T Nation

Cut From the Same Cloth


#1

I read the following post from a blog that sums up exactly how I feel:

[b]The Democrats and the Republicans are essentially the same. They are owned by the same entities. They receive the same orders. They take bribes from the same people.

The idea of using the colors of 'red' and 'blue' to describe either party, accurately sums up the actual reality of what our two party system means.

Using these colors tells us all that it's nothing but a game and the colors are simply team colors. There's nothing of substance behind the two parties' ideology. They make a lot of hay over minor social issues, but that's part of the game. It serves as a distraction for the true believers, and confuses them so that they never really have time to pay attention to the bigger issues. And as equal weight is given to the petty issues in the media, whether right wing radio or right wing television, they easily overwhelm those that don't have the skills to stand back and look at the big picture and see that many of the issues paraded out for them are in fact, minor petty issues in the grand scheme of things.

The cheerleaders for both teams preach an 'Us vs. Them' sermon. Teaching their flock to believe that they are being oppressed by the evil doers on the other side. And for both teams, if you're not on their team, you are assumed to be on the other. It never occurs to either, that many people believe the game itself is too stupid and destructive to take a side in. So you're a Bush worshipper or a Bush hater. You're a Kerry worshipper or a Kerry hater.

Politicians have done a good job of dividing the nation. We no longer stand together in solidarity. Instead we pick which team we wish to be on, support our corrupt politicians and learn to hate the Americans on the other team in a vile self destructive manner.

In the end, the those that own the teams are the winners and we're all losers. And we're happy about it because the bread and circuses is all that we really need. We are the mob.[/b]

Did anyone notice that Bush and Kerry got the same grades at prep school and and Yale? They belong to the same fraternity at Yale and in DC..


#2

Amen to that. When I think of the Reps and Dems it reminds me of the MASH episode where Hawkeye and BJ pretended to have a falling out as a birthday present to Burns.

We're Burns.


#3

The whole Blue vs. Red BS is nothing more than a distraction.

Keep it up and see what happens...


#4

Spot on..Good post. George Carlin has an interview in this month's playboy that says the same thing and sums it up pretty nicely. Worth checking out.


#5

The Republicans and the Democrats are two sides to the same coin.


#6

What do you expect in a two-party system?

Everyone talks a lot about "extremism", but you rarely see it in actuality amongst the elected officials (those who aren't accountable to the electorate are a different matter).

Just like in Econ 101, when two groups are competing for a particular market, they converge in the middle. Coke or Pepsi? Apple's operating system or Windows (*Note to computer geeks - please just admit that DOS-based and Apple have become a lot more similar over the years...)? Competitors always jump to steal whatever ideas the other guy has that work, so they end up overlapping a lot.

Two-party system = stability in the mushy middle. Which isn't necessarily a problem, at least in my opinion -- I think our system is preferential to multi-party systems with coalition governments.


#7

What a complete crock. The 2 parties are so freaking different it's practically blinding. Where do you get this??

They are owned by diffent entities. They take different orders. They take bribes from different people.

Democrats: labor unions, pro-choice lobbyists, gay rights groups, etc.

Republicans: Christian bible thumpers, pro-life groups, defense industry, etc.

Their views are apples and oranges. Pro-choice vs. pro-life. High-tax, high regulation vs. low-tax, low regulation. More "conciliatory" foreign policy vs. more "forward-leaning" foreign policy. Socially liberal vs. socially conservative. Pro-gay marriage vs. anti-gay marriage.

Yes, both are equally CORRUPT, and are owned/influenced/bribed by SOMEONE, to equal degrees, so they're both full of steaming shit -- this is true. But they're two VERY different piles of steaming shit. It's important not to be so lazy so as to not be able to discern that. Which pile of steaming shit you vote for DOES affect where the country goes.


#8

Damici,

Not that their supporters aren't different. Just that the underlying policies they support aren't radical one way or another -- which means what actually gets passed is even less radical.


#9

Damici --

But on the other hand, I am looking at things in the aggregate. On any particular issue, there may be a small difference that matters a great deal to you as voter -- particularly if you want things to move in a certain direction, and you believe in both momentum and slow change.


#10

Boston,

Hear, hear.

The winner-take-all system blunts the edge of radicalism, and we are the better for it.


#11

Yeah, I always thought that was the primary strength of a bureaucracy. Due to its "cumbersomeness", any radical and possibly regime-suicidal changes would be unable to take place. If we had an emperor a la Ancient Rome, we would have to worry about an upstart Caligula naming his horse as general of the Roman army and so forth.


#12

BB,

I disagree. And I realize that having to win enough votes to get elected, or to get a bill passed, means that neither side is allowed to go as truly radical as they might like to deep down. BUT, forgetting the word "radical" for a minute, it's clear that which party/politician is in power DOES lead to "significant" differences in where the country goes, at least on some issues.

Some examples: (And I'm NOT advocating for or against any of these policies -- I don't want this to turn into that. I'm just citing examples). If Al Gore were president we would not have invaded Iraq. If Al Gore were president taxes would still be much higher than they currently are. If Al Gore were president John Roberts would not be about to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and another conservative (yet to be named) would not be about to fill another seat on the Court. (This could have a PROFOUND impact on things in this country, whether you view it as good or bad). If Al Gore were president we would not have had the Patriot Act (for better or for worse). Etc., etc., etc.

I find these things to be tremendously significant.


#13

Damici,

See my second post above.

You're arguing there is a difference in effect on certain issues, which is certainly plausible -- I'm saying in the aggregate, looking at all the issues, the positions of the parties aren't very far apart.

W/r/t judicial nominations, it's kind of a one-off -- I agree that individual judges are more likely to depart from the center, as they're essentially in the same position as unelected bureaucrats in that they're not accountable to the market, i.e. the electorate. But neither party would nominate -- especially for the USSC -- someone who openly advocated departing in some huge manner from the current status quo. So if Gore were in, assuming there was a Republican Senate or enough middling Democrats who could be pressured, then you'd essentially get a liberal version of Roberts: highy intelligent and qualified, not overly controversial. Which isn't to say that I think that would be a good thing, but it certainly wouldn't be the same as nominating an open Communist who wanted to use his seat to advance redistributive or collectivist policies.


#14

Maybe we're arguing about how we apply words like "radical," "significant" and "aggregate." I consider the differences that I mentioned in my previous post to be significant ones, and ones that affect our lives. I believe that the POSITIONS of the parties, the official ones that they have on paper, are not only VERY far apart, but are farther apart than anything they'd be able to implement in reality, given the practical considerations of the electorate. So I think they're VERY far apart on paper, and only "significantly" (which is still a good deal) far apart in terms of what they can and do implement. Just my .02.


#15

Iraq, SCOTUS, and the Patriot Act would be approached from a very different angle.

Iraq will be a worse blunder than Vietnam as we under estimated the amount of issues were would have there.

The SCOTUS should be loaded with right wingnuts. 'Be careful what you ask for' would be very telling.

The Patriot Act is very flawed and Gore might have signed it but it would have been changed by now.

Woulda', shoulda', coulda's don't matter.


#16

Who is just figureing this out?


#17

The only thing you should keep in mind is every time you put a bumper sticker with a politicians name on you are being a total fool.

The only people that make it a 'team' sport are those too dense to see the big picture.

Keep it up and see how far it takes us...


#18

I agree with that sentiment.


#19

What the fuck are you lunactics even talking about?

Everything is perfect and this is absolutely the only system on the planet worth having! Dumbasses.


#20

mmmmmm Kool-Aid!!!!!