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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/1/10

Partisan Politics: The Best Way to Determine Leadership, Or a Corrupt, Failed System?

By Joseph J. Adamson  Posted by Guy Dwyer (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 7 pages)     (# of views)   6 comments
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The dictionary defines a Partisan as "an adherent or supporter of a person, party or cause, especially one who shows a biased, unthinking allegiance." That's usually true, and it's especially true today.

However, to be fair, it has not always been true. In fact, in spite of that tendency toward bias and thoughtlessness that inevitably comes with partisanship, American partisan politics has produced some good leaders who were good thinkers. In fact, many partisan politicians have been drawn to public service out of a sincere desire to correct what's wrong, make life better for all citizens, and improve our infrastructure, cities, states, nation and world. And in many respects many of them have made great improvements that benefitted all the people, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt did between 1932 and 1945 with his New Deal.

However, many have not. Many have made things worse. Notable examples were the three presidents from 1921 to 1931 who proceeded Roosevelt, and three presidents who gained power later, after many people forgot what once made America great. Those three gained power in 1969, 1981, and 2000. They served the wealthiest few who financed and supported them, and only pretended to serve all the people. They were deceptive, divisive and harmful, and one was particularly inept and harmful.

Most Americans know very well why I say that. But, I say it not as a partisan Democrat, because in my view Democrats are merely the lesser of two evils. I say it as an Independent who knows that too many Republicans have become far more corrupt and deceitful. But, if we realize how and why we empowered them, we can prevent it from ever happening again.

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In fact, we can go further than that. We can prevent any person from being able to sit on the monarchial "throne" of the presidency, and we can put an end to the divisive competition for the throne. After all, why should we be divided and fight for power over each other? Why should we follow, support and empower egocentric individuals who seek power over those who disagree with them? Why should we be either winners or losers in a continuous, winner-take-all partisan contest for power? Why should we perpetuate an unstable partisan political system that creates, fosters and perpetuates corruption, conflict and division?

Besides that, why should hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars be wasted on commercial television for political campaign advertisements that are generally misleading, offensive, and terribly annoying, when all that money could be far better invested in our country and in our people? After all, it is a very sad commentary on our partisan political system when more money is spent on misleading, deceptive, slanderous mud slinging at political opponents than are spent on advocating a positive, constructive political platform.

It should be obvious by now that even a good democratic president like Barack Obama will not or cannot do what must be done to unite us. He is a partisan, and while his heart is in the right place, his promise for greater transparency and accountability is not being fulfilled. He has not mapped a proper path to peace, and has not yet learned how to deal with his enemies, either domestic or foreign. And it has become apparent that he tends to appease the rich and powerful who are still robbing us blind. Therefore, we really need to significantly reform our political-economic system.

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It is now more imperative that we do so, because unless and until we put a stop to it, the partisan political pendulum would probably swing back to the right. It's happened many times before, and it would happen again. In fact, now it's worse because right-wing extremist forces refuse to wait for the next election and have aggressively gone on the attack already, trying to kill the momentum toward needed reform and proper regulation. That makes it even more likely that yet another arrogant, hypocritical, right-wing demagogue could rise to power waving the flag, thumping his bible and rattling his sword, claiming to serve God and Country but actually serving Mammon and the wealthiest few (even more than Democrats do).

Of course, the basic partisan political divide is this: Republicans believe that if you legislate to make the wealthy even wealthier, their prosperity will trickle down on those below. Democrats, on the other hand, believe that if you legislate to make the vast majority prosperous, that widespread prosperity will benefit the whole country in many ways. And that's not a modern view. It's been that way since the early 1800s, and history makes it clear. The most notable examples were the consequences of Republican dominance in the 1910s and "20s, when the rich got very much richer and corrupt and caused the financial crisis of 1929 and the Great Depression, as distinguished from the rewards of Democratic dominance in the 1930s and "40s, which enabled the Middle Class to grow very large and great.

Unfortunately, during the last 30 years under Reaganite Neo-Conservatism, both Democrats and Republicans have been responsible for the Middle Class steadily shrinking and more and more people falling into the working poor population. Why? Because the American partisan political system has been corrupted by greed and self-interest. It is inherently divisive and often corrupted by the self-importance and self-righteousness of partisan politicians, and it is especially corrupted by the bribery of corporate lobbyists and corporate influences. It has enabled the greedy to gain and abuse power to the detriment of the majority of the people, and to the detriment of the environment, the infrastructure, and humanity as a whole, while enabling the wealthiest few Americans to increase their wealth exponentially. And I suggest to you that it's high time that we progress and advance beyond it.

As it is, most people think there is no better way than partisan party politics to determine who shall have the power and authority of leadership. Each party chooses a competitor-candidate and hopes theirs will win the "throne," and even the losing party hopes they will win "next time." Consequently, the divisive, polarizing, counterproductive, winner-take-all contest for monarchial presidential power continues.

One of the things that most Americans don't realize, however, is that it continues even though very few people actually determine who the winner is. After all, consider the following facts.

In America, only 60 percent of eligible voters in the U.S. voted in the 2000 presidential election, and far less than half of them voted for George W. Bush. In fact, Democratic candidate Al Gore won the popular vote by at least 400,000 votes in 2000, and he surely would have won more electoral votes (and even more of the popular votes) if all the ballots in Florida had been hand-counted as the law called for. But, Bush got five right-wing partisans on the U.S. Supreme Court to overrule the democratic Florida Supreme Court in order to halt the vote count and put him in the White House.

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That was a crucial turn of events, and it inevitably proved disastrous, so we should realize how and why it happened. You may remember that after the presidential election in 2000 the right-wing "neo-conservative" Republicans had their goons in the streets with signs, chanting "Sore Loserman." Why? Because the Gore-Leiberman team was working with the Florida Supreme Court to ensure that state law was followed to resolve the disputed election in that state. The problem was a faulty machine count that rejected 179,914 Florida ballots, most of which were undoubtedly in Gore's favor because they were in heavily Democratic regions. Unfortunately, the Bush-Cheney team got the hand-vote count stopped by resorting to "legal" partisan maneuvers and misleading street theater.

I raise this point because George W. Bush actually lost the popular election in 2000 but managed to gain the presidency by hook and by crook. And now, even though Barack Obama won the 2008 election fair and squar e, there are still a small minority of proud, militant, die-hard right-wing "neo-conservatives" in America still fomenting conflict and raising a stink because they are sore losers.

Of course, in 2004 Bush won the election with a little less controversy about the election process. However, even then only 64 percent of eligible voters voted, which means that only about 32 percent of eligible voters re-elected Bush for his second term.

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I am just an old life-long learner and I calls 'em as I sees 'em. Or used to. See, I just can't suffer fools, and I got tired of encountering the growing number of them. But I still come to OEN because there are still some wise writers here, and (more...)
 

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