Partison "Partisan" Politics
America's Founding fathers hated the idea of partisan politics. They saw and feared such alliances could breed corruption and cause a divide among the governing participants that would lead them to make policy out of spite instead of good conscience. They had seen such a result in Europe. It was by intent that no power or influences to these coalitions were granted. However, in the natural order of politics, debate and negotiations parties formed. There is strength in numbers, especially against numbers. If you are attempting to win the hearts and minds of those undecided on an issue, it is easier to do if you can show them that there is consensus. Deals can be made to support an idea that you do not care about in exchange for support for one you do. Just like that you have a party. Break out the bubbly.
Parties can be both sentence and salvation to the political process. It depends on how strong the bonds are. It also depends whether the environment is such that the people lend power to the parties or if the people are at the mercy of the power of the parties.
I personally feel that a good and educated voter can use the parties to their advantage. Unfortunately this doesn’t describe 90 percent of the American constituency. My wife only a few years back was so moved to vote. She was asking me whom she should vote for. I had to stop myself from imposing my own spirited and forged ideas. I had to because I really wanted her to be an educated voter and not just one who follows the suggestion. What I told her and what I tell anybody who asks me a similar question is this. If you can research all the candidates, in this age of the internet and information overload it is not hard to find something about each one, then find the ones that represent your values. If that is not something you are interested in, then a voter should know the party’s platform. Know that the Republicans are the Pro-life/ Anti-abortion, less gun control laws, less government intervention and welfare programs, smaller budget, aggressive foreign policy, and traditional family advocates. The democrats platform include Pro-choice/ pro-abortion, increased domestic welfare programs, more socialistic program, less aggressive and more passive negotiations style foreign policy, and more tolerance for individual freedom in family, religion, and speech choices. Pick issues that are important to you, and find the party that supports your perspective on those issues and vote for that party’s representative.
If you don't even want to take time to do that kind of research then you can use the fall back rule. If you think life is good and you don't want to see any changes, then vote for one party to hold the executive branch, and vote for the opposite party to hold the majority in the legislative branch. This will ensure that nothing gets done. If life is good, then that is exactly what you want. However, if you are frustrated with the current government, then vote for one party to hole the presidency and the majority in the legislative branch. The danger is that this change is a roll of the dice. You can't control the outcome. It may end up worse then it was before. This is however a good way to use the parties that are using you.
Personally I hate parties and agree with the founding fathers. I believe their fears are being realized today. With that said, I had been what I dubbed a "Blue Collar Republican" until recent years. Some would also call this inappropriately a closet liberal. A "Blue Collar Republican" is an ideology I inherited from my father and is very popular in this part of the country. This demographic is made up of people who work low to lower middle class jobs. These jobs are often unionized. Their family members, kids and friends are more then likely recipients of government programs. They use student loan programs, government sponsored scholarships, unemployment, tax credits, and most will depend on Medicare and social security when they retire. Their lower financial status in life has forced them to work elbow to elbow with people from different races, backgrounds, religions, and creeds. This has made them more tolerant on the whole. For all intents and purposes people from this sub-culture should vote more on the liberal and democratic side of the fence. However, there is a strong Catholic presence in the community. This influence places value on the human life at all phases. The church is opposed to abortion and preaches against supporting abortion. Another strong influence on the voting population in this region is the recent farming history. It hasn't been that long ago since the area was dominated by farming community. It was a lifestyle that required and prized the use of guns for protection of their assets and for sport. Also being a middle class society meant that many of their children found employment in the military after high school. So the Blue collar Republican often voted opposite of what would be seem to be their ideal party because of strong feeling on these two issues.
In the past that is how I voted. There was no stronger issue then the abortion issue. Voting for a democrat was equivalent to voting to murder hundreds of thousands of babies. On October 11th 2002 that all changed. Not just for me but for many of us that fit that previous description. Maybe not all of us changed that day, but over the course of the next couple of years. I remember standing on my desk where I was working as a draftsman screaming at the radio as one by one congressmen authorize to relinquish power to the president. Effectively giving up the rights that they were voted into office to manage. This was the day that the legislative branch empowered the President and all of his cronies to go to war.
Now this post is not to critique the decision to go to war in Iraq. That post will follow soon enough. The topic at hand is partisan politics. I believe that that day the man behind the curtain was reveled. The power and the corruption that had consumed the Republican Party were brought to light. The influence had grown so strong it was able to grip members from the other side of the isle.
While I carry this disdain for partisan politics. I long for the day when I can go back to arguing against abortion and for reduction in constraints on gun ownership on one side and turn to the other side to argue the merits of social programs. I wish the worst thing our president could be held accountable for is getting a blow job in the oval office. Man that seemed a travesty at the time. Think of all those potential Americans that ended up on that fat girl’s dress. But for now we are in a struggle to keep and even regain the very things that made this country great, different then the rest of the developed world. So the liberal has been allowed out of the closet. To get us pout of this mess we are going to need some super partisan politicians. People who are willing to stand strong against the powerful alliances that have been made. We need people who are willing to risk it all in the name of the United States and what it used to stand for.
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