Saturday, October 18, 2008

Partisan Politics

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of partisan politics. The Democrats and Republicans have come to stand for little more than opposition to each other. It's all about the next election instead of solving real problems. And if you don't think there are real problems that need solutions, you're just not paying attention.

I wonder how different things would be in Washington and across the country if we had more than two viable political parties. By viable, I mean with a realistic chance of winning a presidential election. Would be nice to see states in more colors than just red or blue--and purple doesn't count since it's used to describe a state that's equal parts red and blue.

The Democrats and Republicans are so firmly entrenched that we're not likely to ever see a third party--much less a fourth, fifth, and sixth party--rise to national prominence. They control the debates, which is why we don't see candidates from other than those two parties included. They also control the purse strings of campaigns. Just look at the small print on the ads currently running for McCain. The Republican National Committee pays for most of those ads.

Big donors (you can define that however you like, but I'm thinking big corporations) also like things the way they are. With just two parties in play, it's easy enough to cover all the bases by throwing donations both ways. That's why special interests tend to get what they want no matter who gets elected.

You might try to argue that Independents represent a third viable party. Frankly, you might as well call them "other" or "none of the above." I suspect that most people who register as Independents are mostly disgusted with the other two parties. The biggest accomplishment of the Independents so far has been to pull votes from major party candidates. So much for President Gore.

Would be great if we had parties that actually stood for something. The Green Party has tried to make a go of issue politics. They lost any chance at credibility by putting Cynthia "Psycho" McKinney at the top of their ticket. I doubt she'll pick up a single vote in Georgia from anyone outside of her family. We all know she's crazy. The Libertarians are out there, too--way out there.

With more parties in the mix, getting re-elected would require more than just not pissing people off. Elected officials would actually have to get something done. Imagine that. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening any time in my lifetime. And that's yet another reason I'm...

The Crotchety Old Man

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