Aftermath of American Politics

For anyone that’s kept up with the news on the both sides of the political spectrum, something very odd is happening. Most recently with the first democratic debate of 2016, the few moments that were most talked about were the issues of gun control, and Sanders’ health care plan. In fact one of the post-debate commentators for MSNBC stated that Sanders had flip-flopped on the issue and sounded “just life Washington.” Well I’m not here to defend Bernie, but it does raise an interesting point about the state of the Democratic Party.

This appears to mean that the candidate’s strategies is to appear most liberal or most conservative, according to the direction of their party. It’s no secret that politicians will pamper their message to fit an agenda, and therefore they will all largely sound the same. For instance it wasn’t that long ago when the GOP wasn’t as fervent about gun deregulation. With Reagan being the Idol of the republican party, many forget his oped piece with Carter and Ford about the regulation of assault rifles. Yet, if any serious GOP candidate were to propose measures such as those it would be political suicide. 

But since the 1980’s the GOP conscious has moved away from that standpoint and is now more crazed about gun deregulation. Candidates, whether truly believing it or not, have to support gun deregulation in the republican party to have any chance of a nomination, and the same goes with other issues as well. The candidates must change their topic according to the party lines so that they will fit within the party lines. Whether or not Sanders really cares about gun regulation (which I truly believe he does) he would have to at least appear to have a fighting chance in the nomination. It would turn off a good deal of voters if they liked a candidate about every issue, except one issue they felt strongly about. It would be one thing if the candidate tried to keep quiet about an issue that didn’t fit within the party line, but then rival candidates would see that as a weakness and expose it.

The two parties right now are moving further and further within their own spectrum. It is helpful to view the Sanders-Clinton struggle as a fight between the spirit of the party. Sanders represents the progressive populist side of the party clashing to gain control, and Clinton represents the moderate establishment side struggling to remain in power, despite what she makes herself out to be. And on the other side, candidates like Trump and Carson revel in their image as non-establishment  candidates. Watch closely at the debates in the republican party, now each one of them tries to make themselves appear to be the non-establishment candidate. Cruz, for instance, appears this way through his anger at both Washington and the media, while Christie does this by just being angry at everything. Notice how a candidate like Senator Paul, who may be considered a party outsider due to his disagreement on issues, is actually a non-establishment candidate, yet he has virtually no chance. He doesn’t fit within the party line, therefore he is sinking.

Now that each party is separating from each other, what comes next? Well eventually everything will reach it’s equilibrium point, but what is unsure is what happens before then. Depending on the success of non-establishment candidates like Trump, Carson, and God willing Sanders, the parties will move farther apart until there is a tipping point. The cause of the divide is already from the inability to create real action. Why would a nation viewing events such as the government shutdown or the rise of terrorist organizations, still want establishment politics? When however both parties reach that tipping point, there will be a brawl to see who is the victor. In a sense, the spirit of which party will prevail before they both go back to their moderate stances.

It is likely that we are entering the next chapter in American politics. By this, I mean that this is when historians will later view as when things began to “change for better or for worse.” This is the way the 1930’s is viewed today. There was America before the Great Depression, and then there’s America after the Great Depression. It was one of those events that lead to a change in spirit for all of America, and with the increasing polarity in the nation, we may be heading towards a similar such event.

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29 thoughts on “Aftermath of American Politics

  1. Nicely written… And yet another problem caused by the illogical two party system of the United States. The political choice is artificially limited, there isn’t really a “spectrum” of electable candidates. Only points on said spectrum.
    I enjoy your insightful analysis!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Paradoxically, I believe that this trend is a side-effect of the strengthening of the national parties. It used to be that parties themselves were far more diverse, with the Southern Democrats being more conservative on many issues that the New England Republicans. Everybody had to settle for the median. With the hardening of the red state/blue state designations and the collapse of local media, everybody wants to have the whole loaf of bread.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The end of the Roaring Twenties was the crisis point for the Thirties and beyond. Depending on one’s political beliefs, many historians have misjudged that period so as to reflect their bias. The main crisis was economic while the second was the expectation that an all knowing federal government could solve the nations many problems. The actions Hoover took were continued by FDR by “rebranded” as the New Deal. Essentially both Hoover and FDR were winging it as neither knew what they were doing.

    Today what we are seeing is a reflection of that era. We are in a depression. Yes, the president has made claims that we are emerging from bad times and the economy is doing just great. That is a lie and has been for the last seven years. The “Media” have been the shills for more and better but that is how they sell advertisement. We buy bad news like wars and natural disasters but we won’t pay to be told the sky is falling and we will have to endure bad times ourselves. News is not information or even truth, it is entertainment first and foremost. As for the depression, the facts are all there. You won’t find them on MSNBC or CNN or any other media outlet. Even Bloomberg is suspect. But there are those sites were the statistics don’t outright lie. If you think unemployment has been lowered then take a look at the percentage of the working age population in the workforce and explain why it keeps declining. Like the Chinese government, when it comes to the economic statistics the FED, BLS, and other governmental units lie, fudge, or simply make the numbers up. There are about five sights where one can go to see independent statistics that tend to be up to date and fairly honest.

    So we get to the growing mistrust of government. When individuals call the last twenty years of government policies a move towards fascism we label such people as wingnuts. Yet the government policies speak for themselves. When you or I can be labeled a domestic terrorist, a definition of very loose identification, and then held by some government unit in total isolation and beriff of all civil rights, then I think we have a problem with the idea that we live in the land of the free. Does the whole of society believe any of this? No, not at all. But what we see is the growing recognition or awareness that all is not well.

    The other crisis is one of demographics. Just who are our populations and where do they live and where do they work if they have such an income. The free shit army continues to grow and it is largely of our own collective making. We rail at the rich and accuse many of being grossly wealthy. Yet our real problem is the multinational corporation. We believe the promise of technology but it will never deliver ‘jobs with justice”, whatever that means. You are correct, this country will see a turning point much like the Great Depression. The political parties will change appreciably and the old guard will be shunted aside. One thing for certain, the future is going to be a bitch.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I’m following this American election from another country and there is honestly too much flip-flopping between opinions on the same issue. I hope the result is action after elections because otherwise the nation is in trouble from Democrats who seem to do nothing or Republicans who want to do everything with a gun

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Major corporations, from Wall Street to Oil to Agriculture, all fund the “establishment” candidates of both parties. It’s why JP Morgan Chase funded Bush, but then funded Obama, and then funded Romney – but now Wall Street’s soaking Hillary’s pantsuits. The same interests fund the establishments of both parties. And this is why the Establishment Candidates of both parties are “Moderates” – Jeb and Hillary both support War, Federal Education, Bailouts, Federal Health Care, etc. While on the fringes of these parties, the anti-establishment candidates do tend to be polar-opposites, but do have something in common – they don’t like what the Establishment (Federal Corporation) is doing, and they want is to stop it by either cracking down on corporations, or cracking down on the Federal Government, both methods of cracking that the Establishment does not want.

    If the corporations win, we get “Moderates” who will invade, subsidize corporations, pass the TPP, strengthen No Child Left Behind and Common Core, send the DHS to round-up Mexicans, and pretty much destroy the country and establish Corporate Fascism (maybe read this paragraph in present-tense).

    If Bernie or Trump get their party’s nominations, it’s because the Establishment understands how to use them. Trump will start war and Round-Up Mexicans with Monsanto herbicides, and Bernie will homogenize education and rename our hospitals after insurance corporations. And after four years of the Establishment allowing the POTUS to pass Establishment-Benefiting policies, the Establishment will get a “Moderate” in, and the “Moderate”, ie, the Establishment, will have more extensive control over the most powerful military and economy the world’s ever seen.

    Basically, what I’m saying, is that regardless who wins, we’re doomed to corporate fascism because idiots refuse to vote outside the two-party oligarchy.

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    • Corporations fund whomever they think will win since the winner is the one who will issue contracts and make regulations. In a way there is bribery from corporations, but in another way they are paying protection money. It’s time to vote on platforms instead of candidates.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Funny, when we blame the “system”, i.e., the “Establishment”, we always place the blame and shame on those at the top and the more anomalous the better. I remember in the late sixties and into the seventies we were always fighting “The Man”, however ill defined that individual or collection of individuals were. Ah, the great invisible “They”. The film, Network wasn’t too far off the mark. What did Howard Beale say? “The only thing I know is that first you have to get mad, really mad. So go to your windows and stick your head out and say, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

    Of course Network was pointing to our cultural “defects” or warped sense of values and not to the political condition of the country. Today we might want to go to the window and stick our heads out and yell, “Hilary, we are mad as hell with you and we’re not going to believe you anymore!” I’d pay good money to see that event. Actually, just use the name of the politician of your choice. I think that is happening here although not on as grand a scale as we would like to see. We tend to vote our investment in the benefits our local, state, and national politicians try to deliver. I live off Social Security. Would I vote for those who would want to end my entitlement, that income drawn from the pool of contributions paid by all who worked and are still working? Thanks to Bill Clinton it’s just a tax paid into the general revenue fund.

    So we blame corporations and banks and billionaires and anyone else for our poor choices. And our poor choices often start at the bottom, in our cities and counties and school districts. What will our councilman do for us? How will a school board trustee raise test scores and graduation rates? Will the county commisioner get that new reservoir built to serve those new housing tracts? Will our state representative and senator find ways of generating new revenue for public projects? And what about our Congressional representatives and senators, will they fight for the lion’s share of the federal monies given each year from a limited budget. Will they raise the ceiling on borrowing, that is, spending future incomes and risking raising future taxes to pay for the shortfalls when they come due?

    Oh, but they are all bought by corporations and billionaires and such. Yeah, but who casts the votes, you or the corporations and billionaires and such? Yes, this presidential election may be seen as a noteworthy event, a change in the course of history. But it is still more of the same, individuals voting their biases, their beliefs, their pocketbooks, their special interests. Name a presidential election where this never happened. The fault, Dear Brutus, lies not in our stars but in ourselves for having voted the scoundrels in and not casting them out.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. To think Ronald Reagan in 1991 was a vocal supporter of the Brady Bill and gun regulation. This and many more points indicate how far overall political discourse has shifted so far to the right that Reagan would nowadays would be castigated as a ‘liberal’ and Obama is a centrist at best, while conservatives label him as ‘liberal’. To think that the marginal tax rate in the 1950s was 90%– under Eisenhower, a Republican no less! And when compared to developed countries overseas today, some conservative parties are more liberal than Democrats in many respects.

    This is not a sudden development but has slowly evolved out of the Southern Strategy, beginning in 1968. The Overton Window is a strategy that, sadly, has worked — but I think now it has hit a point of diminishing returns: the quasi-fascist Trump on the one hand, and a struggle in the Democratic party to do more than merely play lip service to social, but not economic, issues. The problem has gotten so out of control due to larger structural issues — there is no push for campaign reform, no push for corporate lobbyist manipulation, no push for anything resembling the Fairness Doctrine, nor anything else to bring democratic representation for the people rather than corporations. I’m afraid the US will learn a hard lesson in the meaning of the word ‘hubris’. This won’t last forever– but then no country ever does.

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  8. Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you come again, and I hope you continue writing about the American fractured political scene. And someone ought to write about how the righty/lefty framework does not work anymore. It conceals and disinforms more than clarifies.

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  9. The world is definitely changing, and not just American politics. I think Marx was right and the people will begin to rise up and hold those in positions of power more accountable for their actions and to learn to be more transparent in the face of secret trade deals, golden handshakes and blatant corruption and corporate greed. It is an interesting time we are witnessing. Jx

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    • Rising up isn’t always the best option. The USSR’s Bolshevik uprising lead to shortages and lines for basic necessities huge amounts of corruption that remain to this day. Hugo Chavez’s uprising in Venezuela and the take-over of farms resulted in the country going from one which exported food to one where people are starving to death. Instead of rising up against “those in power,” people should demand low barriers to entry into the market; many of those barriers take the form of government regulations designed to preserve monopolies passed in the name of consumer protection. Preservation of the ability and freedom for people to produce wealth for themselves is the best way to preserve quality of life and provide fairness.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. You spoke of the political spectrum in the old straight-line philosophy. I recommend to anyone that they investigate a 2D political quiz such as The World’s Smallest Political Quiz or any of the other Nolan Quizzes online. I also recommend that people investigate the other established political parties that exist, in spite of the efforts of the two dinosaur parties to quash them, and begin voting for principle not “electability” in elections. Over half of all Americans, according to a recent national poll, want a viable third party and viable third parties exist. Two in particular – the Green Party and the Libertarian Party- exist and are national or nearly so in spite of everything the two dinosaur parties do to eliminate them.

    Christopher Cole
    First Vice-Chair
    Pima County Libertarian Party

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  11. Americans tend to look for change to come from the top and move down: If we elect [fill in the blank], [fill in the next blank] will change. And some of it does, but until there’s a movement that political parties and dominant economic powers don’t control, there won’t be deep change. You mentioned the Depression. It was a time when the unions were battling for the right to organize, for better pay, for social security, for–oh, I’ll stop; the list is long and includes many things we take for granted today. They did’t come from the top down–and where they seem to have, it was often in response to pressure from the bottom.

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  12. You’re right about real change coming from outsiders, but unions? An outsider faction did exist in two groups: the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. They’re night-and-day philosophically, but their adversaries were basically the same. Big money and big politics. But big media managed to drive a wedge between them by portraying the Tea Party as a bunch of racists and Occupy as a bunch of freeloaders. It’s a group that cannot be ignored because it has no party loyalty, no D vs. R.

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    • You’re right that they do have many of the same ideals, but the tea party is far from being independent. They’ve essentially had to merge with the Republican party in order to survive, as per what usually happens with these things.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Glad to connect to others that are taking interest and realizing the importance of government and how it affects our lives. If only we could excite those living in political apathy to come out of their stupor, then we could enact real change. It first starts with the electoral process. We can’t accomplish anything until we evolve from a republic to a true democracy where our votes actually count- not what some delegate decides. 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Firstly, thanks for the “like” on my post, which was really only making the point that the chances of Hillary Clinton winning all six coin tosses fairly is about 1.6%. Or, in other words, it is highly improbable. Why is nobody in the mainstream media is looking into this?
    That article linked to a post which I wrote a few days earlier, “American Democracy: The stolen elections and tossing a coin to decide in Iowa”. The stolen elections were, of course, those in 2000 and 2004.
    While your article and the comments are interesting in that it provides me with an insight into the American psyche and the issues which Americans are “thinking” about, it does not address the real issue, which is that capital will do its damnest to ensure that it gets its 3% compound growth and that if that means reducing our so-called “liberal democracies” to a soundbite or marketing ploy, then so be it.

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  15. Hey – this is a great article. Thanks for writing it. Have you read Nixonland? It’s definitely a tome, but it talks about how Nixon used very similar polarization in the parties – their hot button issues were things like segregation and communism – to get elected. It’s a good read about a parallel time in history.

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  16. This is exactly my point when I talk about the election. The reason that Trump and Sanders are doing as well as they are is because people are tired of the establishment treating them like voting cattle to be herded into pens of lies. And it’s really sad and rage inducing how both sides are trying to rig the primaries with superdelegates on the Democratic side and obviously rigged debates on the Republican side.

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  17. I think the real tipping point for American politics, the beginning of the broad shift to the right, was the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. Since then only Obama has been the exception, even Clinton was to the right of every Democrat that came before him. Sanders would be a huge step to the left but even that would only bring the Democrats back to the centre where they belong. Alas he hasn’t much of a chance despite my support!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Well said! There are a lot of extreme agendas during this election and I can’t help fear what will come when this is all over. I joke about moving to Canada but as a woman who enjoys my rights, I am scared we will be taking a giant step back.

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