Election Madness by Howard Zinn
24 Feb 2008
We should not expect that a victory at the ballot box will even begin to budge the nation from its twin fundamental illnesses: capitalist greed and militarism. So we need to free ourselves from the election madness engulfing the entire society.
Historically, government, whether in the hands of Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals, has failed its responsibilities, until forced to by direct action. Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens.
Colonel Andrew Bacevich
27 May 2007
Money maintains the Republican/Democratic duopoly of trivialized politics. It confines the debate over U.S. policy to well-hewn channels. It preserves intact the cliches of 1933-45 about isolationism, appeasement and the nation's call to "global leadership." It inhibits any serious accounting of exactly how much our misadventure in Iraq is costing. It ignores completely the question of who actually pays. It negates democracy, rendering free speech little more than a means of recording dissent. This is not some great conspiracy. It's the way our system works.
"Good Riddance Attention Whore" by Cindy Sheehan
28 May 2007
I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a "tool" of the Democratic Party. However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the "left" started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of "right or left", but "right and wrong."
I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike. It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party. Blind party loyalty is dangerous whatever side it occurs on. People of the world look on us Americans as jokes because we allow our political leaders so much murderous latitude and if we don’t find alternatives to this corrupt "two" party system our Representative Republic will die and be replaced with what we are rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland. I am demonized because I don’t see party affiliation or nationality when I look at a person, I see that person’s heart. If someone looks, dresses, acts, talks and votes like a Republican, then why do they deserve support just because he/she calls him/herself a Democrat?
Peoples History of the United States by Howard Zinn, Excerpt
To give people a choice between two different parties and allow them, in a period of rebellion, to choose the slightly more democratic one is an ingenious mode of control. Both major parties were controlled largely by men of wealth and ambition. Lawyers, newspaper editors, merchants, industrialists, large landowners, and speculators dominated the Democrats as well as the Whigs.
The Establishment cannot survive without the obedience and loyalty of millions of people to keep the system going: the soldiers and police, teachers and ministers, administrators and social workers, technicians and production workers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, transport and communications workers, garbagemen and firemen. These people - the employed, the somewhat privileged - are drawn into alliance with the elite. They become the guards of the system, buffers between upper and lower classes. If they stop obeying, the system fails.
Byzantium by John Julius Norwich, 1988
A major cause for the continuing unrest in Constantinople was the division of the populace into two rival factions, the Blues and the Greens. Their names came originally from the Hippodrome, where they referred to the colors worn by the two principal teams of charioteer; but the factions themselves had long since left the narrow confines of the arena. In all the main cities of the Empire, they existed as two independent semi-political parties which combined on occasion to form a local militia. Their political affiliations varied according to local conditions and the issues of the day. At this period, the Blues tended to be the party of the big landowners and the old Greco-Roman aristocracy, while the Greens represented trade, industry and the civil service. Many members of the Greens came from the eastern provinces, where heresy was more widespread. The Blues had gradually come to be associated with religious orthodoxy, the Greens with monophysitism. The populace as a whole gave its adherence, indiscriminately though enthusiastically, to one faction or the other.