Threats to Democracy: The Lie That Both Parties are the Same

The falsehood that both major political parties in the United States are the same is propaganda perpetuated by the autocratic right to persuade progressives not to vote for Democrats or not to vote at all. It is the big lie the autocratic right tells the left to suppress voting, and just because some progressives fall for it does not make it less of a lie.

This propaganda is particularly effective and pernicious when the autocratic right succeeds in getting progressives to repeat and reinforce it. We likely would not have experienced a George W. Bush or Donald Trump presidency were it not for many progressives believing and repeating the false mantra that both parties or both major candidates are basically the same. Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader and his supporters used this rhetoric in 2000, effectively suppressing the vote for Al Gore in key battleground states, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein and her supporters such as Cornell West and Chris Hedges perpetuated this message in the 2016 campaign, a message that many Bernie or Bust folks were all too ready to accept.

Propaganda aside, the reality is that there are major differences between the two major political parties, and the Republican Party has more and more brazenly become an opponent of democracy itself. And on policy matters, the differences are clear:

  • The vast majority of Democrats are for addressing the climate crisis, while the vast majority of Republicans are for protecting the interests of fossil fuel companies.
  • Democrats and their platform support reproductive choice, while the majority of Republicans and their platform are against it.
  • Democrats want affordable and accessible healthcare for all persons, while Republicans keep trying to abolish the Affordable Care Act while proposing no plausible alternatives.
  • Democrats are for more progressive forms of taxation, while Republicans continue to push for more regressive forms.
  • Democratic leadership is opposing autocrats around the world, while Republican leadership looks to them as a model of “strong” leadership and a blueprint for making minority rule a permanent reality – see for example their past embrace of Vladimir Putin in Russia and their current infatuation with Viktor Orbán in Hungary.
  • Democrats are for protecting and expanding voting rights, while Republicans want to make it more difficult for all persons to vote, especially those living in poverty and persons of color.
  • Democrats are for strengthening public education, while Republicans want to privatize as much K-12 education as they possibly can.
  • Democrats want to limit the amount of money that persons and corporations can spend to influence political processes, while Republicans embrace the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that sees unlimited political spending as a form of free speech and treats corporations as persons.
  • Democrats want to maintain the separation of church and state that protects true religious freedom, while an increasingly large number of Republicans want to abolish such a separation, with some openly calling for Christian nationalism.

Is the Democratic Party perfect? Hell to the no! Is the Democratic Party better than the Republican Party when it comes to protecting democracy from autocracy and working to make the United States a more just, participatory, and sustainable society? Hell to the yes!

As we move forward to November with American democracy in the balance, we cannot perpetuate the lie that both political parties are basically the same. It is simply not true. We cannot let the perfect become the enemy of the good or the enemy of better. The future of our democracy depends on refuting and defeating this autocratic lie.

IF YOU FIND THE WRITINGS AT ONE WORLD HOUSE BY MARK DAVIES HELPFUL OR INSPIRING, YOU CAN SHOW YOUR SUPPORT BY MAKING A MONTHLY CONTRIBUTION USING PATREON.

YOU MAY ALSO MAKE A ONE TIME GIFT THROUGH PAYPAL.

Leave a Reply

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 )

Connecting to %s