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Post Reply Are political parties harmful to the political system and society as a whole?
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16 / M / Ente Isla
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Posted 11/8/15 , edited 11/8/15
DISCLAIMER: Please note that while this original post is being written mainly in regard to the political landscape of the United States, the points it makes are not necessarily limited to one specific country and that the topic as a whole is focused on an international level. People from different nations should not be discouraged from sharing their thoughts on political parties -- both within their countries and others.

Thank you.

_____________________________________________________________________________


“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
----George Washington

“There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”
----John Adams


Political parties are a cancer on this nation and a blight that should make every American sick to their stomach at the mere mention of it.

If you haven't noticed lately (or simply don't follow politics), there's a lot of anti-establishment sentiment within the general public at the moment. And why shouldn't there be? Nearly every politician in the running is funded by a Super-PAC -- essentially, legalized bribery. They pander to the masses and flip-flop their positions simply to ensure they get elected. And when another candidate is vulnerable? Oh, they won't hesitate to jump on them with the rest of the pack and tear them apart like vultures! That's what the establishment is: a collective of stereotypical politicians who cares only for their wallets and their image. This backlash against the corruption within the political system is something that many of us have been waiting eagerly to see. It does, however, raise a lot of questions.

Why are things like this in the first place? Why did it take so long for people to notice and speak up about these issues? What is the primary source of this issue?

The answer I'd offer to such questions, considering the title of the topic as well as the aforementioned purpose of the thread as a whole, should be obvious. Political parties, if you ask me, are the main guilty party here... in particular, the Republicans and Democrats.

They've served as a masquerade for the corruption within our political system. How often do you hear conservatives ramble about the immorality and foolishness of liberals? How often do you hear liberals speak of the evils, and the hatred, and the bigotry of conservatives? The stage of political debate is akin to a battlefield in its brutality, in the hatred and contempt festering within it for the "enemy". Individuals all seeking the common goal of bettering their nation and aiding its people turn on each other like rabid dogs and turn a blind eye to the injustices their brethren are guilty of. It's easy to hate one's foes with a fiery passion, especially when surrounded by strawman arguments and personal attacks that only serve to slander opponents.

Politicians know this to be true and exploit it to the fullest of their capabilities. They rally up the people, divide them against one another, and in doing so distract from their crimes, their mistakes, [and] their policies. The focus becomes not on policies and individuals, but on the collective groups as a whole, and with it emerges a toxic gang mentality where the answers to issues are decided based solely off partisan alignment. People vote based off assumptions of what a candidate stands for and the only circumstance in which flaws are recognized is when they're the flaws of people of the opposing collective. And while all this is happening, the media takes care to fan the flames. They resort to any measure in order to perpetuate the idea that the only enemies that exist within the political landscape are those of the opposing party.

And the worst part? It works. They maneuver their supporters like pawns and the populace are none the wiser for the longest amount of time. People don't care about your policies, your ideas, your thoughts, [and] your opinions... All they care about is the label you attach to yourself. Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, etc. That's how they decide whether they agree or disagree with you.

Even if the parties weren't fundamentally corrupt to the core, even if they weren't serving to masquerade corruption within the ideology, they'd still be harmful in their own right. At their most basic level, they promote sacrificing individual thought for a collective mindset. That should be troubling enough on its own.

It is for these reasons that I don't choose to align myself with the Democratic Party. I lean to the left and I do identify myself as a progressive, but the inherent problems within a partisan system and its usage as a mask for shady activities and practices makes me sick. These parties are a source of many of the problems we have to this day and I honestly think that our political system, as well as our society as a whole, would be far better off without them. Their continued existence is a tragedy -- a tragedy that our forefathers dreaded, and rightfully so.

But those are just my thoughts on the issue. What do you guys think? I'd be interested in hearing what your perspective on it is.
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Posted 11/8/15

GrandmasterCoolio wrote:

DISCLAIMER: Please note that while this original post is being written mainly in regard to the political landscape of the United States, the points it makes are not necessarily limited to one specific country and that the topic as a whole is focused on an international level. People from different nations should not be discouraged from sharing their thoughts on political parties -- both within their countries and others.

Thank you.

_____________________________________________________________________________


“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
----George Washington

“There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”
----John Adams


Political parties are a cancer on this nation and a blight that should make every American sick to their stomach at the mere mention of it.

If you haven't noticed lately (or simply don't follow politics), there's a lot of anti-establishment sentiment within the general public at the moment. And why shouldn't there be? Nearly every politician in the running is funded by a Super-PAC -- essentially, legalized bribery. They pander to the masses and flip-flop their positions simply to ensure they get elected. And when another candidate is vulnerable? Oh, they won't hesitate to jump on them with the rest of the pack and tear them apart like vultures! That's what the establishment is: a collective of stereotypical politicians who cares only for their wallets and their image. This backlash against the corruption within the political system is something that many of us have been waiting eagerly to see. It does, however, raise a lot of questions.

Why are things like this in the first place? Why did it take so long for people to notice and speak up about these issues? What is the primary source of this issue?

The answer I'd offer to such questions, considering the title of the topic as well as the aforementioned purpose of the thread as a whole, should be obvious. Political parties, if you ask me, are the main guilty party here... in particular, the Republicans and Democrats.

They've served as a masquerade for the corruption within our political system. How often do you hear conservatives ramble about the immorality and foolishness of liberals? How often do you hear liberals speak of the evils, and the hatred, and the bigotry of conservatives? The stage of political debate is akin to a battlefield in its brutality, in the hatred and contempt festering within it for the "enemy". Individuals all seeking the common goal of bettering their nation and aiding its people turn on each other like rabid dogs and turn a blind eye to the injustices their brethren are guilty of. It's easy to hate one's foes with a fiery passion, especially when surrounded by strawman arguments and personal attacks that only serve to slander opponents.

Politicians know this to be true and exploit it to the fullest of their capabilities. They rally up the people, divide them against one another, and in doing so distract from their crimes, their mistakes, [and] their policies. The focus becomes not on policies and individuals, but on the collective groups as a whole, and with it emerges a toxic gang mentality where the answers to issues are decided based solely off partisan alignment. People vote based off assumptions of what a candidate stands for and the only circumstance in which flaws are recognized is when they're the flaws of people of the opposing collective. And while all this is happening, the media takes care to fan the flames. They resort to any measure in order to perpetuate the idea that the only enemies that exist within the political landscape are those of the opposing party.

And the worst part? It works. They maneuver their supporters like pawns and the populace are none the wiser for the longest amount of time. People don't care about your policies, your ideas, your thoughts, [and] your opinions... All they care about is the label you attach to yourself. Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, etc. That's how they decide whether they agree or disagree with you.

Even if the parties weren't fundamentally corrupt to the core, even if they weren't serving to masquerade corruption within the ideology, they'd still be harmful in their own right. At their most basic level, they promote sacrificing individual thought for a collective mindset. That should be troubling enough on its own.

It is for these reasons that I don't choose to align myself with the Democratic Party. I lean to the left and I do identify myself as a progressive, but the inherent problems within a partisan system and its usage as a mask for shady activities and practices makes me sick. These parties are a source of many of the problems we have to this day and I honestly think that our political system, as well as our society as a whole, would be far better off without them. Their continued existence is a tragedy -- a tragedy that our forefathers dreaded, and rightfully so.

But those are just my thoughts on the issue. What do you guys think? I'd be interested in hearing what your perspective on it is.

who is going to read all this?
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Posted 11/8/15

iambetterthanyou wrote:

who is going to read all this?


People with no better use of their time or those under the illusion that there's nothing else to spend it on. Also, people who love walls-of-text and/or intellectual discourse.
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Posted 11/8/15

GrandmasterCoolio wrote:


iambetterthanyou wrote:

who is going to read all this?


People with no better use of their time or those under the illusion that there's nothing else to spend it on. Also, people who love walls-of-text and/or intellectual discourse.


i see
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Posted 11/8/15
sure missed me with this one. but the entire political establishment, in america, is created to give the illusion of choice.
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Posted 11/8/15 , edited 11/8/15
First, let me just say that you sound way smarter than any 15 year old I've seen. Not many kids your age would have spent so much time thinking about the political landscape and forming such a strong opinion of it.

Second, you're absolutely right. The two-party system we have now only exists to divide people while the guys in Washington continue to do nothing but feed off of that divide. It's always something like "those evil democrats/republicans want to take away blah blah blah. Vote for me to stop them!"

People have beehive mentality where they feel the need to support the queen bee just because they're from the same hive. Forget individual thought. Just do whatever the politicians from your party want you do. It's scary how many voters don't bother learning about key issues and only vote because "hey, that guy is a [D or R] just like me." We see this a lot in Congress when senators and representatives vote on something just because their colleagues are voting for it. I have a slightly more favorable opinion of congressmen capable of thinking for themselves and are willing to vote against their party on certain issues, although most of them are still pretty corrupt.

Americans are only now waking up and realizing that both parties only care about themselves and not the country as a whole. The discontent with both parties has led to an increase in independents and third-parties in recent years. Sadly, it's still not enough to break the monopoly the democrats and republicans have on politics. The only way an independent or a third-party candidate can even be considered for president is if they join one of the two major parties. The nation will still be largely split in half in the near future. We currently have divisive people like Donald Trump alienating certain groups of people and sending them over to Hillary Clinton's camp and also feeding off the anger Americans have towards each other. We have Hillary running simply because she's drunk on power.

The media is also guilty of contributing to the problem. They only spend time talking about democrats and republicans (and often taking sides), leaving many people to believe that these are our only 2 options.

What's funny is that we have so many presidential candidates claiming to be against the establishment, when the truth is they're actually a part of it. Donald Trump isn't a politician, but he sure has no problem admitting that controls politicians through bribery. Marco Rubio got into the Senate with help from the Tea Party but now he's accepting money from Jeb Bush's former donors. He's been getting more hawkish as time goes by and now he's practically a puppet of the establishment. With candidates like these pretending to be in favor of change, it's difficult to focus on the few who actually are running against Washington.
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22 / M / Ames, Iowa, USA
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Posted 11/8/15 , edited 11/8/15
political parties are an inevitability in politics. The biggest cancer is the fact that only 2 in the U.S. are very powerful. While Democrat and Republican are the major leanings, the average american can not list the other political parties prevalent in the U.S. with the exception of the Libertarian party, who manages to get into some debates. If the political landscape of the U.S. evolved to have 3 or even 4 parties, then the issues we have will be alleviated in a sense, though other problems will arise
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Posted 11/8/15
I think we can all agree to crown me as Grand Inquisitor/Emperor/Master of the universe and everyone just does what I say. All of the "world's" "problems" will just disappear, trust me.
reinux 
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Posted 11/8/15

SaintJames012 wrote:

political parties are an inevitability in politics. The biggest cancer is the fact that only 2 in the U.S. are very powerful. While Democrat and Republican are the major leanings, the average american can not list the other political parties prevalent in the U.S. with the exception of the Libertarian party, who manages to get into some debates. If the political landscape of the U.S. evolved to have 3 or even 4 parties, then the issues we have will be alleviated in a sense, though other problems will arise


That's the problem with FPTP.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7tWHJfhiyo
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It doesn't matter.
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Posted 11/8/15
I see what you mean too, !!!!Evan.
and Gary's remark was exceptional.
Posted 11/8/15 , edited 11/8/15
I don't give the slightest fuck whether my country is heading for corruption. I'll only start caring once it starts impacting me to the point where I can no longer live a peaceful life as a hermit crab.

Wanna know why? Because I'm not smart enough. I'm not keen enough. I don't watch the news, nor do I read the newspaper. I only click Facebook news if it's something cute, funny, or relevant to 2D. I don't even know the name of the current leader of the country. This is the majority of mankind; we're not as smart as you. Blame this on education and lack of vitamins. I don't have enough time to start studying politics when I've got better stuff to do. "You've got to enjoy life, or you'll end up wasting it."
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Posted 11/8/15
While our political system does have some fundamental flaws, there is something to be said for 2-party systems in general. One side effect they tend to have is that they dampen political extremism, if not within parties then in the country as a whole. Under this system, politicians in elections (especially presidential ones) have two jobs: encourage voter turnout among entrenched supporters and appeal to undecided voters. The second priority tends to pull successful candidates towards the center.

Also, multi-party systems aren't always hunky-dory, either. They still have a chance for gridlock, and ruling via coalition presents some of its own pluses and minuses.

Unless both the DFL and the GOP collapse simultaneously, the U.S. doesn't have a very high chance of developing a Parliament-style multi-party system without some serious electoral and congressional reform. Politics is just so zero-sum here that the balance of power will always be lopsided with more than two parties.
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Posted 11/8/15

BlazingRagnarok wrote:

While our political system does have some fundamental flaws, there is something to be said for 2-party systems in general. One side effect they tend to have is that they dampen political extremism, if not within parties then in the country as a whole. Under this system, politicians in elections (especially presidential ones) have two jobs: encourage voter turnout among entrenched supporters and appeal to undecided voters. The second priority tends to pull successful candidates towards the center.

Also, multi-party systems aren't always hunky-dory, either. They still have a chance for gridlock, and ruling via coalition presents some of its own pluses and minuses.

Unless both the DFL and the GOP collapse simultaneously, the U.S. doesn't have a very high chance of developing a Parliament-style multi-party system without some serious electoral and congressional reform. Politics is just so zero-sum here that the balance of power will always be lopsided with more than two parties.


I wouldn't say it dampens extremism, just because of theories that have sprung up in both parties during the last 15 years. There's a lot of weirdness in the arena right now, and the bizarre nature of most presidential candidates this time around is staggering. But I agree with the rest of your point, especially with reform.

At the heart of everything, a two-party system might work if the US wasn't so incendiary and opinionated. But ideologies that have no place in politics have ended up being a driving force in campaigns, so we're hard-pressed to find any rationale in it at this point.

I vote, but I vote reluctantly.
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30 / M / Waterloo, Ontario
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Posted 11/8/15
I love how every politician is an old person lol but now Canada's Prime Minister is the first young prime minister in history.
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Posted 11/8/15
I'm a floater. I'm not committed to any political party. I'll vote on what policies I think look good and hope for the best. In school we would talk politics a lot because we were well aware of our parents, neighbours and local community talking about it. We also aware about international politics too. The first time I became aware of politics I was 8. Some of the music in the Caribbean comments on politics. I came to that realisation after listening for years. We also got some history the same way. Politics as we know it is about the popular vote. It's short sighted though there may be visions of long term goals but those mostly tend to stay just a dream.
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