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rediscovering justice

A two party system is not helping America. This is what has encouraged the hardening of opinion and reinforced extreme thinking on both sides which only serves to gel an outright hatred.

In the past the gridlines were drawn a little differently and a rural south was mostly democrat and racist while northern democrats thought differently. Republicans were the party of Lincoln and emancipation so there was a crossover of ideas that permitted a more balanced political landscape. Contrast this with the red and blue state polarization by social wedge issue that threatens to fracture the country in half.

I am not American and yet my antipathy for Republicans and their extremism runs high. I can only imagine what some passionate patriots feel about what is happening to their own country and one only needs to read the comments left below a political YouTube video to see the vitriol first hand.

These are dangerous times for a country that were it not for fundamental principles sewn into its constitution would be potentially tumbling into fascism with its current administration. Trump may only be a mean spirited imbecile but he is surrounded by a cabal that is more dangerous than he is.

I still have faith that America can survive this presidency and recover some of its founding values but its most pressing need is to rediscover its appetite for fairness and close an income gap that threatens to undo the social peace; the kind of fairness that existed during the time of FDR.

The unbridled capitalist experiment failed and it's time to go home again.


Comments

  1. "A two party system is not helping America. This is what has encouraged the hardening of opinion and reinforced extreme thinking on both sides which only serves to gel an outright hatred."

    I believe the two-party system has served us well as it provides a way to collect opinions, needs, and beliefs into what is, presumably, a collective position to choose between at the polls. The system is far from perfect but its worked pretty well. Of late the system has fallen into disarray due to many things, including the emergence of the global market, technological change that threatens the status quo and has swamped individuals and businesses, and certainly, power-hungry and corrupt individuals bending the system to their will.

    Times change and people do too. As you pointed out, during Lincoln's time I would likely have been a proud Republican. I think it's crisis like the one we're in now that will wake up the populace into facing many realities. It's risky to wait and hope for this but I'm not sure what else we can do.

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    1. the two party system also locks you into 1 of only 2 choices which in this case have become storage houses for the extreme right and moderate left. Your left isn't very far left compared to other countries which I also think is disturbing. You now have a radical right with a corporate left that has been bought by corporate interests. Not very healthy I'm afraid.

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    2. I don't see what the alternative would be. In fact, it's a de facto two-party system, as we do have at least two others that I can think of. Theoretically at least, we get to go through a selection process whereby we nominate the "best choice" for each party, and then they go toe to toe. I'm sure you're aware of all that.

      Maybe it's a failure of democracy. Or maybe it's a failure of the people to adapt. Certainly it's a failure of the politicians and the wealthy to so blatantly stack the deck for their interests.

      I hate to think it's The Decline and Fall of the American Empire but it may well be. It's a mess, that's for sure something we all agree on.

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  2. Under Duverver's Law, duopoly party systems tend to emerge from first-pat-the-post, winner-takes-all, single member districting systems - which the United States has. Nothing officially forces people into two parties, but when only one person can be elected to a seat, and is chosen by winning the PLURALITY, candidates shift to the center to attract as many votes as possible, and voters vote tactically to ward of greater evils. These forces push toward a two-party system, and in the U.S., it is not only entrenched, but corrupt.

    No newer or emerging democracy chooses this system. It remains a feature of more established democracies, mostly in the U.K., its commonwealth, and former colonies. Though even Australia and New Zealand have now modified their electoral systems, resulting in the viability of other parties as well. Most systems now incorporate some form of proportional representation, whereby each party is given a number of seats proportional to the percentage of votes it gets, largely stemming the idea of outright winners and losers. In New Zealand's most recent elections, the center-right National Party won the plurality of the nationwide vote, but the Labour, Green and NZF Parties had a majority when combined together, so the latter three formed a government themselves, and the NZ Prime Minister is from Labour.

    If we want to make new parties viable in the U.S., we will have to change the electoral system. This will have to start locally, at municipal governments, and reach its way to the states. The system that has the most steam at the moment is Instant Runoff, a.k.a. Ranked Choice Voting, where only one candidate wins, but must achieve a majority. It is achieved by allowing voters to rank candidates as their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc, choices. If no candidate has a majority of 1st choice votes, the candidate with the least number of votes is eliminated, and votes are redistributed from him to his voters' 2nd choices. The process continues until a candidate has a majority. The system, naturally, is vehemently opposed by the Democrats and Republicans. It actually passed in a statewide referendum in Maine, but the legislature used a maneuver to prevent it from being used. The voters are organizing again to hold another referendum to undo the legislature's action.

    I have little hope left, personally, for American democracy. I have participated since my teen years in politics, even professionally as an adult, and watched the system become more and more corrupt each year. We shall see, I suppose.
    -Caryn Bare

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    1. this outdated electoral college is making things even worse whereby the central red states have a much greater say than they ought to. If you are going to try and balance things then take away some of these votes from the small states or do away with it altogether...

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