I am fairly critical of both the Democrat and Republican parties. I have said before that the only difference between the two parties is that the Democrats will at least buy you dinner before they screw you. Of course, that's not to say that the parties are ideologically identical (or even similar for that matter), but I'm focusing more on the end results: neither party is truly concerned with the welfare of the American people.
What I find interesting is that whenever I discuss the problems that plague one of the parties, the party supporters will often agree with me. Take the GOP for example. I know many Republicans who admit to me that the GOP has lost its way. It parades its Constitutional principles like Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, but when the chips are down, the GOP leadership cares not for such passe notions as "freedom of thought," or "minimal government." Afterall, how can you rightly say that all Americans should enjoy the same rights, but then in the very next breath say that gay Americans should not have the right to marry each other?
Even in the face of the admittedly deep philosophical confusion, GOP supporters still get mad when I present the inevitable conclusion that the GOP is ineffective.
"Well Jack, what do you suppose I do? Vote Democrat?! The GOP isn't perfect, but it's the lesser of the two evils." Somehow, I get the feeling that both GOP and Dem leadership start foaming at the mouth at such an utterance. It's sort of like It's a Wonderful Life rules: teacher says that every time someone chooses the lesser of two evils, a Political Party hopeful gets his wings.
I want to be clear with my readers in that I understand that sometimes we have to choose between a giant douche and a shit sandwich (in the parlents of a very funny episode of South Park). I'm about as Machiavellian as it gets because I understand that in an imperfect world, we often deal with scenarios that involve only imperfect choices.
But because I'm a Machiavellian, I also believe that it is up to us to break free of fortuna's opressive wheel and forge a new path to success--a more perfect union, to quote a great man. How long have we been using the "lesser of two evils" excuse to avoid the truth--the truth that our political parties no longer function to serve the people, but they function to serve themselves?
In reality, there is very little we can do. Perhaps there are many Americans out there who are fed up with the GOP and the Dems, but I don't think it's enough to effect any real change. Men like me, who insist upon realizing a vision of America that lives up to the highest standards of goodness, are often called "idealists," because we tell people to stop settling. What many don't understand is that in order to be an idealist, you have to be an unrelenting realist. Afterall, how can one rightly postulate the conditions of an ideal world if he does not understand the present conditions of the world in which he lives?
How can you know what's better for you if you don't realize how bad off you are? Yes, we have to work within the system if we want to change it, but too often do we forget about change and end up becoming part of the system?
In 2012, I was tired of settling. So what did I do? I voted thrid party. Did it change anything? No, but at least I can say that I voted my conscience. At least I can say that I rejected the notion that I must vote for the candidate who will do the least damage to America. I'm not optimistic, but I'll always hold on to the hope that one day, more Americans will wake up and stop feeding their fat party overlords.