By Harley Austin | United States
For most Americans, politics is characterized by the conflict between the two major parties: Republican and Democrat. This has been the case for decades, but has become extremely polarized and divisive since the start of the 2010s. To the supporters of the two major parties, the Republicans and Democrats seem to be complete opposites. However, when you look past the rhetoric and into what the two parties’ politicians actually support, you’ll find that there’s very little difference between the two. This extreme division between two similar parties is a divide and conquer tactic meant to serve one group alone: the government.
There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.” -John Adams
The Two Parties are the Same
This may come as a shock to those who support the two parties: there is little to no difference between them. To those who look past the empty words and promises of the media and politicians, this should be no surprise. To truly see the immense similarity, let’s look at what the parties actually agree and disagree on based on their actions alone.
Where the Two Parties Agree:
- Immense military spending and intervention
- Economic regulations
- Increasing the debt
- Government spending
- The Federal Reserve
- The never-ending War on Terror
- The War on Drugs
- Numerous other victimless crimes
- Gun control (to some degree)
- Wasteful social programs
- Government spying
- Corporate subsidies
- Federal control over education
Where they Diverge:
- A handful of wasteful social programs (not the many larger ones of course)
- Slight variations of the above agreements (enough to stir up voters, but not make substantial difference)
Notice a pattern here? The two party system has millions of Americans fighting each other endlessly, yet the politicians they elect are practically the same. The only differences between them are a few minor issues. Don’t believe me? Take a look at last 18 years in American politics. Sure, the personality cult changes every eight years with a new president. However, the actual policies of Bush, Obama, and Trump are very similar.
Yet, there’s still a lot more to it, for all of the above agreements expand government power. That is the purpose of the two parties and their only apparent goal. Everything else is either empty rhetoric meant to win support, or just a lie. With most of America fighting over which party should be in power, government can expand without people noticing. This is how we’ve gotten into the statist mess of the modern age.
Now that we know the actions and intentions of the two parties, let’s take a look into how the dividing and conquering works.
The Divide and Conquer Tactic
The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….” -Noam Chomsky
The two party system keeps the American people divided so that they won’t threaten the expanding tyrannical government. The state and media ingrain the dichotomy into the minds of most people, presenting only two options. Thus, they often learn to adore one and despise the other, even though they’re nearly identical. When both supposed “options” result in more government, people overlook the possibility of freedom. This, of course, is exactly what the government wants.
Let’s look at three tools the state uses to strengthen the divide and conquer tactic.
Cults of Personality and Identity Politics
A politician divides mankind into two classes: tools and enemies.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
Because the two parties agree on nearly all major issues, it becomes necessary to fabricate non-issues in order to stir up conflicts between the two-party supporters. The best way to do this is to have people fighting over a cult of personality, centered around a president, instead of actual politics. Fighting over cults of personality also keeps people ignorant of actual politics, which makes the divide and conquer tactic easier. This has been going on for decades, but is the most blatantly obvious in the 21st century.
For example, we’ll start with the Obama presidency. During those eight years, America was deeply divided. Almost everyone either absolutely supported him in all he did, or absolutely despised him in all he did. Yet, ultimately, both sides were still supporting government growth; they merely voiced it in a different manner. On top of that, non-issues such as the birther movement fueled the divide. Whether that had any validity or not is irrelevant, as the result is the same.
Moving on to Trump, everything mentioned before is the same but more intense. Again, America is deeply divided into those who absolutely love him no matter what (nicknamed “the MAGA cult”) and those who absolutely hate everything about him no matter what. This also has two sides: those who support Trump’s large government policies and those who support the large government policies of the Democrats. Either way, the result is government expansion and tyranny. And on top of this, you have the non-issues, in this case the Russia investigation. Again, it has fueled the divide and has served as a distraction for the past two years. Once more, the validity is trivial, and merely leads to division.
The cycle continues with every presidency, regardless of party. Politicians sweep aside campaign promises and government becomes more tyrannical. The whole time, the American people bicker over non-issues for four years until the next election, when it all starts over.
You would think this cycle would get noticeably repetitive year after year, which is why the two-party system has a built in mechanism for maintaining itself: shifting blame.
The way this works is rather simple. First, the party in control expands government and destroys our freedom. Then, once the negative social and economic effects appear, people will blame the party in control, instead of government. That party will blame the other for being “obstructionists” and their supporters will clash until Election Day. Once that day comes, the party in control cedes power to the other, and the cycle repeats itself. Supporters of one party will then forgot all about the tyrannies their party committed while in power, and will instead focus on attacking the other party. This way, the cycle can continue endlessly without much public notice.
This one should be no surprise to anyone. Corporate media is a big part of the divide and conquer tactic. It’s no secret that these media outlets are often biased and focus on pushing political agendas. It is their job to objectively report the news. However, this serves a bigger purpose than most might think.
Major news outlets are the ones who feed information to two-party supporters. These outlets mainly report the non issues and hyper-partisan bias that stirs up their viewers. This amplifies the divisions and spreads it to millions of people, even those uninterested in politics. The biases and agendas become obvious, so factionalism also occurs: Republicans stick to heavily Republican leaning news outlets and Democrats stick to heavily Democratic leaning news outlets. The two sides will then, of course, fight again, all while government grows and ignores the real issues.
America Must Free Itself
How can America free itself from the clutches of the two parties and their supporters? People will usually advocate for a more principled third party. While this would certainly be preferable, the solution is not that simple.
“Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
There is a root evil that is found in the two-parties, identity politics, and the many other statist ideologies: collectivism. The only way to break away from partisan manipulation is to think for yourself and have your own principles. The only way to free ourselves is to free our mentalities from what those in power want us to believe. The American people will be free, if and only if we turn our hatred and conflict away from each other and towards the government that has created our problems.
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