I read Brian Suszek’s latest article Political Labels and, as he often does, he got me thinking. Not only about political labels, but about something he kept bringing up while we were enjoying a main course of bourbon with a side of red meat and potatoes and ignoring his family because we were too engrossed in a discussion about politics. He said he always hears what the problems are but rarely what the solutions are. He kept asking what are the solutions? That is a great question. In his article he brought up the news cycles and how the talking heads would have you believe the other side was trying to destroy America. He is right, the pundits and many of the supposedly impartial journalists constantly tell us exactly what carnage the Republicans or the Democrats are doing to the country and the even worse things they will do if they win an election. I agree that corruption and lying are present on both sides, but I see far more and larger lies coming from the left. But one thing both parties lack are realistic solutions.
I see myself as a born-again extreme Libertarian who formerly identified with Republicans. It took a long time for me to shake my loyalties to Republicans and I still have not completely released myself from those loyalties. I know I am guilty of motivated reasoning and bias, but the facts that I find no matter what research I do consistently show more corruption, lies and hatred coming from the left today rather than the right. I am not the only one who sees this. Watch this from Reason and John Stossel. If you don’t know John Stossel’s history, research it and his break from the left. Watch Larry Elder’s Uncle Tom, it may be an eye opener for many but confirmation of the obvious to some. Here is a terrifying rant from Keith Olbermann where his “solution” seems eerily similar to the Nazi’s final solution. My view is that, even though both sides are guilty, today’s Republican right is far more open minded and willing to discuss issues and ideas than today’s totalitarian left and the Democrat party. Case in point, the recent Ice Cube controversy. That said, there is plenty to dislike on the right and they do have their share of intolerance. The most obvious example, even with the all the good he has accomplished, is Trump. And there are right wing groups and individuals that are just as terrifying as Keith Olbermann. What is the solution to the hate and lies from both sides?
Years ago I realized that Republicans do not represent many of my values and ideals and I knew that I could never identify with Democrats after I had an epiphany concerning the liberal mind and their Orwellian idea of positive and negative freedoms (another article coming soon on that topic). I wandered through various political philosophies and realized the Libertarian party holds the closest values to my own. But Brian is right again, by supporting the Libertarian party exclusively I open myself to adopting their ideals and policies with which I may not always agree.
What is the solution to what is essentially a two-party system in this country and breaking away from political labels? How do we break away from the myopic and self serving rhetoric of those parties? How do we cut through the lies we are fed and open ourselves to new ideas and solutions? Changing people’s political beliefs, party affiliations and opening their minds to alternatives is akin to herding cats or, more difficult still, getting them to change their religious beliefs.
Here are some possible solutions. Testing to be able to vote thus ensuring those that do vote are knowledgeable about the issues, how our government was designed to work and, most importantly, what rights are protected under the Constitution. Replace our Federal tax structure from a progressive tax to a consumption tax such as The Fair Tax and exposing on every receipt how much we really pay in tax and giving the chance for every citizen to vote with their wallets every day. Voters would remember which parties really share their values if they saw a 21% Federal tax on every dollar they spend; our current tax structure is designed to keep the populace from knowing that they already pay that 21% Federal tax. Vote third party or independent, or at least don’t vote straight ticket; both parties rely on the voter for who it would be a cold day in hell before they would vote for the other party. Term limits in Congress, and possibly even the Supreme Court, would go a long way towards breaking the power structure in Washington and might make party affiliation less important by forcing politicians to find solutions, instead of passing “vote buying” legislation, for the short time they are in office instead of concentrating on reelection the entire time they are in office. Most importantly listen with an open mind, the person from the other side might just have a solution, i.e. Supreme Court term limits.
These solutions may not be perfect, incomplete and certainly open to debate, but the discussion about solutions has to start somewhere. Walk away from party labels. Do your own research and find the candidate, not the party, that agrees with your solutions.