the United States, will not be represented by our government until we succeed in dismantling the Democrat-Republican two-party state and removing the ruling political class from power.

At the New America Foundation, Blair Bobier writes:

With only two choices on the ballot and two parties in Congress, Americans are condemned to an eternal ride on a political see-saw. Our “two party system” is an artificial construct. Nothing in the Constitution or federal law requires two parties—or any parties at all. It is the two major parties themselves which have done a superb job of squashing any potential competition by enacting a series of restrictive state laws designed to keep new parties and independent candidates off the ballot. This process is reinforced by the press and pundits who view elections as a horse race and ignore any campaigns which won’t place first or second.

Ending the two party monopoly of the ballot would encourage more candidates from all over the political spectrum; giving voters more choices and stimulating public debate about the future of our country.

While easing excessive ballot access restrictions is a highly desirable reform, it nonetheless remains the case that third party and independent candidates for office can already be found on ballots across the country for races at all levels of government – but only rarely are they ever elected.

Even if we were to end the existing Democrat-Republican ballot access regime, we would nonetheless still have to confront the Democratic-Republican Party's monopoly on the minds of voters. The two-party state is very much a state of mind.

At Pajamas Media, Ryan Mauro returns to the writings of the founding fathers to argue in favor of supporting independent candidates for elected office against the stooges of the Democratic and Republican Parties:

If Americans still have faith in the wisdom of the Founding Fathers, they should break out of this intellectual and political jail cell [that is the two-party system] by supporting, and running as, independents.

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