America’s One Party System
“America is a two-party system” is not accurate. Sorry to the Libertarians and Green Partiers screaming, “Duh! We know!” I’m not talking about you. The common rhetoric is that the two major parties are too divided. Democrats are left and Republicans are right. Republicans are conservative and Democrats are liberal. The truth is moderates are all over the place.
Optimists are viewed by pessimists as naifs. Pessimists are viewed by optimists as angry depressives. I view moderates as optimistic pessimists on a good day and pessimistic optomists on a bad day. Weak beliefs, weakly held.
My political ideology has always been built on the one concept that I build my entire intellectual life around. There is no truth. There is experience, and evidence, and faith, and everything else that people use to build their own truth. (I recognize that it must be untrue that there is no truth. If there is an objective truth, the statement itself would be a fallacy.) This leaves me with strong beliefs, weakly held.
Here’s my conclusion (currently) about politics in our country, and it’s not remotely original either: There is only one party, the Capitalist Party. Not this one, that one is a sad joke. (Funny example from the website: “We support a clean environment as a means to the end of flourishing human life — not as an end in itself.” You want to achieve the end of flourishing human life? Weird platform.)
Broadly, conservatives believe in capitalism as defined by freedoms for businesses and individuals; liberals believe in capitalism as defined by equal opportunities for all people; progressives believe in capitalism as defined by the shared opportunities for all people; libertarians believe in capitalism as defined by survival of the fittest; the green party believe in capitalism as defined by the method by which we will pay for peaceful coexistence.
“Democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried.” — Anon, via Winston Churchill.
They all believe in capitalism, and our country is and has always been designed to support that system. The beauty of it is that it doesn’t matter what party you choose, you are still casting your vote for capitalism. The invasion of money into politics didn’t happen in the last fifty years with lobbyists and PACs. It has always been here, from before the Continental Congress. Every American that chose this country was seeking their own share of money. It is a sad reality, of course, that so many Americans of the last three hundred years didn’t choose it at all. They were brought, or sent to America. Those of us that are born here are just indoctrinated into the system. Even today, with the uproar about immigration from both sides, the conversation is routinely turned to the effects immigrants have on capitalism.
All the parties want government involvement in the areas that they like. Even libertarians believe in a government bureaucracy, they would just like it to be much smaller than it already is. And they, more than any party, love capitalism.
I love America and I love democracy. I am very happy living in my bubble of self-delusion, so I offer no solution to this political challenge that America faces. In fact, I’m not convinced America will solve it. It is probably already being solved in a country so rich that they no longer need capitalism and can bleed their national income from the capitalist giants that love international trade.