July 18, 2009

Bipartisanship, Or an Oh-So-New-and-Fresh Idea

Ah, bipartisanship... You're a castle in the air. But why? Why can't we all just put aside our differences- or at least pretend to put them aside, for the common good? Why must we scream at each other instead of saving our energy to end all of those wars, or cure AIDS, or work on the new healthcare reforms (all of which, incidentally, could use our energy)?

Well, there are some relatively credible reasons for our reluctance to cooperate with each other. Think certain life-and-death issues and the lack of certain basic Declaration-of-Independence freedoms. The Republicans believe that the Democrats are stealing all of the Republicans' money and robbing red-blooded entrepreneur-capitalists of their rightful gains. The Democrats believe that the Republicans are oppressing kindergardeners with anti-evolution propaganda and denying practically everyone (including gays, lesbians, minorities, women, and anyone not earning over $250,000 a year) their basic rights.

Some of this may be true.

However, there are also a lot of rather less impressive reasons behind the fierce face-offs between Democrats and Republicans. Take the I-can-lecture-longer-at-dinner-parties reason, or the I-want-my-extra-bonus-even-though-I'm-hiding-most-of-my-money-in-a-Swiss-bank-account-and-avoiding-tax-evasion-charges reason (there's irony). Then there's the ever-impressive my-friend-said-so, or the hey-George-Bush-is-cute (I've heard that one), or the good old just-because.

And when we're yelling at each other for these amazingly intelligent reasons, it's time to rethink a few things. Straighten out our priorities. After all, President Lincoln was (supposedly) a Republican, and he freed (some of) the slaves (talk about making the liberals happy). And President Franklin Delanor Roosevelt was (supposedly) a Democrat, and he imprisoned thousands of Japanese Americans during World War Two (talk about making the conservatives happy- and violating basic human rights, but that's a different story).

So, really, aren't we all the same? Shouldn't we all just come together and celebrate our status as (ex?)imperialistic bipartisan capitalist aristocrats?

Well, no... I'm more of a realist than to expect that. But the starving and dying and miserable people of America and of the world would really appreciate it if we could put our differences (at least the silly ones) aside and work together to do something useful, like ending war and poverty. Sound good?

Let's try it.

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