It is safe to say that for the last 100 years, the US government has been dominated by one of two parties.
Advertisement-content continues below
In recent years, the Republican Party changed after a large influx of estranged Democrats fled to the party after World War Two, continuing on into the 1990s. Many of today’s self-proclaimed conservatives are actually individuals who would have been Democrats during the Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt years. A majority of Republicans espouse some of the same beliefs that so called “liberal” Democrats do, but with an emphasis in different areas. Democrats and Republicans often argue over minutia and specifics while behaving as though there are miles of differences between the two platforms, when in all actuality there is very little difference. The discourse between these two parties have little impact on the major issues that concern Americans today. If Americans seek true change, it will not be within these two old, worn out political machines. Instead, it will be within the surging Libertarian brand that by its most basic political philosophy welcomes all, regardless of ethics, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or gender.
Modern Republican presidents and nominees support all of the major ideas of modern Democrats. For instance, on the issue of government healthcare and government regulation of healthcare, George W. Bush signed into law The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act on December 8th, 2003. Many Republicans who argued against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) signed by President Barack Obama, supported President Bush’s bill wholeheartedly and stood around Bush smiling as he signed it into law. It was the largest welfare medical benefits program in US history, and then-U.S. Comptroller General David Walker called it “the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation since the 1960s.” One will find that Republicans also support Social Security, the USDA food stamp program, farm subsidies, and huge increases in government bureaucracy. The main difference with Republicans is where they prefer the increases; while supporting small increases in domestic programs, most are adamant about massive military expenditures, domestic police forces, and domestic surveillance capabilities. This is hardly a recipe for “fiscal responsibility”, small government, or even freedom for that matter, which they supposedly support as well. Even Paul Ryan’s budget proposal for 2012 increased government spending. It is not hard to anger many Republicans by pointing out these hypocrisies. They show not just a blur in the line that separates them, but a parallel set of beliefs with Democrats who share the same beliefs on all the issues that matter.
The Democratic Party has for some time been associated with labor unions, welfare programs, environmentalism, and the antiwar movement. Democrats unabashedly support large sweeping government healthcare programs such as Obamacare and just about any sort of government intervention into the domestic economy one can imagine. They supported the TARP program along with many Republicans in Congress and the Senate. For those people who consistently vote Democrat in every election, these types of platforms are expected. It is in the foreign policy and human rights arenas where Democrats have, in recent years, fundamentally differentiated themselves from Republicans. This all changed under Bill Clinton, who involved us in Serbia and Barack Obama with Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Pakistan. President Obama has continued George W. Bush’s policies of foreign prison camps hosted within US satellite nations, the use of torture, and the suspension of Habeas Corpus. Obama has expanded upon these policies via indiscriminate drone strikes, the deployment of surveillance drones onto US soil, and the assassination of US citizens without a trial. He made it clear during his campaign that these types of activities that had taken place during the Bush administration would not continue. To this day, Guantanamo Bay remains open; and where the Bush administration tortured those they didn’t like, this Democratic president simply offs them. There can be no doubt that the Democrat side of politics bears small difference from the Republican side when it comes to foreign policy.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.