One of the biggest problems for people with strong political views is the tendency demand “political purity” from those politicians to whom we give our support. As a “Left Wing Radical”I have often found myself condemning a “Pol” because they have in some way deviated from the path of my own political beliefs. Curiously, differing from cliché, my own political beliefs have become more radical as I’ve aged and not more conservative. Yet the wisdom that sometimes might befall a person from living a long time has taught me to be less judgmental of someone elses’ imperfections and foibles. In my opinion “False Equivalency” is the greatest problem that we of liberal bent face in this scary “Age of Trump“. The crux of this problem is that the pundits in our Mainstream News Media, who to a great degree shape the American political discussion, continue to speak of our contemporary national disarray as the result of “partisan” bickering. They falsely equate both the Republican and the Democratic Party’s as being equally responsible for this national discontent. They see the angry divide between party supporters as merely the irrationality of “Fans” supporting the fortunes of their favorite football teams. While I could provide many sound reasons for the pundits use of “False Equivalency”, I am more interested here in seeing the problems that these “False Equivalency’s” foster.
Among the more radical denizens of both the “Left” and the “Right” the “False Equivalency” is the belief that both political parties are the same. While coming from different political perspectives, these Left or Right radicals see the two parties as merely instruments of corporate power, guilty of many forms of oppressing citizens. On the “Right” for instance the story goes, the political parties of the Federal Government are oppressing the people’s freedom, by usurping the power of individual States and localities to make their own decisions. On the “Left” for instance the story goes, is the belief that both parties are corporate-controlled, for corporate benefit. So from either more extreme political persuasion, the Party’s of the American Two-Party system are more or less the same and therefore more of less worthless towards solving our country’s problems. My own perspective, is that we are a nation at war with itself, with liberty and social justice at stake. In the context of that war I reject the notion that our two political parties are falsely equivalent stooges of rampant corporate capitalism, because I do see the Republican Party as the far greater evil.
This is not to say that the Democratic Party adequately represents the needs of citizens for social justice and liberty. The Democratic Party is indeed a quite flawed entity and I’ve written many posts lamenting those flaws here. However, as imperfectly as the Democratic Party has represented the interests of the American populace and despite how much obeisance it has paid to Corporate America, the Democratic Party has been far more representative of fulfilling the needs of all citizens, than has its counterpart. It is a flawed vessel for our aspirations, but it is a vessel that is far more likely to transport all Americans to safe shores.
I could look at this from a more historical perspective, citing the origins of Corporate Republican Reaganism from the angry reactions of some billionaire oligarchs to Barry Goldwater’s defeat in 1964. Yet historical perspective is not necessary to prove my point that the Republican Party represents far more danger to the nation and far less hope for our country solving its many problems. To see the dangers of the Republican Party we must only look to today’s Republican controlled Congress and the objectives clearly laid out in the 10 areas listed below.
- “Tax Reform” meaning Tax Cuts for the wealthiest Americans and Corporations.
- “Health Care Reform” meaning gutting the gains of the ACA and working to benefit the Health Insurance Industry.
- “Entitlement Reform” meaning destroying the Social Safety Net, and privatising Social Security and Medicare, while cutting the benefits provided.
- “Education Reform” meaning gutting America’s Public School system and replacing it with uncontrolled corporate entities.
- “Regulation Reform” meaning gutting the regulations that prevent corporations from oppressing their workers, endangering public safety and prevent their monopolization commerce.
- “Abortion Reform” meaning outlawing a women’s control of their own bodies.
- “Family Values Legislation” meaning again outlawing homosexuality, limiting the freedom of women, allowing the repression of the LGBT community and defining marriage solely in Christion Fundamentalist terms.
- “Religious Freedom” meaning destroying the Constitutional separation between Church and State.
- “War on Drugs” continuing this phony, racist “War” whose only result has been the targetting and jailing of People of Color, while doing nothing to deal with our Country’s addiction problems.
- “War on Terror” the absurd response to 9/11 which has had victory only in lining the profits of war profiteers to the tune of at least 3 trillion dollars.
With the exception of number 10, almost all Democratic Party politicians are solid in their rejection of those 10 objectives of the Republican Party in Congress. This is why I reject the false equivalent notion that the two major American Parties are both the same. For me the issue is that flawed as it may be, the Democratic Party is right now all that stands in the way of an American dystopia brought about by Republican Party objectives. The work of any activists on the Left should be to control the Democratic Party to wean it away from corporate dollars and nudge it towards progressive action. This was the crusade Bernie Sanders begun and it is should be the struggle that we on the Left should engage in. However, as I have pointed out, even the current Democratic Party, flawed as it stands is a far more viable alternative to the political abyss offered by its’ counterpart.