Partisanship: A real threat to the American way of life

102913partisanship2Whenever anyone tries to start a political debate by saying something like “as a Republican” or “as a Democrat,” I stop listening.

I’m sorry but anyone — and yes, I mean anyone — who touts political party as a priority in their life is an immediate turnoff.  My initial thought is: “Why bother?”

At a time when many Americans wonder what lies at the core of the problems that threaten this country, I wonder more and more if the answer is simply “partisanship.”

Government is Washington is locked in partisan gridlock.  Watch any of so-called “news” talk shows on a Sunday and all one sees are hard-core partisans locked in carefully-rehearsed rhetoric that delivers standard, political agenda controlled propaganda without any consideration of fact, rational thought or desire for resolution.

Republicans spit out words like “liberal” and “Democrat” with venom.  Democrats return with acidic references to “conservative” or “right-wing.”  Any hope for resolution is hopelessly lost in a sewer of political pomposity or partisan posturing.

Both Republicans and Democrats defend the misdeeds and mistakes of their own because they are simply one of their own.  Barack Obama is, when one puts aside any partisan considerations and looks at hard facts, a poor President.  So was George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and, yes, even the object of Republican political lust — Ronald Reagan.

Yet the failures of any and all of these Presidents were overlooked by the partisans who distorted facts and manufactured hyperbole to try and turn each into something they weren’t — capable leaders of a nation that needed leadership in times of crisis.

America, sadly, has lost its ability to elect leaders because the system is controlled by partisan power brokers who place greed and adherence to money-driven private political agendas above what may be best for the nation.

In 1984, I served as the principal writer for the Reagan-Bush “Voices for Victory” program.  It was my job to develop and deliver the “message of the day” for use by the campaign.  After the election, GOP strategist Lee Atwater praised me as “true believer.”

But I wasn’t.  I was a paid hack who delivered a product of pure propaganda for a nice, large check.  The system was then — and is now — dominated by such people — pure political whores in it for the money.

And when America is served by a system dominated by political whores, it is important to remember that the best that anyone can expect from such a system is to get screwed — nothing more, nothing less.

Partisanship, sadly, is not limited simply to party affiliation. A few years later, as Vice President for Political Programs for the National Association of Realtors — which billed itself as the world’s largest trade association — I controlled a political action committee that handed out millions to candidates and ran what was then the nation’s largest independent expenditures program — which ran campaigns to influence voters to vote for or against a particular member of Congress.

That program was a precursor to the large, third-party campaigns that many now feel exert too much “outside” influence on elections.  At the Realtors, I compiled an 85-percent victory record with independent expenditure campaigns — all designed to serve the extremely narrow-focus of single-interest issues that served the real estate industry and it alone.

Some of those issues became part of the easy mortgage scandal that undermined the nation’s economy and led to the recession that still grips the nation.

Such was, and remains today, the dangers of partisan politics in America.  Partisanship is not just Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, right or left.  Partisanship is also found in the special interests that control government at local, state and federal levels.

Such partisanship is, in my opinion, a threat to America.  Until people stop using stereotypical political labels to identify themselves and start thinking without the constraints of party identification or philosophical beliefs, we cannot function as Americans or actually confront and deal with the problems we face.

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Copyright  © 2013 Capitol Hill Blue

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6 Responses to "Partisanship: A real threat to the American way of life"

  1. Senegoid  October 29, 2013 at 7:42 am

    “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.”

    Carroll Quigley, professor of history at Georgetown University and author of the 1966 book, Tragedy and Hope.

    • Carl Nemo **==  October 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      Thanks senegoid for offering Dr. Quigley’s sentiments for the creation of a more efficient government.

      Our government is designed as a bicameral one; I.E. having two bodies to represent different segments of society. We have the House of Representatives aka as “the people’s house” and the Senate which was designed to represent the wealthy, landed class when this nation was founded. Franklin was against the creation of a Senate and was for having a unicameral system with simply a single legislative body. The advantages of such are more efficient law making and the prevention of gridlock between two bodies serving diametrically opposed interests in many cases.

      Generally speaking the majority U.S. reps are millionaires with a few billionaires to boot, this is true even within the House of Representatives. The common man and woman are basically disenfranchised when it comes to having genuine representation. The one man one vote mechanism is simply too feeble to make a difference in legislative outcomes with reps who are regularly getting their campaign coffers ‘greased’ by wealthy patrons.

      Our Constitution as it stands is basicaly fine, but our system of government no longer works in our time as a function of money based corruption in high places. As its said…”money talks…b.s. walks”.

      Here’s a wiki link concerning unicameral government. A few states of the U.S. have this system. Granted they have different parties, but their influence has little effect on the outcome of legislation per se, at least not in a gridlock sense.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicameralism

      Carl Nemo **==

  2. Keith  October 29, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Doug,

    Your most recent tome makes an absolutely wonderful arguement of the need for multiple, so-called “third parties” in the American political landscape.

    Indeed, the Republicans and Democrats have since become simply two factions of the exact same “Country Club”. And, under the US so-called “two party” system, “throwing the bums out” on Election Day simply results in exchanging one set of bums, thieves and crooks for another.

    It has been decades since Americans had any real choice in these matters.. BOTH mainstream political parties are now horribly corrupt and tightly controlled by those “special interests”…one of which you used to work for. And I’ll bet your Real Estate Lobby handlers at that time didn’t care one iota if the “targeted” politico was a Republican or a Democrat (or from the Right or Left politically)…just as long as they got thrown out of office for someone more friendly to Real Estate interests..

    Unfortunately, this well-monied, “Country Club” political duopoly has now become so powerful in American politics that candidates of a different political stripe (be they from the Left or Right…or (gasp!) even the Middle!) simply cannot get any traction that allows their voices to be heard.

    And, sadly, unless and until this well-monied “Republicrat” duopoly is broken up, I fear we are all doomed to experience more of the same on Election Day…exchanging one set of bums, thieves and crooks for another.

  3. Sandy Price  October 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    In order for any legislation to get established in America, the voters must pay close attention to the new T Party rules. Elect no citizen of color and no citizen bearing the description of female or homosexual.

    America is divided due to the ignorance of who WE put into power in the House and Senate.

    Any thought of improvement in the last years since the end of WW2 never happened! Many of us saw this terrible trend develop and all the work we tried to do in warning the people, fell on deaf ears.

    I, for one an exhausted.

    Sandy

  4. Jon  October 30, 2013 at 5:32 am

    As an aside, I wonder who was a good President, and if any of you have a candidate, add why.

    I’ll throw out Harry S Truman, as he used his power as C-in-C of the U.S. armed forces to simply order desegregation.

    Any others?

    Jon

  5. Sandy Price  October 31, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    The main problem at this time is not a candidate worthy of the office but the party agenda who will have to work and promote him/her. I was in on the promotion of Ross Perot from the beginning. He questioned the power of the federal government from the beginning and wondered if Americans could actually survive without big daddy from birth to the grave.

    Americans have been living off the work and money of others for too many years and even in the mid 1990′s we were unable to start up new businesses, take care of existing families without big daddy guaranteeing our future. Our schools were inadequate and even our financial systems were corrupted beyond our ability to fix.

    I began to realize that a Christian America could never be trusted to govern by equality for all Americans. This nearly put me in a state of suicide. Religion in politics suddenly became the acceptance of a Monster God so cruel that it became necessary for me to give up on any hope of life as an American as being part of the Inquisition of Europe, I saw the inquisition as hell being sold as Christian love.

    Over the years the GOP sent their rerpresentatives to all the conferences with their white skin, blue eyes spewing a deep hatred for any American not looking just like them. The one “best seller” of the day was “The Smartest guys in the class” which was the story of Enron.

    Nothing explained the new GOP under Bush 43 as well as this book. I reviewed it here but doubt anyone bothered to read it. The mold was cast and nobody was interested in locating “the right man for the job.”

    Even now in 2013 we still can’t get through the mess found in both our parties and I will tell you that after those years and dollars spent with Perot, I’m done in.

    How to fix it? I’m done trying.

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