by Phillip D. Collins ©, June 18th, 2008

With the presidential elections steadily approaching, a question is being asked with increasing frequency: Who are you voting for? Personally, this questions aggravates me. Why? Because it is framed within a distinctly Hegelian framework. This framework consists of the confining dialectics of left vs. right, liberal vs. conservative, and, of course, Democrat vs. Republican. The latter of these dialectics is, for me, the most frustrating. Why? Because there’s no real difference between Republicans and Democrats.

Whenever the religious adherent of partisan affiliations attempts to “convert” me to their creed, I direct him or her to a quote from an obscure book entitled Tragedy and Hope. In this book, Georgetown University Professor Carroll Quigley writes, “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea. Instead the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy…It should be able to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which … will still pursue with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.”

In truth, the purpose of a two party system is the maintenance of a political cartel. Within such a framework, viable alternatives are overlooked and the same logically bankrupt status quo remains enshrined. To qualify this contention, I will briefly examine one major issue that occupies the mind of the voter: the war. To be sure, this is not the only point of convergence for the Democrats and Republicans, but it is one of the most transparently fraudulent dichotomies on the political landscape. The dominant perception holds that Republicans are “hawks” while Democrats are “doves.” However, history does not bear out this dualistic portrait.

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