On this board, the liberal position is probably the dominant when it comes to the political spectrum. However, the most reasonable position for government to actually act on should be the moderate. We need both parties to counter-balance one another.
I would assert that for our form of government to work properly, you need both parties. For example, when the Republican party had a huge victory in 1992, it wasn’t long before the more moderate elements of the party were pushed aside in favor of more extreme and hardcore elements. The extreme elements of the Republican position tend to lean towards an intrusive and abusive government.
However, when the Democratic party gets control, they too, push aside their moderate elements in favor of more extreme views and the government that results tends to be just as intrusive and abusive albeit for different reasons.
As polarized as the parties are at this time, will there ever be a time where the moderates from either party can get enough support from their own polarized parties?
I’m not American, but from abroad it looks like while the Democratic Party hasnt changed that much for the last 20-30 years, the Republican party has considerably veered to the right, and fallen under Christian Right control. Hard to go for compromises, and “reasonable” agreements on the basics, when one party is center left and the other is ultra-right.
I don’t think we need parties so much as we need competence. The 21st century will be dominated by countries that can react quickly and be effective. The problem is that politics gets in the way of effective solutions. Fact-based solutions should predominate, rather than be subject to political debate.
More importantly, both parties have thoroughly convinced most qualified people to avoid politics. They both demonize the candidates, take away all their privacy, dig through their personal lives, and subject their families to public scorn. The behavior of both parties is what ensures competent people will rarely want to become leaders.
I have to disagree. In general, a moderate policy is probably better in the long run than a series of extreme ones from different sides, but I think in many ways the two-party system we have is the problem. It seems that most people are unwilling to vote for someone that they don’t perceive as having a chance of winning, so many people are stuck trying to figure out which of the two parties either has the most in common with their views or has the fewest negatives.
Let’s consider a scenario where a voter actually agrees with most of the positions, but the candidate for that party has a stance he just can’t stand, for example a gay conservative where the Republican candidate is vocally anti-gay. Granted, most are probably a lot more subtle than that, but it results in a lot of candidates not really representing their consitituents.
This two-party thing also means that candidates have to differentiate themselves or why bother voting at all? So rather than ending up with a couple of moderates with some varying ideas, even if the region they represent is generally moderate, at least one of them will have to do something different, which causes polarization, and it gets reinforced everytime someone votes against the other guy.
But the real problem I see is the knee-jerk reaction voters have. Is everything going well? Re-elect the incumbent, even if he’s incompetent and isn’t a good representative for you. Is stuff going badly? Vote for the other party, even if the incumbent did a good job. Unfortunately, that’s just human nature, and it’s inevitable as long as our elections work the way they do.
Let’s say that the Christian right has hijacked some of the Republican party just for the sake of argument. At the same time, there are elements of the Democratic party that have pushed the Democrats left. What I am suggesting is that the moderate voice of reason for either party is drowned out by the extreme elements of BOTH parties.
Suggesting that the Democratic party is near center while the Republicans are far right is exactly the kind of thing that makes me crazy. Republican-leaning people tend to think that Republicans are center while the Democrats have become insanely left and vice versa for the Dems.
What I am suggesting is that the Republicans SEEM far right because of extremist voices crowding out all others and because both parties want to call the other extremist, period.
Eh… I was raised GOP. I still think W Bush & Karl Rove are closer to my position on immigration than most (non-Latin) pols of either party. But on that one issue, the dominant voices are nativist scaremongers. That’s one issue.
I think we need a real public health plan, which should involve subsidizing the building of hospitals & training of medical professionals. That doesn’t have to mean socialized medicine as such, but it does have to mean increasing supply. But politicians think “supply-side economics” means, “cut taxes, win votes.” And the GOP attitude toward health care reform seems so far to be conservative in the sense of, “stick fingers in ears, deny there any any problems with status quo.”
I think we need debate, yes, but we don’t need these two parties.
Taking a long view, I gotta disagree. The last one hundred years or so have gone through a cycle where progressives take power and push some huge major policy change to help the people. The New Deal, the Great Society, a (failed) attempt at major health care reform. All the while conservatives scream about how it’s the end of the world and America will fall and blah blah blah.
Then conservatives take over. They don’t have the power to get rid of what was enacted entirely, but they can tone it down. Fix it. Take out the worst of the abuses. And all the while progressives scream about how old people will starve, it’s the end of the world, America will be destroyed, and blah blah blah.
But overall it works. LBJ gave us the great society. Republicans modified it to try and fix problems that popped up, fraud, etc. FDR enacted all sorts of government social safety nets. Republicans weeded out the good from the bad, which is why 90% of FDR’s policies are dead, but we still have social security. It took Obama to reform health care. It will be the republicans that make it workable though.
So the series of swings from one political extreme to the other actually seems to work. It just causes a whole lot of drama because there’s always someone screaming about how horrible the other guys are.
Take a look at the R nominee in the last presidential election. Do you think McCain is soooo far right? I would definitely say not, and yet, he was the R choice for president. Unfortunately, it’s only the extremists who get the coverage. The same is true of the left. Moderates are boring.
Nonsense. The Republicans have become very far right, and are dominated by theocrats, bigots, fanatic plutocrats, and fascists. The extremists aren’t just loud, they are in charge. As for the Democrats, they have been sliding rightwards, not left; they are not centrists, they are at most moderate right wingers. The left wing extremists have no voice in politics; the centrists have almost no voice. The only politically acceptable options in America are between far right, and slightly less far right.
Wrong. The Republicans don’t try to weed the bad from the good, they oppose it all. They just try to tear it all down. They are motivated by greed and malice, not by any desire to make the system work better. They aren’t interested in good governance and don’t care about the welfare of the country, they care about getting in power.
And another flaw in the OPs idea; it assumes that there is never a case where one party is simply right and the other simply wrong, that the middle position is automatically the correct choice. A popular fallacy in America, where the midpoint between two arguments is often automatically assumed to be the correct position regardless of their respective merits. It is one reason why America has slid so far right; since the American right is so extreme and the left so timid, the midpoint between any two political arguments will be a right wing position.
I don’t think that you can draw an equivalence here.
The truth hurts. In your case it seems to drive you crazy. Wasn’t there a study a few years ago that showed that crazy people tend to vote Republican?
And one of them is more wrong than the other.
Those extremist voices crowding out all the rest of the Republican party is about half the godddam party. 90% of the tea party self identify as Republicans. The Tea Party Federation has been expelling so many of the orginial tea party leaders from their ranks (mostly for racism and bigotry) that all thats left looks an awful lot like the Republican the more conservative half otf the Republican aprty with extra mouth frothing.
The McCain that got the Republican nomination in 2008 is a different man than the McCain that ran for but did not get the Republican nomination in 2000. Still, I think he’s generally a good candidate, I think he would have tacked back to center if he had won and mroe than anyone else, he would have tackled the ONE place in government where there really is a lot of waste fraud and abuse, the Dept of Defense and government contracting generally.
If the Tea party movement is as vibrant in 2012 as it is today, do you think there is ANY chance that the Republican nominee will be anyone nearly as moderate as McCain?
With that I will say that we threw out a lot of good republicans in the whole anti-Bush surge. There was a guy in Rhode Island who voted against the iraq war and HE lost.
Well, if you brought back the Republican party from teh grave, they’d let you run things for a while too even if it means tolerating some bigotry for the time being.
Puh-leeze. You’re only looking at the senate, if you look at the house, they are left of center.
Thats not true, you have a voice, noone listens to you but there are several liberal voices in both houses.
I agree with the singlemindedness of their approach. Even if you wanted to be really charitable you would have to conclude that Republicans are so convinced that their ideas are better for the country in the long term that they are willing to hurt the country in the short term to get themselves back in power.
How far have we gone when the senior senator from South Carolina is the voice of reason on the Republican side.
Thats true going both ways.
The Republicans were wrong about taxes, regulation, the war in iraq, health care, fiscal responsibility (and a few things I’m sure I’m forgetting).
Democrats were wrong about the surge, compromising with the Republicans on the stimulus, taxes, regulations, the war in riaq, health care, and fiscal responsibility 9and a few things I’m sure I’m forgetting).