Not So Much The Party As The Party's Strategy

There's an old saying that if you aren't a Democrat when you're young, you have no heart. And if you aren't a Republican when your older, you have no brain. Personally I'd love to see them do away with the two party system altogether. It only creates polarization of issues and view points, lumping the best of what either party might have to offer with the worst and telling us to pick a side.

What I hate about the Republican party isn't their ideas (as there are many that I agree with), it's their tactics.

Deliberate fear mongering... just look at the recently uncovered Republican National Committee's campaign strategy presentation that recommends inciting fear as a key component in campaigning and fund raising. Fear of socialism, fear of health care (death panels - Oh please give me a break), terrorism... the list goes on. In all of these issues there are legitimate concerns to be discussed and addressed, but to take the extreme and use it to scare people away leaves no room to address the underlining issues which, while we may disagree on solutions, we all agree are problems.

Obstructionism... Republicans have turned to the filibuster or threatened its use at a pace that will more than triple the old record... using it to block, sabotage, delay, and disrupt legislation any way they can. Even legislation they're in favor of, anything to muck up the works and fight the Dems / Obama. One example would be the military appropriations bill December 2009 - the Republicans were willing to filibuster the bill even though they aren't really opposed to funding the military. They had no qualms about using any available legislative device with which to gum up the works and prevent a vote on the health care reform bill. Asked if he would vote for the defense bill, which Republicans routinely support, Senator Sam Brownback Republican of Kansas, replied bluntly: "No. I don’t want health care."

Polarization... This whole "them" and "us" approach to the issues. There's Joe the plumber and (us) "real Americans" versus those fill-in-the-blank... evil, socialist, rich, liberal... whatever label will incite a the people to your cause. It's nothing short of hate mongering. the modern Republican Party does not have opponents, it has enemies. The modern Republican Party does not seek to win a debate of ideas, it seeks to destroy its opponents and portray them as un-American for having those ideas. They're not just disagreeing with view points, they're portraying the people who have those view points as "evil." Just look at the comparison of Obama to Hitler.

The Republican party spends far too much time decrying all the groups and ideas they're against and far too little time working towards commonality and building on the ideas they claim to be for. Matters, such as health care regulation, are shunned because they ’sounds’ like a certain party’s agenda. Bills are killed because the originator happened to be from the other party. Forget the idea... supporting the bill constitutes promoting the party’s cause. This is the kind of blind hatred that has caused our political degradation.

I'm not saying the Democrats are significantly better and, if they had their act more together, would be above doing the exact same thing, but it's the Republicans who have managed to take this ugliness to whole new heights.

If I had my way, we'd get rid of political parties. Our political leaders should be free to have a mixture of beliefs instead of being forced to conform to only the stances their party supports. The practice of lumping anyone who tends to be liberal into the democrat party and anyone who tends to be conservative into the republican party is killing our political system and, more importantly, our ability to govern.
UncertainNotions UncertainNotions
56-60, M
1 Response Mar 7, 2010

The original quote was: "If you're not a radical when you're twenty you have no heart and if you're not a conservative when you're thirty you have no head." It's attributed to Winston Churchill but there is some dispute over that.