America’s Two-Party Political System: A Two-Headed Snake

May 3, 2009

Here in Georgia, the gubernatorial race is about to get moving towards the election of 2010. The reason I bring this up is that Georgia Congressman Nathan Deal has just announced his intention to run for Governor. He makes a good example for this essay.

Mr. Deal was a lifelong Democrat…that is, until 1995. He had been elected to the Congress as a Democrat in 1992. Then, when Newt Gingrich became Speaker of the House in 1994, Deal had some kind of epiphany. He switched parties and became a Republican.  I cannot say whether his switch was for political expediency or whether it was truly philosophical. However, a look at his voting record would show that political expediency seems to be the leading indicator of his motives.

Actions speak louder than words.

Now, he will run for Governor as a Republican in a heavily Republican state.

Politics is defined by negotiation and compromise. As an insurance adjuster, I have been a professional negotiator for many years. The negotiations that I undertook were based upon the premise accepted by both parties that there was coverage under the terms and conditions of the policy. We were simply negotiating the settlement.

But, when it came to matters of coverage, there was no compromise. Either coverage existed or it didn’t. If there was a dispute on coverage between the policyholder and insurer, it had to be settled in a court of law.

American politics is comprised of a political party system. Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, Communist, Constitution are all names for political parties in America. The two biggest parties, the Republican and Democrat, ignore the others for the most part, as the other parties have little power.

Republicans and Democrats are negotiators and compromisers, just like in insurance claims. They have already accepted the reality of politics, which is that government will grow and tax revenues will be spent. Sessions of Congress, whether controlled by Republicans or Democrats, are simply the negotiations and compromises about where the money goes.

Rarely does the “coverage issue” arise for today’s politician. What I mean is that politicians seldom if ever take a position that government should not grow, that laws should not be passed, and that tax revenues should not be spent. The debate in Congress and state legislatures is customarily only WHERE the money is spent.

In the USA, there are only two real philosophical positions that can be taken. The first is the position that the US Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and that all Federal Government action must be controlled by it. Lawmakers guided and governed by loyalty to the US Constitution would concentrate on Constitutional issues. In the parlance of insurance, they might say “Is this legislation covered…by the Constitution?”  If authorization could not be found, the action would die before enactment.

These lawmakers would NEVER negotiate or compromise the Constitution. This first philosophical position guarantees maximum freedom for US citizens.

The second position is every other belief system that runs contrary to the first.

The US Constitution was enacted as the supreme law of the land. ALL actions of the three branches of US Federal Government should be bound by the strictures in the Constitution. But reality is that almost no one in the three branches of US Government recognize the authority of the Constitution anymore.

Curiously, every elected official must swear an oath of office in which he or she vows to support, protect and defend the Constitution. For most politicians, the oath is simply a formality with no force of law.

But actions ALWAYS speak louder than words.

This second position, taken to its natural conclusion, guarantees the greatest governmental burden and least freedom for US citizens.

Therefore, I contend that the two-party-dominant political system in America is in essence only one party…with two main heads. Both heads of the snake agree in principle on the foundation of negotiation and compromise. They mostly reject the constraints of the Constitution upon their actions.

The ONLY way to save this nation is to return to the Constitution at the state level and force the Federal Government to obey the law.

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.