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Why We're All Obliged to Help the Democrats Prevail

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Andrew Schmookler     Permalink
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From flickr.com/photos/47422005@N04/12522068044/: Democratic Donkey & Republican Elephant - Caricatures
Democratic Donkey & Republican Elephant - Caricatures
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On this forum over the years, there has been a recurrent dispute between me and others over how to think about our two major political parties. In this article, I want to put forward the case for my position as strongly -- and, as I see it, irrefutably -- as I can.

My position is that anyone who cares about a good future for the United States should back the Democratic Party -- for all its defects -- in the battle to defeat today's Republican Party.

My interlocutors here have argued that the problems in our politics are not confined to the Republican Party. They say that there are many elected Democrats that are serving the Big Money power that's been stealing our democracy. And that neither party deserves their support.

My response to that argument is that they are right in their observations, but wrong in their conclusion, which is along the lines of "a plague on both your houses."

In several steps, let me show why I think that conclusion to be a complete -- and dangerous--non sequitur.

1) It matters greatly to our future who controls the government of the United States

I doubt anyone will dispute this point. While there are other components of our society -- in the economic system and in the cultural system -- that are important influences on the path America takes into the future, the decisions made and enforced by the government are crucial.

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The state is the element of the whole civilized society that is defined as having "a monopoly on the legitimate use of force." And those who control the government have their hand on the helm of the nation.

2) America is -- and will almost certainly remain -- a two-party nation. Therefore the battle over whose hand will be on the helm is a battle confined to two combatants -- our two major parties.

The system as set up by the Constitution tends inevitable to produce two and only two parties that have any real chance of winning power through the electoral process.

It has been more than a century and a half since any new political party has emerged to become one of those two major parties. The circumstance of that emergence -- the manner in which the slavery issue demolished the Whig Party in the early 1850s and the rise of the Republican Party to replace it -- were quite exceptional. There is no visible reason to expect that a new party would emerge now. It is especially improbable that the Democratic Party -- which is not now in disarray -- will be replaced as a major party by some new party more pleasing to the left.

Therefore, in the battle for power in the political arena -- for any foreseeable future -- it is only our current two major political parties that are on the fight card.

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3) Since there are only two possible winners in the political battle over who will have the power to steer America, what we need is for the better of them to prevail. And it is absolutely clear which is the better of the two.

For a decade, I have been writing here on opednews about what an atrocity the Republican Party has become--indeed, that in its pervasive and consistent destructiveness and dishonesty, it is virtually unique for a major American political party in this nation's more than two centuries of history. (The only remotely comparable time would be the politics of the Slave Power's party in the 1850s.)

I will not dwell on this point here. (It is substantiated in some detail in my just-published book

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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
 

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