What’s the Matter with American Politics?

The notion of Left and Right in American politics is worse than meaningless; it is misleading disinformation that makes simple understanding of our world yet more difficult. The difference between Left and Right is simply the conglomeration of special interests that they represent. Contrary to conventional wisdom, competing special interests do not lead to democratic outcomes; they lead to elitism, corruption and widespread disenfranchisement.

The American Left and Right are in opposition on the issue of Gay marriage or prayer in school and other abstract causes, which cannot be resolved through law. They are however, in agreement to leave the system at large unchanged and to never raise any issues of first principles. They are simply teams, forever swapping places: one The Washington Generals, the other The Globetrotters.

The rhetoric around the cause of the moment is exclusively moralizing in tone, neither side appeals to any empirical evidence. Arguments are made in a context of their received wisdom, and derived from differing sets of beliefs that are each arbitrary and irrational.

Moralizing is often confused with ethical consideration. Ethical consideration would require thoughtful analysis and empirical evidence; moralizing requires only belief. Therefore ethics and morality are ideas in opposition. We have two competing factions of belief in this country, neither grounded in the real, empirical world.

The Left supports Gay marriage, and in order to do so they must first disregard the long standing meaning of the word marriage in our culture. One has to ignore the Orwellian implications of the casual redefinition of long accepted word meanings. Simply put, if the meaning of words is not consistent and generally accepted, then communication certainly, and even thought become difficult or impossible. Though often on the right side of change, social liberals have time and again failed to deliver the goods to all people. Instead the Left tends to seize benefits for some, misunderstanding the nature and meaning of progress. The moralizing figures most loudly supporting Gay marriage come from a long line of divisive opportunists who supported in turn: involuntary eugenics, grand government programs without subsequent review for effect, international double standard, world changing ideas substantiated by nothing but hope, and social engineering.

The Right opposes Gay marriage from a situational and narrow interpretation of religious mythology. That is to stop all thought, slaughter free will, and create heretics. Further, it is likely to become yet another in a long series of losses for social conservatives who seem to be consistently on the wrong side of change. The moralizing figures most loudly opposed to Gay marriage come from a long line of divisive bigots who supported in no particular order: Indian genocide, slavery, segregation, no enfranchisement of women, capricious and strange dress codes, an international double standard, religious power and witch burning.

Neither the Left nor Right ever seems to check their premises, or seek empirical evidence to support their view. Marriage is much ballyhooed by some as the glue and cure all for society. Where is the actual evidence for that? Marriage in America is a mess, but crime is down. Marriage is much ballyhooed by some for its presumed legal and economic benefits. Adults, children and the courts are endlessly at odds over the distribution of authority and property at the dissolution of a marriage. Why would we want to expand the scope and magnitude of all that?

A good marriage is probably the result of a good relationship; a bad marriage and divorce probably come from a failed relationship: marriage or divorce are the effect not the cause. The quality and duration of marriages is probably a trailing indicator of stability, not a cause. Easy to enter and messy to leave, and still treating children as property, civil marriage is an anachronism. It is probably long past time to leave marriage solely as a religious ceremony, with no legal consequences, and to require and allow any adults to enter voluntary civil union contracts.

The Right’s consistent opposition to any social progress across the board causes them to lose time and again, preparing the way for future losses. Would we now be fighting about Gay marriage if the Right hadn’t fought for elitist division and lost, in the matter of race and gender? They should support traditional customs as they make sense and allow sensible progress. We have the ridiculous example of often married, philandering politicians trying to protect ‘marriage’ through legislation: all they had to do was remain faithful and married and set a good example. They belittle their own beliefs and fail to rectify their own sins, by harping on the perceived moral failings of others.

The Left’s consistent advocacy of underhanded and deceitful methods to gain advantage for a special interest of theirs in the name of the greater good is the reason why they are out of power and without widespread credibility. It is why even their victories taste like ashes in the mouth. Would abortion still be such a political football if the Left hadn’t ‘won’ in a manner that seems like cheating to some? It is why if they return to power, it will be due to the self destruction of the Right alone that will be the cause. They should broadly push for social progress for all people; not just the increasingly affluent; then they would gain victories with enduring meaning.

As we have seen with race and gender, once victory is achieved, the special interests’ beneficiaries’ harbor no loyalty to their champion: progress. Things like education, employment, and healthcare are not available to all people, and are not even being discussed. Newly elevated and money oriented, the beneficiaries philosophically move Right, satisfied now with the new status quo and only concerned to lower their taxes: the hindmost be damned.

How did we come to such a wretched pass, where so much effort is devoted to the special interests of so few? Though difficult to hear, our people are ignorant and misled, and our government undemocratic and corrupt. The so called separation of powers is better described as a conflict of institutions and a diffusion of responsibility. Our electoral system is corrupt and not motivated to reform itself. The law facilitates the organization of Capital, opposes the organization of Labor and harnesses Government in service of Capital. The dynamic balance between Capital, Government and Labor is entirely skewed toward Capital, yet Capital is still fearful of losing its transitory overreaching status. Capital is daily more irresponsible and less loyal, and America becomes more and more like a banana republic.

The Left and the Right have marketed the American people into believing that they two are the only political options. Well, they’re not. The received wisdom is that we cannot make fundamental changes. That’s simply a self fulfilling prophecy. We need to do more than simply change labels on the doors of government offices if we expect real change.

America has been betrayed. America needs a new government.

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