Where is the Rational Party?
August 18, 2011 9:53am CST
We have a two party system in America with small wanna-be parties hovering around like gnats, trying to influence the bigger picture. Among these, most are extremist. The Communists are still lurking somewhere. The Libertarians are almost their polar opposite and are growing in popularity. The Green Party, relatively powerful in Europe, doesn't make much of a dent here. In other shadows we would find a quiet, but powerful, Fascist/"Skin-head" movement bolstered by the fear of our "foreign, pretender" President. Among these, there has suddenly emerged a new voice: the Tea Party. In the simplest terms this party is about change. They are spawned by dissatisfaction with all the politicians in Washington and the powerful special interest groups that they feel pull Congress from the will of the people. On the surface they seem dedicated to the simple act of opposing the status quo. But what do they really desire as an end game? This question is as complicated as American politics in general. In interviews at Tea Party events, even within the same event, several different ideals are represented. The most common, aside from the idea of reform in Washington, are the need for smaller Federal government, the fear of social programs at any level, and rampant Nationalism (close the borders, stay at home military and English as official national language, for instance). These concepts make the Tea Party increasingly popular because there are so many ways to fit in. The side effect is a dilution of direction and inclusion of radical elements from the fringe parties trying to increase their own agendas. Certainly the Libertarians and Fascists are bolstered by Tea Party ideas. My question finally comes in here: Where is a party for the Realist, the Rationalist, who sees where we are and has a slight goal in mind: something as simple as minor reforms to ensure public involvement and political accountability but no desire to direct policy in the long run? Where does a person fit who only wants this country to remain strong, but also involved and a great big brother to developing countries and friendly cousin to the rest? Where go the ones who see a Big Government as a necessary balance to Big Business in the way that the three branches of government are meant to balance one another? To all the extremists, such a person would appear as the opposite extreme: "you're either with 'em or agin' 'em". To the Libertarians they are Socialists and to those Socialists they are Tea Partiers, while the Fascists see World Government Conspiracists. Why has America become so polarized? Where is there a middle ground and why is noone standing in it? Why has compromise become a bad word?
• United States
18 Aug 11
Well... first off I find that those who claim to be the most 'rational' are often the most 'irrational'. The person who casts his lot with those opposing all sides of a conflict, often have no perspective at all. If I have a conflict with someone, and a third person shows up who doesn't see either persons perspective, nor understands the disagreement from any point of view... that person often arrogantly proclaims themselves the 'rational' middle-of-the-isle view, but in reality has no clue what he's talking about, or what would be a good solution. I often cite the 1995 Israeli-Arab Peace deal. Now granted, as expected the deal ultimately failed, but... in all the years of attempting to achieve peace in the middle east, this was the closest it had ever come... yet it was the ONLY time where a third party was not involved. (much to the chagrin of Bill Clinton). Now ironically all of the issues you mention are all clearly defined leftist ideals. Where does a person fit who only wants this country to remain strong, but also involved and a great big brother to developing countries and friendly cousin to the rest? Socialist Democrats. Where go the ones who see a Big Government as a necessary balance to Big Business in the way that the three branches of government are meant to balance one another? Socialist Democrats. And no, to a socialist your 'rationalist' party would be a welcome home for Stalin. Why has America become so polarized? Where is there a middle ground and why is noone standing in it? Why has compromise become a bad word? Because compromise is exactly how we got here. We have compromised freedom, and compromised the constitution, and compromised truth, for the sake of leftist ideologies. See, sometimes there is no compromise position that works. I believe in deregulation. Regulation causes problems, problems that wreck the economy. Take the credit crisis. I believe that regulations are what caused the whole problem. Thus I would rather there be no regulations, than bad ones. How would you 'compromise' with me? I also find it ironic that the person presenting the idea of the "rationalist" party, is the same guy that claimed lowering the US governments credit rating was equal to treason. Almost like you proved my first point already.
• United States
19 Aug 11
You explained it really well! There should be no compromising when it comes to the Constitution or to freedom. I'm reading a very good book, "the Courage to be Free," by Charlton Heston, and he explains how this country got to where it is today, and where it will go if we don't start standing up for what's right.
• United States
21 Aug 11
Andy, If supporting foreign countries is a "Socialist Democrats" idea, then why has EVERY republican president for the last 50 years supported it? Not only supported it, but actually grew it (see Ron Paul's attack on the FED for sending money to Iraq under George H.W. Bush). Republicans like big government when it comes to enforcing their moral beliefs on the country. Remember the fallout from the "wardrobe malfunction"? Did GWB create a "regulator" for broadcast TV (kind of ironic seeing how you HATE regulators). Republicans also like big government when it comes to sending money back home, and building monuments to their own greatness. "Because compromise is exactly how we got here. We have compromised freedom, and compromised the constitution, and compromised truth, for the sake of leftist ideologies." You are 100% correct with your direction, the only problem is that your path home got detoured. It wasn't "for the sake of leftist ideologies.", it was for pure and simple GREED. Look at the net worth of members of congress before they get in, and after they leave. Look at that of presidents, and members of their staffs. Politics on the federal level is a VERY profitable endeavor, and if they don't work together than they all will lose their jobs, and it won't be so profitable for them (on both sides of the isle). I would like for you to explain how the "regulators" cause our current mess. I know that we could have used regulators actually doing their jobs instead of helping those that caused our problems. Much like defense department employees going to work for the same defense contractors, days after retiring, that they were suppose to be impartial to. Andy, you not the most rational person I have ever come across, but nor am I. By the way, how many other credit ratings companies lowered our rating? How many have reaffirmed it? I wouldn't call it treason, I would call it very irresponsible, but then again their track record is HORRIBLE as a ratings company, and anyone who knows anything about them will agree (they missed your credit crisis, all together). I wouldn't listen to them if they told me my house is on fire.
18 Aug 11
i think the problem is, though i'm only guessing, that its about motivation. in the uk, which may not be completely dissimilar to the US in this, we seem to have highly motivated very right wing parties, and a highly motivated right wing of the conservative party, who seem to be angry or indignant all the time. while the labour party's move to the centre (or right, as many would call it), has created a party that consists, mainly, of career politicians, whose primary motivation appears to be solely that of having a career in politics, rather than being motivated by a belief system. i think the problem is that anger is a primary motivational force in politics, so once a democratic electoral system seems to be comfortably in place, the anger of the rational and reasonable person is just not great enough, and so they leave the system to work, assuming that there are others who are sufficiently interested that they don't need to. little realising, while they do other things, that the more motivated people with more extreme views are creeping into power. so balthasar, you are just going to have to get angry!