Ping-Pong Politics

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Writes Jim Fedako:

With the election around the corner, you can’t miss the escalating sense of urgency from many voices, bordering on panic, that this is the most important election ever – ever. Such hyperbole exposes the truth of our supposed two-party system.

The rhetoric states that Party A wants it hot while Party B wants it cold. But if that is true, why is the result always lukewarm mush, election after election?

Party A and its supporters cry that Candidate B will undo all the good Candidate A has done during the last four years. In turn, Party B and its supporters cry that, if elected, Candidate B will rollback everything foisted on the country during Candidate A’s soon-to-conclude term. From this, one would assume the structure of government is akin to a Ping-Pong ball, bouncing between the separate and distinct agendas and platforms of the two parties. However, as history has shown, that conclusion is false.

Not only is it false, but even the most ardent supports of the parties know it is. And that is why they are in a panic.

For sake of argument, let’s assume for a moment the assumption is true – politics is a Ping-Pong ball. Another four years of Obama would mean the continuation of his current agenda, plus some new programs of liberal nonsense. At some point, the marginal voter would switch allegiance, or simply grow board with the current state of affairs, and a Republican candidate would be elected president.

With a Republican in the White House, all the so-called left-leaning changes initiated since the last Republican was in power would be wiped from the books. Shelves of regulations would be cast into dumpsters and the country would once again be conservative and free (or so the rhetoric goes).

Then, after some time, the marginal voter would once again switch sides and the Democrats would have a go at their four-year or eight-year socialist paradise.
As parties moved in and out of the Oval Office, one group of citizens would be inconvenienced for some multiple of four years, only to see the country returned to its previous course. Things would be tough at times, depending on whether the party in power conformed to your political views. But knowing that, in the near term, political life reversed would limit the “most important election” rhetoric to just a few on the far wings of the parties.

You object: What about the legislative elections?

The office of the president is becoming more imperial with every election. The “most important election” rhetoric is around the president because of the obvious supremacy of the executive branch. So the president is our immediate concern.
However, the only things Ping-Ponging are the issues each party champions. Those issues switch in a subtle, Nineteen Eighty-Four-ish way. Today’s conservative issues were last year’s liberal issues.

Bush’s wars are now Obama’s wars, justified by the Democrats as proper intrusions in the business of other countries. Bush’s assault on our freedoms is now a centerpiece of left ideology. Hegel (er, Fichte) would be proud of both parties.
This coalescing of agendas is obvious. Most conservatives have already embraced the policies of Obama – with a few exceptions, of course – and cannot even imagine a world without, among other things, socialized healthcare.

Again you object. However, socialized healthcare is a conservative issue – not Obamacare, of course. But the Republicans declare that a system run by government regulations and programs is efficient and a right for all – and their so-called conservative base cheers.

It’s tough to keep things straight at times, since we are never certain which party favors which program.

Look, Ryan proclaims that if it wasn’t for the government his mother could not have gone back to college, and he would not be a candidate for vice president. Ryan says that he has no intent of reducing such liberal programs of wealth redistribution, and conservatives rang a loud applause.

With Romney, the country will not return to what is now considered the halcyon days of the Bush or Reagan. Voters on both sides know the claims of undoing the policies of the previous administration are false. They know Romney’s claims about repealing Obamacare are hallow, just as they know Obama insinuation regarding less wars are as equally without merit.

In fact, both candidates previously gave what appeared to be heartfelt arguments against the agendas they now support. But no hypocrisy was committed. Each candidate simply seeks power, and changing agendas based on the latest poll reveals no hypocrisy relative to that end.

Romney will not lead the repeal of anything. He may modify the edges, but the core will remain. And no one should expect him to change the core – the Obama core is his core. Just as Obama’s core is Bush’s core. On and on.

Voting for president is a delusion. Both parties and their candidates champion the ever-growing state. Neither has any intent on reducing government. And they all share the same core platform and agenda – the end is the same, just the order of initiatives is different. And this will continue until the majority in this country finally says, “Enough!” and withdraws support from the current political system.

If this is the most important election ever, it is because it is the most important election to skip.

11:41 am on November 6, 2012