George Washington, from the $1 bill
However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men [and women] will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion. – George Washington
Sometimes things need to be said. First, I love all of you. Now…
The people of the United States regard George Washington the Father of Our Country. (Guess that makes his brother Laurence the Uncle of Our Country.) I shudder to think of what his reaction to this year’s election would be. For that matter, what his reaction to practically every election since the latter part of the Twentieth Century would be.
The Republicans and Democrats might as well be the Bloods and Crips. Regardless of who you plan to vote for next Tuesday, I think you seriously have to wonder whether the two-party system has outlived its usefulness, if in fact it ever had any. Yes, it makes things easy for the talking heads, because you can paint one as the bad guys and one as the good guys, but since when does the convenience of the media have a damn thing to do with it? Maybe some voters need the convenience of being able to go into the booth and vote for a party rather than an individual. Punch 10, as they would say in Chicago, with 10 being a straight Democratic Party vote. It’s easy to explain to those who don’t speak English: Marque diez. Dziurkowania dziesięć. Dấm mười. Chicago no longer even bothers putting party affiliation on the ballot in its municipal elections, because in Chicago, you vote for the Democrat of your choice. They’ve long since eliminated the Republicans as a viable alternative. Chicago is a one-party town.
That’s the goal of both political parties, really: to eliminate the other one. Why govern when you can rule, am I right? Destroy the other guys, you can have your way with the poor bastards who think they’re doing something by voting, am I right? Screw compromise, we don’t have to compromise. You’ll take what you’re given and you’ll like it. Already, that’s what the two-party system has done: to be a viable candidate, you must be either a Democrat or a Republican. Libertarian? Green? Constitutionalist? Reform? Forget it! It screws up the numbers. Makes things difficult for the party leadership when it comes time to divide the spoils. Bless the hearts of Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, and the other brave souls who have thrown their hats into the ring. They haven’t a snowball’s chance in hell of actually getting elected, and little or no chance of actually making a difference, but God knows, they’re trying. The Democrats and Republicans are too powerful, too well-funded, too firmly entrenched, and simply laugh when someone says “I’m a candidate for President,” unless they’re a Democrat or a Republican. It’s King Kong versus Godzilla, each looking to destroy the other. And God help us all when it happens.
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One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill, who’s probably ready to kill me…
from The Sound of One Hand Typing