Political parties breed inconsistencies.
“Liberal” and “conservative” have very different meanings than what they previously held. The Republican Party, for instance, is a combination of supply-side economics, social conservatism and nationalism, while the Democratic Party is supposed to be socialist-leaning with liberalism in domestic and foreign affairs. Of course, that’s what they’re supposed to be, even though they often pass laws contradicting those beliefs, but let’s focus on where these two ideologies come in conflict with themselves in the modern political realm. For instance, on free trade, should the GOP oppose free trade because foreigners pose a threat to the US economy in the form of illegal immigration, or should they support free trade because that encourages less regulations and helps businesses and the economy as a whole? Often, conservatism or progressivism will adopt new “principles” in opposition to a prominent politician across the aisle adopting one of their own, or when an issue stance can help them fundraise or help to impede a group from voting. Regardless of the reason, here are five big issues where the logistical reasoning for an issue is hard to read and contradicts other philosophical arguments in the party.
5. Government Surveillance
It’s fair to say that both the Republican and Democratic parties are in mutual bipartisan agreement that civil liberties are inferior to a massive police and surveillance state. Truthfully, it is difficult to understand why. The GOP is hypothetically the party that protects the constitution like it’s religious scripture and attacks big government; but isn’t an oppressive and intrusive federal network of the NSA, FBI, DEA and CIA the definition of an Orwellian-style government, not even considering the integrity of the fourth amendment? Of course, this is where the conflict yet again arises from the national security front of the GOP and the small government wing of the GOP, leaving conservatism at ends with itself.
The Democrats have an entirely different issue, and that is the idea that they seem to champion or at least believe they champion civil rights and liberties. Yet, isn’t the smallest minority the individual? The Black Lives Matter movement has targeted the police state for its injustice, yet the surveillance state is far larger and in many ways, more concerning. In reality, the utter lack of passion from the left on this issue is saddening, and for only one sole Democrat Senator to vote against it, it’s obvious that the Democrats and the left in general surrendered on this issue, as they do with many.
4. Corporate Welfare
Republicans, I thought you hated welfare? I recall a brief period during President Obama’s opening act in the heat of the recession when the number of Americans on social welfare programs reached historical highs and conservatives went berserk while it became a top political issue. Unfortunately, you didn’t see the same uproar against the Wall Street bailouts, the Haliburton deal or even against everyday subsidies to corn syrup, coal companies and big banks – the real welfare queens. Don’t confuse this as support for food stamps or unemployment benefits, it definitely is not, but there is a difference between a small paycheck for a poor urban family struggling during a financial catastrophe and a massive bailout, stimulus package or crony deal to an already highly profitable company. However, it’s better politics to blame poor people and immigrants that don’t vote red anyway than to go to war with the wealthy donors that fund this political juggernaut of an organization.
On the opposing side of the aisle, even though I shouldn’t call it that, seeing it’s one of the many issues that Republicans and Democrats have a consensus on, the Democrats face a predicament. Either stay to the roots of hating massive companies or stay on the bandwagon that says the government runs the economy better than the private sector and throwing money towards companies will improve things. A slim majority of Democratic voters support the former, but the majority of Democratic politicians choose the latter, as seen with the 2008 bailouts.
3. Gun Laws
If a random person was told nothing but libertarians are socially liberal and fiscally conservative, they would probably wrongly assume that they’re pro-gun control. Conservatives seem to hate drugs, atheism, feminism, abortions, homosexuality and multi culturalism because it conflicts with their ideology, disrupts their moral framework and they think that criminalizing or opposing these things will grind them to a halt. Yet, the same Republican mind that believes abstinence-only education prevents teen pregnancy, abortion bans prevent abortions, bans on gay marriage prevent homosexual relationships and wars on drugs prevent drug usage also believe that gun control doesn’t prevent guns from being obtained.
Of course, the left really rubs their two brain cells together on this one by combining complete ignorance of the subject with a victimhood mentality that blames guns rather than individuals for mass shootings, but they ultimately abandon the civil liberties they supposedly champion and resort to complete fear mongering, something the right is notorious for. Not only that, but if Trump is half the fascist he claims to be, wouldn’t the left want relaxed gun laws and a well-armed progressive opposition, assuming he too would pry away guns faster than the GOP pried away Democratic governors this past decade? How do they plan on dealing with this boogeyman, through Samantha Bee roasts, pink protest signs and a few hundred safety pins? Leftists quite simply don’t understand the idea that gun rights are far more than an issue that impacts rural illiterate Republican hunters. If rape culture, police brutality and acts of hate are so widespread, then all of those victims should protect themselves with more than an “I’m with Her” shirt. After all, if they believe “gun culture” is such a problem, it is evident that guns are clearly good for something, right?
2. Radical Islam
First and foremost, I must acknowledge the fact that the majority of the Islamic community is non-violent and most of the conflicts in the Middle East can be traced back to US interventions. That said, the ideology of the most radical parts of Islam are most represented by this traditionalist, extreme conservatism that is strongly against homosexuality, women’s rights, a separation of church and state and diplomacy-first foreign policy. Does that remind you of a political party that is universally against gay marriage, wants the West Wing to be decorated like the Vatican and openly discusses war and airstrikes against foreign countries as if it’s normal? There’s no denying that Rick Santorum compared homosexuality to bestiality, Tom Cotton called for bombing raids on Iran, John McCain declared the US a Christian country, despite what the 1st amendment says, and Sarah Palin accused Barack Obama of “palling around” with terrorists. Isn’t it funny that all of these war hawks, along with the rest of these social conservative nut-jobs, want to go to war with countries that share their same views, just in different degrees? There’s no denying the widespread usage of female genital mutilation, nationalism, militarism, homophobia and religious extremism in the Middle East and Northern Africa today, and to think the Christian-far-right in America is so different than the religious zealots in extremist Middle Eastern countries, you’re kidding yourself.
The left is also hypocritical, because despite spending airtime criticizing these ridiculous ideas, they give Islam a free pass on all of these, while blaming the right for being xenophobic and support bringing in thousands of them as refugees. Whether that is because Muslims tend to vote Democrat, because Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries have played active roles in funding the Clinton dynasty or because the left’s constant need for “justice” and “assimilation” makes them dismiss these as cultural differences, it’s hypocritical to ignore the socially conservative and radical tendencies of mainstream Islam.
1. Defense Spending
I will say this about John Maynard Keynes: he’s consistent. While he’s a tax and spend maniac that never got an economics degree, his oversimplified philosophy supports that government spending – regardless if it’s defense, social welfare or a new zoo for platypuses – will stimulate the economy, especially during a recession. Yet, this is where the right and left are stumped. Democrats are expected to support defense cuts while Republicans want to grow it ridiculously. If Republicans do care about fiscal responsibility, why are most Republican agendas from Ronald Reagan, to Dennis Hastert, to John McCain focused on unrestricted military expenditures? For that matter, if we were to assume the leftist idea that massive government programs such as education, healthcare, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, unemployment benefits and so on are easily solved by raising taxes and throwing more money at it, this triggers an inconsistency. Why wouldn’t Democrats be on board with creating an income-based tax that disproportionately takes from the middle class and poor to double military spending and then force everyone not just to pay for it, but to participate by throwing them into a draft the same way they forced social security on everyone?
It’s apparent that the two-party system has become a disease to core principles and philosophy that formerly impacted political beliefs and ideologies in general. The mainstream parties have shapeshifted into groups that value donors, voters and rhetoric far more than actual policymaking, and have both been responsible for creating opposition for the sake of media coverage and column inches, having massive political flip-flops or yielding on others for the sake of appeasement to donors. Regardless of the cause, it’s become evident that neither liberalism nor conservatism at least in the American sense are any longer respectable ideological strongholds, as much as they are big political tents serving ulterior motives.
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