I recently read an Opinion piece on CNN.Com by Julian Zeilizer about the Democratic Party looking the other way on the NSA spying revelation. This issue has made me consider a point of fact that I consider central to the failure of our two-party political system. I am not a big fan of the dichotomy of our present political system. Democrats on one side, republicans on the other and most of America split down the center blindly following our parallel paths. I have no love for this system and this is a classic example of why.
Our system is designed around winning, specifically around your side winning. It doesn’t matter that you don’t like all the players on the team. It doesn’t matter that you may not like the stance they have on all of the issues. It’s only about your team. No matter what! That means you either ignore those parts of their political dogma that you do not agree with, or you perform some mental gymnastics and compromise your beliefs in order to support “your team”. Who doesn’t love a winner right? I mean c’mon, maybe your guy/gal isn’t always perfect on every issue but they need you. So bend your morals and vote the party line.
The current system breeds this. You mean to tell me that all republicans feel exactly like all those fundamentalist Christian republicans do about abortion? If you are a black, southern democrat you now have more n common with most of your local KKK members than I do (only in the fact that I am white I would hastily add). How many liberals want to claim deceased democratic governor George Wallace? How many hawkish Conservatives who probably have a picture of Reagan somewhere in their house remember “History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap”? So if we don’t see eye to eye on everything then why sell your soul so completely? How can you ever claim to be intellectual and do that?
It is the heart of this CNN piece. The latest NSA spying scandal………and why we haven’t heard a peep out of Democrats. And why such staunch defenders of our liberties during the Bush years, such as Diane Feinstein, actually defend the program under Obama. We saw the same thing during the Bush years. Right after 9/11 when the Patriot Act came out, how many Republicans opposed it? Almost none. Wow, silence from the smaller government crowd as Bush created an entire new department in the Federal government. Shockingly quiet as we started really spying on ourselves in the name of safety. But why? Why do we follow this stupid hypocritical cycle of decrying what the opposite side does, then cheering when our guy does it? Isn’t it just as wrong?
Yes it is. But we look the other way when it’s our guy. We compromise our integrity so that our side will win. The article opines that many Democrats aren’t challenging Obama on this issue, because they are hesitant to not support a leader who is with them on many domestic policies. So think about that for a minute. We know it’s wrong. If the other guy did it we surely wouldn’t give him a pass. But we want something else so we compromise (our morals, our ideals, and our integrity) in order to get something else.
That is what is wrong with us. We should never compromise our ideals. Not any of them. Not ever. Not for some gain in a different area. Not for security, not for safety, and never for a promise. Compromise is what got us where we are now. Billions in debt, housing bubbles, bailouts, wars, terrorism on our own soil, these are all direct results of compromise. It shouldn’t matter who is spying on you, wrong is wrong for any reason. Remember, the person you are giving a pass to, isn’t always going to be in charge. We should be even harder on our own people for not living up to the ideals that they sold us on. Shame on us all for doing it. Compromising your morals and your integrity is a slippery slope into evil. And if compromise is what politics has become then I say politics, and politicians are evil.
I say we are evil for allowing it to happen. There should be stalemates, filibusters and gridlock. That means the system is working. It means we are standing up for what we believe. Not compromising, or rather selling our souls a piece at a time, so we might get something that we want later. Think about that the next time someone tells you to vote the party line.