The American political landscape can seem both familiar and yet distant at the same time. Debates rage from all angles. Some will question the validity of the two-party system. Some say we already have a one party system. Some ask if a third-party is the answer. When we can’t even agree on the question being asked, the chances of a resolution become abysmal.
Everyone seems determined to pigeon-hole people into a label. Even if you attempt to ride the fence and remain open-minded, you are labeled an independent. It seems to make it easier to digest when we can assign someones thoughts or actions into a category. If you don’t openly align yourself with a cause or ideology, you are considered wasted space serving no purpose.
Consider the dizzying array of political parties and ideologies both past and present. I won’t re-hash them all here as you can Google that laundry list. Yet, to avoid getting bogged down in the mud of subtle differences clouding the overt similarities, you need to always look at the bigger picture. Otherwise, you can’t tell the difference between the American Party, the America First Party, the American Patriot Party or America’s Independent Party. Members of these movements get particularly cranky when you lump them in under the label of ‘all politicians are the same’. This is where a registered Republican will proclaim they are a true conservative and not just a run of the mill GOP’er. Yet they can’t separate themselves from the party or the label. You can’t win an election standing alone on principle, you must be in bed with one of the two major parties. Kinda hard to hold your nose and keep your dignity when you’re always apologizing for having an -R or a -D attached to you just to remain relevant.
Of course, the traditional argument has been that gridlock between the competing parties serves as a check on tyranny. It can seem very appealing to have the three branches of government aligned in order to really accomplish things. Sure, as long as you’re on the right side of the fence. We are experiencing such an alignment today with the Democrats. Yet, it may be short-lived as the mid-terms approach. The voting public simply doesn’t allow these one-sided tilts to remain for long. So today I ponder this thought. Is this teeter-totter style of governance the best way to sustain America? Of course, those on the right will say that we have been sliding all along towards progressivism even as the swings have occurred in leadership. Sort of like having the fat guy on one side of the teeter-totter opposite the skinny runt. The teeters are outlasting the totters.
Back to the big picture. There has been one constant all along in our nations history. Government keeps growing. It ebbs and flows, the debt rises and falls, but overall it just keeps growing. To be fair, it must grow to a point as our population continues to expand. More services are required for more people as well as more representation. If it were as simple as a percentage basis, it would be easy. X number of people require X number of dollars and X number of government offices, agencies and employees. That textbook formula is non-existent. Government operates as a separate entity irrespective of the population. Thus the drumbeat we hear today about government not listening. They invoke policy on us instead of for us. Rather than acting as a reflection of their constituents wishes, they have been consumed by simple human fallacies of greed and power. Government of the people, by the people and for the people is dead.
I think more and more people are buying into the notion that merely flip-flopping between the Democrats and Republicans is folly. Standard thinking says that any new third-party attempt will hurt the GOP the most and merely elect Democrats. The tea party movement is still in limbo as to its future. Do they just remain a watchdog or attempt to infiltrate the Republicans or Libertarians and hijack their party from with-in? The bigger our country becomes, the more daunting this task is. As more movements and causes grow, accordingly we have more special interests and lobbyists to satisfy. The same with cultures and religions. It’s as if we are simply getting too big to ever fit under one tent regardless of its size. Take any party and its agenda will satisfy a smaller slice of the total population by default. The laws of physics apply here. Majority thinking is becoming a thing of the past. Every party and ideology is destined to become a minority. You are simply trying to beat out the other minority views. You end up with a greater number of the total population dis-satisfied overall with each passing election cycle.
I was brought up a conservative and hold those style views as my own. However, I am keen to the thought that I am in a shrinking minority. It’s easy for like-minded thinkers to believe that we can solve our nations problems by returning to our roots. I no longer believe we can go back. A strong constitution and judeo-christian values work for me, but not so for an ever greater percentage of Americans. We can’t put the genie back in the bottle. America was founded on excellent ideals. However, the ideal of liberty for all may be self-defeating in the long-run. It’s akin to giving us a leash too long. Sooner or later, we hang ourselves. Don’t get me wrong. I fully support freedom and don’t harbor any of the progressive movement views toward restricting it. I just can’t see how it is sustainable over a long period of years due to the limit of us mere mortals. We simply can’t hold out against our fallacies and allow them to overwhelm our will to do right. Not everyone and not all at the same time, but it grows like a cancer. The calls from those of us who can see the cliff we are heading for are equalled by the rising voices of the alternative views. Where does it end? I’m no prophet and can’t put a timeline on it, but I can see the handwriting on the wall. Luckily for me, I do hold those christian views and can rest easy in the belief that the prophecies will determine our ultimate fate regardless of the wants of todays crusaders.