Two Party Dictatorship
Everybody hates the government. In this age of highly polarized partisanship, one thing that damn near everyone can still agree on is that the government, our government, is pretty fucking awful. The ways in which it is awful, however, the different reasons that all of us on either side of the aisle, or at whatever disparate point on the spectrum, hate our government can vary a great deal.
The first factor in graphing each individual’s level and flavor of hatred is one of partisanship, so let’s get it out of the way first. For those of us who self-identify as a member of one of our country’s two major parties, those fortunate people not impeded by nuance, whose affections and moods seesaw or slingshot depending on which representative of either party is holding the reins, things are simple; a republican is happy when a republican is in power, and vice versa for the democrats, often with little regard for the true character and actions of a given elected official, instead pleased or aggrieved purely because of party affiliation.
If that works for you, great, you have a chance of being satisfied with your political representation maybe half the time. For those of us who hold loyalty to neither party, who, at most, will align ourselves with one or the other because they happen to be marginally less objectionable than the alternative, we are more or less doomed to resign ourselves to a state of perpetual dissatisfaction and discontent. Because really, when you get down to it and analyze the principles (or more accurately, the leanings or tendencies; to say that the majority of politicians truly have principles, that they cannot be bought, is naive) of members of either party, they aren’t that different. Or rather, the stances they espouse differ far more than their actions. With few exceptions, all politicians are swimming in the Scrooge McDuck vault-ish pockets of one special interest groups and corporations.
Though our country persists in masquerading as a democratic republic, we are, and have always been, a plutocratic oligarchy. To some extent, it is still possible for the people, us regular schmucks, to sway political trajectory through social and civic action, but for the most part, every significant decision made in this country is in the soft, pasty hands of an exclusive cabal. While that phrasing sounds conspiratorial, that makes it no less true; a small number of (mostly) white men, with far too much money, use that money to decide the fates of the rest of us. It is this, more than the purported principles of our two less-than polarly-opposed parties, that has made a comedic travesty of our system of government and is threatening to send our country spiraling down the shitter.
To overgeneralize greatly, conservatives (Republicans) stand on a purported platform of deregulation in the name of liberty for individuals to do as they wish, while liberals (Democrats) stand on one supposedly of social progress and the promotion of equality. Both stances are riddled with hypocrisies, both parties lousy with frauds. The conservative agenda is one which promotes liberty and freedom to the extent that corporations are free to pollute as much as they wish, business owners are at liberty to treat their employees with little more consideration than they would slaves, and anyone can buy as big a gun as might compensate for their insecurity and phallic shortcomings, and use them to kill whatever they feel like. At the same time, conservatives champion legislation which restricts individual freedoms, particularly those of disenfranchised peoples, ie. non-wealthy-white-males. While my contempt for liberals is less, most of them are as indebted to some shady as fuck donors, and are comparably criminal to their conservative counterparts.
I voted for Barrack Obama twice, and I voted for Hillary Clinton. The first time I voted for Obama, it was with an abundant ebullience of naive optimism. When it came time for his second term, I was disappointed in how little good he’d done and how much bad he’d allowed, but I voted for him again, because flawed as he was, he was better than the alternative. Sure, he fell far short of instituting true universal health-care under the structure of a single-payer system, and he was responsible for thousands of civilian deaths overseas, but McCain would’ve likely killed as many or more, kept the poor uninsured, and he’d conjoined himself with an obscenely ignorant appendage, proudly caterwauling the idiot rhetoric of an uninformed, bigoted constituency. I voted for Clinton out of primal survival instinct. I did not and do not like Hillary Clinton, and did not think that she would be a good president. Yet I voted for her because the alternative was so terribly repugnant. If not for the incompetence, overconfidence, and corruption of the DNC, the bigotry and/or naivety of those who voted for Trump, and the failure of enough voters to share my fatalism, our country may not be now be throwing itself toes over teakettle off the cliff into World War Three (though truly, World War Three has been waging since prior to 2001; its gradual escalation and lack of nuclear warfare thus far has kept most from acknowledging it). Then again, we may very well have been comparably fucked, and our military just as murderous, under Clinton’s leadership. But at least we’d have a competent warlord lying to us and barrelling the human race to oblivion.
While in practice our government is a goddamn mess which is committing horrible crimes on the daily, and serving the will of the few rather than the needs of the many, this does not in itself denigrate the purported principles of our government, and should not serve as evidence for its death warrant. As government structures go, ours is theoretically better than most. Our parties, however, our two party system which forces us in every election to vote for what we perceive to be the lesser of two evils, need to be dragged out behind the shed and mercifully shot. I’m not optimistic/naive enough to believe that this will happen any time soon. Precedent has proven that voting for a third-party candidate is tantamount to throwing one’s vote into a pit of excrement. Much as we may prefer a third-party candidate, the knowledge that they haven’t a chance against the behemoth girth of the Republican and Democratic parties prevents most from taking the chance. Fear that the worse alternative may win if we withhold our support from the slightly less objectionable option perpetuates the standard, and preserves the power of these two parties, no matter how much many of us dislike them both, allowing them to worsen with time. Their respective coalition powers prevent us from making meaningful change, no matter how dearly we want it.
SO, what I am proposing is that we abolish the two-party system, either through social-action-driven legislation, or force. The former option is preferable, but also less likely to have effect. Violent revolution has a higher probability of bringing about change, but will mean deaths on a mass scale. And, as a left wing type, I know that the other side has more guns per capita, and a greater eagerness to use them.
So we’re going to need to be tactful, subtle in our approach. Rather than outright war in the streets, perhaps if we make clear that we will no longer abide the two-party-clusterfuck, and back up our stance with targeted assassinations of those politicians who insist on joining into large coalitions, they’ll get the message.
I do not condone or encourage violence, nor advocate any of what I just said.