Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Two great reads on political labels and the dangers of the two-party system's James Leroy Wilson wrote a great piece on the futility of labels as an indicator of the principles to which one holds:
So, call me Federalist, or Anti-federalist. Patriot or Rebel. Progressive or Populist. Liberal or Conservative. Libertarian. Call me American for supporting Jeffersonian principles. Or call me Anti-American when Jeffersonian principles conflict with the policies of our Glorious Leader, President Bush. Call me Right-wing because I want taxes cut. Call me Left-wing because I think everyone deserves a fair shake.

Call me whatever you like. I don’t know if it matters anymore. All I want is what the Revolutionary leaders wanted, to get our freedoms back.
This kind of label-definition creep is what I find myself continuously wanting to rail against. Part of the "railing" process though, involved my being educated about the labels and the parties they refer to, hence my near-future reading of Why Parties? by John Aldrich.

Kristian Karlsson of Tech Central Station, in an indirect kind of way, addresses the dangers of a two-party system as the policies proposed by those two parties come to be closer and closer to each other:
However, it was always clear that the opposition wanted lower taxes. The man on the street would be able to distinguish between the social democrats and the opposition; the ruling party wanted higher taxes or at least status quo and the opposition wanted lower taxes. Well, no longer.

The conservative party has grown impatient with its unpopularity. After the former party leader was kicked out a year and a half ago, his successor decided to give up the battle for ideas and move the party platform closer to the electorate. The ambition to lower taxes was one thing that was quickly toned down. So far, the move has been reasonably popular among the party members. Since the last election, the party has soared in the polls, up from 15 percent to about 25. No one seems to remember that the numbers were pretty much the same four years ago, when the party still fought for meaningful change.
This echoes a continuing rumination of mine (and a hopefully continuing conversation with a good friend) that the two dominant parties in this country are able to offer steadily more unappetizing policies to their constituents by simply stating that the other guys are worse and they better just take their medicine.


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