On Sunday, November 9, former congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) published a post on The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity's website, discussing the political ramifications of the 2014 midterm elections. Ron Paul made it clear before the results came in on Tuesday that he believed that no matter who secured control of the Senate on election night, nothing was going to change because the major parties have a monopoly on the U.S. political process.
"Yes, power shifted, I wrote. But the philosophy on Capitol Hill changed very little. The warfare/welfare state is still alive and well in Washington." - Ron Paul
Paul has received criticism for his tweet following the announcement that the GOP gained control of the Senate, in which he said the power shift "expanded neo-con wars in Syria and Iraq."
Republican control of the Senate = expanded neocon wars in Syria and Iraq. Boots on the ground are coming! — Ron Paul (@RonPaul) November 5, 2014
There is no question that Ron Paul has said some questionable and even odd things in the past, but many people are too quick to dismiss him as a crackpot instead of the veteran political mind that has decades of experience in DC politics. If there is one person who knows the ends and outs of how things work on Capitol Hill, it is Ron Paul, because not only does he have the experience, but he has the ability to look outside the major parties.After the elections, President Barack Obama announced the need for
more troops in Iraq and said he would request $5.6 billion in additional funding to combat ISIS and the treat it poses to U.S. interests abroad. On CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday, Obama said he would never say never to more troops in Iraq.
Sure Ron Paul comes off as a nut from time-to-time, but he hasn't been wrong on much when it comes to the nation's foreign policy. When both sides seem open to the idea of extending war in the Middle East, where is the moderate solution that some people say they want from Congress? Where is the middle ground?
Nothing is going to change. The Democrats may not have control over the Senate anymore, and the Republicans may have full control over the legislative branch, but nothing is going to change. Power has shifted back and forth for decades and the nation continues to face the same problems because neither side seems too interested in finding real solutions.
Nearly two-thirds of the voting population nationwide chose not to participate in the 2014 elections. The easy answer to the why is that voters are simply apathetic. It is the reason often cited in the mainstream media, who often just echo what the major parties are saying. However, even competitive battleground states like Virginia and Ohio had lower than expected turnouts. These are states that always generate a high interest among voters because they get the most media attention -- but not in 2014.
Blaming apathy is a lazy response -- it is the response the major parties give because they want to hold on to the belief that most Americans still wear a red or blue jersey (a CNN commentator used the metaphor of most Americans wearing a Cowboys or a Redskins jersey). They cannot see beyond this "red-versus-blue" model and just how much the American electorate has changed and continues to change. Just like the Dallas Cowboys, neither major party can claim to be "America's Team" anymore because a majority of voters believe neither party represents America.
Unfortunately, the current electoral system in most states doesn't offer voters much hope for change. It has been warped and twisted by the major parties to keep the focus on them -- not voters. Sure voters could vote for a third-party candidate (if there is one in the election and his or her candidacy isn't challenged by the major parties), but voting for someone just because they are not a member of the Republican and Democratic parties is no different from voting for a Republican or Democrat because it would be the lesser of two evils.
American voters need a better system. They deserve a better system.