Posted by: JanF | July 8, 2016

Reality Check: Our Two-Party System of Government

The United States has a two-party system of government. We elect a president from one of our two major political parties. It is winner take all, loser gets nothing.

Good, bad or indifferent, that is the reality. If a presidential choice turns out to be an absolute disaster, there is no “call a new election” option as there is in parliamentary democracies such as Canada and the United Kingdom. We are stuck with that president until the next presidential election … and the Congressional majority until the next biennial election.

The latest Pew Poll (July 7, 2016) showed that people are expressing widespread dissatisfaction with both major party candidates.

It also showed this terrifying graph reminding us of what happened in 2000; that the last time the lie of “both parties are the same” was sold to people as conventional wisdom, we ended up with Republican President George W. Bush.

After trillions of dollars wasted on wars of choice and the global financial meltdown, several inches of sea level rise, hundreds of thousands dead from wars of choice, millions of lost homes and lost dreams, I hope we have learned our lesson.

Both parties are NOT the same and a vote for a third party is not a “principled stand”, it is a vote that could put a Republican in the White House for four years. FOUR YEARS! And if the Republicans retain their congressional majorities, it means rolling back all the gains of the Obama years and, really, the gains of the last 6 decades: Social Security, Medicare, Civil Rights, Roe v Wade, the Affordable Care Act, Dodd-Frank, marriage equality … poof, gone.

We can’t afford to go backwards, we can’t survive another few inches of sea level rise or a few more degrees of global warming, an increased possibility of nuclear confrontation, more people plunged into poverty and economic despair, religions and races and sexual orientation and gender targeted by a government that should be protecting our rights instead of eliminating them.

Don’t be seduced by the fool’s gold of third party candidates, the siren call from the rocky shoals singing “♬ let the country descend into chaos in order that people will FINALLY see the goodness of our purity position!! ♬” We saw part of it in 2000, we unlikely to survive another glimpse.

The Democratic Party is the only party that cares about people and our planet.

Vote for Democrats as if your life depends on it. Because it does.

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