Personally I think a 2 party political system is a joke. Unfortunately, since the average American refuses to even consider a 3rd party anymore we are now stuck with a false political dichotomy. The majority of folks only see Democrat or Republican when they are voting. Good job America. You’ve essentially handed complete control to these 2 parties now and now that they have complete control they can do whatever they want. Since this has occurred, our 2 main parties have been changing what they stand for. As a result, what you may view as only being left and right is actually a bit more complicated than that.
If you consider the old definitions of conservative and liberal and compare those definitions to our politicians today, you will start to realize that the change has taken place. For me, it was difficult to describe or analyze for a long time. Then one day I stumbled across a chart that is basically perfect for further understanding of the political parties today. I did not create this chart, but I have posted below.
Looking at the Nolan Political Spectrum Diamond above, you can see the true Democrats on the left and the true Republicans on the right. That’s how most of us think about it. In addition, you can see the vertical “freedom axis” having what basically amounts to communism or totalitarianism at the bottom vertex and anarchy at the top vertex. You could say that a line for socialism could be drawn from 50 to 50 on the bottom 2 axes and a line for libertarianism could be drawn at the same place across the top.
Since seeing this for the first time, I have viewed political parties much differently. After giving the current platforms of the parties some consideration, I was able to see where they actually fall on this graph compared to where they should or used to fall. Democrats no longer exist near that left point. Instead, they have slid down from the left corner and lie somewhere more closely to center of the freedom axis making them more like socialists than liberals. Republicans seem to have moved a little bit left towards centrist and a little bit down toward socialist as well, although I don’t think that they’ve moved as far as the Democrats have by any means. Below I have drawn on the points where I think the current parties actually lie on the chart, and just for grins I added where I felt Ron Paul lands on there as well.
The Democrats have moved toward socialism and the Republicans seem a bit confused these days. Both parties seem to have made a movement toward the bottom point which equates to less freedom. Although this movement isn’t as scary as the fact that the majority of folks insist on only seeing their options as Democrat or Republican, it is still very bad for us. The truth of the matter is that our government is rapidly growing. They are controlling more and more aspects of our lives and they are spending money that we don’t have on more and more social programs. Taxes are only going to continue to go up, government handout programs keep receiving extensions, and our freedoms are becoming less and less each day. In the meantime, our government is becoming increasingly powerful.
So what can we do to stop this madness? Well, unfortunately there isn’t anything we can do for a quick, easy fix. We can still make a difference though. First and foremost, we need to abolish our loyalties to political parties and vote on the best person for the job. Sometimes we might need a conservative calling the shots to help the economy, handle a foreign conflict with force, and overturn some extremely controversial laws that have been passed. Other times we might need a democrat in office to reform our social programs. More often than either scenario, we need an independent, libertarian, or tea party candidate to play both sides of the spectrum and bring things away from that bottom point that are 2 main parties have migrated toward. The reality of the last scenario happening anytime in the near future is pretty slim because no one takes 3rd party candidates seriously anymore. That brings me to my next point; we need to start giving more consideration to 3rd party candidates. That will take some of the power from our 2 main parties which is a step in the right direction. We can also demand term limits for every branch of government in Washington so we don’t end up with career politicians that make laws according to the amount of lobbyists’ money gets dumped in their pockets. Being a politician used to be considered serving your country. Now it is career if you’re willing to give in to corrupt influences and pretty much all politicians these days are willing to do that. We have to stop letting our thoughts be controlled and start letting our voices be heard.
Bottom line…unless more folks are willing to take off their blinders, destroy our loyalties to parties, and change our way of thinking about politics then the situation in this country is only going to get worse. For those of you that are hardcore supporters of a party, you need to give careful to consideration to where your party now lies on the Nolan Political Spectrum Diamond and re-assess whether or not you actually agree with where that party is heading. For those of you that do not claim a political party, I thank you for being smarter than the majority and hope that you keep it that way. We need to make some serious changes to our political system and that cannot happen if the citizens themselves don’t spend any time changing the way they think about it all. Let’s stop our government from taking any more of our freedoms and from making laws about any other aspect of our lives! It’s time we separate ourselves from the petty quibbling that is going on between the 2 main parties and make some changes that will secure the future of this country.