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Political Theory Discussion # 9

23 Dec 2016Economics Essays

American politics according to most political scientist is generally comprised of five fundamental building structures. This includes recognition of inpidualism, property, laws and contracts, freedom and finally, equality.  Inpidualism has remained nowadays as a contentious concept. This can be traced back to the obsolete meaning of inpidualism which is commonly associated with "freedom from societal entanglement"(Dewey) and "cultivation and expression of personality"(Kateb). In this sense, inpidualism is expressed through "self profiteering" which could actually be detrimental to the whole politics.

Thus, as Du Bois suggest, there must be a new way of looking or understanding the term, inpidualism, so as, it would not conflict with the other tenets of politics. Inpidualism should be understand as a way of putting an inpidual into a societal context, and recognize that it is manifested as inpidual's  "freedom of thought, working within and for a larger societal gain". Du Bois) Property is also subjected to changes in meaning, for what we regard as property today are very much different with the property as it was used in the past. The different forms of property and its conflicts with the other "important bases of politics" have also made this notion highly controversial. Laws and contracts, on the other hand, is really basic to any polical system.

Contracts were acknowledge to be the manifestation of laws in a usually written form. Thus, any of our bills and the constitution itself, that were embodied in the sheets of paper or written on stones were actually a contract. The conflict here arises when the question of the supposedly impartiality of law was raised. Lastly, there were the concepts of freedom and equality, which are in the surface seems to be complementary, but are actually conflicting upon a closer look. While freedom talks about the absence of restraints, equality purports to the different entitlements that an inpidual is due to have. The more freedom the inpidual have, the more inequality it would result.

Reform liberalism is all about having "inpidual obligations" to exercise one's abilities and to fully participate in the community". The basic values that reform liberalism promulgates include: racial equality, gender equality, economic equality and cultural persity. Addressing these issues would suggest a long-range political view that could be use to resolve political conflicts and challenges.

These political conflicts may involve radical challenges from the left which are commonly from a working-class reform base. Some of the prominent challengers were Progressive Populism, Labor and the Rainbow Coalition. Populism had been ideal to gain public sympathy because they tend to uphold the interest of the lower classes against tyranny and unjustified rules of the elite. It is a term used to denote "the government of the people". The Progressive Party has brought voices for protection of the lower classes from the elites. They have put more effort on proliferating the economy by making more roads, cutting off taxes, The American Labor Party, was a “socialist party” that greatly emphasizes the equality among property, resources and an unbiased law implementation in able to give security for the farmer’s and other members of the working class and are associated with the thought of uniting white workers with black workers.

The Populist Party has been a significant historical party who has argued against setting of “gold-standard”. Most of its members were also farmers. They supported the Free Silver platform that has result in inflation.  So far there had no Populist President that have existed, although there had been several Senators and congressman who belonged to the party, nonetheless, there were no President who was a member of the Populist parties and who advocate the party’s goals. Lastly, the Rainbow Coalition was the first party to promote gay and lesbian rights, in a speech on July 17, 1984, Reverend Jesse Jackson said:

America is more like a quilt — many patches, many pieces, many colors, many sizes, all woven and held together by a common thread. The White, the Hispanic, the Black, the Arab, the Jew, the woman, the Native American, the small farmer, the businessperson, the environmentalist, the peace activist, the young, the old, the lesbian, the gay and disabled make up the American quilt.

Indeed we are living in a two party system, but these does not mean that there cannot be a third party in the system, for there were instances wherein a third party or an independent candidate can also join the race like what have happen when Ross Perot ran for presidency. Only, the party which was called the “Reform party” have not flourished like the other two, this is due to the fact that there was neglect on the part of its members. They did not establish a single cut ideology that the other two parties posses. Living them out, dying in the race. With respect to Lieberman, he often calls himself a democrat, however the actions that he did in the past years of his career were obviously more of an action of a left republican or what was often called as “mediators”. Also, he was often endorsed by Republicans, his supporters were Republicans and his thinking can be associated more of a republican than as a democrat.

Democratic Party has been supporters of the Libertarian movements and propagandas. They are in favor of the same-sex marriages, military diplomacy, and the secularization of the government and preservation of abortion rights. The Democratic New Leftist was concerned about the libertarian socialist tradition which is about the equality of the social and political system, eliminating all forms of civil hierarchies. The democratic Rightist or the democratic Conservatives were more inclined on preserving the social traditions and structures. Centrist Democrats differ from the other two factions in the sense that they support welfare reform and support the reduction of tax rates.

The Republican Party is known to be “economical libertarians and social conservatives”. This is because they support the religious rights and other social rights while advocating economical inpidualism by promoting lower taxes and opposing abortion rights and same-sex marriages. They are also known to maintain free-market policies. The right wing republicans on the other hand, are those who are strictly conservatives that they were concerned about social aspects such as morality much more than economic gains. The left-wing republicans stressed on a more liberal approach than its right counterpart in the sense that they do support tax-cuts they are also supportive of partial-abortion rights. In the sense they espouse a semi-social liberal and economic liberal principle.

The American Centrist party was largely about moving forward. It does not intend to be a rightist or a leftist. They believe that the government should be ruled by the people and that the current government is not working with respect to the best-interest of the American populace. The Republicans supports the idea of school voucher because they place more importance on the society and education is one of the things that can uplift the society. Most likely this will be the side of the Left-wing republican, who are in favor of helping the community to liberate itself through preparing the children for their future. However, the Flag salute and the school prayer will be most likely supported by the Right Republicans who were generally concerned in preserving traditional culture and heritage. Although there are differences between the position of the republicans regarding these matters, nevertheless, I believe that it is not a very great “force” that would split or change the political spectrum and position.  

Throughout the different notions that circle the realm of politics, one may be inclined to think that indeed there have been so many political issues that need to be addressed, and the answers to these problems as we have seen, so far, can only be answered by more than a dozen interpretations and personal opinions. Our needs and/or desires can be articulated in different ways, and still it might not reach the single line in the Bill of rights or in the Constitution. Policies were made in response to the different agreements and disagreements that are debated in Congress concerning the “public interest” .

If political structure would be pide in the way we have above, the national two political party systems would have to be restructured in the sense that they would withhold compromises from the ideas presented by their respective right and left wings in able to create a more productive, conducive and aligned party systems.

With respect to Perot’s candidacy, I believe that the reason why he did not won the presidency was because he have stopped campaigning and then go back on campaigning again. His platforms includes those issues that were not largely taken by or that were not included in the platforms by other candidates. As a independent candidate, he can be rendered as a left wing republican because of his support to free-trade and conservative social policies.

I believe that the two-party system that we have is still the best way to organize a political structure, because even though it is a two-party system, it still leave space for detractors, debates, compromise and other opinion. Having a wide variety of party-system in my opinion would blurred the vision for national focus, but instead these parties would more likely seek favors and create policies that were catered for smaller groups of people.

Works Cited:

  • Dewey, John. Freedom and Culture. G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1939
  • Dubois, W.E.B. The Souls of Black Folk. Moder library. 1996.
  • Kateb, George. Patriotism and Other Mistakes.   USA, 2006.
  • Republican National Committee. October 18, 2006. North Carolina. Retrived on July, 31, 2007.
  • The Democratic Party. Minimum Wage Increases Today. July 24, 2007. Retrive on July 31, 2007. 

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