Thursday, June 15, 2006

America, Come Back to Us

Can you feel it? The frustration with the US government seems to be at an all time high. I can not recall a time when there was so much cynicism about our elected officals. Look at the approval ratings (subject to change daily, of course, but consistently low):

Bush 30%

Congress 28%

Cheney 18%

I’d really like to poll the 12% who like Bush, but hate Cheney, and see what is in their respective heads. Aren’t those two a package deal?

The Democrats should be riding high, as they are expected to sweep many of the November elections, and perhaps change the balance of power in Washington. I’m not convinced this is exactly a good thing. There seems to be an almost equal amount of corruption on both sides of the aisle, to varying degrees.

Full disclosure time: I’m a registered Democrat. Even so, I do not vote along party lines, and have voted for Republicans, Greens, and Independents over the course of my voting life. Vote the candidate, not the party, right?

We need new blood in Washington. More parties need to be part of the mix. The trouble is that the two main camps have set things up in such a way that makes getting on the ballot extremely difficult, and alternative parties are relegated to the fringes. Ross Perot made a nice run in 1992, and struck a populist chord, but in the end, it seemed like he was simply a guy with lots of cash indulging in a fun side project.

We need a party that honestly will look after the interests of the rapidly vanishing middle class. A party that does not equate corporate profits with economic success, but rather strives to ensure that Americans are not only prosperous, but also able to pursue what used to be the American Dream. The new global economy has meant nothing more than the exporting of middle class jobs. The United States of Corporate America rules, with each party more than willing to sell out to the highest bidder.

I think the creation of a viable third party would free up conflicted politicians who are currently forced to align themselves with one of the Big Two. Ever notice how much different a candidate sounds before he or she is forced to adopt the platform of their respective party? They must play ball, or they will not get the support (and the money) from the party. That’s insane. I’m sure there are plenty of Pro-Choice Republicans, and Pro Gun Democrats, etc. who are very electable, but won’t get anywhere since they do not cater to the extreme wings of each party. I would love to see a GOP candidate tell Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson to get bent, but when push comes to shove those fat asses have to be kissed to ensure a voting block. John McCain recently giving a commencement speech at Falwell’s Liberty University is a perfect example. Some “maverick”!

How about a Democrat who is a card carrying member of the NRA, and favors small government? That would be cool. Better still, an openly Gay Republican, who crosses the aisle and chooses a Pro-Life Democrat as his running mate!

My point is, the country is ready and willing to hear new voices. Voices of reason, which aren’t beholden to any group and can be immune to lobbyists. If this started, I think it would catch on quickly. The monopoly the mainstream media had is eroding with the growth of independent news and, especially, the Blogsphere. The internet provides a much more effective way of spreading grassroots movements around the world, and the declining ratings for TV news, coupled with the shrinking circulation of traditional newspapers, show a new breed of people who are tired of being told what to think about the news. After all, why should a media that is corporate owned be trusted when they amount to nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Government, never challenging, and following along in lockstep? (BTW, kudos to Steven Colbert for exposing these cowards at the correspondent’s dinner a few weeks back.)

What’s out there now? Some examples of viable alternative parties are listed here:

Libertarian Party

Green Party

Let’s do it, America. Let’s take the country back.

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