Opinion | TD originals

The Two-Party Scam

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in 2016. (Charlie Neibergall)

They are back at it again. The Democrats are peddling change and hope as they promise a “better deal” if only they are entrusted with power. Nancy Pelosi has been touting the newest Democratic National Committee platform while pretending to be outraged about the excesses of Republicans. She promises to empower voters, strengthen ethics laws and fix campaign finance once she regains the speaker’s gavel.

What Pelosi is banking on is that voters are beset by “collective recollection deficit.” Never mind that Democrats had solid majorities in both houses of Congress and did the opposite of what she is now promising. Pay no attention to the fact that Barack Obama had a mandate when he made history in 2008. In a world according to neoliberals, iniquities took root on Jan. 20, 2017—and now all the ills of the world can be traced to Donald Trump.

We are witnessing the tried-and-true tactic of imprisoning voters in the moment. The duopoly continues to thrive because the media-politico establishment has conditioned us to have short-term outrage and disregard the connective nature of the two-party racket. Both parties are co-opted by corporations and the plutocrat class. They differ on the margins, but at their core, Democrats and Republicans’ primary purpose is to transfer wealth from the masses to the neo-aristocracy.

Malcolm X once said that Republicans are like wolves, while Democrats are like foxes. The former show you their teeth and have no problem revealing their mendacity. The latter smile and pretend to be your friends while they stick a shiv in your chest. The Blue Wave is the newest shiv Democrats are sharpening. They will promise the world until the first Tuesday of November, then they will kick their voters to the curb the minute the last vote is counted.

This two-faction scam works only because establishment voices sheepdog the citizenry to accept a binary view of socio-political issues. We are given limited choices and told to vote for one of two equally malicious parties. There is a reason why over 40 percent of Americans who can otherwise vote refuse to do so. That number seems to go up every election cycle. More and more people are waking up to the ruse and realizing that a ballot limited to two parties is not a republic; it’s a tyranny of false choices.

But for those who say enough to the facade of a representative democracy, over 50 percent remain wedded to the status quo. A system that has been given a vote of no-confidence by abstention is afforded a cover of legitimacy by a league of Charlie Browns who insist on voting against their self-interest. Every two, four, and six years, Lucy van Pelts like Pelosi, Donald Trump and others hold out footballs in the form of false hopes and counterfeit talking points.

Invariably, the football is withdrawn from the bases of both parties as promises are broken and pledges are nullified by dark money and corporate extortion. Parenthetically, do you know how insulting it is to be called “the bases”? The political classes are telling their most loyal voters that their backs are the foundations on which politicians and pundits are building their status and wealth. The illusion of change is the only thing that keeps Americans from rising up against a government comprised mostly of millionaires and controlled by the checkbooks of billionaires. Democrats and Republicans have mastered the art of pointing fingers at each other publicly, only to unite in private to work for their corporate patrons.

Sloganeering and political ads are not governance. We need to focus on ideas and on the policies being implemented in our names. The time has come to stop voting for people based on identities and ideologies. More importantly, to stop endorsing politicians based on affinity and/or political loyalty. Put away emotional decisions, and support people based on whether they will go beyond meaningless speeches and symbolic photo ops to fight for your interests.

The other option is to keep lining up every election cycle to kick Lucy’s football.

We all know how that ends.

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Teodrose Fikre
Teodrose Fikre is a journalist and the founder and editor of The Ghion Journal. Once a defense consultant, he was profoundly changed by a two-year journey of hardship and struggle. Going from a life of…
Teodrose Fikre

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