Thinking Outside the Box
Fear keeps Americans prisoners of the system
By Dorothy Anne Seese
One thing American politicians and political strategists know well, all too well, is that the average American is scared witless to think outside the box. America is, to most people's thinking, a nation with two political parties that represent all Americans and their interests when the truth is there are not only drastic divisions within the parties, but it appears most of the time that no one's interests are represented, other than those of the elected officials.
"Dont waste your vote" has been the cry of the major parties to keep people from voting for third or fourth party candidates. The fear scheme has worked well. If you don't vote for the varmint you can't stand who bears your party label, then the other party will get in, the sky will fall and acid rain will fall all over the American continent.
No matter how often some of us tell the public (or whoever reads internet articles) that it doesn't matter whether a Republican or a Democrat gets into office(s), except very local offices, the idea persists. Perception is everything in America, reality is either too difficult to swallow or lost between the sports and entertainment pages.
A clear illustration of the thesis that one has to belong to either the donkeys or the elephants is Ron Paul. He belonged to the Libertarian Party in Texas and could not pull enough votes to get to the US House of Representatives. As opposite as his (and my) views are to the mainstream Republican neo-cons of the 21st century, Rep. Paul re-registered as a Republican and is a member of the House of Representatives. Not one thing in his ideology changed, only his party label.
Thinking outside the box would cause American voters to want parties that are smaller and candidates that are easier to reach during and after the campaign process. Prepared questions get prepared answers. The people who care should want parties that reflect what the party stands for, not tradition. Tradition is nice for nostalgia and useless for most other things, especially politics. In fact it is now absolutely misleading.
One good break would be for the "Libertarian wing" of the Republican party to go full Libertarian and make themselves heard. Or make a glorious revival of the Constitution Party that is worth more than a sniffle by the big party advocates. It's time for Greens to be Greens, Liberals to be Liberals, Centrists or Neo-cons to be the Centrist Party, and real conservatives to go Constitution or Libertarian. That would give the US voters five or six parties with definitive ideals from which to pick a candidate for office and break the chains that bind us to a now meaningless two-party system that is nothing but two sides of one nickel. Make that a penny.
It would also make elections more exciting. It might confuse the media, which would also be exciting. Keeping track of five or six viable parties would throw out all the old routines and keep the anchors saying something we haven't heard before, such as "we don't know." It would be a joy on election eve to watch television anchors in a state of bewilderment rather than on an agenda.
The problem, of course, is raising money. Funding a candidate means the open-wallet kids want as close to a sure thing as they can buy. That's another old tradition that could be busted up with a multi-party system. Special interest groups would be funding their special interest candidate but with no assurance whatever that they will win. Everything would be up for grabs, and the US would be able to return to a nation where the vote meant something besides an exercise in futility.
If and when Americans get sick of voting for the lesser of two evils, it might, perhaps, maybe, dawn on them that the reason they are always voting for the lesser of the two evils is that there are only two parties, tightly controlled as to candidates who follow the party line (with a few exceptions). If they had five to six viable choices, their vote would mean more and people would become more interested in who is running for office and why. Candidates would have to present a platform, not just stand on a stage and give a rant from a 1930's speechwriter for a long-dead candidate of the Great Depression era. However, another great depression could occur and candidates should be prepared to address this issue, especially the decline in manufacturing in the US. We're also not as competitive as we once were, whether the product is a kitchen appliance or a space module.
The purpose of free trade is to encourage greater efficiency, not send our plants and products overseas for manufacture, then back to the US for sale at lower than market prices here. That little scheme bears the unmistakable icon of the NWO to take down American enterprise.
And lastly, I'll vote for the person who promises to restore the Constitution, the congresscritters who aren't afraid to impeach judges, and who will form a task force to eliminate unconstitutional laws.
That probably means I'll wind up voting for myself this time around. The lesser of two evils is a useless vote and at least I can vote my conscience.
Americans are trapped in the box of tradition and until it suffocates them, they will never break free of it.
Some traditions are worth respecting. The present two party system is not one of them.
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