DO WE HAVE TWO POLITICAL PARTIES—OR JUST ONE?
Gore Vidal has long been one of my favorite authors—as well as one of the wittiest. Recent, I ran across a quote from him in that truly admirable blog, THE BIG PICTURE, which I regularly advise people to read.
The blog belongs to Barry Ritholz although he has guest bloggers and doubtless some help. It’s a comprehensive site whose primary emphasis is on financial matters—but Barry’s interests are eclectic.
But, now let’s hear from Gore Vidal on the thorny issue of whether all Americans are represented politically—or only a subset. The intros are from Barry Ritholz.
The old state of affairs in the USA:
“There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party… and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt – until recently – and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.
-Gore Vidal, Matters of Fact and of Fiction.
The current sad, but true, state of affairs:
“In the past, the United States has sometimes, kind of sardonically, been described as a one-party state: the business party with two factions called Democrats and Republicans. That’s no longer true. It’s still a one-party state, the business party. But it only has one faction. The faction is moderate Republicans, who are now called Democrats. There are virtually no moderate Republicans in what’s called the Republican Party and virtually no liberal Democrats in what’s called the Democratic [sic] Party. It’s basically a party of what would be moderate Republicans and similarly, Richard Nixon would be way at the left of the political spectrum today. Eisenhower would be in outer space.”
-Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor and professor (emeritus) of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in his keynote address at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany, 17 June 2013.