There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
That’s Brutus (pictured at right) talking. You remember Brutus? The “et tu” guy? If he were around today, he might be planning any number of assassinations to get America on the “right” path. But, thankfully, those days are long gone. Despite what you might gather from listening to conservative wing-nuts, assassinations aren’t in vogue any more.
There are more prosaic – but equally effective – ways to bring about desperately needed change. In their muddle-headed way, the wing nuts have stumbled on a strategy that might work – formation of a conservative party to siphon off Republican true believers.
It’s not a new idea. American history is strewn with extinct political parties that were overtaken by new organizations. And, the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that the time has come again for founding new political parties in the United States.
I am sure you have noticed how the mere threat of founding a conservative party has driven the Republicans to the right. The conservatives might not even have to form a party of their own; the Republicans will probably become that party out of sheer cowardice.
But have you noticed what is happening on the left? The Democratic Party, which is supposed to represent people like me, has morphed into a reincarnation of Canada’s Liberal Party back in the Sixties. It really stands for nothing in particular, waddling about in response to the prevailing political winds, obsessed with recruiting members regardless of belief.
The repugnant behavior of so many so-called Democrats during the health care horror story is a case in point. Another example is the massive defection of Blue Dog Democrats in Wednesday’s House vote on a $154 billion jobs package. The bill would increase credit for small businesses, rebuild infrastructure, and keep police, firefighters and teachers on the job. It would be funded by redirecting left-over bank bailout money. It narrowly passed the House but is sure to get the same kind of abuse in the Senate that the health care initiative received.
The Canadian response to the two-party system’s failure was to found the New Democratic Party, and it was the NDP that pressured succeeding governments into such humane policies as universal health care and workplace justice.
I am aware that at least a dozen political parties already exist in America, but they aren’t taken seriously. Even the Libertarian Party is pretty much of a joke. Onetime Libertarian leader Ron Paul had to join the Republicans to get noticed. But times have changed.
One reason there are only two de facto political parties in America is that mainstream media ignore everybody else. That used to be the kiss of death, but no longer; today there is the Internet. I see a bright future for a genuinely progressive political party in America, especially if it were led by such stalwarts as Howard Dean (above, far left), Dennis Kucinich (above left), Alan Grayson (above right) and Bernie Sanders (left).
That would provide genuine choices for the American voter:
– Join the wing nuts on the right and put women in prison for having abortions;
– Waddle about in the center with the soulless creeps who vote their pocketbooks;
– Stand up for peace, justice, equality, opportunity and liberty with those of us who have the courage to fight for our convictions.