Problems with modern American politics
Hey guys. The following is a post from my blog, but I figured I could get a lot more discussion and opinions here.
I have come to believe that all the problems with our modern political system stem from the two party system combined with lobbyists' abilities to buy candidates.
Some background information on myself:
I am Catholic. I consider myself a republican, but more middle of the road than many. I believe that abortion is murder, and should be outlawed. I believe that the government should stay out of religious matters. That means I am against any laws that attempt to force Catholic employers and medical establishments to pay for insurance for abortions, but I am also against laws that prohibit gay marriage. As far as the economy goes, I am in favor of as little regulation as possible, as close to laissez faire as we could be, within reason. I believe there should be a flat tax rate on all people.
Now, let me ask you this. Say a person like me, with my views, were to work my way up in local politics. Say I did a good job for the community and the state, and I decided to take a step up into the national stage. Somehow, some way, I get my name in with possible presidential candidates. Would I have any chance at all to win?
The answer is no. Not a chance in hell. Part of the reason for this is lobbyists. Special interest lobbyists give tons of monetary support to candidates who take up their cause (however noble or ignoble it may be), and that support translates into more exposure and more votes. But the reason that a candidate like me could not even get to the primaries is that no candidate is going to get the support of either major party unless they subscribe to and support their cooker cutter outline of what stances they feel he should take on the issues. It just won't happen.
Since World War II, this system has become more and more entrenched in our political culture with every election, and now a departure from that model seems impossible. Before this all happened, candidates were able to run on the issues, not on their political party. The casual voter had to learn more about a candidate other than "he's a Republican" or "he's a Democrat." The voter was able to associate with a candidate based on their stance on major issues. But now more than ever voters give their support to whoever is running behind their political party and don't even bother to research how the candidate stands on all the issues. Not that it matters now anyways, because even candidates who have taken stands against the grain of their party have either fallen out of the race or appeased their party by vacillating on their stance during campaigns and debates.
This is not a good state of affairs for our political system, but the longer it goes on, the more normal and insurmountable it will seem. I think we would be far better off with a departure from the way things are, but at this point it might be too late.
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