A Discussion of Parties and Issues
If all people are
how can we accept
a society where
one person is worth
more than another?
Remember the first word in USA is us. -Bad Religion
|A man, like clay, is molded by his
he starts to take the shape of the beatings and the pounding. -Biohazard
You can put a bullet in my head, but you can't kill a word I've said. -Suicidal Tendencies
We learn from history that we do not learn from history.
Only the dead have seen the end of war. -Plato
The problem with the world is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. -Bertrand Russell
When I give food to the poor,
they call me a saint.
When I ask why the poor have no food,
they call me a communist.
--Dom Helder Camara
|Vote Yes on Proposition No.
-Shoe by MacNelly
Democrats remind us that life is unfair; Republicans make sure it is.
Conservative: n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils,
as distinguished from a liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.
God Bless America - not because we deserve it,
Few people are successful unless a lot of other people want them to be. -Charles Brower
"How does it become a man to behave toward this American government
today? I answer, that he cannot
Bent out of shape from society's pliers, cares not to come up any higher, but rather get you down in the hole that he's in. -Bob Dylan
Freedom, well, that's just some people talking.
Heard ten thousand whispering and nobody listening. Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughing. Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter. -Bob Dylan
I'm not a number; dammit, I'm a man. -Bob Seger
If we were blind and had no choice, would we hate each other by the tone of our voice? -Anthrax
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. -Rush
War is not the answer, because only love can conquer hate. -Marvin Gaye
A monkey was the President, though maybe not the first. And there was peace and harmony throughout the universe. -Tom T. Hall
Adulterers in churches and pornography in the schools,
Ah Tipper, come on. It's just a smoke screen for the real problems, S and L, deficit, the homeless, the environment. -The Ramones
America, America, America, I charge you with the crime of rape, murder, and assault. -2 Pac
Anarchy sounds good to me. Then someone asks, who'd fix the sewers? -Dead Kennedys
B-1 Bombers in flight, Trident missiles in the air, MX missiles underground,
protect us 'til we're dead.
I'm neither left or right. I'm just staying home tonight, getting lost in that hopeless little screen. -Leonard Cohen
Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, don't give up the fight. -Bob Marley and the Wailers
I shouted out, "who killed the Kennedys?" when after all it was you and me. -The Rolling Stones
I went to my Congressman and he said, quote: I'd like to help you son,
but you're too young to vote.
You don't need a bullet when you got the ballot. -Parliament
We share the same biology, regardless of ideology.
We want people boiling for revenge in their living rooms so we can go
play shoot-em-up anywhere we choose.
We weren't on the wrong side, we were the wrong side. -Bob Dylan
You're talking loud and saying nothing. -James Brown
Hypocrisy is the vaseline of political intercourse. -?
You question my morality, I question your reality. -Fish
Be thankful our country allows demonstrations,
You know that peace can only be won,
Facts all come with points of view. -Talking Heads
"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." -- Groucho Marx
"Give a person a fish, and she eats for a day. Teach her how to fish,
and she eats for the rest of her life."
|If we fight each other, the police state wins.
A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel.
Out of my way, when I say hey, freedom's got an AK.
Real gangsters wear trench coats, grey suits, black ties, and they seek votes. -Ice-T
Red, white, and blue, gaze in your looking glass. You're not a child any more. -Styx
Republican is fine, if you're a millionaire. Democrats is fair, if all you own is what you wear. Neither of them's really right, cause neither of them care. -Frank Zappa
Singing songs and carrying signs, mostly say, hooray for our side. -Buffalo Springfield
Some people are born made to wave the flag, oh, they're red, white,
and blue. And when the band plays hail to the chief, oh, they point the
cannon at you.
Sometimes we find ourselves in desperate need and we look to those of privilege and power. It's then we learn compassion sits inert upon the shelves and we're at the mercy of imbeciles. -Bad Religion
Sound bite politics are served to the fast food culture, where straight
teeth in your mouth are more important than the words that come out of
Left wing violence, right wing violence all seems much the same. -Crass
Let me tell you how it will be, there's one for you and nineteen for me, cause I'm the Taxman. -The Beatles
Kill a man and you're a murderer, kill many and you're a conqueror. -Megadeth
Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules, the fate of
all mankind I see is in the hands of fools.
Mother, should I run for President? Mother, should I trust the government? -Pink Floyd
Golden country your face is so red, with all your money your poor can be fed. -REO Speedwagon
How many liberators really want to be dictators?
The men who hold high places must be the ones to start, to mold a new reality, closer to the heart. -Rush
I know that I could make this world peaceful and calm, if I only could
get my hands on a hydrogen bomb.
Thank God for the bomb. Nuke ya, nuke ya.
The NRA, with their fingers on the triggers when they kneel and pray. -Frank Zappa (from Jesus Thinks You're A Jerk)
The President looks in the mirror and speaks,
The worst evil the world has saw were crimes defended by law. -Suicidal Tendencies
There ain't no good guys, there ain't no bad guys, there's only you and me, and we just disagree. -Dave Mason
There are no facts, there is no truth, just data to be manipulated. -Don Henley
Tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree and, gee, Wally, that's
swell. Fuck the troops.
There is no political solution to our troubled evolution.
Watergate does not bother me, does your conscience bother you? -Lynyrd Skynyrd
We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We got a kinder, gentler machine gun hand. -Neil Young
I pledge groovallegiance to the funk of funky, funky, funkadelica. -Funkadelic
I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. -Lee Greenwood
I'd like to explain why you fine young men had to be blown apart to defend this mud hole. -Randy Newman
Arizona doesn't go on daylight savings time. They're the only state that stays on the same time all year, and that time is 1860. -Dennis Miller
The secret of success is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake those, you've got it made. - Groucho Marx
||||Definitions|||||Parties in the U.S.|||||Table of Party Positions|
See the excellent and comprehensive list of U.S. Political Parties, with summaries, at politics1.com, or check their Directory of Political Debates and Issues. Also see summaries and quotes of "every candidate on every issue" at Issues2000. You can also try Yahoo's list of U.S. Political Parties sites. Below, after ranting about the need for a third party, I'll list a brief statement of what some of the parties in the United States stand for, and someday there'll be a separate page for each party which will further explain their views and explore the pros and cons of their positions.
Of course Political ideologies such as Communism or Socialism aren't one strict set of beliefs. Neither are religious ideologies or anything else. There are various different Communist and Socialist ideologies just as there are are a variety of ideas on how a democracy or a republic should work. And there are no examples in real life of pure forms of any of these governments. The United States is a Republic, based on the principles of Democracy, that has incorporated Socialist (e.g., Social Security and Medicare) and Communist (e.g., National Parks, zoning laws) policies, under the pervasive incorporation of Capitalism.
Invite Ourselves to a Third Party
We're two partisan. The single worst problem in coming to mutual agreement on the best course of action on any issue, is the inability of the general public to think ambiguously in terms of gray. Everything has to be black and white: No abortions at all or abortion whenever you feel like it, no guns at all or everyone carries a gun in a holster, we are wonderful and perfect and you suck. Each side justifies the intensity and viciousness of their debate based on the supposed polarity of the other side's most extreme element. The fact that we only have two main parties exacerbates this in the worst possible way. We absolutely must have a significant third party, to at least break the stalemate. This would bring in a wide variety of new ideas and open the door for creative compromises. Some might say that the more parties you add, the more difficult it becomes to make coalitions and reach any type of agreement. I'm not saying we should have like 27 different parties the way European countries seem to. But we need at least three. I think this is the single most important practical thing we could do to improve our country. Of course it won't be easy, with the Democrats and Republicans strangling political ingenuity in their iron grip of economic extortion. And what makes it more difficult is that if a strong third party appears on either the right or the left, it will split the votes of that "side" so that the other side will usually win. Which is why we need at least four parties, unless the third party can get the "middle" third of the vote.
But if we did have 27 different parties, then to get things done they have to learn to work together. To build consensus the "mainstream" parties have to consider forming coalitions with the "fringe" parties. This way everyone has at least some chance to be involved is the discussion. With a two-party system, the two main parties share control (even though they pretend to fight) and everyone else is completely left out. Is that even really a democracy any more?
What should our party celebrate?
So what should our third party be all about? One thing NOT to be is blatantly hypocritical, like the Republicans, who believe that government should leave our money alone but control our personal lives, and the Democrats, who believe government should leave our personal lives alone but control our money. What the hell is that all about? If our party strictly follows the will of the people, we might still have slaves and women might not be voting. Because no matter which side you're on, remember the people voted overwhelmingly at one time or another for Bill "Sleazeball" Clinton AND Ronald "Dufus" Reagan. Neither the strict will of the people or a straight compromise on everything seems like it would be innovative enough to solve the complex problems we face. A party has to reach beyond the people, the mingling masses, to the host bar of truth and innovation. What we ALL really want to do is WHAT WORKS. It seems like that is what the Natural Law Party wants to do, and I have trouble finding anything wrong with that idea. But I suppose research can be hard to interpret, there are plenty of untested ideas, and the fact is we might not be mature enough to handle the hard reality of truth. So the search goes on. But please, don't accept the status quo. That's what those in power are counting on. Cop no plea.
*from Webster's New World Dictionary, Second College
I had to look into this because at first it didn't seem to make any sense
(before I saw the definition above anyway). If you have no form of government,
who is going to stop roving gangs from raping and killing everyone?
I was sure that anarchy would result in a situation like the mayhem in
the Balkans. But check out the comprehensive Anarchy
FAQ, which provides a lot of excellent information.
Excerpts from the Anarchy FAQ:
"While the popular understanding of anarchism is of a violent, anti-State movement, anarchism is a much more subtle and nuanced tradition then a simple opposition to government power. Anarchists oppose the idea that power and domination are necessary for society, and instead advocate more co-operative, anti-hierarchical forms of social, political and economic organisation." [The Politics of Individualism, p. 106]
Many anarchists, seeing the negative nature of the definition of "anarchism," have used other terms to emphasise the inherently positive and constructive aspect of their ideas. The most common terms used are "free socialism," "free communism," "libertarian socialism," and "libertarian communism." While there are many different types of anarchism (from individualist anarchism to communist-anarchism,... "anarchy" means more than just "no government," it means opposition to all forms of authoritarian organisation and hierarchy; all authoritarian economic and social relationships as well as political ones, particularly those associated with capitalist property and wage labour.
"Change opinion, convince the public that government is not only unnecessary, but extremely harmful, and then the word anarchy, just because it means absence of government, will come to mean for everybody: natural order, unity of human needs and the interests of all, complete freedom within complete solidarity." [Anarchy, pp. 12-13]. And, just to state the obvious, anarchy does not mean chaos nor do anarchists seek to create chaos or disorder. Instead, we wish to create a society based upon individual freedom and voluntary co-operation. In other words, order from the bottom up, not disorder imposed from the top down by authorities.
The Communist Party:
In the communist party the people vote for their representatives and own
everything. Even the Russian constitution, Chapter I, Article 2, says "All
power in the USSR belongs to the people"; they just haven't been following
their own constitution.
From the CPUSA: "Put people's needs before corporate profits and greed. Full employment with decent jobs at good wages for all. Massive public works jobs programs to rebuild the country and put everyone back to work, funded with drastic cuts in the military budget and a sharp increase in taxes on the corporations and the super rich. Eliminate all taxes on working people making less than $60,000 a year. A militant fight for the needs of the working class and people. Free quality universal health care for all and free universal 24-hour quality child care for working parents. Massive low cost housing programs. Free education from preschool through college including skills, vocational and continuing adult education. A clean safe environment above the profits of the monopoly corporations. For a strong labor movement, full equality for all including immigrants, and against all forms of discrimination. For peace and international working class solidarity. Bring all US troops home and close all overseas bases. Full support for national liberation and anti-imperialist freedom struggles around the world. For socialism, a system that puts the working class and oppressed people in power. Abolishes the large monopoly corporations and puts the basic resources of the country including energy and the basic industries in the hands of the working class through public ownership and democratic controls."
--That all sounds good to me but I think the problems begin when trying to figure out how to make it all work. This system demands common altruism and mutual understanding to a level that humans may not be capable of (yet). And the half of the people that is richer than the other half doesn't like to share; some of them even think they deserve to be richer than other people.
See more on my Communism page.
The Constitution Party: Run. Run away as fast as you can and don't look back. Formed for the "common goal of limiting the Federal Government to its Constitutional boundaries and restoring the foundations of civil government back to the fundamental principles our country was founded upon." Sounds great, but they are using their own interpretation of what the constitution means, resulting in an unholy mix of mainly religious right ideologies that should scare the crap out of anyone with a heart or a brain. How can you pretend to promote personal liberty and the limitation of government interference on one hand, and then deny homosexuals and pregnant women their inalienable right to pursue happiness as given to them by God and the U.S. Constitution? What a joke.
Democratic Party: Basically the people, under the auspices of the state, spend money collected from taxes in an attempt to improve the common good, but allow people the freedom to run their personal lives. The formal Democratic platform is revised every year by the Democratic National Committee (so that they can cater to popular opinion). I like this ideology, with it's adoption of socialist ideas, however, the risk is that government programs can tend to perpetuate themselves, leading to dependence on government and a "welfare state" mentality where people are provided with free fish rather than learning how to fish on their own. Also the Democratic Party has become a self-perpetuating juggernaut, funded by special interests.
Green Party: "Political Ecology"
"...(T)he same institutions and ideas that cause the exploitation and oppression
of humans also cause the degradation and destruction of the environment.
Both are rooted in a hierarchical, exploitative, and alienated social system
that systematically produces human oppression and ecological destruction.
...(T)he fights against racism, sexism, class exploitation, bureaucratic
domination, war, and all other forms of social domination and violence
are central to the movement for an ecologically sustainable society. In
order to harmonize society with nature, we must harmonize human with human."
--Sounds good to me, but they seem to put the environment ahead of the rights of people, and they are radically left, going as far as to call for abolishing the U.S. Senate. We DO NOT want to mess with the basics of the constitution. Note that Green Party candidates are not bound by the party platform.
Labor Party: Pretty straightforward. Support labor, oppose corporate abuse, guarantee a living wage and universal health care, ensure equal rights and end bigotry, protect the environment and enable more time with families and community. "We reject the redistribution of billions of dollars of wealth from poor and working people to the rich." Now you're talking.
Libertarian Party: Get government the
hell out of our personal AND economic lives! "The Libertarian Party is
committed to America's heritage of freedom: individual liberty and personal
responsibility, a free-market economy of abundance and prosperity, and
a foreign policy of non-intervention, peace, and free trade." "The Libertarian
Party is for all who don't want to push other people around and don't want
to be pushed around themselves. Live and let live is the Libertarian way."
--At least they are consistent, which is more than we can say for Democrats and Republicans. There really is something to this idea of trusting people to express their uniqueness unrepressed. The only problem is that something needs to protect us from people, or groups of people, such as corporations, who do push others around. On their website, read their article on The benefits of open immigration. Also take their fun World's Smallest Political Quiz to determine your political identity.
Natural Law Party: "Government
should be based on what works -- not what is politically expedient or bought
and paid for by special interest groups. There are simple, humane, cost-effective,
scientifically proven solutions to all of America’s problems. The Natural
Law Party was founded to implement these solutions immediately in government."
"Government in accord with natural law: Solve problems at their
basis by bringing individual life, and our national policies, into greater
harmony with natural law through proven educational programs; natural,
preventive health care; renewable energy; sustainable agriculture; and
other forward-looking, prevention-oriented programs."
--Since their platform isn't based on what is historically called a political ideology, it is hard to categorize their solutions under one label. Their ideas include: “all-party government” and streamlined Federal government; pro-growth economic policy with a truly balanced budget (not a "surplus" that exists only as an accounting fiction) by 2002 and a low flat tax of 10% by 2006; preventive health; reduce social stress by establishing groups professionally engaged in creating coherence throughout society; Head Start, Transcendental Metitation, higher standards, vouchers, plus educational opportunities for teachers; targeted rehabilitiation and community policing; reduce abortion through prevention education and move away from public funding; immediate shift in U.S. foreign policy away from military aid towards a more life-supporting policy based on the exportation of U.S. know-how, campaign finance reform and move towards public funding; "prevention wing" within the military and reduce spending over time; reduce guns through crime-prevention and uphold existing gun-control legislation, “balanced immigration” and disincentivize illegal immigration by increasing border defense and improving economic conditions in neighboring countries through a foreign policy emphasizing technical assistance and U.S. know-how.
--Yeah, baby. Kick ass! Check out their site for more info. In theory I think this party has the best concept of all, but I'm not sure how practical all of their ideas are or how well-recieved the idea of teaching transcendental meditation in elementary school is. John Hagelin as generally been the candidate for president from this party. During the 2000 Election, Hagelin tried to form a coalition by seeking the nominations of the Green and Reform parties as well. He has another site for his disputed Reform Party candidacy at Reasons To Vote.
Reform Party: The link goes to the official site but this party is in pretty much of a mess. Ross Perot started this party in 1995 to translate his views into politics. According to politix1.com, "The party traditionally reflected Perot's center-conservative fiscal policies and anti-GATT/NAFTA views -- while avoiding taking any official positions on social issues (although much of the party's "Old Guard" seem to hold generally libertarian social views)." The Reform party won a big victory by running Jesse Ventura for Governor in 1998, but Ventura broke from the party in February 2000 to form the Independent Party. Then along came Pat Buchanan, who with supporters eventually wrested control of the party from everyone else and received the presidential nomination of the party for 2000, although the rest of the party did everything they could to get rid of him. Since Pat Buchanan is a separatist bigot, the party now leans way too far to the right and there is nothing more to be said. See backround information and a historical list of Other Reform Party Candidates at the non-partisan politics1.com.
Republican Party: The "state" controls our personal lives by attempting to legislate morality and lets everyone take care of their own money. On the website it is difficult to determine the platform, in-between all the self-righteous rhetoric and not-too-thinly-veiled partisan criticism. The Republican and Democratic parties have not only become self-perpetuating juggernauts run by special interests, but worse than that is their partisan bickering based on the selfish, ignorant idea that everything I do is perfect, altruistic and God-inspired but everything you do is selfish and evil. I understand the benefits of personal responsibility and smaller government, but having to pander to the religious right has also turned the Republican ideal of personal freedom into a movement to deprive people of some of their basic rights. It wouldn't be so annoying if many of them weren't so arrogant, self-righteous and hypocritical about it. And they probably think the same thing about the Democrats.
Socialist Party U.S.A.: There are
many types and forms of socialism. The Socialist U.S.A. party are democratic
socialists, advocating electoral rather than militant change. The preamble
to their platform: "The Socialist Party stands for the abolition of every
form of domination and exploitation, whether based on social class, gender,
race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, or other characteristics. We are committed
to the transformation of capitalism through the creation of a democratic
socialist society. Socialism will establish a new social and economic order
in which workers and consumers will take responsibility for and control
of production, and residents will take responsibility for and control of
their homes, schools, and local government. For these reasons we call for
social ownership and democratic control of productive resources, for a
guarantee to all of the right to participate in societal production, and
to a fair share of society's product, in accordance with individual needs."
--The simple idea is that instead of a rich person owning a company and telling the employees what to do, all of the employees own the company and decide what to do together, sharing the profits however they decide to share them. This is similar to how the Saturn car company has been set up. This way, the people who actually do the work have control over the benefits. I'm not sure what they mean by "in accordance with individual needs" though. The Russian constitution phrases the socialist principle this way: "From each according to his abilitiy, to each according to his work."
Here is what 2000 candidate David McReynolds said (seen on issues2000.org): "There are many problems still facing us, as our society seems overwhelmed by raw materialism, too often devoid of any values beyond consumerism. There is a spiritual dimension to our common life, of respect for each person, of striving to fulfill our own lives and of helping others, not in terms of cash flow but of lives well and truly lived, lives engaged in a sense of justice and community. That is what the Socialist Party stands for and, if nominated, I will seek to represent it across the nation." Now you're talking.
|Issue||Communist||Democratic||Green (Nader)||Libertarian||Natural Law||Republican||Socialist|
|Taxes||High for rich,
None if <60K
now target cuts
|Progressive, cut loopholes||None||18% flat tax to
10% by 2006
|Cut taxes, especially for rich||Steeply progressive|
|Gov't role||Administrative||Economic||Public, open||to Protect only||Holistic, pragmtic,
|Fed vs. State||Federal||to Protect only||State|
|Abortion||Right to||Right to||Right to||No Gov't||No gov't; prevent||No right to||Right to|
|Immigration||Full equality||Relatively Open||Not too open||Open||Improve neighbors||Fairly closed||Provide services|
|Guns||Some Control||Thghtful control||Free to own||Educate/enforce||Limited control||for States|
|Education||Free, universal||Invest, tax deductions||Invest,
|Separate school & state||Holistic, TM,
|Capitalism||No||Oh yes||Free practice||What works||Oh yes||No|
|Health||Free, universal||To universal||Universal, non-profit||No Fed gov't||Prevention||Empower, choice, MSA||Single payor|
|Street Drugs||Enforce, treat||Legalize, treat||Legalize, States||Educate||Enforce, educate||Decriminalize|
|Military||Reduce, home||Not too strong||Cut, disinvolve contractors||SDI, defense,
stay out of war
|Foreign aid shd be non-military||Rebuild, SDI||Cut by 50%, no nukes|
Transcription on the Statue of Liberty:
"Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
--Emma Lazarus, 1883
Golden country your face is so red
With all of your money your poor can be fed
You strut around and you flirt with disaster
Never really carin' just what comes after
Well your blacks are dyin' but your back is still turned
And your freaks are cryin' but your back is still turned
You better stop your hidin or your country will burn
The time has come for you my friend
To all this ugliness we must put an end
Before we leave we must make a stand
Mortgage people you crawl to your homes
Your security lies in your bed of white foam
You act concerned but then why turn away
When a lady was raped on your doorstep today
Words & Music Gary Richrath
Performed by REO Speedwagon
©1972 CBS Inc., all rights reserved.
What do you think?
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