Rhetoric | The Polarization of America

Why Our Country Desperately Needs a Credible Third Political Party, Now!

During this 2016 election year, given the disappointing choices thrown up by America’s stultified, self-satisfied and fanatical  two-party system,  it’s obvious to the man and woman on the street that something is terribly wrong.  Recent media interviews with grass-roots Americans back this up.

Many interviewees  say, with resentment, that they are being forced to choose the lesser of two evils, expressing an intention to cross political lines to make such a choice.  Their self-perceived civic duty to vote is driving them to hold their noses and vote for the other party’s candidate.

Others, apparently so appalled by the products from both of this year’s political conventions, say they won’t vote at all.  Any choice they might make would be equally bad, and they don’t want to feel responsible later.  These particular citizens have entirely washed their hands of a process which, at one time, represented everything  good about democracies in general and America in particular.  They are abandoning the process that many of their ancestors spilled blood to preserve.

For some two hundred years from its advent, our two party system actually got things done by give-and-take, by compromise, and by participants usually being committed to the common good, above personal gain.  In these forty years since our Bicentennial celebration things have taken a bad turn.

How did America’s political process, once a civilized way of reconciling competing needs and avoiding violence, devolve into the childish schoolyard squabble we see today?  Pathetically, this infantile state of pseudo-war rages over some vital, life-and-death issues which impact not only our own future but the world’s future as well.  Yes, the world’s future. There is no escaping the reality of America’s dominant position on Earth both militarily and economically.

Would that we were also still relatively dominant morally, and still fulfilling our past role as  a positive argument in favor of the superiority of a civilized democratic political process.  Now,  our friends in other countries nervously ridicule us—at the same time, probably reluctantly wishing us well, since their immediate, collective future literally depends to some extent on our success. But how did we get to this state of seemingly irreconcilable political stalemate and a system that seems rigged on both sides, or worse—vaguely seeming to be rigged by something above both sides.  The system seems to be saying, “Here is what you get, like it or lump it.”

Does today’s  arguably depraved political state of affairs simply reflect our underlying culture?

Whether it’s the media’s  constant struggle for the scoop—to the point of  bending the facts,  ignoring the truth and even goading and taunting candidates in order to provoke visceral responses (and therefore good soundbites)—or the Millennial Generation’s obsession with violent, bloody video games, movies and evermore violent sports (such as cage fighting with bare fists) the culture seems to have driven this year’s votes in both parties’ primary elections.  These popular “video spectacles,” where all  things boil down to  a struggle between good and evil, tend to appeal to an electorate populated with immature individuals, some now only  having attained their 18th birthday, some chronologically older but not so much mentally so.

Maybe it doesn’t matter how we got here. Why cry over spilt milk?  Perhaps we should be thinking of a way to break up this black vs. white, good vs. evil syndrome.  As hinted in the above subtitle, one way to do this would be for someone to organize a third political party large enough to credibly challenge the other two. This could not be the occasional third party springing up to support one candidate, such as a Ross Perot.  It would have to be a party consciously and collaboratively created by selfless individuals, producing a platform offering a choice of a different flavor, one that thinking people would not reject out-of-hand but at least think about.  If you are out there, please heed.

###

The reader might be amused by my earlier reductio ad absurdum piece advocating an infinitely-noded political paradigm in place of our current polarly-noded one.   https://vernonmileskerr.com/2014/08/05/a-political-paradigm-for-the-gullible/

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “Rhetoric | The Polarization of America

    1. Indeed. And now, there is polarization within the two parties as well. Dems = the Estab v. Progressives
      Repubs = Trumpers v. Lincoln Proj. I do a lot of tweeting @kerr_vernon. I was in favor of the Blue Wave but frankly, the invective I got from establishment Dems because I was for Bernie was much more, crass, uneducated and vile than any I ever got from Trumpers. The hatred WITHIN the two parties is as intense as that BETWEEN the two parties. 😦 Thanks again for the Likes and comments. Your website is …. “Ka-Pow!!!” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear Vernon Miles Kerr,

        Thank you for showcasing your expertise in the domain of American politics and political ecology, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. All in all, the presentation of your ideas and arguments is quite cogent and convincing. I look forward to savouring more of your posts and articles as I find more time. You definitely deserve all of the likes and comments from me so far.

        Yes, we do need Bernie to implement far more fundamental, equitable and sustainable solutions. And I agree with you that there are divisions and polarizations both between and within the two major parties. To resonate with the tenet of your post, I hereby introduce my image as follows:

        Like

          1. Dear Vernon,

            You are very welcome. I am delighted to hear from you, and would like to inform you that three of my recently submitted comments are still awaiting your approval. Thank you in anticipation.

            I also look forward to interacting with you at my website.

            Like

            1. All-in-all, the WordPress Comment/Reply system is “satisfactory” but I miss a lot. Sorry for anything I haven’t replied to yet. Like you, I love writing convoluted, complex sentences with many clauses, to the point that the reader believes he or she’s in the Labyrinth of Knossos, just before seeing a faint fog of light ahead, enough to encourage them to keep going—then ultimately experiencing triumph, upon reaching the full-stop at the end. Not only do I love writing these puzzles, I love reading them, parsing them, cheering the author on, hoping that he or she is able to pull it off without the whole thing evaporating into a hopeless fog of clauses looking for a period. That’s why I love Charles Dickens. I thought that very thought, as I sat in a chair he may have once sat in, at the Parker House in Boston. ( A little preview of the post “Travel | Vignettes Vol.1 No.1, Downtown Crossing, Boston Mass.” Wow, that’s such a good example, I think I’ll do a multi-part tweet of it @Kerr_Vernon I’ll give you a plug. Thanks for the engagement. 🙂 VMK

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Dear Vernon,

              I also like reading the prose and works of Charles Dickens, and I concur with you that many folks will have plenty of hard times reading Dickens’ “Hard Times”.

              If you indeed enjoy reading sentences that are even more complex and/or convoluted than those of Charles Dickens, then you will find and relish such sentences throughout my post published at http://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2017/10/18/the-quotation-fallacy/

              Please enjoy. I look forward to your submitting a preliminary feedback at the comment section of my said post.

              Happy December to you!

              Like

      2. Dear Vernon Miles Kerr,

        For the foreseeable future, it may indeed be a pipe dream to hope for a “Credible Third Political Party” to extricate ourselves from many entrenched dilemmas. Maybe it’s time for benevolent aliens to save us from self-destruction . . . . .

        I would like to mention that you can locate the aforementioned image entitled “Polarization bounded by the Law of Noncontradiction and the Law of Excluded Middle” in my book-length post published at http://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2017/10/18/the-quotation-fallacy/

        Whilst Pluto has been demoted to a dwarf planet, the planet of America has already ascended to plutocracy, being plagued in varying degrees by post-truth politics, demagoguery, ochlocracy, oligarchy, kleptocracy and narcissistic leadership, plus other complex issues extensively discussed in a special post of mine. This post deals with issues associated with ideas, claims, arguments, agendas, projects, campaigns, propagandas, media manipulation, Internet manipulation, astroturfing operations or post-truth politics involving personal attacks (including ad hominem, damaging quotations, trolling and flaming), misquotations, misinformation, disinformation, misrepresentation, sensationalism, fake news, alternative facts, conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, yellow journalism, historical negationism and anti-intellectualism. I have sought to analyze and discuss them in great detail in this expansive post because fundamentally humans have a great deal of problematic instincts, emotional traits, behavioural patterns and mental pitfalls. This post of mine also concentrates a great deal on critical thinking.

        Though the said post is very long and encyclopaedic, the navigational menus there can help you to jump to any section of the post instantly so that you can resume reading at any point of the post over multiple sessions in your own time. I look forward to reading your feedback and thoughts there.

        Like

Your comments make this blog worth reading:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.