THE SEE-SAW SOCIETY – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I just had a terrible thought! What if the extreme political division in America continues? What would that mean, long-term, to our government and to our country?

The way I see it, we could just see-saw back and forth between Republican and Democratic Presidents and congressional control in Washington. When one party is in power, the other party will become energized and vote them out at the next presidential election (after either four or eight years of the ‘in’ party’s reign). Then the same thing will happen again and the current minority party will take over from the current majority party. This process could go on forever.

What would this mean for the country? When in office, each party will devote their energies to undoing everything the other party did during it’s time in power. The President will reverse as many of the opposition party’s executive orders as possible. Congress will pass laws to neutralize or reverse as many as possible of the ‘evil’ laws passed by the other party. The courts will be stacked with ‘good’ judges from the ruling Presidential/Congressional party.

This translates to total schizophrenia for the country. For four to eight years at a time, we’ll have, let’s say, a Democratic government. That would mean we’d live with policies that were pro-environment, pro-universal healthcare, pro-regulations, pro-entitlements, pro-voting rights, pro-women’s rights, pro-choice, pro-immigration, pro-LGBT rights, pro-marijuana, pro-income equality, pro-Constitution and Bill Of Rights, pro-gun control, pro-middle class, pro-diplomacy, pro-Western European allies, etc. You get the idea.

Then when the pendulum swings, we’ll have four to eight years of a government that is against or indifferent to all of the above. That government would work hard to enforce the exact opposite.

(c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / iqoncept

It may actually take more than four to eight years to undo all the ‘damage’ done by the opposition party during their time in power. So random rules and laws from each party’s tenure could remain. This would result in a mishmash of laws and policies coexisting, that range from right-wing/conservative to left-wing/progressive. But the major issues, the ones that electrify and motivate each base, these policies will swing wildly from one administration and congress to the next. There will be instability and confusion in every aspect of life.

The party in power will shut out the other party, minimizing that party and emasculating them. The continuation of one party rule, with no compromise or coöperation, will further fan the flames of inter party hatred and further fuel the bitter political divisions in the nation. It will also make it very hard to get anything done in Washington because majorities will always be small and fragile.

That leaves us with a barely functioning government that will always have the abject hatred of a large percentage of the country. Everyone will know that whatever the ruling party manages to accomplish will be undone and or reversed within a few years.

I don’t see how this cycle will get broken. Unless, the 60% – 65% of the people who hate Trump can come together and form a government that has at least some bipartisan support. Once that happens, the pendulum can stop swinging wildly and reset somewhere in the middle.

Until then, buckle up! It’s going to be a bumpy ride!

18 thoughts on “THE SEE-SAW SOCIETY – BY ELLIN CURLEY

  1. Marilyn Armstrong December 18, 2017 / 12:13 am

    What makes you think that hasn’t been happening for the entire lifetime of this country? Because this isn’t the first or 10th time this has happened. It has happened before and it will happen again. It just didn’t happen in OUR lifetime. I hoped it never would.

    Like

    • Ellin Curley December 18, 2017 / 2:54 pm

      You may be right historically. But I’ve been alive for 68 years and haven’t seen anything like this level of animosity and hostility. There is no governining, only partisan politics. It’s all about scoring points for your side and against the other side. At least that’s what I see in the Republicans. The Democrats still have some philosophy of government anddesire to help people. But they are powerless at the moment.

      Like

      • Marilyn Armstrong December 18, 2017 / 6:22 pm

        That’s because this is the first time it has happened in OUR lifetime, but it happened in our parents’ lifetime and their parents’ lifetimes, too. In the life of a nation, my life and your life are blips. What is pathetic is how the same crap keeps happening AGAIN and AGAIN. At some point, we should be able to fix it and make it NOT happen again.

        Like

  2. Taswegian1957 December 18, 2017 / 12:30 am

    Not just your country either although I think your two major parties are a bit more extreme in their differences than ours are. If there was more consensus on important issues I guess I could live with the different ideologies more easily but if you keep on changing directions you never actually get anywhere.

    Like

    • Marilyn Armstrong December 18, 2017 / 12:36 am

      The U.S. has been running in circles for most of its life. We came together to fight the two big wars. Otherwise, we’re split open like a broken watermelon. We really need new political parties where what the people need is more important than the pol’s personal agendas.

      Like

      • Taswegian1957 December 18, 2017 / 12:38 am

        Here smaller parties will rise for a while but in the end they always seem to disappear or merge with another leaving the Liberals and Labor to dominate. The Greens have been around for a while but never winning enough seats to win government in their own right. It seems to be the Australian way, two major political parties, two major supermarket chains, two major airlines….

        Like

        • Marilyn Armstrong December 18, 2017 / 1:30 am

          The best I think we can hope for here is that the parties evolve in some more acceptable way. Both parties have solidified and I’m not seeing much movement … but times change and I’m hoping that somehow, the mess we are in is going to be followed by some renovation. I can, at least, dream.

          Like

        • Ellin Curley December 18, 2017 / 3:00 pm

          I don’t think the problem is with the two party system. It’s that the two parties have diverged so dramatically, that they can’t agree on even minor issues, let alone the big ones. I think that the existance of the right wing media, on television, radio and the internet, has solidified the differences and made them more extreme. I know we had Yellow Journalism in the past, but it didn’t have the reach and power that the media does today.

          Like

          • Taswegian1957 December 18, 2017 / 4:34 pm

            Yes I agree and then there are factions within the parties pushing them one way or another. There is a lot to be said for being a moderate.

            Like

          • Marilyn Armstrong December 18, 2017 / 6:23 pm

            No, the two party system is simply emblematic of the people who are so split. The Civil War was just the beginning of the split. I think we are seeing the REAL results now.

            Like

      • Ellin Curley December 18, 2017 / 3:05 pm

        You’re talking about a return to the idea of public service. Being part of the government was a sacred responsibility and you owed your allegiance to the people you represented first, party second. There’s a totally different attitude now, at least among Republicans. It’s all about power and party and vanquishing the ‘other side’.

        Like

        • Marilyn Armstrong December 18, 2017 / 6:24 pm

          From the time I was growing up which was right after WWII ended when commitment was a responsibility everyone took seriously until today, when it’s something everyone has forgotten is simply part of one lifetime. Oh how quickly we forget.

          Like

    • Ellin Curley December 18, 2017 / 2:57 pm

      My concern is that we will just see saw back and forth from one extreme to another until something changes. I saw a list of items on the 1956 Republican Party Platform. They looked like the Democratic platform today. So there was a time when both parties agreed on most of the big issues, like the importance of saftey nets and equitable distribution of wealth and power. Maybe we’ll get there again.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. swo8 December 18, 2017 / 12:30 pm

    In Canada the party in power stays far too long, the leader becomes some tarnished icon and it is with great delight to throw the bums out at a certain point. We seem to swing from one major party to the other major party. I don’t think we are so divided as you are in the States. After one of those major clean ups, you can almost hear a collective sigh.
    Leslie

    Like

    • Ellin Curley December 18, 2017 / 3:03 pm

      Nothing in Canada seems as extreme as what we have in America! You seem like mostly reasonable, nice people. I can’t say the same thing for Americans as a whole. The reasonable, nice part of the population is being out shouted by the crazy, evil people, who now have entire media empires magnifying their voices.

      Liked by 1 person

      • swo8 December 18, 2017 / 4:24 pm

        I guess you haven’t heard about the FLQ and the day when Trudeau senior took our civil rights away with the “War Measures Act”. We’ve had our crazies too.
        Leslie

        Liked by 1 person

  4. usfman December 18, 2017 / 7:33 pm

    The equalizing factor will be the frightening prospect of World War III. If we can’t set aside political differences for the good of the country, then, our empire may be doomed.

    Liked by 1 person

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s