Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Apples and Oranges Occupying the Tea Shop

 I have a real bone to pick with today's politics. In the United States, all you have are apples and oranges: one side of the political spectrum fighting against the other. Why can't there be any pears or peaches that get into office? It's always Democrat this or Republican that. Did you know that many of the founding fathers were against a two party system? It was said that if the country were to become a two party system that the nation will divide itself. Isn't that what is happening?

       Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy
            In 1780, John Adams wrote a letter that says: “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”  
George Washington actually takes it a step further condemns parties of any kind in his farewell address as the president in 1796, “It (parties) serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions.”
This may sound a little off topic but if anyone knows anything about Protestantism you'd know this one fact. Typically, when someone doesn't like what their preacher is saying, they'll either find another Protestant church out of the thousands; or they'll start up their own church. Now I do not believe in that philosophy when it comes to religion, but it makes perfect sense when that theory is applied to politics. If you don't agree with everything your party says, go join one that does, or if you have the time and money, start your own.
               By fractioning politics up like this, I believe people would become more united because then we are not all on one side or the other. Very rarely in history do you find wars with three or four factions all fighting against each other. Usually, they will fall in with either one of the main factions. Is that what we're doing; falling in with crowd? Despite having views and opinions that differ from the larger parties, we join them simply because we might agree with one or two sentiments and then hate the opposing faction because they aren’t supporting your ‘colors’.
               As our representatives continue to fight this "bloods and crips" styled war in our capitol buildings over whose ideas are better than the others, how much is actually getting done? Now I know that the phrase ‘nothing ever gets done in Washington’ is a laughable stereotype of our government, but in regards to the near government shut down that took place last spring and again during the summer, I really have to wonder if people’s views are getting in the way of doing what needs to be done.
From what I’ve read, the major obstacle that congress had was with a group of people who were so stubborn and unmovable in their views that a compromise between the two factions could not be realized until their demands were met. The group I am talking about is the Tea Party; an extremist right wing political movement that now dominates the Republican Party. In the end, the Government came close to a screeching halt all thanks to obdurate mind-sets.
More recently, the Liberals are getting their very own extremist group, known nowadays as the Occupy Movement. Though not nearly as well organized as the Tea Party was, it has gained followings throughout the world and continues to grow in both popularity and leadership/organization.
In truth, both causes, the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement have good intentions; however, it is the unyielding attitudes of both of these extreme groups that could plunge our country into stagnant waters. Imagine if the debt crisis in Washington, concerning the government shut down, were to have happened now with the Occupy mind-frame that the Democrats are adopting. I’m no soothsayer or prophet, but I’m willing to bet that no compromise would’ve been struck and we would find ourselves in a very difficult situation.
Extremism in any form, whether it is ethnic, religious or political, ought to be shunned and yet we welcome the political aspect with open arms. The way events are unfolding, I worry that things are slowly spinning out of control. We’ve been warned by our founders and now we’re seeing the result of the ‘greatest political evil under our Constitution,’ and the only way I see to halting this, as I’ve stated before, is to break down the political structure into smaller parties, bringing in some pears, peaches and grapefruits to the collection of apples and oranges, so that fringe politics cannot conquer so easily as it has today.

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