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Division Tactics in U.S. Politics
Division Points of Platforms
Politics within the United States of America is riddled with subtle yet, powerful division tactics, so subtle the average American would not even recognize it. The foundation of American politics was originally invented to unite the people, secure a thriving economy, and build a stronger country separate from the British Crown. George Washington of the Independent party is the prime example of a true presidential leader, on September 19th, 1796 upon retirement George Washington warned the American people in his farewell address with this message:
"The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security & repose in the absolute power of an Individual: and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing fac
Since George Washington's exit from Presidency, America has been ruled by primarily two parties the Democratic party often referred to as left-wing or the Republican party also called right wing. These two parties are the 'supposed' main cause of conflict and divisions among voters. It's the polarization of platforms that have the majority of Americans on these hostile, opposing sides. Often when Americans hear the term "us" vs. "them" they associate it this saying with the political parties Republicans vs. Democrats, but is this really the case?
In case you are not familiar with the two monopolizing parties or American politics for that matter, let's briefly look at these parties and their 'stances.' The Democratic party founded in 1824 is considered the liberal party, their sign is the donkey and the color that represent them is blue. Also considered the progressives, socialists, social-liberals, feminists, greens. In order to slander or negate a supporters legitimacy, some people may refer to them as communist or anarchist. States are often referred to by color blue state or red state, as a way to represent the dominating party. The Republican party often referred to as G.O.P. meaning Grand Old Party was founded a bit later on March 20th, 1824, the Republican party is considered conservative with the elephant as their symbol and supporter color red. Common terms used to describe Republicans are conservatives, capitalist, nationalists, monarchists, and imperialists. Fascists are the most common term used to discredit a republican. While you will mainly hear about democrat or republican since they are reigning powers but, some of our country's greatest leaders belonged to the Independent party. The Independent party is not affiliated with any parties at all and varies its opinion based off of the candidate.
Democrat or Republican
The whole 'Democrats vs. Republicans' seem to stem from the fact they have very opposing viewpoints on a large number of issues. These polar opposite opinions are the biggest cause of social divisions. Political supporters and voters tend to care deeply, so when they have opposing ideologies with their fellow neighbors, co-workers, even relatives conversations often become heated, resulting in changed relationships. Politicians know these hot button issues, they built their entire platforms around these sensitive topics, not with the hopping of swaying potential voters but to keep the division relevant among society. Politicians do not worry about swaying voters or ‘party switching’ among voters simply because they know the likelihood of an ‘active voter’ ‘party switching’ is slim.
If a politician is ever asked why they will say this due to the fact generally ‘active voters’ develop a partisan identification. See people tend to evolve strong political ideals that follow closely to one party and since humans are creatures of habit we develop a long-term attachment to our chosen party. Scientist even concluded party identification can be so strong it has become "a form of social identity", to the same degree a person would identify to their religious or ethnic group. This is because we form our political stance as a consequence of personal, social, and environmental exposures. Often we see people voting the same as their parents would. Households in America tend to vote the same party, we choose our spouses based on things like moral and political views.
Young American is more likely to switch political parties or candidates than a middle aged American.
This is due to the fact that while growing up are major influences are our parents and immediate relatives. These crucial adults in our lives have already formed political ideologies that they instill in us (their offspring) in hopes of raising their "ideal adult." While some young Americans will choose to stay with the same party as their parents, many may choose to switch. This switch is most likely to happen during our "college years" according to researcher Elias Dinas. Dinas like to use the term 'political awakening' to describe this situation.
If 'political awakening' does occur then why don't politicians worry about 'party switching' among voters?
Americans in their "college years" generally are not billionaires, so sadly politicians do not consider their vote high priority.
All leading politicians are the living within the top twenty to one percentile, so of course their platforms end up serving the biggest rewards to the top twenty to one percentile.
Is America's wealth not in proper portion? If so, does it creates an unideal living situation for the majority of citizens?
Wealth Equality In America
A Harvard study regarding wealth distribution in the U.S. showed this phenomenon the best. Harvard conducted a study among five thousand Americans asking how they believe wealth is and should be distributed among society. The results, however, are quite disturbing.
his society-crushing fact is the reason politicians do not worry about 'party switching' among voters since they themselves are the one percent and are funded by the top ten to one percent.
Founding father and third president of the United States Thomas Jefferson put out this warning well before this wealth distribution become the issue it is today,
"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered...I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies... The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly b
Current Politics Is Wasting Our Time
If politicians, regardless of their party only care about the one percent why do they bother wasting America's time with opposing platforms? This is simple, it is a division tactic. With such polarized platforms, their supporters are bound to experience conflict. Since we know ninety-two percent of Americans want to see a wealth distribution to that more of Sweden's, it is easy to see why politicians and the government want to keep division among voters, so no real change happens for the average American.
Tactics In The Speeches
George W. Bush said on September 20, 2001, "Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists," He made it so any American who opposed the war for whatever reasons now looked like a communist, terrorists, trader. This created a large rift among Americans until 2004 when a large portion of Americans started to question the validity of the war’s stated objectives. So when George W. Bush said that statement he was intentionally creating a division among his people in order to rally support quickly to initiate a war, an almost fifteen-year, and continuing war. This instance might have one thinking back to the thirty-third President Harry S. Truman when he warned of:
“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear."
Other ‘Hot Button Issues’ In Politics
Social issues such as capital punishment can be seen for the divisive tactic they are when taking into account the research done on citizens who opinions are for or against the death penalty. Statistically women oppose the death penalty more than men; Conservative, Caucasian males favor capital punishment more than any other demographic. Why is an issues that only one demographic favors still an available option, it clearly is not in favor of the majority. The reason is because it’s a ‘hot button issue’ even tho nothing gets done; Capital punishment briefly graces the political platforms even though it has not been a major platform issue for any national candidate in over twenty-five years. Decisions regarding capital punishment are almost exclusively performed by judges and a small panel of death penalty lawyers.
There are three other ‘hot button’ social issues they are abortion, L.G.B.T. rights, and assisted suicide. These sensitive issues are not for the government to decide for all citizens. These crucial decisions should be made left up to the citizens themselves, at the time of possible need. We as Americans just simply need to see the ninth amendment in order to understand that anti-L.G.B.T. laws, anti-abortion laws, or anti-assisted-suicide laws violate an individual's choice, choices that have no political significance.
Yet, these issues or sometimes even ’laws’ are included in national candidates platforms, why?
Much like religion people view tend to view social issue inwardly, it becomes a part of their self-identity, meaning what would they do or could see themselves doing. Thus making these issues incredibly controversial for people with opposing views. Now given the fact there are many demographics to American life should this not be a choice left up to the people it is affecting instead of the rare top ten to one percent? Often with social issues religion comes up and why is that? See politicians and the media often try to incorporate religious undertones, so their supporters end up using their God as way to justify this being a political issue, but they would be wrong. God can not be used as a legit reason for the government to implement laws, as it violates the separation of church and state. George Washington said it best:
“The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
Now some Americans love to use President Ronald Reagan as an example, throughout his career Reagan himself forgot that the country he runs is not a nation founded on any religion, mainly these three quotes used over and over again:
- “Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.”
- “Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel, and reindeer's, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas.”
- “If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be one nation gone under.”
See Reagan knew that he was running a country not bound to any religion, he knew that the citizens of his country varied in religious beliefs, yet he still used his ideology while running the country. This is a clearly a violation that America let slide and ever since then has used to try and make America a country bound to and founded by a religion. Let’s not forget the great words utter by Former President and Founding Father Thomas Jefferson:
“...legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction th
Healthcare in Politics
Healthcare is another ‘hot button issue’ from Medicaid, Medicare, Obamacare, and talk of full universal healthcare.
Have you ever wondered why it is even an issue?
Seriously what Americans are saying "No I don’t want my tax dollars to go to my healthcare, I want to pay obscene amounts to just live a healthy normal life?"
So why do we the people have fully covered healthcare yet? Our friends in Canada do and have for decades. Did you know citizens of America pay one of the highest prices in the world for just for our prescription drugs, for example, critical life-saving cancer drugs cost Americans six hundred times more than most other places in the world! Why do we pay so much for medications we need? On average big pharmaceuticals companies ‘donate’ anywhere from about thirty to hundreds of millions on electoral campaigns in favor of their party, and that is just on the campaigns, not the lobbyists, these same companies usually pay about three to seven times more lobbyists for these parties. These ‘donations’ that get our senators, governors, presidents into power clearly has a more driving force behind their decision when in power, then we the people realize. This is why we the people do not have full coverage, do not have are practicals covered, or dental and optometry.
Medical marijuana, when looked at strictly by research marijuana has been proven beneficial medically for a number of ailments and disease, yet it’s widely stigmatized and in some places illegal.
So why is medical marijuana still illegal?
See during the 17th century the American government actually encourage the production of hemp, even going so far as to making it a requirement to grow hemp in certain states. By the 19th century, marijuana was a popular ingredient in pharmaceuticals. This was until the 1920's when the rush of Mexican immigrants introduced Americans to recreational cannabis use; Turning marijuana mainstream. This particular incident causes the associate of marijuana to immigrants and crime. This was a time of fear and prejudice for many minorities. These unfounded reasons would set in motion the seventy-six years of marijuana propaganda often referred to as 'reefer madness.' Americans should look to Independent President George Washington, he understood the benefits of marijuana better than other President, in a note to his gardener he penned:
"Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere."
Tactics In Econimics
Economic issues are just another huge factor in our societal division. In the last few years, we have seen a lot of publicity regarding equal pay among genders, many female celebrities such Emma Watson and Kristen Stewart were seen promoting this issue in various forms of media. These interviews were to help fuel a ‘gender fire.’
Once you have taken into account the many variable that involve someone pay such as job position, majors studied, or salary negotiation. Majors and Profession have a lot to do with overall salary figures. See in the media we hear how generally women the average full-time, year-round worker makes eighteen percent less than a full-time, year-round man.
These statistics that fuel arguments among different parties do not take into account these many factors, for example the comparisons of salaries for positions takes away a lot of the questioning about equal pay; A counseling psychologist which is the number one job choose by women on average make about seventy thousand a year, where the yearly salary of a petroleum engineer, a male dominated trade makes about one hundred thirty-one thousand dollars a year.
These salaries have to more with the hazards of the work, the schooling needed for the position and so on, more than it has to do with employees gender. Yet, these statics are rarely spoken about, if we know that it has more to with avenue studied and field chosen. Why is there not more media attention to get women into higher paying fields? This is because as along is there is an issue with pay equality, a slight separation of majors and professions among gender, there is current division among society.
Social Assistance & Politics
Social assistance and the monitoring of those receiving social assistance is another ‘hot button’ economic issue. In recent years the main topic of discussion has been whether or not to drug test those who receive government assistance, this controversial issue has society divided and heatedly, social media becomes filled with anit-assistance propaganda, and we see an uprising in ‘financial discrimination.’
What is funny about this controversial topic, is the foundation that people on welfare are living off taxpayers money. True, they are but, so are any government workers.
With that in mind and taking into account that there have been over twenty government leaders such as Presidents, Senators, and Governors who openly admitted to recreational marijuana use, some even while in Presidency, there are at least ten politicians that have been linked to much harder recreational drugs like cocaine. Until Americans can trust that all government worker in a position of authority such as politicians, judges, lawyers, teachers and so are not under the use of any recreational drugs, they should not be enforcing these requirements on the lower income citizens. Suggesting that only those on welfare and not all people who earn a living off taxes should be scrutinized is basically financial discrimination or class discrimination. Laws like this when not imposed on all citizens that live off taxpayers is money would be violating the ninth amendment.
Yet, this a big sections of their political platforms, why?
If we the people only focus on these social assistance numbers we are less likely to notice numbers such as bank bailouts. Bank bailouts that in one year totaled to around two hundred and eleven billion dollars. That is a large number when compared to the small five percent, of the total federal budget of taxpayers money only goes to help the non-working people specifically on welfare.
Passing On PAYGO
Speaking of the federal budget Americans need to realize two things, one being America's debt needs to be taken more seriously by ‘we the people’ than we have been and two, a very large portion of this whole budgetary mess could have been avoided. With PAYGO, it would have been a lot harder for any political power to plunge America’s debt.
Don't know about PAYGO? See PAYGO was part of a law the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990, this law essentially said that if the government wanted to create any new programs such as national healthcare, they would have to show a feasible plan that allowed them to implement this program without increasing the budget or accumulating debt. With the help of PAYGO when President Bill Clinton left office on January 20th, 2001, he left the nation with a budget surplus of around forty-six billion. Paygo was the only reason Clinton never implemented a national health-care, as it was one of his major priorities. Sadly, Paygo is no longer a part of the budget enforcement act, Paygo was up for renewal at the end of 2002 and President George W. Bush did not renew it. When bush left office in 2009 he left the nation with one point four three trillion dollar budget in deficit, the largest at the time’s history. Having a bigger budget that the government does not need to account for allows them to pass, bailout, fund just about anything, while the rest of Americas argues over social assistance and health care programs.
See Almost every issue among political platforms is a tool of division: NSA domestic surveillance, social security, gerrymandering, religious freedom act, the confederate flag, wall street accountability, corporate income tax, farm subsidies, trans-pacific partnership, all avenues of immigrations, and mandatory vaccinations.
Another thing we need to look at to end the division among us is us. See we as American’s despite our reputation for compromise and personal freedom, is rarely shown in politic discussions, to a point that one may wonder if Prussian General and military theorist Carl Von Clausewitz had it right when he said, “War is the continuation of politics by other means.”
If we learn to channel the problems that lie within ‘us’ collectively then we have true, pure chance at the starting of a great change. A change for a better America and a better future for each and every one us. In order to do this tho we need to uncover ‘our problem.’
Researcher from the University of Kansas’ Patrick Miller and the University of North Carolina's’ Pamela Johnson did a political science study where they concluded ‘active voters’ meaning those most likely to show up and vote, also tend to be the ones who have the most political hostility politics and view it through a zero-sum, uncivil lens. They also found this was a similar correlation to citizens and sports.
This means the majority of people who either identify themselves as either Republican or Democratic are largely buying into this whole hostile, 'us vs. them' mentality; Where winning is the most important things and actual policy is a secondary goal. We also need to stop lying to ourselves, political scientist discovered almost thirty years ago that majority of Americans who identify themselves are independents are actual not independents. In fact, political scientists refer to these people as 'closet partisans,' they found the largest reasons for a person to lie was because they feared the social implications of their chosen party. Political science also found that we are more likely to develop this hostile 'us' vs. 'them' mentality to voting political parties as we age, viewing it more as 'our team' vs. 'their team ' mentality.
What does hostile politics mean for ‘us’? We the people need to stop talking our political stance so seriously, we need to be open-minded, open to civil discussions, open to the possibility of saying yes to something we would never choose for ourselves in the best interest of others. We can not keep dividing and classing ourselves based on our parties or lack there of a party. We need to stop viewing our parties as sports teams, we do not need to shout, argue, belittle, or negate opposing opinions. We need to find a way to live with our opinions without having them rule us.
If we can not be friends or even civil with people who have opposing ideologies how are ever supposed to evolve emotionally and mentally as a species?
"Humans forgot we were all brother and sisters cohabitating the same planet. So we became delusional and created these invisible borders, through beliefs, politics, and religion, destroying each other and our planet. Instead of just evolving to life harmoniously as one."— Mason Shade
Party For One
Now that we have an understanding of how we are being divided we can start to achieve change. In order to really get there tho we need to look at these ‘parties’ and really evaluate their words (platforms) vs. their actions. Until Americans see both current politics and candidates for the corruption that they are society does not have a hope of uniting together, to create a better America. We just have to look at the evidence before us to see that all parties are on the same team despite any 'smearing' they may have done during elections; This is the same as 'fake hype' for rival sports teams or players even to the degree of wrestler or ufc rivals. The opposing sides on the politicians parts is an act. A facade, to keep us ‘we the people’ fighting each other instead of holding them ‘the government’ accountable.
Let's use Barak Obama as an example here, he promised a lot to get elected, things like ending the war, closing Guantanamo bay and so on. But, has Barak Obama done with the presidency? President Barak Obama extended Bush's tax cuts, he uses the exact same Secretary of defense as Bush did, he has extended the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, he never did close Guantanamo bay, he decreased funding to planned parenthood, Africa now has less American funding and Barak Obama even bombed part of Africa - Libya. These actions do not seem to be aligned with the Democratic future he promised, this action do however seem to coincide with the original plan set out by the Republican President George W. Bush.
Is this simply a coincidence? Does the President of the United States of America not have as much control as we the people think? And, if our President does not have control then who exactly is calling the shots for not only our country but, for us?
Unfortunately, all of these issues are just a ruse to keep society divided because there are not any political parties really. American writer Gore Vidal put it best, "I have been saying for some time now that America has only one party- The Property Party; it is the party of big corporations, the party of money. It has two right wings: one is Democratic and the other is Republican." Some Americans have begun 'waking up' to the truth about our voting system, Eric Draitser, the founder of the website stop imperialism said, “There is only one political party in the United States and it is the party that represents Wall Street and big business.” Another great example is Professor Noam Chomsky in an interview Chomsky was asked, "Do you find Republicans and Democrats represent just a slight variations of the same political platform?" Chomsky replied with, "Of course there are differences, but they are not fundamental. Nobody should have any illusions. The United States has essentially a one-party system and the ruling party is the business party."
These Americans 'waking up' is hope, the hope of better America, the hope of better future for us and the generations after us, but, just these few Americans won't be enough. We need all of us, we the people are stronger united than any other forces in America.
Deciphering The Distractions
How as citizens can we notice divide techniques in our politics? Avoid falling for any hype, stay away from the smear campaigns, the candidate with the most mainstream ads is probably the candidate we (Americans) want the least. Look for candidates that seem to be almost 'blacklisted' from the media, that is a big sign that they stand for something away from the 'Washington Norm'. Candidates that are not included in debates, have very little, ads, are basically just ignored by the media are always worth our independent research. The media like the government is secretly partnered with the big corporations, the big money. Everything we see, hear, read that comes from the mainstream is controlled; Pushing the same agenda as both the left-right wings of politics.
Do you really think the reason there always seems to be only two parties in the news or up for discussion is because only Democrats and Republicans are capable of running our country? No. It is because they have the most money, which means they have the most power. Democrats and Republicans have decades of relationships with well-established businesses and people. These limitless connections and resources are how they are able to keep one of these parties in control. Airwaves, commercials, newspapers all plastered with the left agenda or the right agenda.
Where is the coverage of the independents? One of America's greatest presidents George Washington was an independent, but, then again this goes back to a time when politics and their candidates actually stood for the people and not for the money.
The future needs us, not them. We are the only hope for our country, are futures, the futures of the generations after us. There is nobody else coming to defeat the 'bad guys'. We are the superheroes, once we the people collectively unit, stand up and say we have enough. Now some Americans might be saying things such as "we can't speak of our government like this" but, we must remember that the government is paid by us, hired by us with the intention of providing what best for us, not them. Malcolm X may have said it best when he said:
“You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.”
Freedom Is In The Future
If we want real change, real politics, someone from our stance in life. Why are the people deciding decision for 'us' the majority, not living the lives of the majority? They people in power are not in our shoes, they do not know our struggles, so therefore they cannot fight for us. Founding Father Thomas Jefferson knew this was a likely possibility that we the people would become prey to the powers at hand, that is why he warned us with this message:
“I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
The rare top ten to one percent should not be our leaders. The representatives should be chosen out of the financial class of the highest population in America, only someone that has struggled like us will know what we need. Say, for example, we have more middle-class citizens than anything else, our leaders should have to come from the middle class.
Yet, we never have candidates that are not within the top ten percentile why? Why do you need to be a millionaire or know a millionaire to even get into office? Money should have no bearing on one's ability to run a state or country. Our current system does not sound like a democracy to me, does it sound like one to you?
This is not cause a for panic, however, we can do something, the laws that were created by our truly great leaders were made to protect us 'the people' not them. Remember these great words from President Abraham Lincoln, "We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."
This means that we can come together collectively as a society, compose enough reasonable doubt, that we can overthrow our current situation. We can get America back to the great country it once was and most of us long for it to be again. We do not have to sit ideally by while our futures, our hopes, our dreams, even our children are lost to the monopolizing parties that decide and control our lives.
As along as we remember that the 'us' is our society and the 'them' is the 'current corrupt government'; Corrupt by the big corporations, who also fund the government and the mainstream media. We from this point forward keep our eyes open for these division tactics, and make a stand to not be victim to the 'them.' We the people can have the real American dream like it was when the most famous lined became coined.
Do You Think Current U.S. Politics Is Corrupt?
© 2015 Mason Shade