We Americans are fond of apocalyptic-themed movies, books and television. We especially love our zombies – borne from some worldwide pandemic or as a result of a massive nuclear fall-out. The nearly indestructible zombie must consume the flesh of the survivors who always believe there is a safe place for them somewhere out there -- if they just can hold on a little longer.
I think there’s a connection between our fascination with the struggle of good and evil – fresh-faced heroes hunting and being hunted by the monster, and our perception of the American two-party political system. We are suckers for clearly defined lines of “good” and “evil,” and I think -- generally speaking -- Democrats and Republicans both see themselves as the “good” guy and the other team as “the evil, flesh-eating zombie.”
If you follow the process, you must know that there has been a considerable shift in both political parties from the “center” of their general philosophical stances to the left for Democrats and to the right for Republicans. The liberal party has become more liberal and the conservative party has become, well, more conservative. The cacophony of accusations, counter-accusations, personal attacks, even outright lies about everything and anything has become louder and more pronounced. As a two-party system, we seem to have polarized to the extent that we are unable to come back to some sort of middle ground, and we no longer even care for or listen to the other side’s reasoning or ideas because -- well -- they are "evil" and we are "good!"
Imagine if this battle between Democrats and Republicans was a tug-of-war. Both parties lined up on opposite sides of a line in the sand; rope in hand; feet dug into dirt, and sweat dripping from brows, anxiously awaiting the abrupt whistle that announces the start. Both sides begin to strain against the resistance and dig deeper with their heels. Then, suddenly, one side lets go of the rope. The other side’s momentum takes them rudely down to the ground, and while they technically win the tug-of-war, the other side trades the defeat for the satisfaction of humiliating the other side.
What if, in America, one political party just let go of the rope? Let’s imagine the Democrats, those liberal activists; just quit campaigning for every nationwide office in 2012 (I chose the Democrats just because they are the older, established political party in the country). By default, the Republicans, those pro-business conservatives would win every election, from president, to senator, to representative; all the way to states’ governors, etc. I’m not talking about the abolishment of the Democrats. No, they’re still there to protest and complain, but they choose not to seek office or vote for anyone in their party. We’d still have the same two-party system, just one sits out a game.
Okay, so the Grand Ol’ Party (or GOP) wins it all, and their policies and programs are easily enacted and initiated because there’s no obstacle to challenge them. According to a wide variety of sources – mostly the liberal “lamestream” media and the “fair and balanced” folks at FOX News (as well as some "sprinkling" of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times), I’ve surmised that we can describe the new America by a certain number of select, previously contentious areas:
1. Homeland Security and National Defense: U.S. borders – CLOSED! Want to be one of the huddled masses yearning to be free? Get in a very, very long line, and then we’ll see. Christian? Head to the front of the line.
Although working with what many experts in both parties believe to be an already bloated defense budget, Republicans will increase military spending anyway. The new America will take a harder stand on countries like Syria, Iran, North Korea, and other purported “axis of evil.” Americans can expect a greater propensity to exercise the military option overseas when we believe there is a threat to our national interests or way of life, whether there is credible proof or not. Who would pay for all of this? We’ll get to that later.
2. Gun Control: The 2nd Amendment will be revised to eliminate any ambiguity some people believe currently exists. Specifically, some punctuation will be removed so that Thomas Jefferson’s version matches the version ratified by the states many years ago. Basically, anyone (except maybe certain felons, and Democrats) can possess, carry (concealed of course), and use a gun anywhere they want -- except for church or Republican fund-raisers.
3. Foreign Policy: Hey overseas nation/country/empire, got oil? No? Don’t need ya.
4. Health Care and Abortion: Obamacare? Fuhggitaboutit!! We don’t need no stinkin’ universal health care. Go to Canada, you tree-hugger! If you can’t write a check for it, then get a job freeloader so your employer can cut into its shareholder’s profits to take care of little ol’ special you. And of course, there will be no more stem-cell research, and Roe v. Wade will be overturned in a fortnight. Any employer-paid health care that provides contraception will be illegal. Women will not have the right to choose to have a baby if pregnant, and there will be a whole lot more pregnancies. New GOP math: no contraception + no abortions = more taxpayers! (Gotta pay for item #1 above.)
5. Gay Rights: What rights? Homosexuality is "an abomination" and shall be treated as such. At a minimum, we’ll refer to it as a mental illness. “Gay Changers” will pop up on every corner across America just like Jiffy Lubes. Hello, jobs (unless of course a Republican has a gay child, and well, then they will be given a high-ranking job in government or sent overseas as a goodwill ambassador). Finally, marriage will once and for all be between a man and a woman (or women should a certain very wealthy, very powerful political figure choose to make it so), and there will definitely be no adoption of children by anyone who claims to be gay (and who, obviously, failed to successfully complete the “gay changer” course). If you must adopt, you will be required to adopt locally. No more immigrant adoptions, Hollywood. You hear me?
6. Death Penalty: All death row inmates across the United States will be immediately sent to Texas for execution. Why Texas? Because they’re good at it! Executions will be prime-time pay-per-view events because it will create jobs. And although it’s not the government’s responsibility to create jobs, we’ll contract the whole thing out to one of our best buddies’ overseas shell corporations, and no one will be the wiser. It is so much cheaper to pay Xavier or Su Lee a nickel an hour for 16 hours a day than a bunch of whining, crying lazy Americans $7.50 for just 8 hours.
7. Taxes: Probably should be the number one issue, but it’s intentionally low on the list because we’re hoping your “un-subsidized” public education kicked in, and you lost focus (we are truly sorry you live in an area that has a poor tax base. Why don’t you just move from Detroit or D.C. to Utah or Kansas?)
Tax cuts for the rich will continue because a) we hate class warfare, and b) tax cuts create jobs. The last 12 years have proved this unequivocally. It’s just that these new jobs are located overseas. It’s not our fault. It’s the liberal unions, the meddling EPA, and just too many government regulations -- period (when we finally relax regulations, say on the banking industry, we will see some really significant changes, we promise!).
Corporations, you’re just like me. All you want is a good job, no government interference, no taxes, and is able to send your kids to college (except, you’ll have to do it without student loans. We can’t afford to lend you any money to pay for an education that’s not going to get you hired anyway. Besides, that’s class warfare, and as we said, we hate class warfare).
8. Minimum Wage: We will lower it. That way, the American businesses that created all those overseas jobs might bring some of them back to our soil. You might not be able to make a livable wage, but you’ll have a job. And you’ll pay taxes (#winning). And, once again new America, we will be the strongest and best country on the face of this earth. Just as God intended.
Now after 4 years of one party-only rule, America is welcome to return to the measured, philosophical debate that created this country 200+ years ago. Two parties, not the same, but equal, able to speak and listen to each other in a civilized manner. Perhaps find common ground, or if not, at least give some ground and compromise in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.