Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Imminent Failure of Our Two Party System

As a registered independent, I have NO PROBLEM sitting here and talking about the downfalls, and the good sides of both of our major political parties. I honestly believe that most people in both parties want the best for us, their constituents, but at this time, have completely lost touch. I say that, because of the issue of lobbyism.

Lobbyism truly came to the forefront a few years back during the Bush administration. You had the arrest of Jack Abramoff, one of the largest lobbyists in our time. He was arrested, because lobbyists have to make sure their money is given in certain increments, for specific things, like campaign contributions towards reelection. He gave them money towards vacations and other things of that ilk.

Today however, if you really search through all of the politicians, Republican and Democrat, you'll notice that almost every single one operates with the use of lobbyists... either legally or illegally (like Abramoff).

What exactly is a lobbyist? A lobbyist is someone that goes to Capitol Hill, with money in their pocket, and tries to pay a Senator or a Representative to vote the way that interests their particular company. There's a NORML lobby (anyone reading this SHOULD DEFINITELY KNOW who that is), there's a teacher lobby, and there's a tobacco lobby. Quite honestly, there is a lobby for almost every business in every sector that you can think of.

In some respects, this might sound productive; people trying to get powerful men and women to hear them out. However... with this system comes a mighty pitfall:

Those with the most money, will win the most votes, and pass the most laws that help themselves.

Considering how that system operates, it just makes sense.

In fact it makes more than just sense... it makes the law. For example, the banking bailouts. How and why did that occur? Well, the banking industry like AIG and such, spent MILLIONS in lobbyist funds to make sure that they were bailed out. Now... most of that money, in a horrendous political move, really wasn't watched when it was handed over to the banks. The first bailout... the BILLIONS of dollars that we, as taxpayers, GAVE to the banks... was put back in the pockets of Senators and Representatives... to make sure a second bailout occurred. Basically... financial corporations took our taxpayer money... and instead of using it to fix the gigantic holes that existed in the way they operated, they used that money to bribe Congress... to get more money. That's my first example.

Gay marriage. There are half a dozen reasons I could give for why gay marriage is opposed in this country. However, the real reason most government officials won't support it... like Barack Obama, is because the Healthcare industry lobbies MILLIONS of dollars a year to make sure it won't nationally pass. They know that if gay marriage occurs in this country, MILLIONS of people who didn't get insurance, now can claim a family package. That's BILLIONS of dollars more that has to be spent in coverage. That's the second example.

In both of these examples, I've tried to explain how lobbyists can affect the creation, or lack thereof, for new laws to be enacted, that quite frankly, might actually be wanted, or needed in this country. The healtcare issue again, hasn't been passed because of the giant that is the healthcare companies. Even the Max Bauccus bill was basically written by lobbyists to make sure money does not, under any circumstance, leave the pockets of those corporations. Bill Maher called the bill a "blowjob" to the healhcare industry. Even though it's those unethical bastards who make it their business to find loopholes continuously to uninsure anyone they can, for any possible reason (ever heard the term "Preexisting Condition?" Who do you think came up with that?), they have found a way to make sure that they still have their hands in our pockets, taking our money while giving us half ass coverage.

My point: in our government today, a majority of ethical and helpful laws don't get passed because each and every representative is paid off to make sure that the interests of the corporations are looked at first and foremost. Our feelings are secondary. This goes for BOTH Democrats and Republicans.

In America... things don't really ever get fixed or better. The violence in Iraq has seemingly calmed down, not because we're a great nation building force, but because most of the "bad guys" left the country or were killed. We are paying the rest of the Sunni's and Shiite's off, to not attack one another. What work is being done at Ground Zero? What has been enacted to make sure 9/11 doesn't happen again? Important things, ethical things, are left to fall by the wayside today, because profit can't be made from them.

I propose then the only logical solution; the creation of a 3rd political party in this nation. Our Democrats and Republicans have failed us mightily... they truly only care about corporate contributions. We need a new grassroots party that stands up for important ethical issues. Here are the issues I suggest we champion:

Social liberalism: Anything involving your body should be allowed to occur. Government should not control what you do to yourself. This would mean the legalization of all drugs (18 or 21 and up, similar to alcohol), which would of course be taxed... complete legalization of abortion (even though I think it's a terrible thing, I, nor anyone else, should be able to tell a woman what they can or cannot do with something growing inside of them, and complete legalization of gay marriage (you love who you want, with no exceptions). How about immigration? I'm somewhat conservative on this issue... I just have a problem with somone bypassing the system. But, they do that because to become an American citizen is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. Let's allow everyone to come into this country... as long as they register. I have no issue with a crackdown on letting illegals in... but I do have a problem with making it impossible to come in legally. Ease that burden, let them become taxpayers such as each and every one of us... and the issue then slowly goes away... while the government earns just a little bit more money. A majority of people wouldn't come in illegally... if coming in legally wasn't so damn difficult.

Financial conservatism: Both parties are very iffy on this, but I don't want to be. Liberals spend wildly, while conservatives spend nothing. Both ideals are bullshit. There should be no problem with the government spending tax payer money... AS LONG AS every dollar is watched and accounted for. NO ONE unbelievably does this! During the Iraq War, I believe it was 9 Million Dollars that was completely lost. During the Katrina "rescues," it was a similar figure. This money just "dissappeared." Unacceptable. Money should and must be spent, but it must be carefully watched, no questions asked.

Taxation in this country is also an issue. Let's have a flat tax. I don't care how much you make or you don't make... everyone should have to pay the same percentage towards this country. Make it around 9 - 11%. If you want a tax break, it should be given when you are charitable, or prove to employ large amounts of people. No tax breaks for people that already are making money.

There should be a "workfare" program enacted. I'm all for helping people out who have lost their jobs. Businesses should be given small tax breaks if they can give lists of jobs out to the government for them to fill. If someone's lost their job, give them 6 months to a year to find another while on unemployment. After that time is up, and they can't find a job, they get to choose from multiple jobs in their area. It gives you the freedom to try and find your own position, while knowing that if you can't Uncle Sam will help you out.

Of course we should all be given free and full healthcare. This is a nonissue... if you are sick, you must be given every opportunity to feel better. Hell... if you end the Iraq/Afganistan war, and legallize and tax pot... we could pay for the health of each and every citizen... while having money left over.

Lastly... no religion in our government. That's a 1st Amendment issue. If you wan't to practice your religion, go right ahead. Unless each and every American is of the same religion though... it has no place in lawmaking.

These are just a few ideas I have had for the creation of a new party. I feel we need this, because our 2 party system has failed ALL OF US. It hasn't failed the 2% at the top of the American food chain. But the average person, such as myself, has been left for dead by the government. So have you.