It isn't so much the ideology of the Right and the Left that we see clashing these days as it is the two extremes of each. On the one side we have the Corporate Controlled Government (Right) and on the other side we have The People (Left). When exactly this shift occurred is hard to say. I myself believe it started in the 60's with the Vietnam War as government started the divide by branding those who opposed our Imperialism as "Un-Patriotic". With the advent of Corporate donations in the form of "soft money" with the introduction of FECA (only one letter away from "fecal" which should have been a warning) in 1971, the "For Sale" sign appeared on the doors of our two political parties.
The continued divise rhetoric between the two Parties national leaders are being specifically geared towards keeping the American Public focused on Social issues as dividers. These issues were once the pervue of the individual states and communities as they should be. It didn't take long for wedge issues to be co-opted to divert the attention from the fact that the Politicians were no longer representing the majority of their constituents, but the special interests that were funding their campaigns. What we have now is a hybrid national government where the politicians are basically contract employees representing corporate interests; BKA elected Lobbyist's. Any real chance of these Corporate shills standing up to the very people funding their election is non-existent.
This is true of BOTH Parties. In the distant past, we could count on one party or the other to represent the best interest of The People, and one to represent the best interest of Business. Between the to, compromises were hammered out that allowed both to prosper equally. Business was allowed to flourish and the People were protected from Corporate abuse. Those days are being sorely missed now as Banksters and CEO's pocket millions in bonuses while jobs are being offshored and homes are being foreclosed upon. No real relief is coming from the Federal Government, and none should be expected either as they do not represent the People's interests any more.
Now I do grant you that there are those who do appear to be less in the pockets of Big Business than others. These people are lauded by their supporters as exceptions to the rule. This may or may not be true. When I see the proof that they have stood up to their business backers and told them "No" when they came demanding returns on their investments, instead of carefully choosing to accept those with whom their support would not be called into question, then I would say they deserve the accolades they are being given. Other than that, I would just call them Politically Correct savvy politicians.
Now how do we solve the problem? Term Limits? Possibly. Campaign Finance Reform? Possibly. Banning Corporate contributions all together? Maybe. The problem with all of these suggestions is we are depending on the major benefactors and their donors to voluntarily tie their political hands. Citizens United coupled with Ethics violations resulting in meer slaps on the wrist for the perpertrators shows this is not going to happen. I don't see any real reforms coming from our Legislators unless it is to their benefit. Movements to vote out ALL incumbents are met with jeers of impossibility and a fear of the loss of influence that an entrenched official wields within the halls of Congress. The first concern is not true while the second concern is.
Here is a suggestion: We revamp our whole electoral process fom the ground up. This can be done through manuevers at the State level. States can impose Term Limits for Federal Legislators by writing it into their qualifications for Public Office. They have done so in 15 states already, but only six impose lifetime bans once the limit has been reached. This is something the other 35-44 states might want to consider. Now if we look at the limits imposed on campaign contributions by States, they appear on the sorface for most to be adequate. Unfortunately we know this to be untrue and woefully inadequte. My suggestion would be a cap on the amount of money a Candidate can receive in donations, period. This would ensure that there was much more public debate and less slick marketing getting these guys into office. We should also consider making the employers of donors to PAC's known when they contribute over a certain amount. I think this would also make their ties to corporations more transparent.
These are only observations and suggestions. I am open to hearing other ideas and concerns to be considered.