Tuesday, February 24, 2004
A Defense [UPDATED]

Jeff Jarvis has undertaken the task of defending America's two party system:

[I]n Germany, for example, you can vote for the Greens with some confidence and good conscience that, if they're big enough, they can join with the liberals and in the end, you're still supporting a left-leaning government and your party leaders are at least part of the government's cabinet. A vote for the Greens is a vote for the left, not a vote discarded.

That's not the way it works here, of course. We elect one person for President and that has nothing to do with which parties win elsewhere.

This means that our system forces voters to make a choice -- but at least it's our choice.

When it comes to the presidency, only one person can win. When it comes to Congress, for that matter, only two parties can efficiently win, given our system of majorities and supermajorities needed to get the work of the people done and given the fact that governments won't fall because of any legislature's failures or whims and given the size of the country and the cost of running for office and marketing a message here. The same system operates down to the state and local levels.

And that system works. It is more stable and effective than any other you can name.
There's more there, and its worth reading, but I don't think I agree with the entirety of his piece. I don't believe the two party system is the 'demon-spawn' my university friends in Toronto seem to think it is, but I don't think Jarvis' defense is the one I'd choose.

My primary issues are more gut feeling than anything else. Saying that Nader (for whom I really don't care politically or personally) is "nothing but an egotistical, petulant, selfish, short-sighted, destructive, pathetic, hanging-on has-been and hypocrite" may be true, but it's not true because he's deciding to run as a third party. If it is true, it's for reasons of character and behavior.

So no, for me, Nader represents neither the heroic struggle against a 'tyrannical' two party system nor the 'evil, self-induging iconoclast' that is going to introduce anarchy into our stable government. He's just a guy who has too much of himself in mind, and has decided to exercise his right to use his money to get himself more publicity. [Where he gets his money is another issue altogether -- Ed.].

I'm still looking for that perfect philosophical defense of the American system. I know it's out there, I know I've seen it before - I just can't seem to track it down. If you think you know, gimme a shout.

I've proposed an answer here.
Comments: Post a Comment

A webjournal of ideas, comments, and various other miscellany from a Texan university student (with occasional input from his family) living in Toronto, Ontario. Can you say "culture shock?"

Enter your email address below to subscribe to The Transplanted Texan!

powered by Bloglet

< ? Texas Blogs # >
Entertainment Center

"Con las víctimas, con la Constitución, por la derrota del terrorismo"


The Transplanted Texan
The Web

Current Mood:

Latest Music On iTunes

Site Feed


On Truth
A Clarification On Media Bias
A Bit Of An Issue
[Defending My Position]
Canada And Cynicism
Inauthentic Authenticity
Conspiracy Theories
Conspiracy Theories, Redux

On 9/11 And Terror
Monochromatic Thinking
A Day Worth Remembering

On Politics And Public Issues
The Art Of Listening
The American System
A Clarification On Media Bias
A Bit Of An Issue
Little Longer Than Expected
Speaking For All Of Us?

On Poetry
Something I've Been Meaning To Do

(Some Of) What I Read:

Friends & Family




Blog Links

Listed on BlogsCanada Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com
Listed on Blogwise

Subscribe with Bloglines