We have a political dialogue that sees only “Red or Blue,” “Left or Right.” Not only does this have the effect of reducing every issue to a superficial two-sided debate, but serious issues on which both parties agree are not even discussed.
Take our foreign policy for example. There was a day when not “policing the world” was a legitimate and well respected position in both the Democratic and Republican Party. Now, both parties are sending us and keeping us in no-win wars, with over 700 military bases in over 120 countries. In the last 10 years, we’ve lost over 5,000 lives, millions of foreign civilians have died, and trillions of dollars have been spent waging these “wars for democracy.”
So what have the Democrats done since the Republicans lost the White House? They’ve sent more troops, more money, and more lives have been lost than in the early years of the Iraq War under President Bush.
Now, Republican politicians are laying the groundwork for war with Iran while the Democrats support military spending of over $700 billion dollars a year.
I’m not suggesting that a strong national defense is not a priority, but I am suggesting that our current intervention around the world actually weakens both our defense and our economy. The $700 billion we spend on our military empire and the $50 billion we hand out to other countries as foreign aid could pay off a lot of debt, protect social security and Medicare, and strengthen our porous borders right here at home.
Yet, when politicians make these arguments the “left v. right” mentality marginalizes them. The media and even their own party belittle them, and the party bosses reprimand them.
Just look at what the Republicans do to Ron Paul when he talks about having a humble foreign policy; the same foreign policy of “Mr. Republican” Robert Taft and even George Bush when he first ran for President in 2000.
Why? It is because both parties and the mainstream media are in agreement on our aggressive foreign policy. That 70% of the American people want to reduce our presence overseas doesn’t matter. Any politician who even attempts to challenge the status quo is ‘fringe’ and anyone who points out the consequences of our bipartisan foreign policy is ‘un-American”.
We need candidates willing to stick their neck out on big issues like foreign policy and war. It is the only way to bring a real discussion to the shallow political debate we have today.
That is why I’m an independent.
Editor’s Note: Chad Condit is an independent candidate for Congress in California’s 10th Congressional District (www.ChadCondit.com).