Tuesday, January 24, 2017

"Are Both Parties The Same?"

I hear this often, either as a question or a statement of fact. It is usually directed towards American politics. There are two answers; the "simple" one and the relevant one.

The "simple" answer is..."Yes." The Democrats and the Republicans have differences; but the most important one, the one that is hard to dispute, is this: the GOP cater to their (conservative) base, the Democrats ignore their (liberal) base. If you've seen the most recent primaries (or any of the previous ones) it's very noticeable. Not to mention the fact that while just about every elected Republican can say the word "conservative" with pride, you will probably die before hearing more than twenty elected Democrats declare themselves "liberal" (or even "progressive" for that matter) with the same feeling.

Now given that this past summer Hillary Clinton was courting Henry Kissinger and just recently Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders were on the same side of a piece of legislation (that would have given Americans the chance to purchase cheaper drugs), there will be occasions where the two parties will come to agreement. It's dangerous for anyone to thank that the parties should never, ever work together when the result can benefit the American people. That said, both have been guilty of (at the least) being selfish and (at the worst) catering to a small percentage of the country. And it is primarily because of those instances that your average person would say that the "simple" answer is..."No."

But that leads me to the "relevant" answer: It doesn't matter. Why? Because both parties have shown that they are susceptible to compromising whatever they espouse in public for private gain. They promise that will not to be the world police then invade a country for oil. They promise to stand up for the working class only to sit on their hands when unions are threatened. They promise to fight for the people, but allow various institutions and industries to run rampant with little in the way of punishment when they are caught.

See, Republicans can push for the repeal of the ACA as well as outlaw abortion, and while their base cheers they won't notice that more jobs are being sent oversees. Democrats can string their base along and convince them that being beholden to Wall Street is a necessary evil because campaigns are expensive and besides, where else are they going to go?

The better question, the one that needs to be asked from here on out is, "Are you holding your party accountable?" If the answer is, "No," then the follow-up question is, "Well, why the hell not?"

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