Sunday, June 18, 2006

The two party problem...

American politics lacks logic and is hardly pragmatic these days. Politicians and voters have lost themselves in the swirl of irrational passion driven by fear, religion, and ignorance. The net result is harm to the liberty principles that undergird the basic structure of our democracy. We are now living in an era that provides an example for why playing at politics is more than drawing arbitrary legal lines along moral beliefs. The First Amendment provides everyone with the right to exercise their own religion, and by the same token forbids the government from imposing a state sanctioned religion on the masses. Theoretically, this aims to avoid the rise of legal moralism, the concept that everyone in society has the same set of moral scruples and the law should correspondingly restrict violations of this moral code. Herein lies the fundamental power of the First Amendment. By protecting the freedom of exercise, belief, and speech, the First Amendment rejects any tenable application of legal moralism. The liberty principles enshrined in these rights demonstrate the existence of a strata of political and religious ideologies. As a consequence, bipartisanism, like legal moralism, does not comport with this structure in its modern existence. Destroying the power of the minority to effectively contribute to the whole of American Democracy does a disservice to its constituents, and weakens other explicit or implicit rights enunciated in the Bill of Rights.

Recent news exemplifies the detrimental effects of majoritarianism through the current trend of legal moralism and abusive bipartisanism in American government. contraception and abortion rights are always a good example of this point. The strong religious base in the Republican party has driven the trend of legal moralism on ethical issues concerning procreation rights for more than a decade. It's no surprise, the rise of an executive wholly dependent upon the support of so-called religious conservatives. It's also no surprise to see t euphemism of judicial activism once again springing from the lips of those in support of the constitutionally abusive majoritarian ideologies. Moreover, majoritarianism hides the grotesqueries of more otherwise questionable activities. Moreover, it prevents the rectification of monumental mistakes.

What does this have to do with having two political parties? By its very nature, bipartisanism creates a controlling majority. Currently, the number of Republicans exceeds the number of Democrats. As a result, the Republican majority has created laws and permitted government activity that would be otherwise repugnant to libertarian principles. This is fundamentally the problem with the two party system. The fact that one group can trump the others creates a dangerous state of affairs for individual rights and contentious expansions of government power. A third, or even fourth, major political party would serve isolate such systemic perversions. Eliminating a clear majority would provide more room for debate, and a greater exercise of opinion. Ultimately, working towards a structure should be the goal, especially if it will support strong democracy.

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