Not quite getting itI remember reading a story about how Republican president Ronald Reagan used Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA as the theme song to his 1984 presidential campaign. There was only one problem: Springsteen was a Democrat and supported Reagan's main opponent Walter Mondale. During the Cold War, many right-wingers virtually adopted the great English writer George Orwell as one of their own... without mentioning that Orwell was a democratic socialist. That's a little how I feel right now.
I'm not exactly sure how, but I stumbled across the blog of the local Democracy for America chapter, the organization started to advance the cause of establishment liberal Democrats. Apparently, one of the people there commented on my recent entry on the Republican race for sheriff of Warren County (NY).
In it, I criticized the Republican Politburo for trying to shove their annointed candidates not only down the throats of the general electorate, but of trying to usurp the free will of their on rank-and-file party members.
Upstate Blue (who writes in the first person but doesn't even sign a first name) cited approvingly my essay, agreeing with its thesis against the astonishing arrogance of the GOP hierarachy.
But then, s/he concludes that:
The abuse of power described by the blogger above is one more example of why our region is long overdue for a two-party political system where Republicans don't maintain a total monopoly on all the local offices.
Additionally, a graphic at the top of the article asks, "Isn't it time for two-party checks and balances in this region?"
It's ironic that the author would cite me to back up his/her case on this topic.
As careful readers of this blog will know, I believe that this country needs a true multiparty system; a system where all parties are allowed to operate effectively without absurd restrictions by electoral laws written the the two-party duopoly. I believe this is as true for the state and localities as it is for the nation as a whole.
I believe that smaller parties can play a constructive role in positively influencing the public agenda, something that has consistently happened throughout American history. I believe that if every major western democracy (and even most African countries) can have more than two parties represented in their national legislatures without the sky falling, so can the United States of America.
I don't oppose the DFA. I believe that if the Democrats have this much trouble getting a fair shake in Warren County, then it's going to be an even more uphill task for Greens, Libertarians and other smaller parties. But no, it's not time for two-party checks and balances in this region. It's time for multiparty checks and balances in this region.