Sunday, December 6

“The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too.” Oscar Levant (1906 - 1972)

I was talking to a friend about this concept recently, that there is really, despite what the media might want to suggest, very little ideological difference between the right and left in North America, whether we’re talking about the USA or Canada. The differences in policy and ideological underpinnings are so infinitesimal as to be irrelevant when viewed against the backdrop of the greater ideological spectrum.

The conversation made me grumpy, so I’m getting a little political today.

I remember seeing a diagram in PoliSci 101 in the which the ideological spectrum was drawn as a circle. Pure democracy was at the top of the circle and totalitarianism was at the very bottom with the traditional delineations of ‘right’ and ‘left’ fitting onto the spectrum.

The relative ideological positions of the US Republicans and Democrats were nearly on top of each other just to the right top dead center, while the Canadian parties were stumbling over each other just over and to the left of top dead center. An inset magnifying this area of the circle was required to show the specific relative ideological positions because there just wasn’t enough room in the tight space they were crammed into to make a ledger readable in the larger view of the whole spectrum.

I remind myself of this whenever I am watching any of the infotainment channels at somebody’s house – that there is no legitimate difference between the right and left except that which the media and government magnify and blow out of proportion to give us the illusion that there is actual debate and opposition occurring in government. There isn’t.

The first step to making change is recognizing the truth. Seeing the truth doesn’t solve the problem, but knowing it’s there is a start. At least when we are aware and have taken the blinders off, we know that we have to start looking for some solution. There are some pretty smart people out there working on solutions, (and they aren’t in government) but even their hard work is useless unless we, the people, are in a place to participate when the time comes.

In the mean time we can at least open our eyes and start putting pressure on the governments that do exist to quit being so smug and to start actually working on behalf of the people that elected them instead of the people that paid for the campaigns.

Who did you think government works for?