It was Will Rogers who once made the sadly hilarious comment that America has the best Congress that money can buy. But the public is strangely apathetic to that idea. They accept it as unchangeable and move on. When are going to admit that the two party system has failed us?
We have the oldest Constitution in the world and the most corrupt political system in the First World. One party panders to the corporations, and the other party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the corporations. Both parties believe in consumerism, imperialism, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, militarism, low taxes during a recession, ignoring the inevitable Great Geo Disaster, lining their own pockets, politicians alternating between public service and working as a lobbyist, and most importantly, putting party way, way above country.
It’s the red team vs. the blue team. An Ivy League rivalry that dates back to before the Gilded Age. And many people have just given up on choosing between them, like the makers of South Park, which they show in their 2004 election-themed episode. In it, the students must elect a school mascot, but are only given the choice of a “giant douche” or a “turd sandwich”.
That election was the most tense since the Vietnam because of the Iraq War. But another significant factor was that people on the left were still reaping the misery of having foolishly tried to rebel against the two party system by voting for Ralph Nader in 2000. If you vote for Nader, you’ll get George W. Bush. Welcome to America.
But in 2008, people thought they’d found another way around this riddle with Barak Obama. Obama won a landslide victory by masterfully mining the apathetic, independent voting block. Many people said that, for the first time, they felt like they were voting for something more than just a political party. Barak promised “bipartisanship”.
But it was only after he was elected that we realized that we’d always had bipartisanship. Both teams huddling separately for their own interest groups and then sending their representatives to hammer out a deal with the other side. That’s bipartisanship, and there was nothing new about it. What we needed was NON-partisanship.
That’s what people thought Obama was referring to, but of course, they were terribly, terribly wrong. Obama has been a decent Democrat president, but there hasn’t been much (if anything) non-partisan about his style of governing. And if he’s accomplished anything great in the area of non-partisanship, it’s permanently putting to rest the idea that non-partisanship between the Republicans and Democrats can ever be anything more than a campaign slogan.
Maybe after all that, we can finally admit that two party politics are a scam propagated on a new social class: the consumer-peasant.