The problem is not that the two parties are polarized. In many ways they're closer than ever. The problem is that the parties in Washington, and the people on the ground in America, are polarized. There is an increasing and profound distance between the rulers of both parties and the people--between the elites and the grunts, between those in power and those who put them there.
This is what I was trying to get at here. It's time to teach these people a lesson, regardless of what party they're in. And speaking of which, I've had it with the parties as well. Neither one of them gives a damn about serving the lowly citizens of America: all they want to do is beat the other party, as if that's what's truly important. I was friends with RNC Chair Ken Mehlman back in the mid-'90s when I worked at NBC News in DC, and he's a really bright guy. But sadly, at some point since 1996, when I fled Washington rather than go to jail for the homicides I no doubt would have committed had I stayed, he drank deeply of the kool-aid. I'd like to think that someone spiked his drink at a party (Ken didn't mind a drink or eight), but unfortunately my guess is that he imbibed willingly, as most people who stay in DC do. Faust should be required reading for everyone in that hellhole. But I digress...
On the ground in America, people worry terribly--really, there are people who actually worry about it every day--about endless, weird, gushing government spending. But in Washington, those in power--Republicans and Democrats--stand arm in arm as they spend and spend. (Part of the reason is that they think they can buy off your unhappiness one way or another. After all, it's worked in the past. A hunch: It's not going to work forever or much longer. They've really run that trick into the ground.)
On the ground in America, regular people worry about the changes wrought by the biggest wave of immigration in our history, much of it illegal and therefore wholly connected to the needs of the immigrant and wholly unconnected to the agreed-upon needs of our nation. Americans worry about the myriad implications of the collapse of the American border. But Washington doesn't. Democrat Ted Kennedy and Republican George W. Bush see things pretty much eye to eye. They are going to educate the American people out of their low concerns.
There is a widespread sense in America--a conviction, actually--that we are not safe in the age of terror. That the port, the local power plant, even the local school, are not protected. Is Washington worried about this? Not so you'd notice. They're only worried about seeming unconcerned.
More to the point, people see the Republicans as incapable of managing the monster they've helped create--this big Homeland Security/Intelligence apparatus that is like some huge buffed guy at the gym who looks strong but can't even put on his T-shirt without help because he's so muscle-bound. As for the Democrats, who co-created Homeland Security, no one--no one--thinks they would be more managerially competent. Nor does anyone expect the Democrats to be more visionary as to what needs to be done. The best they can hope is the Democrats competently serve their interest groups and let the benefits trickle down.
Are there some dramatic differences? Yes. But both parties act as if they see them not as important questions (gay marriage, for instance) but as wedge issues. Which is, actually, abusive of people on both sides of the question. If it's a serious issue, face it. Don't play with it.
I don't see any potential party, or potential candidate, on the scene right now who can harness the disaffection of growing portions of the electorate. But a new group or entity that could define the problem correctly--that sees the big divide not as something between the parties but between America's ruling elite and its people--would be making long strides in putting third party ideas in play in America again.
We need to take this country back from the professional political class that's been created, and the only surefire non-violent way of doing it is to vote each and every one of the teat-suckers out on their sorry asses. You think you're above the law? Good-bye! You think taking bribes and trading favors is business as usual? You're outta here! You think it's a good idea to waste time on a constitutional amendment defining something that doesn't belong in the Constitution while American soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are dying overseas? See ya! You think a bridge to nowhere is a higher priority than securing our ports? Take a hike! You think spending other people's money and leaving them with the tab is big fun? Buh-bye! You think party politics are more important than the body politic? Later! You think getting re-elected is the most important part of your job? Ciao, babe!
It's time for a wake-up call: You don't have to go home, but you got to get the hell out of Congress.
Won't you join the campaign to find new homes for these people? Together we can make a difference. Together, we can Free the People.
(Paid for by the Free the PeopleTM Committee, Adam Selene, Chairman.)