The United States two-party political system is frequently revered for its elegant simplicity and effectiveness. During my younger years, my father told me it was a good system not easily replaced and one of my favorite historians, J. Joseph Ellis, considers it among the "triumphs" of the Founding Fathers (no, it's not in the Constitution). I, on the other hand, find it limiting, divisive, destructive and dangerous. I want it weakened, split and then eradicated. Data shows that more people are hating it every year, as Independent voters now outnumber both Republicans and Democrats.
My father was right about one thing. It's not easily replaced. Over the past century, Democrats and Republicans have passed laws that make it all but impossible for third-party candidates to get any exposure to the electorate. Despite elected third-party representation in every other developed government, Americans consider it the most unlikely of pipe-dreams.
I've dedicated a considerable amount of thought to the destruction of the two-party system. I think it may yet happen. Goodness knows that the Republican party is teetering on the edge. But that doesn't help the American public right now. Instead of complaining about the parties and their behavior, I've decided to take a brief reprieve and focus on how to improve the parties we have. This doesn't excuse either party's stalwart resistance to the inclusion of a third party, but we need better options right now. We shouldn't have to wait until they do enough damage to themselves or each other before we can finally introduce reasonable and electable third-party candidates. We should improve the controlling parties while continuing to strive for more options in upcoming elections.
Both parties have issues that appear insurmountable to many voters. Democrats seem incapable of understanding the fact that money isn't limitless. Although Republicans understand this, to a degree, they seemingly understand little else. They are blind to their surroundings in every way. They lost the 2012 Presidential election, seats in the House of Representatives and seats in the Senate, yet they still don't see a need for party reform. Right now, Charles Krauthammer, arguably the smartest man I've ever read, continues to spin the idea that the Republican Party is on the right track.
That is willful delusion.
Bill O'Reilly and the 24-hour-infomercial known as Fox News are telling their viewers that Republicans lost the election because the American people want handouts and Obama will give it to them.
According to PEW Research polls, 87% of voters said the Economy was a critical issue. In the same poll, we can see that other considerations are fading, such as immigration, energy and terrorism. Fifty-six percent of voters said they preferred a smaller federal government. The country still leans conservative, which it has for a decade.
Eighty-three percent (83%) of Americans are concerned about the debt. A conservative-leaning electorate with great interest in fixing the debt problem is NOT, by and large, a group that wants handouts. Unless they're old. The only group to continually demand "handouts" en masse, and raise taxes if necessary to keep it getting handouts, is the baby boomer/retiree voting block. Which is the only group that voted heavily in favor of Republicans. That doesn't sound like an electorate that wants "free stuff." It sounds like an electorate that collectively appreciates the dangers of overspending and wants to do something about it.
The majority of people even believed Romney would be better for the debt crisis. That's right, people think a Republican might even be better at dealing with the crisis, but couldn't bring themselves to vote Republican anyway.
I explained in my last post what the electorate actually has a problem with. To elaborate, nearly every other major issue the Republican Party stands for is either...
or Batshit Crazy.
The Republican Party has to address these issues. The Presidential Primary proved to the world that the party leadership is comprised of candidates who intend to become the moral police, something most Americans find distasteful in the first place, and worse, their moral compass is off-kilter from the rest of the country. That is not a problem with the electorate, the media, or ANYONE ELSE the party wants to blame. It is a Republican Party problem and if they truly want to address the financial issue, they need to abandon their overbearing, intrusive moral crusade. We can make our own decisions. For a party complaining that the Democratic party thinks we're too dumb to make our own decisions and that they pass too many frivolous laws, like cigarette tax hikes, bans on Happy Meals, and volume reduction on Soft Drinks, the Republican Party wants to control the most intimate aspects of our lives. If we have to choose between two overly-legislative styles, we're going pay more for cigarettes and forgo 64 oz big gulps instead of tolerating Senators telling us who and how to fuck.
There is a separation of church and state. We like it that way. The primary obstacle to the Tea Party's incessant attempts to violate the first amendment is churches. They understand the repercussions to religions intervening in the role of government and vice versa. Too many Republican leaders scratch and tear at the wall of separation when they want Christian laws passed, and then conveniently remember why it's there when they want to squelch the influence of Islam's Sharia Law in American politics. It works both ways. Republicans are constitutionally forbidden from favoring Christianity, Islam, Shinto, Buddhism, Judaism, Hellenism, or any of the hundreds of other religions.
They can probably use the following religious phrases without a) compromising their faith, or b) alienating everyone else:
"God Bless America"
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims."
"My faith has helped guide me through difficult times and tough decisions."
No one gets their feathers too ruffled about those innocuous comments. However, once they start preaching about the will of God (by the way, too many people are privy to God's thoughts, which is blasphemy) or the apocalyptic commandments of Jesus (whose name was actually Yeshua (double parenthetical bonus: it translates to Joshua) and Republicans don't seem to know that), is when we get into dangerous territory.
Democrats aren't divisive, Republicans are. When comparing the party that brought together Latinos, Blacks, women, Asians, Muslims, Atheists, mainstream Christians, Gays and youth for the election, as well as preferred by other nation's leaders to the other party, which is hated by every single other highly developed nation in the WORLD except Pakistan, that could only rally a majority of votes among 50 year old evangelical white males, it's clear which party is divisive. They must knock off this notion that Democrats are the villains in this story and take responsibility for scaring off every demographic with extremist rhetoric and policies.
They need to stop threatening Revolution. Donald Trump is the most recent Republican to do so. It's been said by Greene County, VA Republicans and Sarah Palin. Sean Hannity irresponsibly hyped the rhetoric. Michele Bachmann encouraged it. Glenn Beck alternately condemns revolution or advocates it, depending on if it's communist or his idea (He's a Libertarian, though. Kind of). Republican Leaders called for citizens to take their country back, take to the streets, rise up! When the Occupation movement began, when the poor and downtrodden, the young and passionate did exactly that, Republicans did everything possible to crush the movement. They're not just calling for revolution, they're hypocrites about it. They clearly don't care about the will of the people, they just want to do whatever they want. Because that rhetoric is unnecessarily incendiary and they are so selective about whether it is the revolution they want to lead, whether the people want it or not, they need to stop talking about it.
And for goodness' sake, they have to stop talking about Rape! People are making lists of the most offensive Republican comments about rape. That list should have one comment, the only one before they all learned to shut up. If at any point they think it's a good idea to talk about rape, Republicans should take a deep breath, and really think, not rush it. They should think about how they will word it, try to visualize the face of the person they are speaking with when they say it, concentrating on the outcome. They should take time to consider the reactions of the casual passers-by, whom may hear; take a look at them and wonder, really wonder, if they're going to understand, with the utmost clarity, what is being said. If they do all that, the person they were talking to should have already left after uncomfortably staring at their perplexed and distant expressions. They'll know they said the right thing if nothing came out of their fucking mouths. Don't. Ever. Talk. About. Rape. If necessary, Republicans should start the Don't Ever Talk About Rape Foundation (D.E.T.A.R.F.) to give support to idiots in their party who may think they have a problem with spontaneous rape-talk. It tends to be a uniquely Republican phenomenon to burst into rape-talk without warning. They need to nip that shit in the bud.
Just this advice will help Republicans with Asians, Latinos, Mulsims, Jews and Women. Fixing these issues will not compromise what is supposed to be the core issues among Republicans, fiscal responsibility and a limited and efficient government, because most of the country wants that. If Republicans really cared what happens to the country's finances, then they wouldn't use their podiums to ram overreaching moral imperatives down our throats; they would concentrate on finance.
Follow the examples of Marco Rubio when he says, God doesn't love us more than Belgium. Follow the lead of Jon Huntsman, when he says he believes Scientists about Global Warming and evolution. Get away from complaining about how we're all a bunch of teat-sucking degenerates and concentrate on how to help our financial situation, improve energy efficiency, avoid foreign dependence on oil (and oil altogether, if possible) and advance scientific innovation. We can all get behind those things.