Remember the 2000 presidential election? Many progressives like yours truly supported Ralph Nader and other Green Party candidates. Here in Florida, we were vilified by the Democrats for not supporting Gore- they railed that we enabled Bush to win. Well, history and extensive investigations proved that false. Bush won because the Florida election was stolen from Gore. The Bush crew used every means possible, even rigged voting machines, to secure their theft. The really sad testimony from that election and most elections is how so many voters enable the two major political parties to under represent their interests. In 2004, Senator Kerry made a damn fool of himself with his ‘John Kerry reporting for duty‘ salute when introduced at the convention. Most damaging for we who voted for Kerry was his statement to reporters re: his vote on the 2002 resolution allowing Bush to invade Iraq. He told them that, upon reflection, he would still vote for it, making jackasses of all the millions of us who stood in the streets opposing the invasion!
The present Republican Party is as far away from true conservatism as ever. Historically, conservatives abhor foreign entanglements of any kind, especially military ones. They resent America’s almost 800 foreign bases worldwide. They reject spending as much as we currently do on bloated military budgets (almost 50% of every federal tax dollar). True conservatives oppose federal bailouts of any business, let alone the big banks. Deep down inside, a principled conservative would look skeptically at the big corporations that operate more offshore than at home. Old school conservative thinking always favored small business and small budgets…. They opposed foreign aid and foreign military excursions.
Progressives or, as they were once called, liberals, are as far removed philosophically from this current Democratic party as possible. They too reject the notion of a bloated military budget and our empire of bases worldwide. True progressives want a fairer income tax system that focuses on the super rich… not someone earning a couple of hundred thousand a year. They want to see the banks, investment houses and hedge funds that caused the real estate crash to be held criminally responsible… not bailed out! They want a health care system more in line with what the Europeans and Canadians have.
They understand that to extend Medicare for any who want it is the best way to counteract the private health insurance rip off. Progressives also know that government should demand and negotiate for lower prices on pharmaceuticals. Most important of all, progressives have been in the forefront demanding hearings and indictments as to the invasion of Iraq… and the use of torture by our government.
The conundrum is that the majority of Americans from either conservative or progressive persuasion, knowing all of the above, still vote for these hypocrites and liars. Why? That is easy to explain. The lesser of two evils syndrome! Basically, it really does not matter how far removed a conservative is from the Republicans or a progressive from the Democrats. All they need know is how much worse things would be with the other party in control. Thus, anyone who disagrees with most of a party’s key policies and still votes for it is an enabler. As with the parent, sibling or spouse of an alcoholic, who hands over money knowing it is going for drink, we have become a nation of enablers. Yes, it is a tough nut to crack, this lesser of two evils syndrome. However, to continue to support those who really do not have your best interests at heart is….. Well, come on, you know.
As one who can testify to it, standing away from the herd is not a pleasant place to be. Yet, how else can we encourage our neighbors that there is a better way? As with Egypt and the other nations now in civil protest, the clock is ticking on this two party dynasty in America. The first, and yes, most difficult step is for all of us who know better to simply walk away from either of these two parties… period! Yet, voting in itself is not the most important or crucial of civic duties. We who care must stand together on the key issues that need be addressed now, before our economy is totally flushed down the toilet. By drastically cutting our obscene military budget we would have no choice but to get the hell out of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as many other places. To then send those savings back to our states and cities would slowly start us on the road to recovery… for the majority of we the people, not the ‘ Corporate Two Parties ‘ and their super rich patrons.
Philip A. Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen. He is an activist leader and free lance columnist. Since the 2000 elections, he has written over 200 columns, many posted on various sites worldwide. Recently, he is finding a home at Dandelion Salad, New Jersey activist Ed Dunphy’s progressivepatriots.net or at his own blog at www.opensalon.com. Philip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Time to Topple Corporate Dictators by Ralph Nader (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- Speak Up, Before Our Cities Totally Collapse!! by Philip A. Farruggio (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- Ralph Nader: Ron Paul & Bernie Sanders Have Teamed Up To Go After The Military Budget and the Federal Reserve (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- “The Left Has Nowhere to Go” by Chris Hedges (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- The Republican Party: Institutional Insanity by Ralph Nader (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)