Sunday, January 30, 2011

Partisan Divide is nothing new, and it's not bad

I read "Letter to America" on Earworm's great blog and I think his view of partisanship in the U.S. is actually quite common. I know of many people in my circle of life who have said they wish people in Washington would just get along and get something done.

Yet that's one of the neat things about the U.S. Constitution is it inadvertently created a two party system, and at many times in our country this two party system has almost created two societies that can't see eye to eye and nearly can't agree.

A good example is the Civil war. Another good example is Thomas Jefferson and John Adams and Alexander Hamilton and Vice President Aaron Burr.

On Earworm's blog I wrote the following response about the Partisan Divide:
"Many people talk about the partisan divide in the U.S. as though it's something bad, or even that it's something new. Some even purport to stop it, saying we must all agree. The truth is, Adams and Jefferson tossed far worse vitriol than anything we see today, and no one tried to stop it. In fact, Vice President Aaron Burr was so pissed at Alexander Hamilton that he killed him in a duel. Imagine that happening today. The truth is, partisanship isn't that far out anymore. Yet partisanship is good. It's good because a partisan divide prevents people from making laws, and makes sure all ideas are on the table when a law is voted on. You have to remember laws should be few, because (as our founders knew), every law takes away another freedom."
In fact, a good example of the partisan divide can be seen any time two people in the blogosphere don't see eye to eye. Many people hate to read what they do not agree with, and often times actually "hate" the other person. Sort of like Progressives in the U.S. hate to hear what Rush Limbaugh has to say, and they often purport to shut up Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.

Yet that's the wrong way of looking at it. The neat thing about Fox News is we folks on the right no longer have our traditional American view shut out by the media. When I was in College, for example, I was debating politics with my friend Frank, and finally after an hour of strongly discussing the advantages and disadvantages of raising taxes, he said, "Prove your point. Just find one piece of paper, one book, one article that proves your point."

I couldn't find any books on hand. In fact, I literally had to go to the library and do extensive research to find something that even remotely came close to proving my point. Yet 2 days later I found it.

Now I said, "Did you find anything to prove your point." He said, "Well, let's see." He reached down and grabbed the Detroit Free Press. "Yeah, it's right here." Then he turned on the TV and had me watch the local news.

So you see. All he had to do to prove his point of view was to open up the newspaper, or turn on the TV and he could easily see his liberal point of view. My conservative point of view was completely ignored by the media.

Several years later I was driving to Detroit and tired of listening to music, so I turned the knob looking for a sports program. What I found instead was Rush Limbaugh. Now I had no idea who he was, yet here I was thinking, "This is awesome. Finally someone in the media who shares my common viewpoint."

That, folks, is why Rush Limbaugh is so rich today. That's why Fox News has 10 of the top 10 cable news programs. It's because the traditional, conservative, capitalist viewpoint had been completely shut out by the liberal, progressive media.

They only covered the left point of view, and made it look like there was no partisan divide. Now, since the right has a voice, it appears there is a bigger partisan divide than ever before. When, as you can see by my comment above, the partisan divide is no larger today than it ever has been.

The partisan divide is good because it keeps us honest. The truth is, all the new conservative and liberal views are great for this country. We shouldn't be trying to shut up the speech of those of whom we disagree, we should yearn for more of it.

It is for that reason that I spend as much time reading the Detroit News and New York Times as I do reading the transcripts of the Rush Limbaugh program and reading National Review. I spend an equal amount of time watching MSNBC and CNN as I do watching Fox News.

It's good to get your news and opinions from more than one source. You can get the left view from about 70% of the Media in the U.S., yet thankfully we no longer have to hunt to find the right media. It's good.

Now some on the left hate this. I have read many articles how politicians in Washington want to make a Fairness Doctrine to shut up Rush Limbaugh. They want Glenn Beck fired. They can't stand to hear people opposing their own agenda. They hate the vitriol.

The truth is, I can't stand Keith Oberman just like Kieth Oberman can't stand Glenn Beck. Yet I watch both. Well, I did watch both. Oberman just quit.

Yet my point is still good. All the news is good news. Partisan divide is good. It's not new. It's fine to disagree, and it's good to strongly disagree. And when we strongly disagree there will be strong vitriol tossed by some. It's the nature of the game. We can hate it, yet we must not fight to stop it.

In my view, I certainly don't want to see the new conservative Congress cave in for more spending by the Obama Administration. I don't want them to cave. I want them to stick to what they got voted in to do: to real in spending and repeal Obamacare.

You may disagree with me, yet that's my view. When you have one party that wants to create a socialist government in the U.S., and another party that wants to go back to a capitalist government in the U.S., you can't have one and have the other. There will, I am afraid, be a partisan divide.

If you are a progressive in the U.S., you won't want conservatives cutting programs, cutting taxes, and cutting regulations. It sets your agenda backward. If you're a conservative or libertarian, you don't want progressives who continue to ignore the Constitution to "progress" their agenda. YOU HAVE A PARTISAN DIVIDE!!!

The people get to choose the winners. The people get to choose whether we continue moving left, or we move back to the right. And, quite frankly, in the 2010 mid-term, the people chose a rightward direction.

So for republicans to "compromise" with progressive republicans and progressive democrats would be akin to ignoring the will of the people. Since progressives control much of Washington, a stalemate is a major possibility. The partisan divide may rightly continue for a few more years. And it must if we are to reign in spending.

When you have people in this country pent on turning the nation into something we don't want, you have to be willing to be stubborn. Some people will hate this saying, "We have to do something." Yet sometimes doing nothing is far better than doing something stupid.

The partisan divide may result in nothing getting done the next few years. Yet to save the nation, it very well could be a good thing. If nothing else, it keeps lawmakers honest.

Go check out The Earworm.


Lauren Sheil said...

This is great Rick and thanks for the plug.

I'm not really against partisan divides. In Canada we have 3 parties (4 if you count the separists in Quebec) but we've been locked in a minority government for 5 years now. The centre right holds on to power while the centre left and the far left split the vote on everything. I just wish there could be enough agreement that we, and you too would get on with it.

Rick Frea said...

I agree, so long as getting on with it gives more power to the people and less to Washington. It's really neat how unique the political landscape is in different countries.