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It’s Time to Embrace Partisanship

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Our nation has been facing major problems for over four years now and Congress has done next to nothing to address any of them. We continue to experience unacceptable levels of joblessness, the cost of health care and health insurance continues to rise, and we have done nothing to address the threat of climate change, or to shore up financing for Medicare and the Social Security system.

If you (like me) are tired of gridlock and inaction and want to see the federal government actually do something to address our problems, my advice is to embrace partisanship. In November, I will be voting a straight party ticket for the first time in my life.

Republicans have been unified in their opposition to nearly every proposal put forth by President Obama and the Democrats. And the Democrats need to be just as unified in stopping the Republican agenda. Give the voters a clear choice between the competing agendas of the two major parties and a compelling reason to move beyond individual candidates. This will make it easier for voters who want a Congress worthy of our approval to ignore the attack ads, the polls, the exchange of sound bites that pass for debates, and the media’s insistence on reporting elections as if they were sporting events.

Focus instead on the legislation each party has introduced and supported. Decide which party you believe will address the problems and issues of most concern to you in a manner that you believe will be most effective. Then vote a straight party ticket.

You should support Republican candidates if you believe:

* The best way to create jobs is to give more tax breaks to wealthy “job creators” (because they just don’t have enough money to invest as things stand) and to deregulate Wall Street, banks, and large corporations (because they have proven so responsible and trustworthy in the past).

* The Affordable Care Act should be repealed. Private, for-profit insurance companies should control health care and decide what doctors you can see and what treatments you will receive.

* Climate change is a hoax, or is not caused by human activity, and we can go on burning fossil fuels indefinitely without suffering any consequences.

* Money earned from buying and selling stock should be taxed at a much lower rate than money earned from working.

* The best way to “save” Medicare is to privatize it. Instead of comprehensive health care, give senior citizens (who have paid into the system throughout their careers) vouchers to use toward the purchase of health insurance from private, for-profit companies.

* The best way to save Social Security is (you guessed it) to privatize it. Instead of a guaranteed income in retirement, let senior citizens take the money that has been deducted from their pay throughout their careers and try their luck at the casino known as Wall Street.

You should support Democratic candidates if you believe:

* The government should reduce unemployment by providing the funding necessary to put people to work repairing our infrastructure and developing clean, renewable sources of energy.

* Global warming is caused, at least in part, by human activities and we should be working to develop alternatives to fossil fuels.

* The Affordable Care Act should be retained because it will make health insurance more widely available and put some limits on what private, for-profit health insurance companies can do.

* The Bush tax cuts for those earning over $250,000 per year should be allowed to expire, while the cuts for those earning less than that amount should be retained.

You should join the Democratic Party and work within the party to see it become even more pro-active, if you (like me) would like to see our government:

* Become the employer of last resort, putting unemployed workers back to work in programs similar to the jobs programs of The New Deal.

* Put most of those workers to work developing clean, renewable sources of energy.

* Add a public option to The Affordable Care Act to truly reduce the cost of health insurance.

* Tax income from wealth (stocks, dividends, interest) at the same rate as income earned by working.

* Save Social Security by removing the upper limit on income from which the tax is collected.

We can’t afford to wait any longer to elect a Congress that will address the problems we face as a nation. Bipartisanship and compromise are dead. If we want a more effective Congress, we must embrace partisanship.

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About Winston Apple

Winston Apple is the author of "Edutopia: A Manifesto for the Reform of Public Education." He is a former teacher. He has a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri at Kansas City (1990). He is also a singer-songwriter and recording artist.
  • http://rwno.limewebs.com Not the liberal actor

    Mr. Apple, you say, “Republicans have been unified in their opposition to nearly every proposal put forth by President Obama and the Democrats.” Your statement is true, but you never address WHY it is true. Republicans (and I) think Obama and Democrat policies are harmful to our country and economy. Further, history proves Repubilcans to be correct. So, if this is what you call partisanship, your article is aptly named.

  • Winston Apple

    Not the liberal actor (Warren, if I may), which specific policies do you think are harmful to the nation? What lessons do you draw from history that prove Republicans to be correct? I am genuinely interested in hearing your rationale.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Warren is partly correct and would be more so were it not for one phenomenon peculiar to the current and previous Congresses. In a democracy (yes, Clavos and Chris, I know, I know) it is, of course, the job of the Opposition to oppose the majority party and/or the sitting President, so one can hardly blame the Republicans for voting against or otherwise trying to block the majority of legislation introduced by Democrats.

    Where it starts to get into the realms of the extreme and surreal is when Republicans start blocking legislation that was largely their idea in the first place, for no other reason than that the Democrats sponsored it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Warren –

    I was about to address your willful ignorance of your question:

    Your statement is true, but you never address WHY it is true.

    But Doc Dreadful already beat me to it:

    Where it starts to get into the realms of the extreme and surreal is when Republicans start blocking legislation that was largely their idea in the first place, for no other reason than that the Democrats sponsored it.

    That vast hypocrisy in and of itself is why I continue to say the Republican elite – and all those who blindly follow them – quite literally put party above country. Was the legislation they originally supported (that was THEIR idea to begin with) wrong? If so, then why did they support it in the first place? And if it was NOT wrong, why did they suddenly reject it as anathema? The only possible answer is that the Democrats began supporting that legislation.

    Such incredible – and utterly inexcusable – hypocrisy. And anyone who sees that hypocrisy yet still supports the Republicans is party to that hypocrisy.

    But then, to those for whom the end justifies the means, there is no such thing as hypocrisy.

  • http://rwno.limewebs.com Not the liberal actor

    Re:comment # 2, Mr. Apple, allow me to answer your question. I guess as good a place to begin as any is with policies you outined.

    Regarding tax reduction, here is an analysis that may interest you. Regarding your parenthetical phrase that ends your first point, whet ever happened to people looking out for themselves? This is NOT an endorsement of some business practices, but history has always told us that “a deal too good to be true usually is.” Democrats think everyone needs protection from “evil business,” thus proposing more regulation. The problem is that increased regulation increases operating costs, resulting in higher costs and/or reduced employment. (please see my next point)

    Regarding ObamaCare, here is an analysis that may interest you. Here is another analysis that may interest you. These analyses are based upon what is happening now. But this is what we can expect from historical effects of ObamaCare.

    Regarding your Climate Change point, here is an analysis that may interest you.

    Regarding your “money made from buying/selling stock should be taxed lower” point, have you ever heard of the concept of “double taxation?” This source says, “A stock purchase, on the other hand, will not be eligible for a write-off until the stock is sold. And, if the stock is subsequently sold at a loss, the loss is generally only deductible if the buyer has capital gains from other sources.” The source continues, “However, these seller advantages may be offset by the fact that the seller must provide more warranties and guarantees in a stock sale than in an asset sale. Because the attributes and liabilities of the corporation remain intact when the stock is sold, the buyer requires warranties and guarantees as protection from carry over liabilities.” And, I might add, all of this is conducted with, as historical tax law ensure, money that has already been taxed.

    Regarding your privitization of Medicare, here is an analysis that may interest you. This source concludes, “This is the beginning of an insurance death spiral that will ultimately destroy the traditional Medicare fee-for-service program. The older, chronically ill people who need the types of services offered by traditional Medicare will face ever-spiraling costs. As the premiums for traditional Medicare rise, the price tag will drive them into private plans like DollarCare, even though the academic literature shows that private plans are not good for the very old, chronically ill.”

    Regarding your privitization of Social Security, here is an analysis that may interest you. And that privitization occurred in 1981, so there is plenty of history to draw upon. And here is another analysis that may interest you.

    Yes, I am quite aware that you can cite sources that refute all of the sources I cited. But refutation in no way changes what has happened, or what, based on historical evidence, will happen.

    Re: comments # 3 and #4, I’m sure that Doc and Glenn will provide SOURCED references to bills Republicans offered, then opposed – unaltered, of course, by Democrats.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Looks like Warren doesn’t remember that Cap-and-Trade was first a Republican idea, and so was the individual mandate. Looks like he doesn’t know that Obamacare is – according to one of the men who helped design Romneycare – the “same f***ing thing” as Romneycare.

    Instead, even if we show him the proof, he’ll claim that it’s altered beyond acceptability (it’s not)…and he’s too dishonest with himself to look it up.

    BTW, Warren – looking at #5, perhaps you should learn the difference between an analysis from a blog post, and an analysis from an actual statistical study.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    But refutation in no way changes what has happened, or what, based on historical evidence, will happen.

    No, it just demonstrates that your interpretation of what happened is wrong.

  • Winston Apple

    Warren, (I could tell immediately that you were not the liberal actor):
    I can’t say I was very impressed with any of the “analysis” links you provided. It’s not hard to find a study or article somewhere that will support almost any point. Along the lines of your comment (with which I agree) we have to learn to take care of ourselves. This means, among other things, considering the source, identifying bias, weighing the facts presented, and ultimately deciding which course of actions seems most likely to effectively address an issue or solve a problem.

    With regard to tax reduction. I have no love for paying taxes and I believe the government spends money on all sorts of things that it shouldn’t. In an interview with the Wichita Eagle, Richard Fink, who works with and for the Koch brothers, stated that they believe that “the country must deal with corporate welfare, which they say exceeds $350 billion a year.” I don’t agree with much the Koch brothers say or do, but I certainly agree with that. I also believe the military budget is much too large. It was a Republican (President Eisenhower) who first sounded the alarm regarding the “military-industrial complex” and as yet no one seems to want to take on that issue. Cut military spending by $350 billion and you’re over two-thirds of the way to balancing the budget, and we would still have enough firepower to destroy the world should the need arise. Put all of the able-bodied unemployed to work on socially useful projects and we’d be able to cut tax rates across the board and still balance the budget.

    If you don’t believe that we sometimes need protection from business, you are living in a fantasy land. While most businesses are run by honest, virtuous people, some of them truly are “evil.” They will pollute our water and air, put out unsafe products, destroy unions, and worse in the reckless pursuit of ever-greater profits.

    The only real problem with The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is that it doesn’t go near far enough to make health insurance affordable. The main reason for this is that there is no public option included. The private health insurance companies got the main thing they wanted – a mandate to buy insurance with no public option (which was never even brought to the floor for a vote).

    I am no scientist and I am almost positive you aren’t either, but the weight of evidence has convinced me that global warming/climate change present a very real threat to the human race. I would rather err on the side of caution. Most of what we need to do regarding climate change (get off oil and coal, switch to electric cars) will benefit us even if climate change turns out to be a false alarm (which I doubt). We should be putting our unemployed people to work planting trees, building wind farms and solar panels. Why pay people to sit home and do nothing when there is socially useful work to be done? That is the most idiotic thing our government is doing to prove just how dysfunctional it has become.

    I have heard of the concept of double taxation. It happens most frequently when we pay a sales tax when making a purchase with money that as already been taxed as income. The money invested in stock or other assets, or deposited in some form of savings account is not taxed twice, only the additional money earned as capital gains, dividends, or interest.

    Regarding the privatization of Social Security, I think Wall Street already syphons off plenty of money as it flows through the system, without producing any goods or providing any services beyond managing the buying and selling of stock. One of the most consistent plays in the Milton Friedman/Republican handbook is to privatize functions normally within the purview of government. The only good tax dollar, in their opinion, seems to be the ones that are quickly passed on to private businesses, who seem to be doing quite well and getting quite a few tax dollars already.

    In conclusion, I am all in favor of learning from history. Collectively, we seem to do a pretty poor job of it. Let’s hope we can do better in the not-too-distant future.

  • Igor

    @4-Glenn: “Hypocrisy” is not a very good debating point since we all do it and it is the common coin of politics. La Rochefoucauld said: “Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue”.

  • Igor

    @5-Not: you really are an uneducated person, aren’t you? This statement was ACTUALLY first attributed to “Yellow Kid” Weill: “a deal too good to be true usually is.”

    Yellow Kid was an early 20th century con-man, famous for his bigtime cons ornamented by an almost baroque attention to perception distorting side-plays. His adventures are commonly adopted by movie-makers and other thieves for movie and TV play. The “Sting” was one of his adventures, although simplified and dramatized for the simple audience.

    Another of his aphorisms was “you can’t cheat an honest man”, which W.C.Fields adapted for his stage presence and movies.

    Incidentally, Yellow Kid himself was a sucker for redheads, which he confessed with no regret, telling with some delectation how, when returning from Europe after a big successful scam there, he was fleeced by a roux on the ocean liner.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Igor #9 –

    “Hypocrisy” is not a very good debating point since we all do it and it is the common coin of politics

    That is not only a false equivalency, but it is also a logical fallacy – the “broad brush statement”.

    For instance, we all know politicians lie. But does every politician lie just as much as the rest? Of course not. Does every politician flip-flop as much as the rest? Of course not.

    And it doesn’t stop with politicians. Have you ever lied and flip-flopped? Probably. I certainly have. But have you or I or Obama (or even all three of us put together) lied and flip-flopped as much as Romney has? I doubt it.

    I first began questioning Republican hypocrisy after Clinton was elected, when some GOP senator said, “don’t come visit the military bases here in South Carolina, because I can’t vouch for your safety”. I was pretty offended that a pro-national-security GOP senator would encourage such disrespect in the military against the commander-in-chief. It was then that I began paying attention to what both sides did wrong…and I (relatively) quickly saw that the GOP attitude was “we think the Dems do this or that wrong, so that makes it okay if we do a lot more of it.” And I’m pretty sure you can think of quite a few examples of this yourself.

    Yes, both sides engage in hypocrisy, both sides lie, both sides cheat…but it’s a matter of degree. I don’t look for perfection in anyone – I do look for who does the best job with the least corruption. That’s why I’m a stark raving liberal.

  • Winston Apple

    (#11) Glenn, I think the dilemma the Republicans are facing is that most of what they want to do would (will?) cause people to vote against them, not for them. So they have to muddy the waters with propaganda designed to mislead, misinform, and/or misdirect potential voters. Democrats get less money from corporate interests, but face a bigger conflict between what the moneyed interests want and what their base (labor unions, women, minorities, environmentalists, etc.) expect of them. That causes them to say more of the right things, but work quietly behind the scenes to undermine legislation designed to accomplish things they supposedly support. What needs to be accomplished to get better government is to marginalize the Republican Party and reform the Democratic Party, by proving to them that voters can not be easily deceived and that, in the end, votes can not be bought, and count for more than money.

  • Clavos El Buey

    What needs to be accomplished to get better government is to marginalize the Republican Party and reform the Democratic Party, by proving to them that voters can not be easily deceived and that, in the end, votes can not be bought, and count for more than money.

    That’s a pretty cockamamie idea. You propose to “marginalize one party, which leaves the remaining party with carte blanche, and then you’re going to “reform” it?? Good luck with that.

    Worse, your “reform” hinges in part on proving that, ” in the end, votes can not be bought, and count for more than money.”

    Huh? You ever hear of Tammany Hall in New York and the Daley machine in Chicago?. Do you really think that the near unanimous support of the Democratic party and its candidates by those receiving some form of government assistance results from those voters’ careful analysis of the Dem platform, leading them to vote straight Democratic party ticket year after year on principle??? Yeah, right.

    You should lay off the Kool-aid, Winston; it’s damaging your brain.

  • Winston Apple

    I haven’t been drinking any Kool-Aid, Clavos. We had one party rule for a while in the U. S. That period is usually referred to as “The Era of Good Feelings.”

    The Republicans have made their extremely radical, reactionary agenda crystal clear to anyone who follows politics closely and possesses the ability to think critically and independently. They are richly deserving of fringe party status.

    The means of reforming the Democrats (many of whom have drunk the Kool-Aid of donations from moneyed interests) is to put forward candidates in the primaries who will represent the common interest, as opposed to moneyed interests. This is not without precedent. There are a great many “safe” districts for one party or the other already, where the primary election determines who will take office. The hard part is getting more voters to develop their critical thinking skills so they can see through the tsunami of well-funded propaganda designed to deceive and mislead them.

    I certainly agree that this is not an easy task to accomplish and it very well may never happen. But those of us who want a Congress worthy of our approval and a government that promotes the common interest must take on the task. Good government doesn’t come easy, but it is well worth fighting for.

  • Igor

    @11-Glenn: I wasn’t attempting a logical point, but merely demonstrating that any charge of ‘hypocrisy’ is lost in the general clamor of hypocrites. Thus, it isn’t useful or effective.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Winston –

    Liberal as I certainly am, I’d have to agree with Clavos on this one – marginalization of the Republican party would not allow for reform of the Democratic party at all, but their unchecked power – while it would allow us to get much done that desperately needs doing without the constant idiocy of today’s GOP – would only result in something worse in a testament to the corruptibility of absolute power.

    I hate to refer to Tolkien’s works, but it would not be unlike what Galadriel knew what would happen if she took the One Ring. She’d bring on an era of peace and prosperity, but as time went on, all would love her, and despair.

    So as incredibly stupid and unAmerican as the Republicans are today with their war on women’s rights, their voter suppression, and their enshrining of corporate personhood, I still would not marginalize them if I could. What needs to happen is that they need to lose all three branches of government – which is not the same thing as marginalization – and hope that somewhere in the GOP there is a moderate voice who will stand up and speak with the voice of reason, the voice of moderation. As much as I hate to say it, that person might wind up being Jeb Bush.

    BUT there is another possibility, that the reason the Republican party is as stupid as it is today – perhaps it’s because there’s no one of the Greatest Generation left therein…no one of real character. Former WWII pilot Bush 41 certainly had a measure of corruption, but he had a measure of real character too, stood up to his party when it counted and – in my opinion – enabled Clinton’s economic boom by slashing defense and raising taxes. But I hope that the GOP’s troubles are not a matter of lacking character, for such is difficult to come by without spending a lot of time outside one’s comfort zone.

  • Winston Apple

    Glenn,

    Perhaps the use of the term “marginalize” is tripping us up here. You say the Republicans “need to lose all three branches of government – which is not the same thing as marginalization.” That is exactly what I mean by marginalization.

    The Republicans have been the storm troopers in a now more than 30 year long covert class war waged by Wall Street, banks, and many large corporations against everyone else in the United States. A good many Democrats have sold their souls to the moneyed interests as well. If you want to use analogies from literature or movies, I’m not voting for Darth Vader or anyone else working with, or for, the Dark Side. And I hope a majority of voters will feel the same way very soon.

    I do not fear for the future of the Republican Party. If and when they find themselves holding very few seats in Congress and not even coming close to winning the White House, they may decide to welcome some of the moderates they have excommunicated back into the fold.

    In the meantime, it will be a tall order of business to get Democrats nominated without them being corrupted by the mountains of cash it takes to get elected in our toxic, money driven electoral system. It will take an electorate far more skilled in civic interaction than we have today.

    It takes at least 60 seats in the Senate to pass routine legislation. (More than that when some Democrats can be bought off.) It takes a 2/3 majority in both houses of Congress to pass amendments to the Constitution. And a majority in at least 3/4 of the states to ratify an amendment.

    We need to fill at least that many seats with people who will do their constitutional duty to “promote the general Welfare” as opposed to serving Wall Street, banks, and corporate interests. I don’t see any Republicans likely to do that any time soon.

    You seem to have bought into the idea, popularized quite effectively by Republicans beginning with Reagan that good government is impossible. A great deal of money is being spent to convince voters of that. By obstructing any efforts to address unemployment, climate change, the cost of health care, or the development of alternative sources of energy, Republicans prove their point.

    Effecting meaningful change is extremely difficult. The moneyed interest like the status quo. They don’t mind gridlock at all.

    I am an idealist. I make no apologies for being idealistic. But I am also enough of a realist to know that we are not likely to see a government we can be proud of anytime soon. But I will work towards that goal for as long as I live. And I hope to live long enough to see our nation governed by honest and virtuous people.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Revisiting the thread, I can’t believe I let this gem slip by…

    Re: comments # 3 and #4, I’m sure that Doc and Glenn will provide SOURCED references to bills Republicans offered, then opposed – unaltered, of course, by Democrats.

    Warren, you do love moving goalposts, don’t you? In my #3 I said:

    “Where it starts to get into the realms of the extreme and surreal is when Republicans start blocking legislation that was largely their idea in the first place…”

    Notice the qualifier there? The “largely”? I didn’t claim that the Republicans were opposing their own unaltered legislation. That’s just you playing your favourite game of introducing new rules after the fact.

    And it’s not just me who’s had to put up with this from you. A few days ago, for instance, it was Deano, who, when challenged by you as to whether he’d written any books (as if that were relevant), promptly enumerated the books he’d written. But no – that wasn’t good enough for you, as it turned out. Not by a long chalk. He had to have written the Bible.

    I take it that you were not a member of your high school’s debate team…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Winston –

    You seem to have bought into the idea, popularized quite effectively by Republicans beginning with Reagan that good government is impossible.

    If you ask any of the others here from either – or any – side of the political spectrum, that’s certainly not the case! The reason I stood with Clavos is not that good government is impossible – after all, I’m the one who always points out that ALL the non-OPEC first-world nations are socialized democracies (and for some reason the conservatives just can’t argue against that statement).

    No, the reason I stood with Clavos is that if there is no significant opposition party, if there is only one major party and there are no others, then we would effectively have one-party rule…and that’s a bad idea (regardless of what Karl Rove thought about the possibility of a ‘permanent Republican majority’).

  • Winston Apple

    Glenn, From my #14: “We had one party rule for a while in the U. S. That period is usually referred to as “The Era of Good Feelings.” (Early 1800’s.)

    And: “The means of reforming the Democrats…is to put forward candidates in the primaries who will represent the common interest, as opposed to moneyed interests. This is not without precedent. There are a great many “safe” districts for one party or the other already, where the primary election determines who will take office.”

  • Clavos El Buey

    No, the reason I stood with Clavos is that if there is no significant opposition party, if there is only one major party and there are no others, then we would effectively have one-party rule…and that’s a bad idea

    QFT

  • http://www.rosedigitalmarketing.com Christopher Rose

    I am starting to take more seriously the idea that it is actually political parties that are a significant part of the problem.

    We don’t elect political parties, we elect local politicians to represent us at a national level.

    With a political party system, those elected representatives can not fight for the issues on which they they were elected, they have to support party politics.

    It follows then that partisanship is just another element of the current political malaise we are seeing and should not be endorsed and political parties should be abolished.

  • Winston Apple

    Christopher (#22) While the two major parties are doing a good job right now of giving political parties a bad name, there is no way they will ever be banned.

    Glenn (#19) and Clavos (#21) I do not advocate a one party system, with all other parties banned. But I do support one party (at a time) rule.

    Within our present system of government, at any given time, we have either one party rule, with one of the two major parties controlling both houses of Congress and the White House, or we have divided government. Divided government works fine when Democrats and Republicans are willing to compromise and find solutions to our problems that incorporate ideas from both sides. There has been precious little of that in Washington lately.

    At present, I believe our best hope to see effective action taken to address unemployment, climate change, and the rising cost of health care is for the Democrats to control the White House and both houses of Congress, with substantial majorities in both houses. If they don’t do what they’ve said they will do (in their platform), or if the proposals in their platform prove ineffective, then we should vote them out and give another party a shot at governing. (Preferably the Libertarian Party, rather than the Repugnicons.)

  • Igor

    Years ago it seemed good that congress and the executive be split on issues, because that, surely, would force the parties to negotiate and compromise, and thus achieve more suitably moderate ends for the country. It would prevent any party from having so much power that they could pass all their bad, as well as good, ideas.

    But the republicans have cleverly found a way around that mode by simply standing pat when they don’t have absolute power, and then doing all the pent-up nutso ideas when they have a couple years of unopposed power.

  • http://www.rosedigitalmarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Winston, I didn’t mean these two parties should be banned, I meant that perhaps all political parties in their entirety should be made illegal as they corrupt the representative process.

  • Winston Apple

    Christopher, I understand that is what you meant. I don’t think banning political parties would be a good idea. I believe that embracing parties and their platforms offers more hope for a better government. But, even if it was a good idea, do you think political parties, controlling the government as they do, are going to ban themselves? I don’t see that happening.

  • http://www.rosedigitalmarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Winston, the flood tide of political progress and freedom has been rolling around Europe, the Middle East and, to a lesser extent, Asia for maybe thirty years now. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the USA had its own successful “political Spring” one day.

    The flawed Tea Party and Occupy movement may just be the first small waves of a significant need for reform in the politically constipated and over-regulated land of the formerly free. Who knows what might happen?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    While banning all parties sounds nice, it’s flatly impossible. The human animal is a social creature, and we tend to band together with other like-minded humans to get what we want (whatever it may be). So even if we did officially ‘ban’ political parties, people would simply find another way around the obstacle.

  • http://www.rosedigitalmarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Glenn, I don’t think it is nice, just necessary. Not having political parties doesn’t interfere with our social nature at all, it would just prevent or at least reduce abuse by dogma. Given your nature though, I can see why you would have problems with the concept…

  • Igor

    @5-NotTheLiberal (who one suspects is really Warren):

    I usually don’t follow his citations because they are poor quality and just rightist diatribes, and this is no surprise. But I took a look at the first one which he labeled “analysis” though it is just predictable opinion from the Heritage Foundation (judge for yourself). here’s the way it begins:

    There is a distinct pattern throughout American history: When tax rates are reduced, the economy’s growth rate improves and living standards increase. Good tax policy has a number of interesting side effects. For instance, history tells us that tax revenues grow and “rich” taxpayers pay more tax when marginal tax rates are slashed.

    There’s no such ‘pattern’. And cherry- picking doesn’t improve the claim.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Igor –

    Glenn (#19) and Clavos (#21) I do not advocate a one party system, with all other parties banned. But I do support one party (at a time) rule.

    Problem is, once one party has power, they don’t want to give that power up. C’mon, Igor – you know this. If one side has unrestricted power, they will change things to where they won’t lose that power. Look at the Republicans, at their voting suppression efforts this time. Do you really think that if the current GOP was in charge, that such efforts wouldn’t occur to a much greater extent?

    One party rule is a really, truly bad idea. Sorry, Igor, I’ve got a lot of respect for you, but on this issue, um, no, I can’t agree with you.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    [Banning all political parties:] I don’t think it is nice, just necessary. Not having political parties doesn’t interfere with our social nature at all, it would just prevent or at least reduce abuse by dogma.

    Dude – again, sounds nice, but (like libertarianism and communism) totally unworkable in human society. There will always be groups of like-minded people, some of whom will be especially charismatic and skilled in and given to leadership. These groups will band together behind such leaders to try to bring into being whatever it is they believe in. Human society has been this way from the days of the hunter-gatherers till now, and it will always be so as long as humans are human.

    The ONLY society where there would be no political parties would be a tyranny, where one person (or a small group of people) would rule, and they would have an organization that would carry out their orders…which might not be a party in name, but would be one in form and function just as the communist party was in the USSR.

    Chris, I suspect that you’re projecting your own personality upon enough humanity that you actually believe that a government without parties could effectively exist. Problem is, history doesn’t support you at all in your belief – not at all.

  • Igor

    @31-Glenn: I think you’ve misidentified me as someone else.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Crap. Sorry, Igor – that was meant for Winston.

  • Winston Apple

    Glenn (#32) – One party has controlled both houses of Congress and the White House quite frequently in our history. Since 1932 the Democrats have had control of both the executive and legislative branches for a total of 34 years. Most notably for all 12 years of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration, which gave us Social Security, the minimum wage, the 40 hour work week, and some jobs programs we should be emulating today to reduce unemployment. And also for all 8 years of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations in the 1960s (with 64 to 68 seat majorities in the Senate), which gave us the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid, and other Great Society programs.

    Since 1932 the Republicans held the White House and both houses of Congress for only 4 years (and part of a fifth) under George W. Bush, which gave us two wars and unneeded tax cuts, turning surpluses into deficits.

    Given the historical record, I would prefer divided government to Republican rule, which would undoubtedly see the shrinkage, privatization, or elimination of most, if not all, of the New Deal and Great Society programs listed above, as well as further tax cuts for the super-wealthy.

    Oh the other hand, if the Democrats were given another run, particularly with a 60 plus seat majority in the Senate, I feel somewhat confident we’d see some progress made on unemployment, climate change, and maybe even a public option for health care, or Medicare-for-all. All desirable goals in my opinion.

    That’s why I’m no longer an independent, and will be voting a straight Democratic ticket for the first time in my life this year.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Winston –

    But in all those cases, the Republicans were never marginalized. Their presence in Congress was always there, and in numbers.

    Please don’t get me wrong – I’d love to see the Dems in control of the White House and the House , and in the Senate with filibuster-proof majority (which we did have for all of 71 in-session days in 2009). But I would never want the GOP truly marginalized.

    Funny thing is, if they were to continue their current policies, their denials of reality and their perpetual tolerance of race-baiting politics, they might cause their own marginalization.

  • http://www.rosedigitalmarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Glenn, just because you repeat the justification you use to explain away your own submission to formularised group think doesn’t make it any more true or persuasive.

    Groups of people that need leaders are simply immature, which is why teens are particularly prone to group think. As people mature, the need reduces, as I hope you will discover one day…

    As I am talking about the future, not the past, about how things might well develop, not how they have been, I think it is actually you that is projecting your views in the context of your own personal need for dogma.

  • Winston Apple

    Glenn (#36) Again the term “marginalizaton” seems to be tripping us up. I would simply like to see Democrats holding more than 60 seats in the Senate and a solid majority in the House.

    We seem to agree, however, that if the Republicans stick to their guns on their current agenda, the only thing that will prevent them from becoming a fringe party is the willful ignorance of a sizable number of voters who can’t see through their propaganda.

    I would like to see the Republican Party and the Libertarian Party trade roles. Although I have voted for Republican candidates from time to time, I have usually split my votes between the Democrats and the Libertarian Party.

  • Zingzing

    “I would like to see the Republican Party and the Libertarian Party trade roles.”

    Yes. The libertarians are overly-principled (read: rigid), but they aren’t so far up god’s asshole that they’ve mistaken religion for right (when it’s their god) or evil (when it’s islam’s take on the same god). The GOP is horrifying, and it seems to be getting worse all the time. This country needs a political dialogue, but the GOP has been nothing but an ignorant bully for a decade now. Libertarians present a thoughtful, decent alternative to democrats, and occupy a place on the political spectrum rather than the insane religious temper tantrum tangent that the GOP inhabits at the moment.

  • Igor

    Zing: good points and well said.