The short and sweet answer to this question is yes, yes and yes. For the past 5-6 years the United States has experienced something that no one ever thought could happen. That being political gridlock and with gridlock its means that nothing will happen. No decisions will be made and if they are, in all likelihood they’ll be half measures. The United States is unique in that for a democracy we only have two political parties. In any other democratic country there are 3-5 political parties such that people can truly pick and choose who they want in office. The other major difference is that in other countries if the prevailing political party isn’t doing the job, they are voted out of office even before their term is up. In the US we are stuck with political leaders who even if they aren’t doing the job; well we’re stuck with them for up to 6 years (Senate). It gives new meaning to the term “lame duck” and quite frankly we have too many lame ducks in government.
In the interest of full disclosure, I used to be a Democrat. I was a Democrat because I believed that the Democratic Party was the party of the people. I’m now more Independent that ever and the reason is I don’t believe the Democrats are any better than the GOP. Plus I’m old enough to remember the Cuban Missile Crisis and how then President Kennedy led us out of that disaster. Quite frankly, the only politician I think highly of these days is Bernie Sanders because at least he tells it like it is. The prevailing politicians in Washington, DC seem perfectly content to allow the government to run on autopilot with no leadership whatsoever.
Want proof? The upcoming Budget Bill that was just approved by the House and senate will now go to President Obama for approval. This budget was devised by Senator Patty Murray (Democrat) and Rep, Paul Ryan (Republican). This bill contains no provision whatsoever for any extension of UI. Yet Democrats in both houses approved it and no one even raised a red flag concerning this issue. On December 28th millions of Americans were dropped from the UI rolls regardless of where they were in terms of UI benefits. In other words many Americans had 20 weeks to go before they exhausted their benefits and were dropped prematurely. And we wonder how the Unemployment Rate dropped from 7.0 to 6.7 percent with only 74,000 jobs created? Mathematically that is impossible. The only way it can happen is if millions aren’t being counted as unemployed. Well guess what? When you drop off Unemployment you’re considered to be “employed” even if you aren’t. If you really want a true measure of the employment situation in the United States then look at the Department of Labor’s U6 rate. This shows the true picture as it takes into account the total number of long term unemployed. That number rest at 12.7 million and yet no one pays attention to this. Everyone is perfectly content to look at the official rate and say “see, things aren’t so bad the unemployment rate is going down” or they’ll look at the JOLTS Job Report and say “see, we have 4 million vacant jobs, those unemployed people don’t want to work.” It doesn’t exactly help when we have 12.7 million long term unemployed.
So what does Obama do? He tries to push through an extension via a bill that was voted down this past week. The issue? The Senate requires a majority of 60 votes and the final number came in at 55. Since when is 55 not a majority? The fact is that despite all the rhetoric regarding his record of job creation, the jobs that have been created are low level, minimum wage and menial at best. The American people expect more from their leaders but sadly won’t get it with this crowd in DC. The fact is that the folks in DC live in an insulated, glass bubble and don’t live in the real world. When they go home to talk to constituents, who do they talk to? Campaign contributors, not the average Joe. The average Joe has no voice with these people unless they wish to spend their lives writing letters.
In Ancient Rome there was a two party system: the Patricians and the Plebes. The Patricians represented the “high net worth” folks and the Plebes represented everyone else. This system did not work and required a Caesar to break the deadlock. Problem was that Caesar had absolute power and that always corrupts absolutely.
Originally posted: Does the US Need a Third Political Party?
You might also enjoy: USA:The Land of the Not-So-Free