Posted 8 years ago on July 27, 2012, 1:49 a.m. EST by rpc972
from Portland, OR
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Reopening a Critically Important Debate: Are Democrats and RepubliCons Exactly (Any Where Near) the Same?
By michael payne
opednews.com | Debate by intelligentspeculator.net
We are rapidly approaching what may well prove to be the most important election in this nation's history, one that will have a monumental impact on its future direction. As millions of Americans struggle with the decision on how to cast their votes they become more and more confused as they hear many of their fellow citizens proclaiming that there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans; that they are exactly the same.
It's time that this misrepresentation of the facts is strongly challenged. It's one thing to simply make a statement that's based on one's emotions or generalizations but it's an entirely different matter when such statements have to be supported by concrete facts and evidence. To say that these two parties are exactly alike is to say that their platforms, their legislative agendas, political tactics, and the addressing of peoples' needs and concerns are identical. To advance that unsupported belief is doing a great disservice to the American people who need to be guided in their decisions by facts, not by supposition or conjecture.
To say that the parties are exactly the same is like saying that all corporations exactly the same, that they all are card carrying members of the profit-crazed entity called Corporate America? That's simply not true. Those who are causing great damage to America are mostly the giant transnational corporations who have outsourced millions of jobs, closed many thousands of plants and use every tactic at their disposal to pay little or no taxes. But there are thousands of corporations in the U.S. who still employ American workers, pay them decent wages and benefits, and pay their share of taxes.
Here's yet another example of why we can't just make such blanket judgments. In this national media should we consider Fox News and MSNBC as being exactly the same when the former strongly supports the GOP and its demented agenda and the latter champions the Democratic Party? Would you say that MSNBC hosts Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow, and Lawrence O'Donnell are exactly the same as Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly? Both news organizations clearly support the political ideologies of their own parties and continually show their disdain and revulsion for the other. While MSNBC fails to offer appropriate criticisms of Mr. Obama and the Democrats as they should, those at Fox News march in lockstep with the GOP.
Since I believe that the upcoming elections of 2012 are critically important to this nation's future and that it is absolutely essential that Americans are informed and educated about the issues and the clear differences between the two parties, I will ask once again, as I have in the past: in the following list, which of these issues involving very important government programs or legislation are the Democrats and Republicans even remotely close to having the same positions? I would like everyone who believes that Democrats and Republicans have the exact same positions on dealing with these critical issues to support their contention with very clear facts and concrete evidence that proves their case.
*Healthcare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid; please give specific details on why you may think that each party's position is exactly the same.
*Food stamps, student loans, unemployment benefits; show how there is no difference between the two parties.
*Filibusters, blocking all legislation on jobs, blocking judicial appointments; show evidence on how each party is filibustering and blocking important legislation. Just last week the Republicans filibustered the Bring Jobs Home Act that Democrats proposed to bring back jobs to America. Then the Republicans did the same on the DISCLOSE Act that would identify those who are corrupting our political process with hundreds of millions of dollars of campaign contributions.
*Destroying unions and union rights; laying off teachers, police and firefighters ; which party is still trying to support these entities and which one is trying to tear them down?
*Support of the 1%, escalating the disparity of income, wealth in America; which party totally sides with the 1% and which one is supportive of the 99%?
*Enacting laws to reverse outsourcing by using tax incentives and penalties; which party recently tried to pass legislation to do this and which party killed the effort?
*Working to eliminate important regulations on air, water, drilling and mining standards; which party represents the interests of the corporations who are trying to destroy any and all regulations and doing away with the EPA?
*Voter suppression laws; is it Republican governors and their legislatures in several states that have enacted these anti-democratic laws or do you, somehow, believe that the Democrats did it?
Let's stop referring to this situation as being the lesser of two evils; let's say that in these upcoming elections we will need to make a choice and vote for that presidential candidate and that political party which gives America its best hope for the future; which one has the greater potential for finally listening to the peoples' needs and concerns and can, somehow, find the ways to stabilize this nation by addressing and solving its most critical problems.
Let's be clear on one important point. Democrats in Congress are far from perfect; they are, in fact, often weak and indecisive; they could use a series of powerful injections to give them more courage, conviction and strength. In contrast we might say that Republicans already have great strength, courage and conviction -- the only problem is that it supports a twisted ideology that, if allowed to spread through this nation, will destroy our democracy. So, what Republicans need is a series of injections of ethics, integrity and morality.
This country stands at a critical crossroads and it must choose one road or another; sure we can show our disgust by refusing to vote or we can cast a vote for a third party candidate who has no hope of winning. But if we make the wrong choice and take the wrong road, this country is going to go down for the count. If anyone thinks that this president and this Democratic Party have failed to live up to the full expectations of the American people they are entirely correct. But if these same people are willing to let Mitt Romney and the demented Republican Party take full control of this country, then they just might be going from the frying pan into a boiling cauldron for this is a political party that no longer represents the American people and has sold its soul to the money, power and influence of Corporate America.
There is one person in the U.S. Congress that I trust above all others, one that I believe is trying hard to do what is best for America and its people. That person is Bernie Sanders, Independent Senator from Vermont. He doesn't hold back his criticisms of the president and the Democratic Party but one thing that has become very clear; his positions on numerous issues are far more in line with the Democrats than they are with the Republicans. Is there anyone who would dare to include him in the blanket statement that he and the Democrats and the Republicans are all exactly the same?
Sometime in the not too distant future we are going to have to see the emergence of a new breed of patriotic Americans who have the courage and conviction to enter this political process and represent the American people in a competent, ethical, and moral way; that might happen with the emergence of a strong third party or, perhaps, with the progressive movement taking over control of the Democratic Party. But that time is not now. America has its back against the wall and is in great danger. There is very little time left before these elections and we all better think long and very deeply about what we are going to do when that time comes.
So, in closing, I suggest that every person who reads this article and then still feels that, on the specific issues listed above, that the two parties are exactly the same, or are even remotely close in their respective positions, to back up their contention with clear, indisputable facts and evidence. And let the debate begin.
Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His articles concentrate on social, economic and political matters as well as American foreign policy. He is a U.S. Army veteran and a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. His (more...)