While I agree that the paths offered by the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are clearly distinct, I have to disagree on principle that the two-party system is in any way good. In fact, I believe it is the very opposite of the Founding Fathers’ intentions when they wrote Constitution.
The two-party system has encouraged our nation’s polarization, developed a method of entrenching so-called “career politicians”, and cultivated an elitist government that sees itself as superior to the common folk. I would even argue that it has placed our country in the financial mess we currently find ourselves in since each party is dedicated to outspending the other rather than focusing on solving real problems.
It’s gotten to the point that both parties are engaged in an endless death spiral, locked in each other’s talons as they plummet toward the earth. We just happen to be the mites on their backs, doomed to destruction as they careen out of control.
To solidify my point, let’s examine a recent occurrence. On September 8, President Obama spoke of his “American Jobs Act”, which is a plan of the same ilk as his former plans–spend our way out of recession. The speech itself was littered with redundant platitudes and constant commands to “pass it now”, as well as hypocritical attacks against his opponents to avoid “playing politics”, of which he himself has been guilty for the past five to six years–maybe longer. The Republican party immediately disregarded the bill as another of Obama’s poorly devised plans doomed to fail. Based on the evidence, they’re correct to do so; however, I believe they would have demonized and argued against the bill no matter what was in it.
Which brings me to my next point. The Republican party wants the Democratic party to fail so badly that it would rather see America’s economy tank than watch it continue to be governed by Democrats. Sure, the Republicans offered up the Ryan plan, but I get the feeling they’re happy the Democrats suffocated it. This takes the responsibility completely off their backs, and now they can relax and watch as the Democrats fail–then wholly blame them for all that is wrong with America.
Once the Republicans come into power, they will offer nothing substantial. They’ll also propose that we spend our way out of debt. Sure, at the moment they talk of budget-cutting and deficit-reducing, but that only serves one agenda: Pander to the independents, win votes. Once in office, they will spend just as much as Democrats, but in different areas. And the Democrats will play the role of loyal opposition and blame the Republicans for everything that is wrong in America.
Their antics boil down to one thing: Insecurities. Neither party has the answers, and they know it. So instead of working on finding a solution, they place blame and hope it’s enough to get them reelected. As long as the Democrats are in office, Republicans have a chance of winning next election cycle, and vice versa. Each party depends on the failure of the other.
It’s a vicious cycle, and it would be enjoyable to watch these two parties fight themselves into nonexistence if our economy (and our lives) weren’t hanging in the balance. Instead, we’re forced to sit back and watch as they fight for power so they can continue to wreck our lives.
The flaw in the two-party system calls into question the nature of capitalism, and of our very own Constitution. Does capitalism lead to greed? Or does greed lead to the perversion of capitalism? I would argue the latter simply because it seems that every system man has ever devised has ultimately failed. This suggests that there is an underlying problem with man that results in the corruption of any system in place. Capitalism merely gives people the best chance of a successful, happy life. Much, much better than socialism, anyway, which seeks to bring the successful down to the level of the poor to make things “fair”.
And in a way, the Republicans have accepted socialism, albeit a different form than that of the Democrats. The Republican party’s spending spree results in a lower quality of life for everybody (except perhaps for multi-million dollar corporations who benefit from being labeled “job producers”).
There is no better time than now to give power to a third party. Inexperience with the political machine in Washington is their greatest asset. A third party is more likely to play by the rules of the Constitution than by the corrupt system constructed by the two major parties.
Ron Paul, while a Republican in name, is a good alternative to the Republican/Democrat mindset. He is an openly-admitted libertarian and has spoken of personal liberties and freedoms for over 20 years now. I find myself more and more interested in his ideas than ever before, and it seems as though he may have a shot at winning the Republican primaries. If only he didn’t have that (R) attached to his name, I wouldn’t feel so guilty in voting for him! But I find myself considering the idea of contributing to his campaign fund, which would be a first for me.
To summarize, America would be better off without the two-party system, and the dissolution of the Democratic and Republican parties would be a good way to start. I encourage everybody to research all presidential candidates and vote for the person who is least entrenched in the stale “spending spree” mindset that has led our country down the path of destruction for so long.