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article imageOp-Ed: America's Broken Politics

By Frank Kaufmann     Feb 28, 2014 in Politics
New York - America’s two party system is broken, has been for some time, and continues without interruption to show ever more clearly that this is so.
There was a time period when this system was legitimate and important for the US, but this is no longer the case.  The two main parties have folded in on each other in sick and perverse ways to the detriment of the country. These important, vying ideological impulses once made the existence of Republicans and Democrats and the energy of their law-governed battles, a plus for America.
A main place where these ideological impulses play out is the political arena. Politics thus is inevitable and necessary, even though it always has been ugly. Journalists and commentators love to trot out the history of political ugliness every time someone decries partisanship.  But ugly political behavior should be recognized as a distraction, not as the focus when examining America’s dominant parties.
In our time, the core ideological roots of both parties have been compromised by computer aided campaigning run by true believers turned cynics. This is why the two-party system in America is irreparably broken, and no longer rooted in genuine difference.
The US now needs a newly structured political playing field that will allow the country to recover the conversation that once was embodied in its two party system. It is crucial to recover vital conversation between vying ideologies for government and citizenship. This is what has been lost.  Now all that remains is the ugliness of the politics. It is not the ugliness itself that necessarily bothers the citizen, but rather the reduction of political life to ONLY ugly politics, in an ideologically vacuous atmosphere.  The “parties” have become nothing but primitive gangs squandering national resources to secure for their tribe the spoils of power and money.
The “Republican Party“ should be the collection of political impulses, interpretations, and pursuits arising from easy to identify core assumptions.  As should “Democratic Party.”  Republicans should represent and fight for realities that support their core convictions about how human beings are best served and supported.  As should Democrats.
Republicans believe that mediating structures (usually natural – such as family, and voluntary – such as church, synagogue, temple, club) can be relied upon to temper the bad human impulses (greed, oppression, exclusion) of free people. Thus prosperity for all flourishes in direct proportion to the extent people are made truly free.
Democrats, on the other hand, believe that these mediating structures instead of tempering bad impulses, actually expand and extend these bad impulses, thus “freedom” inevitably results in inequality that must be rectified by the forces of the State.  It is the mission of government to use its power to reduce inequality (by force and intervention), and protect and uplift the “victims” of this “badness” that abounds and is perpetrated by anyone who is “free” namely ungoverned.  In short Republicans properly should tend to view that the State should endeavor to be as minimal as possible (advancing as much freedom as possible), and Democrats properly should advance the view that the State use force to ensure care and opportunity for the “oppressed” and the disenfranchised.  
Any thinking person (i.e., not ideologically rabid and possessed) should recognize some truth in both impulses, and imagine that a nation’s best welfare would arise out of vigorously engaged ‘battles’ among leaders who were genuinely oriented toward the welfare of citizens, instead of oriented toward the spoils of power.  What is likely best for a nation is some blend of the radical freedoms and reliance on mediating institutions once presumed to be a Republican impulse, while recognizing and acknowledging benefit from  government attention to the welfare of citizens in need and disadvantaged, once presumed to be a Democratic impulse.
A one party system removes the spoils of power element to a better extent that a two party system, and thus would recreate an environment in which this all important debate between two legitimate forms of political ideology can continue to animate the pursuit and implementation of our ideals for government and the people who permit and support it.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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