Every year things seem to get worse and worse on the political stage. The last US Presidential election saw two incredibly flawed candidates put forward by each of the two major political parties. Congress is no better. Neither side seems to be helping the country. The point is that both parties have failed in a way that affects all of us.
The Democrats have failed in their attempts to save the poor. The war on poverty was started in the early 1960’s. Since then it has cost the country over $20 Trillion. There is just a high a percentage of poor as when it started. Along the way, this well intentioned idea destroyed the family structure of the people it intended to help.
The Republicans failed to keep the nation’s finances under control. A hundred years ago they actually ran on the principle of “sound money”, which meant they were opposed to inflation. Nixon made the decision to formally declare that our currency is backed by nothing but good faith. He also put wage and price controls in place that put inflation at the time on steroids. But Reagan’s embrace of deficit budgets put us on a road to previously unimaginable government spending. The deficit in Reagan’s time was about $800 Billion, now we are nearing $20 Trillion.
The Democrats are failing in their attempts to provide medical care to all. Medicare and Medicaid were initially pretty small programs. They now dwarf the rest of the government’s budget and will only continue to mushroom. The “Affordable Care Act”, also known as “Obamacare” has caused medical and insurance costs to continue to skyrocket, while destroying previously existing systems. Current funding levels are so unsustainable, on the steep end of a parabolic curve, that a train wreck in our medical care system is imminent.
Republicans have their own share of blame in the medical arena. Bush Jr. paid for the votes of the elderly by dramatically expanding Medicare through the recent prescription drug benefit. Needless to say this dramatically increased Medicare spending. Nowadays, Republicans are failing to come up with viable alternatives to “Obamacare” as they squabble amongst themselves.
The Republicans failed to keep us out of foreign wars. Once upon a time, that was their specialty. Recently, they led the charge in the debacles of Iraq and Afghanistan. After years of struggle costing trillions of dollars and the LIVES of tens of thousands of our brave Servicemen and Servicewomen, we have basically handed Iraq over to Iran’s control, while Afghanistan is an unending mess.
Neither party is actually doing anything to deal with the two looming disasters facing us. We are facing a financial mess that will make the Great Depression look like the good old days. We are facing so many problems due to failures in Foreign Policy war is almost inevitable, and when it comes, it will make World War Two look like a picnic by comparison.
What to Do
At this point, I have no illusions that either party can fix itself. People within both have tried to take the power away from the entrenched power brokers, and both have failed. The “Tea Party” did little to change the Republicans, and those backing Bernie Sanders found that they were unable to move the Democrats away from Hillary Clinton.
This doesn’t mean we should “throw in the towel”. What it means is that, more than ever, we need to educate ourselves about the issues and what the potential solutions are. We need to learn about the pro’s and con’s of each of those potential solutions. We need to look for people who will actually move into the political arena as a “public service” and sacrifice, NOT those who are looking just to serve and promote themselves.
And though it hasn’t worked well in the recent past, we have to look at creating new parties. Parties that will deal with the actual problems. The Republicans started as a new party in 1854. Within six years they had Lincoln as a leader and got him into the White House. He saved the country. And since something like this has happened before, it can certainly happen again.