Politics

A Bird with One Wing

Imagine a bird with only one wing. It can't fly. If should youthrow it off a cliff, it would spin round and round until it crashes to earth.

Now think of the political spectrum in the US: it is missing its left wing. All of the industrialized nations have a functioning Communist Party and several Socialist Parties (including a Socialist Christian party). But in the US none of these parties are ever mentioned in the media, even labor leaders appear only on only on the Ed Schultz Shoe on MSNBC and the man who may have saved more lives than any other American, Ralph Nader, hasn't been seen for decades. The reason? These parties tend to blame US corporations (= advertisers) for our current mess rather than government.

Now that left-wing parties have been demonized and their views excluded from the commercial by corporations that advertise there. Left-wingers have been pushed to the center and right-wing positions over the cliff to the right. The center of world politics is now called the "left" by the US media corporations, and the Democratic Party has been forced to that center.

There are progressive Democrats in the center left, liberal Democrats in the absolute center, and conservative (blue-dog) Democrats in the right center. The Republicans are precluded from returning to moderate conservative positions, because they are all occupied now by Democrats: moderate gun control, strength in defense and security. Democrats have a better record at balancing the budget and reducing the size of government and encouraging business.

There is no room on the left, but all the room in the world on the right. So, Republicans, now dominated by reactionaries who want to take us backwards, have no alternative but to go further to the right. We now have plain conservative Republicans (currently without a role in the party), Libertarians to the right of conservatives, and reactionaries like the Tea Party, representing the largest corporations and richest Americans.

Republicans have painted themselves into a corner. So long as Democrats, intelligent Independents, and a majority of women, Latinos, and African Americans turn out to vote and keep them there, Democrats can keep the Whitehouse for the next 20 years.

The Republican minority in this country has only one option: they can get elected only by rigging the elections. The red states have enacted voter ID laws, shorter voting periods, gerrymandering, and now are proposing representation by congressional district in the electoral college to rig elections in their favor. (Reactionaries have no respect for democracy.) In the last election, the Democratic House candidates received 1.5 million more votes than Republicans, yet the minority retained control of the House.

The bird needs a left wing if for no other reason than to return balance to our political system, if not sanity.

Williamsport Sun-Gazette - February 3, 2013

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