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American Political Parties: It is not just about a Jackass and an Elephant

By Sina Alavi

A Couple of weeks ago, I read a piece of news on Payvand that took me back in time and reminded me of what I consider the simpler time in life. Interestingly, the news was about the sports- it read Esteqlal (old Taj) and Persepolis soccer teams tied the game at one a piece. Growing up as a teenager in the old country it did not matter if you played soccer or not, you had to take side you were either a fan of Red or Blue - there were those kids who were neither, but there were not many of them and nobody paid attention to them anyway. There were also other Soccer teams in the league and that did not matter; nobody paid attention to them. These other teams merely provided the venue for the Taj and Persepolis to flex their muscles for their fans.

Almost forty years later, here in America, my adopted home country, I am experiencing the same thing under a very different circumstance. It is not the soccer league any more it is about politics, a subject which I consider much more serious and at certain juncture about life and death. But, Ironically, I see the same attitude as in the Taj/Persepolis case. It feels like everyone needs to take sides between two colors again- the same color choices- Red or Blue. You're either Democrat Blue or Republican Red. This all would play out nicely, if these two parties offered comprehensive platforms to the voters, but, far from comprehensive, their platforms have narrowed over time and have converged on many issues with no significant differences.

So, what do we do as an American voter who wants to exercise their right. After all we were asked point blank in our citizenship test why we wanted to become citizen- we all know the answer to that one- to vote and be part of the democratic process. I never forget the day I became a citizen of the US of A. As you're walking out of the ceremony- I am not sure if you saw the same spectacle as in my time- but you hear the question "Would you like to register?". For someone who has no clue on what's going on, he or she may feel that this is part of the process of becoming citizen. Depending on which desk is located more strategically- you may end up becoming a Democrat or Republican without even knowing what they are and what they stand for. It somewhat resembles the missionaries in South America- looking for virgin souls- looking for a free soul to grab. These party peddlers are looking to grab your political souls before you know what hit you.

Of course, once you become more sophisticated in understanding political issues you can always change from one party to another, but you always remain under impression that there are only two parties in America. And, understandably, it is pretty straight forward- It can't be any easier than this either- you go left and become a Democrat or go right and become a Republican- that's easy- back to Blue or Red solution. It is more manageable and color-coded. We saw this working in the past recent elections- The Blue States versus The Red States.

Well, you wish it was that easy. Even though, there are more parties to choose from- the main two parties do not want you to know or learn about other parties- but there are more colors than just Red and Blue- but not all the party have a color. Just to name a few, libertarian party, Constitution Party, Green Party, and there are literally over one hundred parties, from slew of skin head parties to many flavors of communist parties.

The significance of these other parties becomes more relevant in the local elections as opposed to national elections for congressman and president. We actually witnessed one, the first Iranian-American getting elected to a public office in San Francisco as a City Supervisor and he belongs to Green Party (see Ross Mirkarimi).

Normally, focusing on local issues helps us to elect what we think is the right candidate regardless of their party affiliation. But, it is not as easy when it comes to election on National level, particularly with Democrats and Republicans. On the surface it may look like we're dealing with the main two parties whom you would think have the best interest of the country in mind. Not so fast. On the national level it gets very tricky. Not all candidates within these two parties have the open agenda of supporting the best interest of America. There are those who have a very long hidden agenda, which bears no American interest in mind. So, who are we talking about and how we can recognize these candidates.

As a responsible voter, we need to follow the voting records of the candidates. Even though, they may belong to Democratic or Republican Parties- the real party they belong to is the Likud Party. For these candidates we should not use "R" or "D" designation instead we should use "RL" and "DL". To name a few of these public figures, let's look at our current senate:

  • Charles Schumer - DL
  • Joe Lieberman - IL
  • Carl Levin - DL
  • Barbara Boxer - DL
  • Dianne Feinstein - DL
  • Benjamin Cardin - DL
  • Norm Coleman -RL
  • Russell Feingold - DL
  • Herb Kohl - DL
  • Frank Lautenberg - DL
  • Arlen Specter -RL
  • Ron Wyden - DL

One of the most telling episodes of how you can recognize these genuine Likud party members is the nomination of our new Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, who is also a Likud party member. By any stretch of imagination, one would think a true Democrat would be outright against someone like Michael Mukasey, who believes waterboarding is not a torture (an interrogation technique used by Spanish Inquisition on Jews in Spain). And, the fact that the Democrats held control of the Senate Judiciary Committee, it seemed like a slam dunk to have this guy knocked out of the confirmation process. But, a closer look at the whole process reveals Charles Schumer (NY-DL) a senator from New York has recommended him for the position- to a Republican administration. When it came to final vote, another Likud member- Senator from California Dianne Feinstein made sure this nomination sailed through. So much for Democrats acting progressive in the Government. Recently, we saw a better act from Dianne Feinstein lecturing some Iranian-American organization by taking a line from another deceased Likud member, Tom Lantos. The same Tom Lantos who offered to talk to Iranian Government but in action passed bills against Iranians. The same late Congressman Lantos who you should consider as a Superdelegate of the Likud Party was in the process of picking a replacement to wear his throne and if everything had gone as planned this would have happened. I let you guess her name and check her background on your own. There are many instances where these Likud members have exposed themselves, it is matter of caring to know- and, one who votes should care.

So, next time you find yourself in the voting booth, you may want to remember it is not about Red or Blue. America offers many other colors and in most cases voting other colors ensures voting American; otherwise, you got to make sure the Blue or Red you picked is a true Blue or Red. Voting American makes us stronger as a nation and ensures a better future for the next generation. We need to get the foreigners out of our Government.

... Payvand News - 04/26/08 ... --

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