These are just a few of my thoughts on politics. In all honesty, my views and opinions are subject to change over time. I don’t have a one track mindset. I’m constantly learning, and having new experiences that help shape my outlook.
Politics shape our lives from the day we were born, until the day that we die. I was born in 1982, but remember in the late 80’s when Reagan was President. My Dad was in the military, and I used to watch a lot of those cheesy action military flicks. The ones that pit us against communists in South West Asia, Eastern Europe, and Asia in general. I don’t remember much from that Presidency except that things were happening in the world, and my Dad was being sent to regions that was on the news.
I started Kindergarten in 1987. I think I discovered politics in 1990, when my Dad was sent to Saudi Arabia with the 1st Marine Division for Operation Desert Shield – Operation Desert Storm. I went from fighting Russians with my lil toy Army men to fighting Iraqis. Kids around the block shifted from the communists being bad guys to Iraqi soldiers being the bad guys.
Being in the military in the late 80’s and early 90’s qualified members of the military for government assistance. It is even more sad, because when I was in the Marines from 2000 – 2004, I had Corporals with families in my platoon who qualified for government assistance. I won’t say that I’m more in tune with politics than others, but I can say that I took notice of politics from a younger age than others.
I’ve been lucky enough to visit D.C. several times. I even toured the United States Capitol Building, and got to visit a Senator’s office. The featured image is photo I took before I had a smart phone. It’s The Apotheosis of Washington. A fresco visible through the oculus of the dome in the rotunda of Capitol Building. I point that out because I got to be in a very special place where our style of Democracy that I cherish so dearly was born and shaped.
I don’t like what I see now. I never liked what I saw. I feel like it’s getting worse. Now here is the beginning of my rant, and my feelings on the subject. Let me start it off by saying that I love the United States of America, and I truly appreciate being a citizen of this country. I take nothing for granted. This country has been through good and bad, but I’d never turn my back on it. I’m a proud American. I’ve been a legal resident of 2 other countries, lived part time in another, and lived in Iraq on military bases for years. I’ve been to almost 2 dozen countries. I’ve seen a lot in my travels. Okay, so here I go.
I volunteered to join the United States Marine Corps. I served honorably, and fought in a war. I hold the Constitution in the highest regard, and I believe that it’s the most sacred document to come from the hands of man. I believe what it details, and the ideas it promotes. I will always defend, and protect it.
I do not like our two party system. I do not like bipartisan fighting. I do not like our elected members of our government promoting their parties line over the welfare of all American citizens. Forget catering to your party members, lets do something that all Americans will benefit from.
I’ll elaborate. Two parties means two distinct sides. One vs the other. You can’t be a member of both parties. You can’t vote for a member of another party, because you are so entrenched in your party that you can’t vote for someone who you feel represents your interests better if they’re not in your party. Your vote doesn’t even matter, honestly speaking. You can vote for a candidate in your parties primary, but the delegates will decide who they will cast their vote for; their vote is the one that actually matters. Or your party can outright say no to the person everyone is voting for because they aren’t the most indoctrinated person of their party. They can put up another person to run for President.
Is this Democracy? Let’s skip the primaries, and get to the Presidential election. You can vote for the person you like, and the electoral college in your State will use their real vote (yours are just suggestions to them), to most likely vote for whoever garnered the most votes. Yes I like direct elections, and I don’t like a secretive organization who cast the real votes and are held accountable to no one.
This leads me to the two party system. Now let’s say you have some conservative views on one subject, but liberal views on another? Example. Let’s say Citizen is pro choice, but conservative on immigration. Do you vote for the candidate who is pro life, but tough on immigration? Or do you vote for the other candidate who is pro choice, but lax on immigration? That’s just one example. You can mix and match all sorts of left wing/right wing ideals to make your own examples. Why do you have to be a one party person? Why can’t we have candidates who have less far wing beliefs?
The answer is because there is a two party system. There are so many issues that affect each and every one of us. Those issues are now lumped into one party or the other. You as a person may not have a one train thought kind of mindset, but you have to be when it comes to politics. Other countries have democracy as much as we do. They have more than two parties though. Since there are only two parties, each party lumps so many different issues into their platform. I lean to both sides of the spectrum’s on different issues, and they call me undecided, and uninformed. Independents are idiots who need to just pick a party.
I see that ballots have the option to pick all members of your political affiliation. That’s what’s wrong with our politics right there. You’re saying that you don’t care what that person says or thinks. You don’t know their stance on issues. You don’t care what their stance is. It’s the same dribble that’s been said over and over for years. Yeah they’ll take care of me, not the other party. Wishful thinking. The worst thing you can do is give your vote away. The party that you think is working hard for your benefit automatically gets your vote? That’s insane.
What to do then? Should you vote for the other party? I say no. I would rather not vote, and ask everyone to boycott the vote. Call for the formation of a multi party system. People can vote in blocks for the party that they believe represents them the most. I believe multi party systems create more of a centrist government because of coalition forming.
Right now, we have two and each party has a voting base that they know will vote for them regardless of anything in the word. They are not working to change your mind to get your vote. They count your vote as already attained. The party will work harder to get the independents or swing other voters from the other party to vote for their party. They’re the ones that the party is pandering to. In reality, they pander but offer no substance. The party will put their leaders in positions of power, and default on most promises. They’ll do things to try to attract new voters. In the end you are no better off than before. Nothing has changed, and that’s not bad right? Things didn’t get worst, so no changes are better than nothing. We also kept the other party from coming to power, and that’s a plus too! Meanwhile, corporations, lobbyists, and special interest groups are rolling in political favors and cash.
What happens when there are more than two parties? The parties have to build coalitions. They have to compromise. Issues are not ignored. Issues from the smaller party’s of the coalition are tended to. People vote for members of their party, and if that party wins seats in government? Then the other parties will form a coalition. They will need to include that smaller party’s needs in their platform. Simple as that.
I hate having to vote Republican or Democrat. I’m Unaffiliated in my State, but have voted for both parties at different times. I had to make peace with voting for a candidate that represented most of my interests at the time, even though a lot of other interests they represented were abhorrent to me. Two party system at its finest.
Another thing I don’t like is that there are three branches of government, but one party can control all three. Let’s give an example. You can have a Party that the President is a member of in the Executive Branch. You can have that same Party have a majority control of the Senate and House of Representatives in the Legislative Branch. You can also have Justices placed in the Judicial Branch that are members of your party or at least adhere to it’s ideology. How is that right?
Isn’t that a conflict of interest, or goes against the whole system of checks and balances? Three branches of government aren’t supposed to prop up one party, they’re supposed to do their specific jobs. It doesn’t matter what the name of the party is that holds all three branches of government. If one party controls all three, then what does that leave? Half of the population who aren’t members of that party are now without representation? Their interests are just as important as the party members in charge are, but they just have to wait for a try next time while the party in power does things to only help their own constituents?
This is another problem with a two party system. A member of one party might be from a different part of the country. They are both card carrying members, but are they exactly the same? Are all of their beliefs the same? I say no. You care less about some issues, and more about others depending on where you live. The South, the North, The East, the West. The lower 48, or the 2 distant ones. The Rust Belt. The Sun Belt. The Bible Belt. The Midwest. The South West. The South East. The North East.
People like to say that it’s Red vs Blue, and that there could be a split that leads to two countries. I say that’s b.s. A conservative State by Canada may have totally different views in general than a conservative State by Mexico. What if there were several parties out there? Each party represented an issue that you hold dear to your heart. You could vote for that party, and members of that party would win seats in the government. There sits your most important interest, and people are there to represent it. Other parties have to work with your party to see their interests prevail as well.
That’s the biggest portion of my rant. I don’t like how there are two parties with such different platforms, and that you have to choose one or the other. I don’t want to vote solely Republican, or vote solely Democrat. I like ideas that each party has.
So what do we have so far? The two party system isn’t ideal, and a multi party system is. Direct elections are better than indirect elections. For me, at least. Who doesn’t like the idea of the popular vote? The person with the most votes gets it all. Fair right? Maybe. Maybe not.
How about Super Delegate vs winner take all for primaries? Well… We see how well Super Delegate works for the Democrats. It depends on which one you voted for. If you voted for the party favorite, then it’s a system that works. If you voted but your candidate wasn’t the popular one? The delegates that should vote for how you wanted them to vote will vote against how you wanted them to vote… Yeah, it’s not a good system at all. Winner take all is not that bad. At least the candidate with the majority of votes gets the delegates.
Those are a few issues to digest. Here’s another one. Two parties lead to us vs them. Good vs bad. It creates division. I can’t remember a time when America was this divided. I joined the Marines in 2000. I was 17. I remember little other than Desert Storm from Bush 1’s short Presidency. I remember a lot of things from Clinton’s Presidency. I was older, but I remember mostly the bad stuff. Work for welfare, the increase in incarcerations, the impeachment, the definition of “IT”, the cigar, the stained blue dress, Somalia and the downed black hawk, the closing of bases, the shrinking of the military, the Cuban boy being taken by the Swat Team, Janet Reno, etc. That’s what the media showed the most, and that’s what I remember the most.
I remember Bush 2’s run. Hanging Chads. Gore didn’t stick out to me. He was just a guy running. Bush was too, but he stood out a little bit more. I don’t know why. I remember being in Boot Camp when the USS Cole was bombed. They told us about it. I remember when Bush won. I don’t remember much from when he won until 9/11. Then the War on Terror. That’s been my biggest memory, especially since I went to war during that time frame. Then I remember his 2nd term. All other issues were side issues for me. I was a disabled combat vet, and wanted the President to see us to victory.
I went overseas to work before President Obama won. I don’t remember much of a change other than people in other countries protesting the war. Things were still the same for me. The news wasn’t pumping out divisive stories non stop. Maybe because I was a military kid, and joined the military, and then got a job working with the military, it led me to be insulated from the rest of America? I don’t recall any division or open resentment. Things didn’t seem so bad back then. I came back to the US in 2014 after I finished working for the military.
Night and day. Everything was race, us vs them, and ignorance. I felt the tension. It’s all I see when I turn on the TV or listen to the radio. Even sports talk radio was full of divisive rhetoric. I have friends on both sides of the political spectrum battling each other on social media. Guys who were once brothers who’d fight for each other, and die for each other. They were now posting the most radical things you couldn’t believe on both sides of the spectrum.
One of my parents immigrated to this country. My wife immigrated to this country as well. My kids were born overseas, but are American citizens by birth. I’m not that ignorant or privileged on issues because I’ve been a legal migrant, and I am also of a minority background on my mom’s side. I have been a legal resident alien on work visas in two foreign countries. I have lived part time in a third country, and lived on military bases for years in a fourth country. I see issues in these countries, and can’t believe that we are fighting each other at home for the reasons they picked for us. It pains me to see what has happened in this country. The us vs them. The picking of sides. The name calling, bickering, and fighting.
I have sat back and watched people attack each other. People who love the bill of rights would often fight to restrict the rights of others! I can’t believe it. I have seen people resort to fighting, not because a difference of opinion. But because that other person had a different opinion in the first place. It’s insane. People are now attacking each other because others do not think the same exact way that they do.
If you have your own thoughts, and beliefs? You are now liable to being attacked verbally and physically because of it. If you don’t change who you are, and think exactly the same way others want you too? You are now an enemy. People who say they believe in freedom of speech try to stop others from having the freedom of speech. They see the hypocrisy in it, but don’t care. They believe it’s justified because they believe themselves to be right. They believe themselves to have the moral high ground. They believe that since they are right, that they have the right to silence others.
Why talk about this? I don’t care if you think I’m alluding to racism, immigration, abortion, gender, college politics, gun rights, war on drugs, whatever. You can literally put any one of those in my talk, and it applies. If someone has a different opinion than you? Don’t lose sleep over it. Don’t let it bother you. Don’t try to change their minds. That person’s mind is made, and more so after you try to change it for them. If you’re right? Then history will show that, and you will know that you were on the right side.
I’m not saying that issues out there today are not important. Getting shot or brutalized is a real problem. Promoting division and propagating the problem instead of looking for a common solution is unreal, and what is being done now. No one in charge is calling for everyone to come together to solve problems. The message being sent is, “F you, I’m going to capitalize on this, add fuel to the fire, and not offer any tangible solution to make all of us living together easier.” That’s coming from both sides of the aisle. “They should do this,” is the rhetoric from both parties. Both sides blaming each other’s constituents. Constituents on both sides should band together, and look up at the ones in charge who aren’t doing anything to alleviate the reasons why these problems happen in the first place. Me saying I stand with you is not going to end any problem. The only thing that will bring real solutions is the government making real changes that benefit everyone, regardless of political affiliation. Parties usually make changes that benefit one group, and exclude other groups. This is the root of our problems, and both parties are great at doing it.
Yes these issues are real, and real people are facing real problems. But I believe it to be smoke and mirrors. Its a smokescreen politicians can hide behind. These problems can be solved, but the political parties don’t want them to be. Why? Problems garner them votes. They harvest these votes. Votes are like tribute to them. Why do we give them our votes so willingly? These parties don’t solve issues. They treat problems like they are impossible to solve. Listening to them, all I hear is “We need to divide each other, and make the chasm wider and deeper. Only then we can start to talk about how to even start to begin to wonder about how to even talk about solving them.”
Look at your preferred party. What have they done to earn your vote? Are you voting for someone just to keep the other party out of office? Are you voting for someone who is actually out there reforming the criminal justice system, working to alleviate poverty, working to bring jobs back to America and end joblessness? Are you voting for someone who is reforming school systems, and making sure everyone receives a quality education? Are you voting for someone who is trying to instill positivity, and introduce role models into your community to counter negativity that’s been festering in it for decades? Are you voting for someone who doesn’t pick sides, and tries their hardest to bring all Americans together?
People may be thinking that I’m bashing Democrats and all associated movements. I am not. I have seen horrible rhetoric coming from both sides. I have seen the clips from both party’s protesters acting ignorant. I’m bashing both party’s who are keeping the reasons alive for the protesters to protest in the first place. I’m bashing the two party system that feeds off of the hate, and discontent that it brews. Both parties give us lip service, but work only for the party’s interest, and the interest of their lobbyists.
The two party system is what is causing this division. It’s not race. It’s not immigration. It’s not abortion. It’s not about gender rights. It’s not guns. It’s not a wall. The parties are using these issues very easy to solve issues to fuel contention. They are drumming up these issues to shore up their voting base, and to win a few new voters to their sides. If you think that the Party you vote for cares about you, or the beliefs you hold dear, then you are sorely mistaken.
Everyone knows how both parties started out with opposite view points that they hold now before the Civil War. They changed ideas, but are still the same. It’s not about sex, race, color, creed, or religion. It’s about keeping their party in power. It’s about the leading members of that party in politics and in commerce getting more votes to get more special interests taken care of.
This should be evident to everyone. Once you see a political party’s action on the auto industry or housing bubble fiasco, it should be clear. Banks lend out more than they should. Car industry produces cars that are way over priced, and have the worst fuel economy ever. They can’t compete. They can’t stay afloat. They threaten to fold. What happens? Instead of letting the auto industry open up to foreign car makers, or letting very, very cheap home grown auto makers start new companies? We bail them out. Banks lend out more than they should. What do we do? We bail out the banks who give themselves bonuses when we should have just paid off the mortgages so the banks don’t close, and people don’t lose their houses.
There were four options. Let them fold, bail them out, give the money to the people to pay off their mortgages, or pay off the mortgages to save both banks, and people. The party in charge went to the rescue of the bank. People were foreclosed on, and their lives ruined because the bank was more important. Paying the mortgages off would have saved both banks, and the people. Nope. They needed their bonuses. The people didn’t need their houses.
I am a firm believer that both parties pander to people, and offer everything under the sky to trick them into being a life long party member. The two party’s are banking on you raising your kids to be the same party members as you. They are indoctrinating their bases to hate members of the other party. What good does this do?
The party you like, the one you think cares about you and will work in your favor is actually taking care of big businesses. They both are. All of these financial firms are giving donations to both party’s. Lobbyists get more attention than the regular people. The regular people are the ones having to pick themselves up by the bootstraps. The ones left to struggle. Politicians are giving speaking fees to members on both sides of the aisle. Why? Both sides of the aisle will look out for their interest over making policies that favor the average American citizen.
We are the people, and the citizens of this country. We are the ones struggling, and needing our government to take interest in us. Yet the vote of a CEO carries more weight than any voter in either of the two party’s voter base. Corporations are the new citizens. Corporations are the tax free individuals who we are fighting each other to prop up.
I’m not a communist or a socialist. I am a capitalist. I want to make a lot of money, and to be my own boss. I am not against corporations. I am like my own view points, and political orientation. I’m independent, and unaffiliated. I have an open mind, and think many things about multiple issues. I believe that free markets helped make our country the strongest country out there. The problem is when you start caring only about corporations and their board of directors. Their shareholders. Keeping them making more money while they take industry out of the country and outsource jobs is not helping the average citizen. Who benefits? The board, the CEO, the shareholder, and the foreign employees. Meanwhile, we are left with a non technical population who will have nothing but service industry jobs to look forward too.
I am against two party’s who only take care of the sole interests of big businesses by pitting their constituents against each other. I guarantee that members of either party are laughing at the predicaments we find ourselves in, and are feeling like those predicaments are heaven sent. They love the issues we call each other ignorant for having opposing view points about. It just drives us further into their party’s pocket, so they can get the votes to stay in power. Where does that leave us at the end? Fighting each other about past injustices, and a whole bunch of future injustices that they’ll be drumming up to keep our eyes off of the true problem. That we are letting the truly privileged; the few elite in our country, benefit while we suffer on for their sake and benefit. The politicians and the super rich CEO’s who have their favor.