Some of my friends -- one an avid Democrat in particular -- have asked me for a "Plan B" in support of my position that both major political parties are, at their core, undifferentially corrupt and that we need to do something else -- something like, for the first time in 32 years, elect a decent president rather than just another of the embedded partisan toadies who dance to the beat of the selfsame "elite."
Well, I don't have a defined "Plan B" -- at least not yet -- nor any pronounced interest in a specific candidate to propose as a champion. I would, however, be content with quite a few, including decent candidates proposed by others.
But I do have a problem with the sole focus on "winning," (which is in fact what "Plan A" is all about) and I'm compelled to ask, "Winning what? Yet more wars? Yet more disrespect and fear from the world community? Yet more Security State? Yet less opportunities for affordable higher education and medical care as compared with any other Western industrialized nation? Yet more foreclosures? Yet more skew in the economic status of working people and the so-called elite? And all the other disgraces that both Democrat and Republican administrations -- without partisan distinction -- have for the past thirty years heaped upon the future history of this once world's oldest republic?"
It occurred to me that we've gotten so tied up in superficialities, in impressions, in personality contests, in labels above contents, and perhaps most perniciously of all, in hardened steel partisanship, that the important qualities no longer merit our attention and priority -- those qualities being courage, intelligence, goodwill and integrity.
It would appear that to even mention such qualities today is likely to brand one as an impractical idealist or an unrealistic moralist. Apparently, political decency is beyond the popular frame of reference, that frame of which is now confined to a candidate's physical appearance, personality, stage presence, "churchiness," and last but not least, partisanship.
The descent of the two-party system into ownership by identical financial interests despite the contrivance of differing individual controllers' names has deprived us of decent choice in leadership, and its missionaries have persuaded us to denigrate any initiative outside of that frame as "unrealistic," or "yet another third-party foolishness doomed to failure."
There's a good case to be made that since 1980 we've had but one set of interests performing the charade of a two-party system. In those 31 years, (across three Republican and two Democrat presidents) we've witnessed a steady decline in responsibility to decent leadership, a steady escalation in lying wars with yet no believable end in sight, and a steady decline in the government's service in the best interests of the middle class to the steadily increased indenture to the elite.
Yes there is differentiation in style and rhetoric, but, with apologies to Rudyard Kipling, as with the Colonel's Lady and Judy O'Grady, the Dems and the Repubs are now sisters under their skins. If, then, we would mount new opposition to the reality of the now one two-headed elitist monster, we would be right back to the old ideal of a two-party system --but this time with one of those parties once again (like perhaps the Democrats of old such as FDR) representing the best and honest interests of the people rather than each talking head of the two-headed monster posturing to compete against each other with both of them bullshitting the electorate.