Misdirected Hostility

So, Bush has been elected for another four years. There is a distinct Republican advantage in the House and Senate. A sizable portion of the population is very disgruntled with our current situation. The questions being asked usually regard the regrouping of the Democratic Party, or what went wrong or right with the election. While these are valid topics, they are not the topic of this article. A more general question must be asked. Where do WE, as a nation, go from here? We have anger and a passion for change, where should we focus our energy to incite necessary changes?

During the dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, Former President Clinton had some strikingly appropriate words for our nation. “Am I the only one who likes both George Bush and John Kerry, who believes they’re both good people, who believe(s) they both love our country and they just see the world differently?” During the course of this election, there have been blatant misconceptions seeded by both sides in an attempt to control the most powerful position of the most powerful nation in the world. How can we, the people, move on? The answer lies with the quote from Bill Clinton. We must realize the fact that neither Bush nor Kerry is inherently a bad person. They are simply products of the political system which has evolved in our country. If you’re upset about this election, (as I am, and I voted for Bush) then my opinion is that we should be directing our anger at the two party system, rather than conspiracy theories and rumors spread by both sides.

Of course, the problem has been recognized by many others besides myself. What does it currently take to become president? Primarily, it takes money and the support of one of the nation’s two parties. What does it take to gain these two? Receiving contributions means an implied debt to the interests of those donating. Gaining support from a party means an implied debt to the platform of the party. What then do we get as a result? Presidents too tied down to act in what they feel is the nation’s best interest.

So, how do we bring down the two party system? A two party system is the most efficient way for a group of people to have control of the legislative and executive branches of our government, and indirectly the judicial branch as well. We’ve always been a society geared towards efficiency, so it is no surprise that the two party system has developed. But the current societal trend is towards individualism, an emphasis on personal distinction from the masses. We have begun to focus on what sets us apart rather than the things that we have in common with others. I think that this, in part, has led us to the great political divide that we are currently experiencing. Not to mention, it seems more like a war when there are only two sides; one good and one bad, depending on which side you butter your bread. With two parties, it is only necessary to smear the other side enough that the only remaining choice is your side, rather than having to promote an active policy working for the common good.

So what is the solution? So far, our response to third party candidates in recent elections has been downright hostile. The “you’re throwing away your vote” mentality shows our devotion to the efficiency of the current system. How do we erase this mentality, or should we even try? Should the two party system be maintained? I’m inclined to argue for the demise of the two party system, but I want to see what everyone thinks. Thanks for reading my first article.

Posted by Andrew Parker at November 19, 2004 12:04 PM