Thursday, August 04, 2005

Playing the game of partisan politics: good for America, or an irresponsible practice?

We respectfully ask that you read the entire post before commenting the first time, but for your convenience we have put a jump to the comments section right here, so that you can easily find them.

You see it on TV, and you see it in the bloggosphere; a clearly divided America where the right-wing bloggers and talking heads are all saying the same thing, day after day; and of course the same goes for the left-wing bloggers and talking heads. There are somehow always two points of view represented ONLY on each issue and everybody's on the same page, playing the "game" together; echoing their party's talking points of the day. It's freedom of speech, but is this good for our country?

Well, I don't think it IS good for our country; I think it's irresponsible, and I believe it harms America terribly. You cannot convince me that 200,000,000 Americans all believe one way on each issue while 200,000,000 other Americans feel exactly the opposite way. Yet, in the bloggosphere, and in the Mainstream Media, that is exactly how it is portrayed to be. Why do we allow the MSM and a small group of people in the RNC, and a small group of people in the DNC have their say with an automatic "Yes, we agree with you!" from the most outspoken from within their bases? We shouldn't, but we do.

So, why DO we give these people this much power? What entitles these people to be held to such a high level that we must sometimes violate our own common sense to echo their words day after day, week after week, year after year? In my opinion, it's all smoke and mirrors and the outspoken amongst us are wasting our true speaking and writing talents to promote the thoughts and ideas of so few people at the political "top".

The bloggosphere is full of extraordinary talent. People who are capable of reaching, and relating to every walk of life within America are selling the extremism of a rich and powerful few instead of simply voicing their own, independent thoughts and ideas. All the former does is continue our enslavement to the two-party system that has grown corrupt and a slave to big oil, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart, Microsoft, and other monopolies. Why do we bloggers fall for it when damn near NONE of us really want to see this Governmental "status quo" root itself in any more firmly than it already is?

I just do not GET it. Are we really THAT easy to manipulate? As I surf though the bloggosphere, if I didn't know any better; I could easily come to the conclusion that 90% of the political bloggers out there are nothing but a bunch of "Sean Hannity's" and "Howard Dean's" out there who are incapable of independent thoughts and ideas. The only thing I can figure out is everybody's afraid of getting "de-linked" by their buddies and buddettes if they voice an indepent point of view on a political issue. I refuse to waste my time reading their drivel.

In my opinion, we bloggers have a responsiblity to clean up the two-party system if we're going to keep it. Either that, or give voice to some of the third parties out there if they're correct in your own PERSONAL opinion. The DNC, and the RNC are NOT such perfect organizations that they deserve ANYBODY'S blind support.

Why is it asking too much for me to challenge the bloggosphere to remain as a place for fresh ideas to be expressed? We have collectively, both left and right, made a great impact upon our Government and the MSM to this point. But now, if you read the newspapers and then surf through the bloggosphere, you pretty much see the same issues and the same points of view being mirrored by both. We're getting complacent at a time when we were STARTING to take this country back. We cannot sit back and rest on our laurels. We MUST continue to put the pressure upon our Government, the RNC, the DNC, and the MSM. This is NO time to let up!

I appeal to ALL of my fellow bloggers, regardless of your BASIC ideological leanings, to remain INDEPENDENT and to express your individuality on your blogs. Please have the courage to speak out against your party if you disagree with the particular issue, or with one of your party's leaders. When a blogger DOES have the courage to do this, I appeal to the rest of you to encourage them to continue voicing their independent opinions on the matter, and do NOT de-link them. Independence and individuality are what our Founding Fathers were all about, and exactly what makes America so great. Do not just toss it into the garbage so you can remain popular within your small circle of bloggosphere influence.

We bloggers have made a difference. We can continue to make a difference. We can fix the problems in our country. We can put the power of the major parties back into the hands of the People, but it won't be easy, and it WILL take courage. You have the 1st Amendment at the tips of your fingers, so exercize it. EXERCIZE it! There is no "exercizing" going on if you are simply cutting and pasting, and putting your own "in-harmony" spin to your favorite party's talking points memos.

Just say "NO" to being a "talking points memo zombie".

Carl - The Gun-Toting Liberal

I could not agree more with GT's post. Anyone who has been over to Liberty Just in Case knows that while I'm unapologetically a Christian conservative, I'm no one's talking point zombie.

I began blogging as a way to not get fired for sending emails at my job. It worked, up to a point. I missed The Great Internet Purge, in which several employees were fired. I got off with a warning, sort of a bad mark on my "permanent record" right there next to kissing a girl named Sharon in front of the whole Kindergarten class, but that's another story...:-)

Blogging was fun, and I didn't take it seriously. It was just a way to keep my friends up to date on stuff I read. No big deal.

Then came September 11th. Watching people jump to their deaths rather than face a burning hell. Watching the towers fall, and the Pentagon attacked. And realizing, for the first time in my adult lifetime, my country was at war.

Blogging is still fun, but now its also deadly serious. Bloggers have changed the nation. Bloggers have uncovered media scandals. Bloggers have influenced elections. And bloggers have held the MSM, and both political parties accountable...perhaps for the first time in our history.

Hugh Hewitt, in his book Blog, compares the rise of the blogs to the invention of the printing press. I believe he's right. For the first time, people don't have to trust good 'ole Walter Cronkite for their news. They don't have to believe Peter Jennings, or Brian Williams, or Rush Limbaugh, or anyone else about what's happening in the world. You can go to a blog from Iraq, written by an Iraqi. You can read a blog out of Iran, written at great personal risk to the blogger. There's even a blog, specifically designed to protect fellow bloggers in totalitarian countries.

The world has changed. And its changed because of folks like us, sitting in our basements typing away. And I believe the world is better for the change. The folks that have controlled the keys to the information kingdom, aren't real thrilled. But their discomfort is part of the fun. As GT often says, Blog On!!!

Mark - Liberty Just In Case

Partisan politics is perhaps the greatest evil of political thought. In
ancient Rome, it divided first the Republic then later the Empire along
economic lines, forever driving a wedge between true compromise and fringe,
biased policies in government. Today, the same stands true of the politic
Americana. Will we compromise or will we suffer the torrents of government
by indignant disagreement that brought low that ancient society on whose
institutions we base our government?

In modern America, both citizens and politicians alike have forgotten or
choose to ignore the teachings of history, even those of the leaders who led
us into the gift of independence from tyranny. George Washington said, "They
[political parties] serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and
extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the
nation, the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising
minority of the community." He warned us so because he knew that political
extremism is the only true fruit of partisanship. After all, such
partisanship was much more obvious and prevalent in those days. The
Revolutionary War was a war between Loyalists (to the crown) and Separatists
(those loyal to America). Sadly, even the warning of our greatest leader was
not enough to make us do right.

As if to add insult to injury, the Civil War should have reminded us once
and for all why partisan politics is so deadly. It wasn't a war over slavery
as soo many believe. It was, if we are honest, a war between Democrats and
Republicans over two opposing lifestyles. While Republicans today take
potshots at Democrats for being the "Party of Slavery", they were themselves
no less guilty of immorality in their then northern lifestyle. After all,
the industrial north was the land of massive factories, low wages,
relentlessly long work hours and infamous child labor. In effect, both
parties went to war with one another to fight each for a cause that was not
pure. This should have shown us once and for all that political parties are
an evil blight upon the land. Yet, even this was not enough to wash clean
our land of justifying blame by placing it on the opposition.

There really isn't much more to say about partisan politics. It's wrong and
it shouldn't be allowed to continue but what can we do about it? Too many in
our country are more loyal to their Party than to even their local sports
teams. How do we combat that kind of fanaticism? The answer is that we must
fight with every bit of resolve we can muster. We must not be afraid to
ridicule both parties for their fallacies and place the blame for their
mistakes firmly where it belongs: in the laps of the parties' leadership and
those voters who support them. Why should we allow ourselves to fall under
the control of Communists or Fascist-Reactionaries? We shouldn't, that's all
there is to it. Honor George Washington's wishes and we will honor
ourselves. God bless!

Joseph - The Independant Liberal

I agree with Carl. Speak your mind. Don't follow blindly. Stand for something you believe in. I will disagree right now with Bush's stance on border control, and I'll say he could do more for the environment. I have a few qualms with the Patriot Act, etc. I believe in the possibility of evolution. What else would you like me to say that strays from my party line talking points? I'm divided on stem cell research. I identify with a lot of libertarian ideas. I don't like big government. Both parties are corrupt. I think I appear a rightwinger just because I oppose almost everything the left has to say. Not always, but more often than I disagree with the right. All in all however, I'm an individual that speaks their mind. I'm an independent that will base my decision on the issues that matter to me, and not on talking points.

Jay - Stop the ACLU

I agree with Gun Toting Liberal that partisan politics is a real problem in our society today. When the large groups- the RNC and the DNC- conspire to think for a whole cross-section of people (largely whom they are out of touch with for the most part) the problem only grows larger and persons like myself, find that they are part of a minority of independent voices that are rarely heard in the rabble of the nation's political arena.

It used to be so simple really: If you were a business man or part of corporate America, you pretty naturally voted Republican. If you were middle class, blue collar folk, Union folk, you were Democrat.

When I entered the voting portion of America at age 18, I was Democrat because my father was. My father was a Union man and I remember well Reaganomics and how it shut down a large part of northern New Mexico's building and mining and forced us to leave our home to find work to keep our family afloat. A stark lesson I learned then about Big Government and its trickle down lesson to the "little guys". I remember being beneath voting age but actively campaigning for Mondale/Ferraro in the first election that I really sat up and took notice of. Ferraro was a woman that supported the right to choose and it was the first time I was confronted with the question:
"What do you do if you really like a candidate but one issue they stand for you personally oppose?" To me, I figured it this way: You can't have it all. You have to look at the majority of what you stand to gain and the minority of what you might stand to lose and ultimately choose. It was however, an election to remember for me.

When I registered to vote for the first time I registered as a Democrat. Why? It had little to do with partisan politics but because I learned early on that the Republicans were not for the blue collar man and I didn't want to see MORE families go through what mine went through in the 80's. It was fairly simple back then.

Now.. I look at our elections and political processes in a whole new way. I don't see it from the partisan ideology that I once did. Nothing is as cut and dry as it once was. I look at the bickering and squabbling and elections that seem to not 'jive' and I think to myself that the voice of lil ol' Mr. and Mrs. America just isn't being heard anymore. When the polls say one thing and the end results come out totally different, we have to stop and say.. okay... WHY? Why if over 1/2 the nation says "NO" to something, is it going on anyway?

I agree that "partisan think" no longer works and I believe that the voices of the people once again need to be heard in our country. I believe that the independent thinkers, problem solvers, dreamers and believers need to retake this nation and move it away from the Big Voices of Big Money and put this nation back on track, because I believe it is going astray.

The DNC and RNC do not speak for me. In truth, they probably never have! When a Bill can be passed that limits MY freedoms, has the potential to change time and seasons, to remove my ability to purchase natural supplements and herbs, to track me in my own homeland then I know that neither party in Washington is speaking for me or even LISTENING to me. When I write to Congressional Leadership and receive back form letters without having ever been truly recognized for my voice to them, its time to ask ourselves “Why are these persons even IN Washington? They don’t care about my opinion, they are not public servants—they are servants of themselves and their own personal agendas!”

I believe that we need to limit these people in their ability to serve us for such long periods of time and we need to get some fresh people on Capitol Hill, that still have the courage and tenacity to speak and be HEARD. I believe we need to get away from the Big Partisan Politics and move back to the real counts of the real voices. Old fashioned election by ballot system and a hand count. It may seem undoable but nothing is undoable if we apply the stick-to-it initiative that this nation once had. We need to come back, America—back to our roots. And as for me and my blog—we will continue to speak the truth as we see it.

Nariel - Ancient Eyes for Current Times
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