Every nation is governed by a political system, the system signifies an evolving human civilization more advanced than any other living species, monkeys, elephants, ants or a school of fish. Political systems progress with time as human development advancing with time. Traditionally, human societies were led by strong individuals who supposedly could make wiser decisions for the society. In human evolution, religious beliefs and political philosophies emerged and influenced the human society's governing system, be it an emperor or king or a collective body. Human history showed us through merciless religious wars that religion would be best kept out of the political governing system especially when a society consisted of people with multiple religions. Human history also taught us that strong leaders would be best selected by people with a political method not by inheritance or by brutal physical competition. 'Democracy' was evolved through a long period of time and accepted by political philosophers as a decision making 'method' for selecting leaders in all walks of life today, neighborhood leaders, union bosses, city mayors, councilors, governors, congress members, and presidents. This evolution and progression produced fairly efficient societies (vs ancient societies) with democracy practiced at different levels with direct or representative voting system, however not free of conflicts and problems.
The U.S. is a young nation with only 245 years of independence, emerged from a colony of an imperial kingdom, the Great Britain by revolution. Fortunately, at the time of her revolution, a political philosophy had already blossomed embracing the concept of “every man is born with freedom” thus implying that every man may participate in the political process that governs the human society. That political process was named as 'democracy' today, but it was not well defined in its infancy. Through 245 years of progress, the U.S. honed her democracy following two major tracks, one was the voting rights, gradually granted to her citizens, white property owners (1790), black adults (1868), women (1920), and age 18 (1970) . The second was the political party system, over time evolved from one principal party to two and more parties and then re-consolidated to today's two dominating parties, Democrats and Republicans. During this political evolution process, besides the voting rights and political party structure, numerous political philosophies flourished which seem to divide people more than unite them in their participation in Democracy. The richness of political philosophies may represent the maturity of a human society, but their divisive nature may have mightier force in destroying a harmonious human society. On the latest Independence day, the author was drawn to ponder and wrote about our bipartisan system with the question, 'Why is our bipartisan system divisive and dysfunctional?' in mind, hence this article is entitled, ' American Bipartisan Confusion'.
American liberalism is one of the major political philosophies embraced by a large number of Americans especially accentuated by Democrats. Under this philosophy, our Democratic Party
promotes social programs, labor unions, consumer protection, workplace safety, regulation, equal economic opportunity, social safety net, disability rights, racial equality, government environmental protection, criminal justice reform, women abortion rights, LGBT rights, accepting undocumented immigrants, agreeing in consensus on climate changes and multilateral approach in foreign policies. Throughout the years, Democrats advocated mixed economy, progressive taxation, higher minimum wage, social security, universal healthcare, public education, subsidized housing, infrastructure development for job creation, and occasionally agreeing in cutting government size and market regulation, progressive tax for more services and equal opportunity but in general supporting more spending on government and services not on military. These philosophies, when implemented in policies, became social liberalism, libertarian-ism and feminism, for example, slashing student loan debt, offering free college tuition, expanding conservation, welcoming 'illegal' immigrants, increasing social and health benefits (including abortion), etc without fiscal consideration. These ideas irk the Republican party and divides the Americans.
American conservatism is another major political philosophy supported by a large number of Americans especially endorsed by the Republicans. Under this philosophy, our Republican party promotes lower taxes, free markets, capitalism, deregulation, and restriction on union; under social conservatism, advocating gun rights, traditional values, restricting abortions (Christian belief), immigration control, opposing drug legalization and supporting school choice, free markets, individual achievement; under fiscal conservatism, eliminating government welfare, favoring supply side economy and smaller taxes. Although, over the years, the Republicans have engaged in welfare reform and supported Medicare covering prescription drugs, however, the philosophical difference on constitution interpretation, strengthening state government power (limiting federal power), preferring market solution over government environment protection, and different views on social policies such as affirmative action, illegal immigrants, same sex marriage, etc. are driving the American bipartisan system far apart. This political division grew wider in almost all domestic issues except less disagreement in infrastructure spending for job creation and smaller difference in foreign policy approach (unilateral action vs multilateral action) and military spending.
As an American today, it is very difficult to be not confused and frustrated when comes to electing candidates and picking political parties. Every American has the God given right to live their lives as they please but the diverging political philosophy is challenging the conservatives to conform with a lifestyle of liberals and the liberals to accept the conservative values even they felt as discriminatory. The divided Americans cannot accept one another and live in peace. The social unrest, growth of homeless population, the concern of wealth gap, the angry demonstrations and violent hate crimes are the evidence of the outbreaks of the American Bipartisan Confusion. Why is the U.S. changed so much? No matter how one votes or what one says, or how much one prays (if you believe in God), the world is moving to the worse, yet our government only blames the others, Middle East, Russia, China, ... never itself. American citizens are confused by the hostility of family (between generations) and friends; the nation is filled with hate that we can not rationally talk about our own problems except fictitious 'foreign threat'. Did we lose our collective mind or too divided to unite? The following is a set of statements circulating in the organic media reflecting such political confusion and frustration. The author urges the readers to ponder how we may clear up our confusion:
- If a guy pretends to be a woman, are you required to pretend with him, a LGBTQ question?
- Is it UN-american for census to verify how many Americans are in America?
- It is OK to let people own assault weapon to mass murder people, but it is not OK to let a woman to have an abortion of an unwanted baby?
- Killing murderers is wrong but killing unborn babies is okay?
- Russians influencing our elections aren't acceptable but illegals voting in our elections are OK.
- Twenty is too young to drink but eighteen is old enough to vote?
- Should people who have never owned slaves pay slavery reparations to people who have never been slaves?
- Should people who have never been to college pay the debts of college students?
- Irish doctors and German engineers who want to immigrate to the US must go through a rigorous vetting process, but not any illiterate gang member or terrorist who jumps the southern fence?
- Fence for border security is bad, but fence preventing citizens to get into the capital building is good?
- If you cheat to get into college you go to prison, but if you cheat to get into the country you can go to college for free.
- Paying executives millions are OK but have a minimum wage of $15 per hour is not OK.
- Why people who say there is no such thing as gender are demanding a female President?
- We say other countries going socialist and collapsing, but it seems we are doing the same.
- Some people are held responsible for things that happened before they were born, and other people are not held responsible for what they are doing right now.
- Criminals are caught-and-released to possibly hurt more people. But stopping them is bad because it's a violation of THEIR rights.
- Taking unilateral action against one country is bad but inviting allies as a multilateral action against a country is good.
- Speaking truth may be "racists" and telling lies may be patriotic.
Are we living in an upside-down world where right is wrong and wrong is right, where moral is immoral and immoral is moral, where good is evil and evil is good? We Americans are drowning and suffocating. We must wake up and speak up against political confusion caused by political correctness. We must reflect on ourselves to clear up American bipartisan confusion!