Politics, Pandering and People
I haven't written a new hub in a while, but I saw this question and thought I'd weigh in. I'll make it clear now, what follows is purely my own opinion, and nothing that could be considered fact. So, on the off chance I say something that you disagree with, just remember not to take it too seriously.
First of all, the question at hand: should political parties be abolished? Honestly, I think this would be a good idea. Political parties are a good way to get like-minded people together, but they do more harm than good. Large groups of people who all think the same thing... call me crazy, but that sounds like a herd of sheople to me. I mean, come on. How many people are there who will vote for a given politician purely because of their political alignment? Too many if you ask me. Political affiliations discourage original thinking. They encourage people to just do whatever their party wants rather than think things through and develop an expert opinion of their own. Democracy relies on the will of the people to choose what's right. If that's the case, then average Joes across the country can't just sit back and rely on their representatives to know what's right.
And then there's the individual politicians themselves. Is it just me, or are we getting another news story about another governor breaking laws or cheating on their wife every other week for the past few years? And they're almost always the very same politicians who went on the campaign trail preaching morality and family values. I can't tell anymore if these guys are two-faced liars or schizophrenic nut-jobs. Either way, I don't think they should be in the position to make major decisions for us.
Here's the thing: those people all got selected by the democratic process, and we're all shocked when it's revealed that they are in fact corrupt liars who are only out to further their own careers. The democratic process only works if the people are smart enough to choose someone good. The best person for the job is a selfless, genuine individual who cares about the people they represent more than themselves. In that case, the worst possible person for the job is a politician.
And then there is the issue with legislation. Congress lately has been sitting on its hands for the most part, all because they can't come to consensus, and they can't pass anything without using legal loopholes to push things through. Does anyone honestly believe that all congressmen and congresswomen are voting based on what they feel is right? Please, don't make me laugh. They vote down party lines constantly, and whichever party has the majority ends up being the one that decides legislation. These people aren't all pure-hearted good folks out to do right by the American people. They're out to protect their jobs, and that means supporting their party so that the party will back them up when they need it.
So, returning to the original question, I think doing away with political parties would be a good idea. Instead of running on a party ticket, candidates would have to run purely for themselves and whoever supports them. Their campaigns would have to actually address where they stand on serious issues, and people would be much more likely to vote on the candidate who has their values, not just whoever the group supports. Rather than identifying with a group, people could actually make educated decisions at the polls. I know you can't force people to be politically aware (I think I'm proof of that), but doing away with party politics would be a step in the right direction. If politicians were elected based on their actual stances on the issues, maybe there's a chance that we'd end up with a group of intelligent people who can do a decent job of running a country. Now wouldn't that be special?
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