Friday, August 29, 2008
Are there really only two kinds of Americans?
I initially started to name this Article "Throw your set up. GOP-v-Dems". I had this whole colorful tirade ready comparing our two party system, and the gang mentality we have when it comes to our allegiance to them, to the Crips and Bloods (you know red state vs blue, clever right?). But then it donned on me how incredibly offensive to the Crips and Bloods that would be.
Well, I guess there are a lot of similarities between political parties and street gangs:
1) They both act like they are concerned about the welfare of their members when they are really only concerned about those things that keep them in power:
Like gangs political parties offer very little to its members. In gangs, the profit from its members( ie. corner dealers etc) goes to its leaders and is then redistributed. In politics the members of the parties contribute money in return the candidates the party chooses gets support, but all the constituents get are cookie cutter politicians who have to appeal to a base regardless of its members personal likings. Works great if you are running for office. In major parties you already have voters and money waiting there for you. But what do we the average voter get? A sorry consession. That's what we get. You get to settle for a politician who will have to tow a rigid party line with no room for independent thought. Which brings me to my second point
2) They both demand you follow their ideologies with out question:
In a gang you are defined by how the gang defines itself. If you are a Blood, you wear what all bloods wear, think like all bloods thinks. I see very little difference between that and staunch party loyalists who tow party line ideals with little deviation(ever notice the dress of the parties at the state of the union, black suited GOP grey suited Dems?). Want a candidate who is pro-choice, and pro 2nd amendment, going to be hard to find. Want a candidate who supports drug legalization and wants tax reform, not likely in these two parties.
3) They both fight over territory.
Red neighborhoods versus blue neighborhoods; Red States versus Blue states-- Sound familiar? Gangs don't fight hard over areas they already control. Neither do political parties. This hurts the voters because campaigns concentrate on "swing states" areas that may or may not be representative of the majority of the country. Red states -v- blue states gives a feeling of disenfranchism to people who disagree with the politics of which ever state they live in. This re-enforces the also flawed system of the Electoral college which really has outlived its purpose. I would have to start another post to get into this good.
Well I guess the comparison between "Crips and Bloods" and "Dems and Pubs" is fair after all. Well, maybe since they are similar they can learn from each other. The failure of Congress to pass legislation on topics both sides feel are important, like energy, the economy, security; shows that currently political parties are more concerned about who gets credit for the solution, than the actual solution itself. I mean street gangs are able to call a truce and stop fighting when they see the need for the common good (although their common good maybe bangin' or drug dealin).
It seems to me that our political system would benefit from the same competition they say our free market needs. We need more independents and more groups to pick from, but in the meanwhile can our two parties call a truce and work for America? Seems like you should worry less about what "set you claim" and how you can solve America's problems-- Makes common sense to me.