During the past few months we’ve witnessed the ugly reality of democracy. The politics of our democracy isn’t a process of electing intelligent, bright and honest representatives capable of sincere debate, clear-cut goals, collective compromise and solutions to our mundane goals of society. Instead, politics has become a public forum for lies, slander, personal attacks, deception, greed and celebrity.
In a time when everyone is affected by the lack of jobs, higher taxes, the cost of health care, funding for education, foreclosures, the national debt and bailouts, both major parties combined have received and spent more than $4 billion in campaign contributions. Talk about a waste of money to sell their propaganda.
This year’s mid-term election is probably the most important one in our history. It will provide the foundation for an organized and effective third party as well as an independent to challenge our antiquated good-cop bad-cop two-party political system. It will give more meaning to the term democracy and by 2012, more people might wish they had exercised their right to vote in this year’s elections.
One of the most viable independent candidates in the 2012 presidential election is New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He’s recently voiced an interest in running for the presidency. The 68-year-old Republican is a proven leader and knows how to compromise politically to get things done. He understands the need for liberal social issues and yet, he is a fiscal conservative. Sounds like the platform from which President Obama preached.
Bloomberg would have to run as an independent because he doesn’t fit the Republican mold. He says, “I’m pro-choice. I’m pro-gay rights. I’m pro-immigration, I’m pro-gun control. I believe in Darwin.” Obviously, that doesn’t fit in with the Christian fundamentalist, gun-toting cowboys or the anti-gay white supremacists flying on the battered right wing of our American eagle of justice. If he does decide to be a candidate, he will have to deal with the entrenched Democrats, empowered Republican Party and Sarah Palin’s independent Tea Party.
The Tea Party has already made its bid for the White House. They will probably be successful in getting some of their candidates elected to Congress, giving the Republicans the majority. Besides the obvious, it could also give the Tea Party and Congress a say in determining who our next president will be.
With four viable presidential candidates it’s possible none of them will have a majority popular vote. But more importantly, any uncertainty about the presidential vote count could put the appointment of a new commander in chief in the hands of a Republican-controlled Congress comprised of a few new Tea Party members stirring up contention on the floor of the House similar to the good old days back in 1776.
After the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the representatives of the colonies, all with opposing opinions, spent four years fighting, arguing and compromising in their effort to create the paradigms for a new nation. When the Articles of Confederation were finalized in 1781, members of the new Congress, including George Washington, elected the first president of the new United States, John Hanson. Six other “forgotten presidents” held office during the following six years.
The Articles of Confederation didn’t address the priorities, needs and concerns of all the colonies. So, in 1787 our “new” Constitution was signed leading to the first election of President George Washington and Vice President John Adams in 1789.
Today’s politics haven’t changed much as far as rhetoric and opposing opinions are concerned. The conservatives want to preserve our Second Amendment rights to carry guns on the streets of San Francisco. They threaten the press and assault investigative reporters who are trying to make them accountable. They’re like children who lie to their parents just to get what they want.
The liberals are still arguing for enforcement and the protection of our First Amendment, such as freedom of speech, religious freedom for Muslims and freedom of the press, that conservatives conveniently seem to forget. And the right to peaceably assemble in protest of government policies.
Today the protest against government policies will resonate from the ballot box. It could be the beginning of a political revolution lasting until November 2012 and beyond.
It could be the giant step in a philosophical war of words that actually fuels a physical, contentious revolution, leading to a conservative Congress creating paradigms for another new Constitution based on white supremacy, hate, control of the press, no taxes for the rich and enlisting neighbors carrying guns to make sure we all live by their rules. Sound familiar? Only kidding. Now who’s being extreme? No, that could never happen. Or could it?
Actually, today’s election should give us hope that tomorrow we can solve all of yesterday’s mistakes — peaceably.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist. The polemics of his articles can be discussed at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Web site is www.thefarsidechronicles.com.