Drown It in a Bathtub, Already

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Lately I've heard a number of liberal pundits and commentators prattle on in what I suppose could be genuine alarm over the state of the Republican party. Its weakness, incoherence and lack of leadership are a threat to our democracy, they tell me. Two viable parties are absolutely necessary to the health of our democracy! Something must be done to save the Republican party, for the sake of the entire union!

So, OK, I believe that a vibrant democracy requires at least two vibrant, viable parties. Fine. But where is it written that one of those parties has to be the Republican party?

I'm willing to believe that the Republican party has been, at times, what it claims to be: a grand old party. It was the party of Lincoln, after all, as its members like to proclaim--the party dedicated to preserving the Republic.

But recently the Republican party has become a scourge to the planet and to most of humanity. Through its disdain for sound environmental practice and the rule of law, it threatens all life in the long term, but in the short term it sacrifices the interests and health of the many in order to advance the prosperity and power of a very small--and unbelievably selfish--minority.

I would like to shake up our democracy with not a two but a THREE party system. There could be a conservative party--meaning the Democrats--and then a party that champions the environment--say, the Green Party--and then a party that champions women, workers and children--say, the Feminist party. (Is there such a thing already? If not, there should be.)

But we don't need a party that champions grumpy old rich white guys who want to make sure they never lose a penny they aren't willing to part with--whales, polar bears, mountaintops in Appalachia and everyone else be damned. They'll even start wars and torture people if necessary in order to protect their wealth and their power.

The world--and our democracy--would be healthier if we got rid of that party.

I would like to see the Republican party shrink to the point where Ralph Nader could drown it in a bathtub. THAT would be good for democracy.

And the fact that the people in power and the people commenting on the people in power can only imagine opposition from the right of the Democratic party and not from the left of it, just shows how conservative, traditional and anti-change these people really are.

3 Comments

Some aspects of the U.S. constitution (winner-take-all voting, representation based entirely on geography) make it very difficult for new parties to get traction and for more than two parties to coexist. That said, the Republican Party has so discredited itself that we may well be at one of those rare points in history when one U.S. political party dissolves and is replaced by a very different one. We can hope! :D

In my American history class just last week I talked about the Republican Democratic party of the early 19th century. The class erupted into laughter when I put the terms on the board.

The thing that strikes me about the Tory/Federalist/Whig/Republican party over time is the idea that they hold, that the masses don't know what's good for themselves and need the elite to keep order and make laws for them. While you could say that the demographic that put Bush into office and kept him there in '04 is proof of that idea, I find it pretty insulting myself.

Yes, please, would somebody drown it in a bathtub and put it out of our misery.

Hi chanson--you're right about everything; I was journeying entirely in fantasy land. Still, it's a nice place to visit, and as you point out, rare though they are, there are moments when parties disappear.

Hi Juti--Yes, I also resent the basic ideology of the Tory etc party, particularly since it's fundamentally dishonest: the reason the masses don't know what's good for them is that those in power do their best to make sure they never find out. That's really, really rotten.

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This page contains a single entry by Holly published on May 2, 2009 2:05 PM.

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