Cookie-Cutter Politics: The Uniform (Failure) of America’s Two-Party System

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Republican Elephant & Democratic Donkey - Icons

Cookie-Cutter Politics

I must confess; this November will be the first time I will vote in the Presidential Elections.

In previous elections I viciously debated which candidate I should support.  The rugged individualism of the Republicans spurred my dreams while the sound theories and progressive stance of the Democrats captured my earthly pragmatism.  As each Election Day came I dithered back and forth.  I could never decide, I never voted.  I may not have voted because I was distressed by the increasingly polarized extremes of the two-party system.  I may also not have voted because I was underage.  We may never know.

This year the debate is between Obama and Romney.  I can already hear the next year of commentary, with regular exclamations of “I wish there was a third-party to vote for!”  This is a legitimate issue.  America’s polarized politics have grouped large coalitions of values into strange alliances.  This is the only way each side can garner enough support to pass any laws.  It makes all politicians seem a little too uniform.  Why do Democrats always advocate for gun control?  Why do Republicans always oppose weakening any immigration laws?

The simple answer is politicians have no alternative.

The Two-Party system strong arms politicians on both sides of the aisle into a cookie-cutter mold.  Only moderates, those who make everyone happy by fitting the textbook description of the Democrat/Republican are legitimate candidates because only they fit all the values of each of their respective parties and win the crucial nominations.  Radicals, who could make world-changing reforms, are hedged out by the system which eliminates anyone with even one misaligned value.  I imagine there are plenty of Democrats who support gun rights and Republicans who would be willing to welcome immigrants.  These men will never see office because they do not fit the mold and there is no alternative.

The American Two-Party dilemma is only those who cannot reform are elected into office.  Those with flexible ideology, who could make real reform, are shunned because they will always have at least one taboo.  It is support of the entire party or no support at all in our polarized system.  We are left with similar men with the same ideas, the same convictions, and the same restraints.

Perhaps I was right to dither; both answers were always partially wrong for me.  I feel this is the issue every American has.

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Democrats and Republicans Playing Chicken With the American Economy: How Polarized Bipartisanship In Congress Will Decimate Critical Concerns (Like Issuing Social Security Checks and Staving Off A Double Dip Recession)

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FDR on Social Security

Social Security: The Primary Financial Safety Net For Retirees

American seniors will be the first casualties of the debt limit; followed sequentially by Wall Street, the domestic economy, and finally the international economy.  President Obama and Senator Henry Reid’s ultimatum to the stubborn Republicans is that unless the public debt ceiling is raised the country will be forced to halt transfer of social security checks.  Both sides have agreed to reduce the increasing debt, however the specific amount is debated, fluctuating in the trillions.  The time for procrastination is running out.  If the August 2, 2011 deadline is not met the American dollar will become worthless as credit rating agencies, like Moody’s, will no longer support the Federal Reserve.  Not to fear monger, but this a potentially catastrophic financial disaster that stems from several men being unable to agree on a set of numbers.

What is the Democrats Positions?

The Democrats have united around Obama and the Democrats Congress Leaders.  Their unified polices have forwarded relatively generous offers to the Republicans.  Talks have been breaking down at this point, as they are repeatedly snubbed.  Their offers have been denied, there fair deals do not meet the requisites of the Republicans.  They are collectively determined to stay strong and stay the course; their economics work and will sustain the country and they know that their generous deals that they have submitted are feasible.  They just have to get the Republicans to agree.

What is the Republicans Position?

Despite the necessity for tax hikes Republicans uniformly oppose any new taxes.  This is where coordination break down, various factions of the GOP are each concocting their increasing implausible schemes to propose on the Senate floor.  They cannot create a coalition policy that might be taken seriously.

The crisis has become a ammo for the campaigns of the Republican candidates.  Romney pleads for cutting and capping of federal spending. Bachmann has accused Obama of holding the government hostage to continue the government’s spending spree.  Just like the senators, there specifics disagree while their cause does not.

This will result in their demands being painfully denied.

What is the Probable Resolution?

The Republicans  will cave at the last second, giving away a deal that is much less favorable towards them than what they originally rejected.  Their “non new revenue” rhetoric has shown negatively in the public’s eye.  Polls heavily favor the Democrats, because they have appear reasonable and open to debate while the republicans have been demanding ridiculous cuts that will do more harm than good.  Without public backing or good economics their situation is unsustainable and they will have to cave.

In the, unthinkable, event that Republican leaders carry out this game of chicken till it finality,  the result will be their own self-destruction.  There will be a the initiation of the second dip in a double dip recession on August 2, 2011.  The investors on Wall Street will panic as their traditional stable government mishandled the largest debt in the world and endangers national security.  Social Security checks will stop coming, granny will start starving.  Millions of Section 8 tenants will be tossed out in the streets until the government checks come.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, with their millions of mortgages, shut down.   Protests will be held, riots will form.  We will all remember the event with a few days of anarchy until the Republican leadership can recover what little sense they have left.  Unless, of course, their million dollar mansions are burned down with them in it.

What is Public Debt and How Has it Accumulated?

Whenever a spending deficit in the government occurs, such as when finances for federal programs exceeds tax revenue, Congress covers the excess with bonds; these bonds are the source of public debt.  It is not in the best interests of governments to issue bonds unless pressed because every bond, even with inflation, pays off more money than it takes to buy one.  The government loses money on every bond.

Why Would the Government Have Any Public Debt?

Historically, only when clear and present threats to national security emerge are bonds issued.  These finance the war effort and allow the nation to persist.  This is fine and encouraged.  Issues arise first when public debt is unnecessarily accumulated and the danger of the national debt ceiling.  The debt ceiling is the amount set by Congress that can be withdrawn; defaulting or going over the national debt is unthinkable.  The consequences would freeze international investing, because nobody will be able to rely on the Federal Reserve.

Why is the Debt Hitting the Debt Ceiling?

Unnecessarily accumulation by fiscally inept leaders.  Our last president, George Bush exuberantly quarterbacked  two of the most long and expensive wars of our time while engaging in risky self promoting publicity stunts, such as the Bush Tax Cuts.  These terrible money hoarding policies dealt stole trillions of dollars from the majority of the American tax payers, funneling it to the richest Americans.  Collectively, these policies led us down the wrong path, creation short-term economic gains at great expense for those who suffer in the 2008 recession.  Financially, this is major defeat, comparable to Battle of Waterloo or the baseball curse that halts the Cubs from ever winning a World Series.  Politically, it bought him his second term.

(Irrationally) Protesting Nuclear Power: 100,000 Demonstrators Against Nuclear Reactors in Germany

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The international consequences of the Nuclear Powder Keg that threatens Japan have spanned the globe, protests have cropped up around the world as all governments scrutinize their own nuclear reactors.  Many of these demonstrations numbered in the tens of thousands as petulant environmentalists and myopic citizens called for a swift end to the nuclear power, ignoring that without nuclear power the world would grow dark.

Where are the Protests?

Berlin, Germany and Stuttgart, Germany have the largest demonstrations with 100,000 protesters.

Germany has the second largest concentrations of nuclear power plants in Europe with 17 aging reactors.  Today, protesters at Stuttgart formed a 45 kilometer chain to call attention to failings at Germany’s oldest reactors. Craving to demonstrators demands demands the German government has ordered the nuclear power company Merkel to shut down 7 of the oldest reactors for the next three months.  Many celebrate this landmark decision, however skeptics are wondering where supplement power will come from.  By closing those seven plants over three percent of German power will need to be bought from surrounding countries or made in wasteful auxiliary generators.

Meanwhile major protests rocked France, a country that runs on over 80% nuclear power.  French officials remain unrelenting defenders of French nuclear power, with an impeccable record of  having no major or minor meltdowns.  In addition they are joining all European Union nations is stress testing their nuclear reactors.

American anti-nuclear protests were centered in California, where protesters fear radiation from Japan infecting American shores and the potential of meltdowns at California’s two aging reactors.  Activists call for a swift and immediate closer of the power plants, favoring environmentally friendly wind and solar power sources.  Obama has announced his protection of nuclear power in the United States, stating that America’s reactors are safe from all common natural disasters.  Demonstrators ignored his statements and continue to protest in California and in every major city in the United States.

What will This Mean For Nuclear Power?

The nuclear industry has not been negatively impacted by the Japanese disaster.

Construction of new nuclear reactors has continued despite the wave of protesters calling for reevaluation of power options.  Canada has decided to continue with a nuclear reactor in Vancouver.  Russia and Belarus have just announced signing a nine billion dollar deal that will lead to construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus, adding their first nuclear reactor to supplement traditional sources.  It is collectively agreed that the Japanese Nuclear Powder Keg is a perfect example the danger of nuclear powers; in addition many claim that since there has not been a full meltdown that humanity is successfully defeated the worst nature can dish out.

Besides, the tsunamis of this magnitude occurs only once every thousand years.

Is Nuclear Power Good or Bad (or Necessary)?

Fossil fuels are running dry while wind, solar, and hydrogen cannot support the demand; Nuclear power is necessary for the modern world. 14% of all power produced in the world is produced by nuclear reactors.  In addition, the most dangerous sources of power continue to be coal and oil; hundreds of workers die each year in explosions and collapses.  There has only been one major nuclear disaster in history, Chernobyl, a disaster that could have been easily prevented or mitigated.  The only problem in this tragic disaster was human failings.

In order to progress into the future humanity will need nuclear power, there are no reliable, efficient, or healthy alternatives.  The nuclear Renaissance will soldier on throughout the world, simply because there is no other choice.  This means the nuclear industry will continue to flourish, leading to a more prosperous international economy with reduced energy dependence.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Change: Gay’s Still (Legally) Banned in US Military

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President Obama hailed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 as a civil liberties step forward;  three months later there have been no progress towards friendly integration of gay soldiers into the military.  The unconstitutional policy has still not been officially terminated; the Obama Administration is still in the process of constructing a new system to replace the biased system under which gays are discharged for being gay.  In the original bill did not overturn the policy, actually it said the policy would “remain in effect” until a replacement policy was devised.

How Will The Obama Administration Integrate Gays into the Military?

Since the passing of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 key members of the administration have been constructing a new system, under which hopefully gays will not be persecuted against.  In the terms of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 it was specifically outlined the current policy would first be analysed and then a new policy would be drawn up.

This would mitigate concerns of military personal and their families by creating a steady organized process.  The drawback to this planned system is progress comes slowly;  more than two months after the signing of the bill the Obama Administration is only suspected of releasing new policy this week.  It will still be another sixty days after that until the unbiased policy is fully enacted.

Is There Resentment for the Sluggishness of the Administration?

Currently, whenever a military soldier from any of the corps is convicted of being gay they are swiftly removed and quietly discharged.  Openly gay men and women are not permitted to join the  military under even the most dire of circumstances.  There is still bitter grievances from the gay community; they will not be content until the new policy is fully enacted and operational.

Will Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Be Terminated?

It is certain that a new policy will be enacted, it is only a matter of time.  The Obama Administration has followed through on other popular acts, such as The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 whose policy started being put into effect days after being enacted.  President Obama has openly supported the controversial bill, proclaiming “I will end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell!”  The Secretary of Defense, Robert M. Gates, is the other critical policymaker who will create a new unbiased policy.  Gates supports Obama.  Change is coming, the government is simply being careful as they implement this controversial policy so that it sticks and all those who wish to patriotically serve can fight

Why Were Gays Not Permitted To Serve?

The logic of this policy was that gay soldiers would be easily distracted by their fellow soldiers and would be ineffective.  A counterexample to this fallacious logic is the The Sacred Band of Thebes, who were one of the most fierce and successful military units in history; they were completely made up of gay combatants. There has also never been conviction of a United States personal becoming combat ineffective because of whom they have loved.  The opposers of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 were nothing short of paranoid fools.

Privatization of the Space Industry: Changing of the Guard

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NASA, the venerable space administration that rocketed the first man to the moon is in a state of prolonged financial collapse that will eventually consume the organization.  Meanwhile innovative corporations such as Virgin Galactic and SpaceX are expanding at explosive rates and are set to take over the space industry.  There is to be a changing of the guard in the near future, hopefully before America losses its lead in the space industry to a more aggressive superpower.

The Launch of Falcon 9 Rocket, which shot the Dragon Space Capsule into space on         December 9, 2010. This is not NASA, this is SpaceX; the private space industry has arrived.

Why is NASA Deteriorating?

America is now slowly beginning to recover from perhaps the second worst recession in American history; President Obama has frozen all government spending, putting multiple NASA projects on hold.  The Constellation Program, which is necessary to replace the Space Shuttles that are due to be decommissioned in 2012.  Any possible moon base construction was eliminated when President Obama struck down the program, due to excessive spending.

The problem with the government funded space administration is that it is government funded.  While private firms are free to spend exorbitant amounts of investor’s money, sometimes resulting in bankruptcy, they are allowed to take risks that are very unprofitable in the short term that are very profitable in the long term.  NASA has to meet the standard of the government, which means they have to regularly and routinely show that they are needed and are valuable to America’s interests.

NASA is no longer valuable.  The group was never founded for scientific purposes, which are currently its only goals at present time.  It was founded to counteract Sputnik 1, launched October 4,   signaling soviet space aggression.  America was aghast, the Russians had surpassed the American sciences, morale plummeted and many questioned if the United States could prevail in the Cold War.

The answer to this question was the formation of NASA, on July 29, 1958.  The administration was constructed as a propaganda tool, their goals was to surpass the Russian space program, invigorate the American morale, demoralize the Russian people, and perhaps figure out the logistics of putting nuclear missiles in space.

None of these goals apply to today, the USSR has fallen apart there is no longer a need for large numbers of nuclear missiles.  A few more powerful modern nukes are now considered much more useful than several hundred less powerful and expensive to maintain, nukes.  This has directly lad to NASA’s steady decline; they no longer have the financial resources to pursue any courses of action effectively.

Private companies are taking advantage of this federal slip up, capitalizing on failing NASA programs and creating new space markets that will make the cosmos accessible to the everyman.

What New Markets Have the Private Space Companies Opened Up?

There are two major corporations that have both pursued the question of space travel in different ways for different goals.

The first successful space corporation is Virgin Galactic.  This company has a simple, coherent goal; construct a space port, create a space transportation agency, reap the rewards.  International transportation, of people and goods, along with space tourism, will be their two primary goals. Spaceport America, which began construction 2005 in southern New Mexico, is in the final stages of completion.  The spaceline, which is what they are calling their five spaceplane organization, is set to launch in Fall, 2011.  For $200,000 dollars you can get a seat on SpaceShipTwo and jet off into space.

The second successful corporation is SpaceX.  This company endeavors to put satellite in Low Earth Orbit by use of their own private rockets and to begin ferry people out into deep space as well.  They successfully launched Dragon, a human space vehicle, using a SpaceX rocket on December 9, 2010.  Better yet, they were also able to recover the space vehicle after it reentered orbit.

Both of these companies are capitalizing on the failures of NASA.  While NASA freezes up, because it has far outlived its founding purpose, these companies are set to explode across the solar system.

What is the Future of the Space Industry?

The future of the space industry is a race, a race between the independent American corporations and various international superpowers.  ChinaIndia, and Japan have launched initiatives to put members of their own nationalities in space, hoping to beat America back to the moon and then beating them to Mars.  SpaceX and the remnants of NASA, who will be revitalized by the foreign threat similar to their old opponent, will lead the Americans.  These four sides will race to every celestial body in the solar system, staking rights and claiming glory.  The great race of our times is almost upon us.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act Signed: Excellent Reform (That Some Hate)

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Michelle Obama was right when she denounced this childhood obesity as “national security threat.”  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced one of every three American children are overweight, one out of four are “obese.”  Those that are obese at age 10 will be suffering from hypertension while being a significant risk of having a stroke, diabetes, and heart attack by age 40.

Her unbreakable resolution, campaigning relentlessly for nutrition, has culminated in her husband, President Obama signing The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which will designate $4.5 billion dollars to improve the standard of nutrition in schools throughout America.

What is The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and What Effects Will it Have on My Kids?

In the developed world America has the lowest standard of living; while an American will live roughly till age 75 the average Japanese man will live to 85.  I did a survey and every American I talked to said that they wanted to live a longer life rather than a shorter one.  This act is pursues this simple, ancient wish.

There are a number of specific policies that this legislation will enact:

– Reimburses schools significantly more for each free lunch they give out.  These free lunches are exclusively given to kids below the poverty line and cannot afford to buy lunch.  This will allow lower class students to

– Requires all public schools to have “science-based nutrition standards.”  School lunches will move away from deep-fried carbohydrates  towards nutritious and varied meals

– Communal eligibility for free lunches; if 40% of the student population cannot afford food then all breakfasts and lunches for the entire student population is free.  If 2/5 students cannot afford lunch in nearly all situations the other 3 kids desperately need their lunch money as well.

– Foster Children are Automatically Eligible for free lunches.  Many foster kids fall through the cracks of the public lunch system, starving because of their unstable home life.  This gives them the opportunity to get one or two good meals five days of the week, regardless of how much they are moved around

– Children on Medicare get Free Lunches; if these children are on Medicare they have more important  issues than worrying about their lunch.  Now they no longer have to worry.

– New reforms on educating low-income children about the effects of obesity and how they can stay healthy.  It will educate them specifically about  the advantages, both socially and medically, of sports, why they should eat healthier food over less healthy food.

Some legislators  are praising this bill as an example to follow; others are denouncing this bill as an infringement on American constitutional rights.

Who is Rejecting this Act?

There are two separate camps that are resisting and actively trying to weaken these reforms, despite the bill already being signed by President Obama.

The Democrats who are critical of this act are outraged by the $2.2 billion dollars that are transferred from the federal food stamp program to The Health, Hunger-Free Kids Act.  Kids who have dropped out of school will have a significantly harder time getting food stamps to get meals.  Many dropouts have unstable home life and by cutting off these food source will drive some to crime, to support themselves, and the shelters, putting an even heavy burden on the overworked shelter system in America.

The Obama Administration justifies this transfer of capital to help counter the dropout problem.  They reason that if these wayward youth do not have a stable meal plan outside of school it will give them another reason to come in and get lunch.  In this manner they have a much better chance of rejoining the education process.

Republcians critical of this act, notably Sarah Palin, claim it is an infringement on these children’s constitutional rights.  These conservatives claim that if these kids want to eat unhealthy food it is their god given right.

I disagree; I do not support any form killing my fellow citizens, even if is tasty.  Is there anyone who would say differently?

(Full Text of  The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act)

Elimination of Political Race Spending in Favor of Popular Opinion Based on Public Debates

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I was awakened by fear, a fear of money.

This fear is highly questionable, who would be afraid of something that our society revolves around? Well, that very focus of wealth is what frightens me.  There was a statistic in Capitalism: A Love Story, a revealed Citigroup  memo calmly stated”Less than 1% of all Americans control 95% of the wealth … America should move to a plutocracy.”

Plutocracy: A system of government whereby wealth and the benefits that wealth accrues lead to a concentration of power in the hands of those with disproportionate access to financial resources.

This system of government would greatly benefit the very wealthy and further hurt, more so than they already are, the middle class, lower class, and those in poverty.  Even if this system of government never officially comes into effect it can still become, and already may be, the official doctrine of the United States.  After all elections in this country are not won, they are bought.

Opensecrets.com says that, “In 93 percent of House of Representatives races and 94 percent of Senate races that had been decided by mid-day Nov. 5, the candidate who spent the most money ended up winning.”

People should win based on their values, not about how much money they can gather.  So waht is the answer to my midnight fear?  Well, I’ll tell you.

We ,must outlaw political race spending.

*crickets*

Ah yes, you are looking for an explanation.  Instead of having each party running its own campaign we eliminate all separate campaigns.  All aspiring politicians have to is sign up for the office they are running for and the government takes care of the rest. Politicians only have to gather signatures, the more signatures they get the more advertisement they will receive.  Nothing flashy, not fancy slogans or bold lies.  More airtime in public government debates.  The federal government will host public debates, that everyone can come to or view over television, and it is there that the politicians will rise and fall and candidates for each party will be decided.

Debates have always been the best way for Americans to get to know their candidates, so why shouldn’t it also be the primary way?  Politicians tend to dance around controversial issues today;under the pressure of a public debate they are forced to take stances on the issues that matter most to Americans.  It will allow the voters to genuinely see who they are voting for.

How will the debates be arranged?  There are dozens if not hundreds of “candidates” who petition each year for the Office of President or a seat Congress or numerous minor offices.  Initially, those with the most signatures in each state will debate, and those with fewer signatures will also converse in separate debates.  There will be several layers of debates, based on how many thousands of signatures that can are gathered.  If those in the lower debate receive more signatures, for greater approval ratings, they will be vaulted up to the higher debates.  If those in higher debates are surpassed they get kicked down to the lower debates.  The politicians with the strongest voice and the best ideas, that match up best with the people voting for him (who represent the majority), emerge on top.

From there, the parties will have their own private votes on who they are going to support; they are by no means forced to go by these debates, but I do believe it will be high recommended.  The best politicians will be given the opportunity for success, not the politicians with the most money (as it is today).

More debates will ensue, to monitor America’s opinion on the politicians.  Statements will be made, lines will be drawn, and expectations will be set.  In the end, the voters will have an honest opinion of their each of their candidates and will be able to vote without being blinded by false advertisements.  In this manner the politician with the strongest voice and whose values best sync up with the majority of the American people will be elected into the offices that matter the most.

With the best possible politicians in every seat in government America will reach a Golden Age, full of splendor.  In addition to having the best men and women to run its government the American people and hundreds of corporations will no longer be throwing their money  at potential candidates.  Everyone will be a little richer.

That doesn’t sound too bad, despite the fact I thought it up at 3AM. Night, now that idea is written out I can finally get some sleep.

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