Marching towards monolithic politics

There is an interesting philosophical debate taking place in the halls of biology on the topic of stem cell differentiation: “nature vs. nurture”… a debate that we could interpretatively extend to the realm of American politics and its two-party system.

Perhaps the deterministic “nature” aspect which lies in the nucleus of the Republican Party, and the survivalist conservatism encoded in it, is not so different from the more compassionate, “nurture” social aspects of the Democratic Party. Could it be that they are both intertwined, complementary courses to follow… choices hardly discernible in the American neural stem differentiation of its body politic?

There are times, and this post-election is certainly one of them, when one could easily reach the conclusion that there is just one political party in these United States , one that could deservingly be called the American Supremacist Party (ASP), a proud successor whether via creation or evolution to yesteryear’s Grand Old Party. As for the “other party,” it does give the appearance of disorganized, apprehensive groupings of ASP-wannabes, leading one to believe that the asp’s venom must have some therapeutic properties hard to resist.

Democratic politicians, at least a great many of them, appear uncomfortable upon discovering some traces of progressive blood flowing through their veins, resorting to bloodletting to cleanse their system from what they perceive as unpopular or “un-American” stances. In America ’s democracy people are allowed to dissent… but politicians, Democratic politicians that is, must rally to a mythical center of politics, where voters are presumably ideologically-neutered, advocating neither the political right nor the political left. And it’s not just a couple of Joes (Lieberman and Biden do come to mind) who from that center blend so well with their Republican colleagues… well over half of the Democratic congressional legislators do.

Of late, the controversy among Democrats centers on whether “Lefty” Dean should be given the reins of the party… never mind that all other contenders have dropped out of the race for the DNC top slot. The “fifth column” within the Democratic Party is at it again. That same fifth column that successfully made sure Dean’s presidential candidacy would never bloom. Once again they are forecasting doom and gloom for the party of Andrew Jackson and FDR if that “crazy guy who screams” takes command of the party… a party that seems to be led by political deaf-mutes (apologies extended to Pelosi, Boxer, Kennedy, Harkin and a handful of other legislators with a heart who are neither hard of hearing nor mute).

In all his political machinations, Karl Rove could not have enlisted a better fifth column than that which made the rounds within the Democratic Party suppressing progressive candidates before the 2004 election- at zero cost to the Bush campaign, to boot! A column created within the Democratic ranks by spontaneous combustion… perhaps caused by a concentrated fear-increasing reaction between a sense of pseudo-patriotism and a list of selfish interests.

That fifth column apparently did not disperse after the election, but to Mr. Rove’s delight it decided to remain in place to assure that progressivism in the Democratic Party stays out of sight… and out of mind. Writers such as Jonathan Chait, a senior editor at The New Republic, seem to work with missionary zeal when engaged in this task… screaming from Democratic pulpits loud enough to silence any possible resurgent voices with a political progressive conscience in the Party’s mainstream.

If for no other reason than to squelch an unhealthy political monopoly, Americans should reject this apparent ideological solidarity by the two parties that represent over 95% of the electorate. If the Democratic leadership feels that it must denounce its progressive roots and rally around causes which are abhorrent to a progressive conscience, such as grand scale economic larceny and unwarranted wars, those who have given their vote to Democratic candidates have a right to know.

Many true progressives have for decades become errant idealists without a place to call home… usually finding temporary shelter in small political parties advocating specific altruistic causes, but without hope of ever finding in America their Zion . Some do remain, fashionably camouflaged, in the Democratic Party… but forced time and again, particularly in matters of foreign policy, to apostasy of their ideals.

Perhaps Nader had it right all along. Voting for a lesser evil in the choice between tweedledum and tweedledee may turn out to be a worse option than casting a ballot for a candidate with a progressive agenda doomed to lose… what is mocked as “wasting your vote.” Yes, Nader may have been right after all.