Saturday, 6 March 2010

What makes a Democrat? What makes a Republican?

Rather than comment on our individual posts this week I thought I would express a general observation which struck me as I read through the various blogs. The diversity of positions taken on so many issues amongst US politicians is such that it is difficult to determine how some political representatives identify with a specific party. Is this simply a product of the 'two-party' system? It is almost as if the USA is in need of a third party to fill the increasingly over-crowded middle ground between the extremes of the other two.

Also, the local specificity which creates the diversity of views expressed within a single political 'package' (be it presidential, senatorial or congressional) is very striking. It adds support to my suspicion that the Constitution assumed a continuation of the homogeneity which existed at the time of Independence and the political system created from that assumption is not able to fulfill the needs of a hugely expanded, diverse and geographically (and demographically) polarised population.

It also occurred to me that the almost 'machine-gun like' scattering of views is even more apparent in Congress than in the Senate. I am beginning to understand why deadlock is an increasing force in US political life.

1 comment:

  1. Prior to starting this course and knowing little about the workings of the U.S political system, I held a view that was much more simplified than it is now; that most republicans are to the far right and most democrats are far left.

    It is interesting, to learn about specific democrats and republicans each week, who are not situated on far ends of their party but inbetween - they could ultimately be examples of future bi-partisanship.


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