As President Elect Barack Obama speaks to the press, announces appointments and generally remains in the headlines, the media write about the revamping of the Republican party. Here’s my bit of advice for Libertarians, Republicans and Democrats: FIND A MESSAGE and STICK TO IT.
While the Libertarians do a fine job of publicizing their message, their candidates rarely reflect a majority of their platform issues. Libertarian candidates always get stymied by the media fascination with legalizing drugs. These two issues need to be clarified before that party will make any real headway in the political process. Libertarians need to siphon off the liberal Republicans increasingly disaffected by the conservative bent of that party.
Democrats and Republicans need to stop sounding like each other. A classic example of the policy meld between the two parties is an ad run by the national Democratic Senatorial Committee this weekend against Saxby Chambliss. The ad indicates that Chambliss’s vote for the bailout makes Chambliss “anti-middle class”. Really, as I recall the Democrats proposed and re-proposed (after Republicans defeated it) the bill to get it passed to rescue the AIG and their ilk. NOW the Democrats use their own bill to label Chambliss. How truly ironic! But, the bailout is a classic example of the reality of Congress. Each party seeks one thing: reelection. The candidates do not espouse ideals or philosophy, nope just put me back in office.
The Republicans and Democrats entered into a tacit agreement: MAB-mutually assured benefit. Republican members of Congress voted for the tax bailout proposed by Democrats and the Republican administration in an effort to appear active and interested in “fixing” the economy. Democrats just want to give away money. The vote: mutually assured benefit. All the politicians claim to have taken action to stave off economic destruction.
Unfortunately, neither party had an ideology or economic platform on which to rely because party platforms mean nothing. Platform is just a suggested ideology foisted upon members but rarely referred to or relied on by party members. No, the primary concern of our elected officials is to get reelected.
Until each major party determines to what ideology it subscribes and figures out that a strong engaging personality is NOT an ideology, neither party can move forward and improve what that party has to offer to voters.
Voters however need to learn to be discriminating in their choices. Test the speeches and ideology of the smooth taking candidates. Actually read a newspaper or the internet for more than the obituaries, comics and puzzle. Realize that Brangelina and Jennifer Anniston have less impact on their lives than an Act of Congress. A change in the voting populace will necessarily catalyze change in the parties. Just pray that change occurs sooner rather than later…