Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why Politics Need to Be Looked at Vertically not Horizontally

American politics, and politics throughout the world for that matter, tend to be viewed horizontally--the GOP "right" versus the Democratic "left".  The powers that be like this, as it prevents everyday Americans from viewing politics as they really should be viewed-- vertically-- as a struggle between the political elite and the people. This vertical view of politics isn't a call for class warfare between the wealthy and the middle and lower classes. It's a call to look at who controls politics and what drives policy. It's a matter of money. It's not the capitalism of the "right" versus the socialism of the "left". It's about the reciprocal relationship amongst those in political, financial, and business power. It has becomes about bipartisan power and influence affecting policy decisions, not about politicians representing their constituents.

A wonderful article published in the American Spectator earlier this week discusses this relationship (emphasis added):
The real problem here is that all of Clark Clifford's friends across the decades have so rooted Big Government in the psychology of Washington that "Republican Elites" have elected to accept the whole premise -- and for reasons having to do with self-preservation simply cannot bring themselves to get seriously Reaganesque or Coolidge-like because to do so gnaws at their own economic vitals and capacity for influence. Both now hopelessly entangled with the concrete boxes of bureaucracy that literally litter the Washington landscape.
The article then goes on to describe a bipartisan lobbying firm of Clark and Weinstock:
Well, C&W has a "bipartisan team." And this "bipartisan team" (translation, ex-GOP and Democrat House or Senate staffers) has "experience and knowledge." But to what purpose? The proverbial Man from Mars is surely reading this and saying, "what the hell do these people do?"
The influence of lobbyists and the pervasive crony capitalism and corporatism of both parties prove that viewing the political system horizontally (right vs. left) is wrong.  Republican elites and insiders only exist to perpetuate their own political existence, under the party platform that, ironically, if truly implemented would nullify their very existence. Washington insiders and the well connected are obsolete when the influence of Washington DC on the rest of the country shrinks. However, in both parties, it's all about sustaining one's power and influence and trading favors. President Obama's crony socialism with Solyndra ranged from essentially paying back campaign funding with "green energy" funds to special IRS tax breaks. Rick Perry has crony capitalistic relationships with Merck when it comes to his own personal campaign funding, RGA funding, and a desired mandate with the drug company's vaccine, Gardasil and with numerous tech companies to whom he gave grant funding  following massive campaign donations. Mitt Romney has a history of receiving campaign funds from entities that he once did business with and also had a history of engaging in and supporting corporatism through various government subsidies. These are just a few of numerous examples. Politicians reward their donors through favorable legislation and/or taxpayer funding. Those at the top of the political food chain have a symbiotic relationship--feeding each other with food stolen from the foundation of the political food chain--the American people.

We are wrong if we continue to look at politics as a battle between the left and the right. When politicians on both sides of the aisle solely reward their cronies, our political system becomes a corporatistic oligarchy, not the republic the Founders established by the consent of "we the people". The socialism of Democratic politicians steals from the foundation of our country--the 53% who pay taxes to fund crony socialism and the social engineering of their own pet projects , but the supposedly "pro-business" (not pro market) of Republican politicians tend to reward their cronies in the name of spurring business growth. Pro market solutions don't discriminate between political donors and  non-political donors. Businesses are neither too influential to fail nor too small to succeed when pro market solutions are implemented. This means no bailouts, no corporate welfare, and no subsidies or tax breaks to the friends of politicians. It means that the GE, whose CEO sits as the head of President Obama's jobs council, doesn't actually pocket money from the federal government due to tax credits, subsidies and the like. The foundation of American society is "we the people", whom the political elite and well connected look down upon as the funders of their failures and their government subsidized psuedo-successes. When we begin to look at the political system vertically, not horizontally, we begin to see that this is not about political party, it's about political payback. We would do well to recognize this distinction and elect people who want to replace the corporatistic oligarchy with politicians who are beholden only to their constituents.

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