In my youth, when I was first paying attention to politics, it was simple: there were the “print and spend” conservatives (represented by the Republican Party), and the “tax and spend liberals” (represented by the Democratic Party).
Conservatives were in favor of rugged individualism, pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, and the constitution – particularly the right to own guns. Conservatives were against big government, government deficits, the intrusion of government into the private lives of citizens, foreign adventurism, international obligations such as the United Nations, and crime in general.
All easily, coherently, reasonably defensible positions.
Over the years, the conservatives (or at least the Republican Party) got more and more conservative, until they are now full-goose bozo. They are now rabidly in favor of the extremely wealthy in opposition to everyone else, increasing the concentration of wealth into fewer and fewer hands (primarily those of corporations in contrast to people), the elimination of Constitutional rights for US citizens in the name of security, foreign adventurism on a scale previously undreamed of in human history, paid for by cutting programs supporting working people and with loans from foreign governments, international treaties that undermine the sovereignty of the nation, and the divine right to own any weapons you can get your hands on.
Harder positions to support, for most people.
On a national level, the legislators from the Republican Party have adopted a strategy of blocking any and all measures to provide support for the working people of the United States. They vote no for any program of social uplift, and no to holding multi-national corporations responsible for their actions. In fact, they vote no for almost everything.
That is not actually correct. What the Republican legislators do, in a block and almost without exception, is prevent any vote on measures which would provide any relief or benefit to the vast majority of the people living in the United States, refusing to feed or shelter or provide access to basic health care because “we can’t afford it”, inevitably leading to the unnecessary deaths of thousands of us every year.
They have been called “The Party of No.”
That is also not actually correct. They vote yes on a number of things, and the pattern is clear.
They vote yes on war, borrowing money to send troops halfway around the world to kill people, including innocent civilians, and to destroy hospitals, water systems, sewage treatment plants, electric generation facilities, roads, and everything else that makes civil life possible (“collateral damage”). They vote yes on increasing militarization of domestic law enforcement agencies. They vote yes on increased intrusion and surveillance by the government into the private lives of residents of the United States – including those who are not accused of any crime. They vote yes on arresting and detaining residents of the United States without due process of law.
At the same time, Republican legislators block any participation in international courts of law (except to assert rights of corporations), the investigation of high-ranking Republican officials (although Democratic officials are fair game), and any attempt at holding those guilty of leading the United States into policies and practices that are in direct violation of international law and treaty.
In short, the Republican Party is not “The Party of No.” It is “The Party of Death.”
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party (increasingly less representative of “liberals”) has adopted a political strategy of “so long as the Republicans are moving to the right, we’ll keep moving to the right, staying just to the left of the Republicans. We’ll get all the votes we have been (after all, who else will they be able to vote for?), plus we’ll pick up more and more conservatives who think the Republicans are too conservative.” The underlying slogan being, “Vote for us, we’re not as bad as the other guy!”
Also hard positions to support, for most people.
So, a growing percentage of people who are eligible to vote don’t even register, and many who do register, don’t vote.
And all in all, it has worked fairly well. For the politicians
For most Americans, it has sucked.
But now we are at that terminal stage, where we have a party of the extreme right, and a party of the right, a few folks in the historical middle, (with no national party, and labeled by both the Republican and Democratic Parties as “leftists and radicals”) and no actual left.
And corporations now, more than ever, control political speech in America, since the US Supreme Court has given them unfettered access to political campaigns (and therefore, legislators), and courts have even made it clear that news organizations can knowingly lie.
Isn’t it time to vote for those few remaining candidates who remember what a democracy ought to be like? (That would be the “progressives” and “the radical left.”)
After all, they’re not as bad as the other guys, are they?
Or, you might even run for office yourself, if you are willing to stand up against corporate politics, thereby demonstrating there are still vertebrates among us.
What do you think?