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The Dangers of One Party Rule 569

Posted by michael
from the also-rans dept.
Marxist Hacker 42 writes "Now that the Politics section is up and running, I can submit this story. Back in February, The American Prospect ran a speculative article on The Danger of NeoConservative One Party Rule. A quote: 'Benjamin Franklin, leaving the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, was asked by a bystander what kind of government the Founders had bestowed. "A republic," he famously replied, "if you can keep it." There have been moments in American history when we kept our republic only by the slenderest of margins. This year is one of those times.'"
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The Dangers of One Party Rule

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  • So true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, 2004 @06:32PM (#10217324)
    Everyone in the United States should think very carefully about the past four years, and also remeber what the United States was like before the current administration. Once you've come to your conclustion, start telling everyone you know to vote Kerry. This is serious.
    • Ok, I did.

      I'd like to see George W. Bush reelected.

      (Shields up!)

    • Re:So true (Score:4, Interesting)

      by JavaLord (680960) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:01PM (#10218878) Journal
      Everyone in the United States should think very carefully about the past four years, and also remeber what the United States was like before the current administration.

      How has your life changed so drastically under the Bush administration? Please tell me.

      Once you've come to your conclustion, start telling everyone you know to vote Kerry

      Why? What exactly would Kerry change or do so differently than Bush? I fail to see any large contrast from the campaign that Kerry has been running.

      The reason the Democrats are losing ground to the Republicans is because the republicans are actually more tolerant of different views within the party. Both Schwarzenegger and Guliani are pro-abortion conservatives that spoke at the Republican National Convention. When was the last time a Democrat allowed a pro-life speaker at the DNC? Democrats are hardliners on their issues, while the Republican party is a big tent with many different views included. You don't have to agree with the whole Republican platform to be a Republican. If you don't agree with the whole platform of the democrats, they smear you with names like "racist, sexist, homophobic, etc"

      Their problem in this election year is they picked the wrong guy, who is running the wrong campaign. Howard Dean would have done much better because he offers contrast to the president. Edwards would have been better because he would have focused on Jobs and domestic issues. Kerry spends most of his time talking about Vietnam. He needs to stop and attack Bush on the issues if he wants to win. He's boring as fuck too. Unlike Edwards or Dean who are at least motivational when they speak

      And for those who are worried about a one party America, don't. The second the Republican party can manage even 60 perecent of the vote consistantly, there will be a split between paleocons and neocons. See the American Conservative Magizine [amconmag.com] website if you don't believe me. There might even be a split before then.
  • by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Friday September 10, 2004 @06:33PM (#10217332) Homepage Journal
    I think they were edited out because this is Politics, not Ask Slashdot (and yes, I promise to pick my topics more carefully in the future).

    Will this lead to a Stalin-like hard right rule in the United States, and the warned curtailing of rights that a single, right-wing party is feared to be? Or will it be neoconservative utopia, ushering in an era of low taxes, small government, trickle down economics, and an end to labor law disputes?
    • by Mark_MF-WN (678030) on Friday September 10, 2004 @06:44PM (#10217398)
      Trickle-down economics? Grow up. They don't work, and never have. The whole concept of trickle-down economics was just a feeble excuse to cut taxes for the wealthy.
      • I was just expressing the two most outlandish views of what might happen- and who knows, Bush might defy history if he gets his hands on all three branches, or at the very least, you won't be allowed to say that trickle down doesn't work anymore.
    • With Bush and the Republican Party? I'm banking on the first scenario to be most likely. He's already looking at re-activating the draft [wikipedia.org] in March of 2005, and has pushed hard for the PATRIOT Act to stay right where it is (prosecuting Americans and not terrorists no less). Peroutka might be seen as more extreme, though I see his extremism being right of libertarian and not right of authoritarian so he gets MY vote. (Not to mention I've met him face-to-face and he's a REALLY nice and genuine guy. I don't know
  • Please... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by avalys (221114) *
    If there's one thing I've learned in my (admittedly relatively short) life, it's that things are never as bad (or as good) as others would have me believe.

    Am I upset about the direction our country is heading? Of course. Do I think we're in danger of "losing" our republic? Hell no.
    • Am I upset about the direction our country is heading? Of course. Do I think we're in danger of "losing" our republic? Hell no.


      Well said Cicero.


      -Patrick

  • by dameron (307970) on Friday September 10, 2004 @06:35PM (#10217341) Homepage

    Wolfowitz scares the hell out of me [dailyhaiku.com], and it's not just his policies but also his aversion to sunlight.

    -dameron
  • Not sure. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by captnitro (160231) * on Friday September 10, 2004 @06:42PM (#10217381)
    I'm not entirely sure if there was a Democratic Senate, House and President that they wouldn't do the same. The issue is not that the political authorities are asserting power, because yanno, it's politics. The problem is that the Republicans are more aggressively pushing their agenda [than normal] without much opposition.

    Of all the political quotes I could use here, I'm going to use Dr. Ian Malcolm via Jurassic Park: "Life finds a way." What I mean is, if a majority of people in four years find their life is worse, they vote Bush out. They vote a Democratic congress. People have phenomenal capacity. If you think the people are voting for all the wrong reasons, go back to 11th grade: all men are created equal. People have the right to vote for Bush on an uneducated opinion just as much as people have the right to vote for Kerry.

    (For the tin-foil crowd, no, I don't think elections will be made illegal or term limits extended in the next four years. Sorry.)

    Often times in a democracy, other people win.
    • (For the tin-foil crowd, no, I don't think elections will be made illegal or term limits extended in the next four years. Sorry.)

      Do you have some objective evidence to support that, or is it just a strongly held belief? Plus, if you read the article, the fear isn't so much that the Republicans will control the House, the Senate, and the Presidency- we've had that for four years already, and while they HAVE abused the power somewhat, the Judiciary is still keeping them in check. But with three more judge
      • Do you have objective evidence to support that it won't, or is it just a strongly held belief?

        It's hard to find objective facts for future events, but we can look at trends: we've had a ratified Bill of Rights since 1791 and been independent since 1776, so yeah, I think it would be prudent to say that it won't all come tumbling down in four years. Of course, I don't know for sure, and neither do you.

        We have a pretty good form of term limits; they're called elections. And I have faith in Americans to oust
        • Ok- so it's a belief held on the past. I would point out, however, that never before have we had *both* a group of people dead set against civil liberties *and* that group of people having control of all three branches of government. Perhaps you're right and the Democrats will win in the House and the Senate, preventing such a disaster from happening. But perhaps you're wrong too- and without the judiciary on our side, there's literally NOTHING left to protect the Consititution and the Bill of Rights if
          • I don't accept your premise that Republicans are "dead set" against civil liberties. The left keeps shouting that, but the actual evidence of it is in very short supply (evidence that the law is substantively that different than it was before the Patriot Act). There are legitimate differences of opinion over details, but that doesn't mean that all those who support the Patriot Act, for example, are against civil liberties.
            • My personal evidence:

              1. Free Speech Zones- who ever heard of caging protestors beofore W was in office?

              2. Geneva Convention "shortcuts" in the prisons.

              3. Overtime laws revoked.

              4. Support of unionless workplaces

              Those are my personal four- and only one is tangenitally linked to the Patriot act, but all 4 have been getting quite strong in the last 4 years.
    • Oh man. I love the implication that the only way someone could vote for Bush is if he/she was "uneducated" in their opinion.

      Slashdot: where all the misfits went to find a friend.

  • Good ol' Benji (Score:2, Insightful)

    by u-238 (515248)
    "There have been moments in American history when we kept our republic only by the slenderest of margins. This year is one of those times" quipped Franklin, only moments before attending a Hell-Fire orgy followed by an all expenses paid (by the American tax payer) trip to the most expensive hotel in France, during which he induldged himself in the most expensive wines, cheeses and prostitutes.
    • Re:Good ol' Benji (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 0x0d0a (568518)
      He got the French to back us, which was what counted. If he wants some wine and whores for it -- hey, I say that he's more than earned it.

      Compare to the highway workers that stand around on that same dollar scratching their asses...
  • by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Friday September 10, 2004 @06:48PM (#10217430) Homepage
    Have you *ever* seen a presidental election where somebody *didn't* say that this was the `most important election ever!' ?

    I haven't. At least, I don't think so. Somebody's always saying that.

  • From the article: Reform legislation, the 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA), may actually facilitate Republican intimidation of minority voters and reduce Democratic turnout.

    I was reading the article and I came across this. Searching for it leads to here [fec.gov] and here [lwv.org] amongst the millions google returns. I don't understand how Republicans can use this to intimidate minorities. I could see point #3 from the second link "Develop a statewide, centralized, electronic list of all eligible voters" could be viewed
    • My main problem with HAVA is it institutionalizes the inaccurate voter purges that led to thousands of minorities being unfairly excluded from the voter rolls in Florida. HAVA makes such purges nationwide. Read this essay [thenation.com] for a quick rundown; search the web for "HAVA" and "disenfranchisement" for much more.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Friday September 10, 2004 @06:58PM (#10217509) Homepage Journal
    1 party rule, and it is happening as we speak, and has been happening for a while: The constitution is set up assuming that all 3 branches of the government would be constantly suspicious of what the other ones are doing. However, with the solidifcation of political parties, this isn't happening. Everyone is just toeing the party line, and that is dangerous. The supreme court justices aren't supposed to like the president, congress isn't supposed to depend on the president for inspiration for legislation. The president isn't supposed to just sign everything that his party passes. (I can't seem to think of one veto that George W. Bush has had overrided) That to me is dangerous, it signals that the checks and balances are erroding.
  • So does anyone know why, if I have both politics sections in the prefs dialog checked for exclusion, this appears on my front page? (And why there are two in the first place?)
  • Correction . . . (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dausha (546002) on Friday September 10, 2004 @07:29PM (#10217698) Homepage
    For the past sixty years the United States have been tilting heavily in one direction, and now that they are snapping the other way, people assume that we'll end up with a one party system?

    What do you call the Democrat control of both houses of Congress for as long as they did--almost 30 years? How close were we to a one-party system then? And you complain only because for the past decade the Republicans have been on the rise.

    Even if the Republicans do gain control of all three Branches, they won't have it perpetually. Just as the power swing has now gone Left to Right, it will swing Right to Left. But, what you haven't noticed is that Leftward swings have moved this country further than the Rightward.
  • We Already Have It (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tom's a-cold (253195)
    The Republicrats (or is it the Demopublicans?) differ on most fundamental topics so little as for it to be irrelevant. That is the essence of Clintonian triangulation. It existed long before it had that name and has been used by both parties. The Republicans want to launch neo-colonialist wars and enslave those of us back here in the Heimat (sorry, homeland). The Democrats want to do it more slowly, and to try to smile benevolently rather than sneering while doing it. But this is mainly a difference of styl
    • by Tim (686)
      "The Republicrats (or is it the Demopublicans?) differ on most fundamental topics so little as for it to be irrelevant."

      I'm so sick of hearing this crap.

      Four years ago, a sizeable chunk of Democratic voters cast their ballots for Nader, using the same logic. If the parties are truly so similar, why is Nader having trouble even getting on the ballot this year? (Hint: it's not a Democratic conspiracy against him.)

      Really, now... just look at the social and public policy decisions that took place as a res
  • by RealProgrammer (723725) on Friday September 10, 2004 @08:13PM (#10218006) Homepage Journal
    The Fine Article makes an assumption that may not be accurate. It assumes that the current minority party is unable to gain power because of political chicanery on the part of the majority party.

    Ten years ago the current minority party held the Presidency, House and Senate. They had held the House and Senate for decades. It was just as hard to defeat an incumbent back then as it is now.

    The danger to the USA is not a NeoConservative monoparty. That sounds like FUD to me. The danger to the USA is that we have learned to vote ourselves funds from the public checkbook.
  • heh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by syrinx (106469) on Friday September 10, 2004 @08:27PM (#10218105) Homepage
    ...and Taco said the Politics section would be balanced.

    No offense, but "the $GUYS_I_DONT_AGREE_WITH are going to outlaw elections" is not what I'd call balanced.
  • by Whatchamacallit (21721) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:46PM (#10218522) Homepage
    That's it! I'm now filtering the Politics Topic!

    I get enough of this from the media, don't need to see it on a techie site. News for Nerds is one thing but Politics from Nerds? Now that's something I'd rather not read.

    I read a heck of a lot of political blogs, closely follow the news, study history and I can clearly state that this particular forum is filled with ignorance, anger and hate from both sides.

    Frankly the comments made in the Politics articles that get rated up and the ones that get filtered are completely bogus. Calling Stalin Right-Wing is just plain stupid! Comparing Bush with Hitler is equally stupid. Publishing a forum discussion on a leftist document warning about one party rule by neo-conservatives is ridiculous. Of course one party rule is a bad idea, that's why this country was founded in a balanced way. The democracy of the USA was designed to prevent this very thing from happening. Power is counter balanced and the people get to vote for 2/3rds of the structure. Trying to claim that pre-WWII Germany was a balanced government prior to Hitler's rise to power is just plain wrong! Sure someone didn't say that exactly but it was implied.

    It's ironic how people who can be so scientific about things can completely throw out the concept of making a statement and backing it up with facts that actually checkout. Geeks are very logical in most matters but when it comes to politics it suddenly becomes all emotion and the logic goes out the window.

    Sorry, but I will have no part in party politics, at least not with this crazy history starved group. I don't have the time to contribute to moderation nor due I have time to read the senseless drivel either.

    Whatchamacallit will boycott the Politics channel from now on.

  • by MarsDefenseMinister (738128) <dallapieta80@gmail.com> on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:15PM (#10218957) Homepage Journal
    I usually like reading long, intellectually stimulating articles, but WOW, that was just too much.

    Now, contrast that with the Republican's message: reduce taxes on the people who have capital to encourage them to invest and create new jobs. Or even shorter, "trickle down."

    That's all a huge pile of crap, as we all know, but the message works in part because it's very simple. Nobody's going to read and understand 20 pages of dense prose with hundreds of perfectly rational arguments, leading to a beautiful well-supported conclusion.

    Everyone, take a lesson from this. If you write about politics, keep it short. Keep it simple. Use simple words. Short sentences are nice. Make your point quickly, and wrap it up.
  • Voting Reform (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Gryll (23531) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:24AM (#10219376)
    We are in desperate need major voting reform in the US.

    This is a prime example that two major political parties have way to much control on the whole election and legislative system.

    I feel that Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) can truly help to give the power back to the voters.

    Take a look at these sites:

    IRV Info [fairvote.org]
    IRV Flash Demo [chrisgates.net]

    If you are a Green, or other third party, supporter please help to get the the following, or similar message out.

    "If Kerry supports IRV, Greens will support Kerry"

    There are IRV initiatives going in most of the states now. Please investigate IRV and if you agree that is could help bring about positive changes please support the local action in your area and help spread the word.

    We have to take the power back - RATM

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