TCU Daily Skiff Friday, February 06, 2004
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Two parties one in the same

Eric Blevins

There is a presidential election coming up and, as usual, there are no progressive candidates with a chance of winning. What a joke it is that the white boys going for the Democratic Party nomination are branded as liberals as if that were an insult.

What’s insulting is that these political wimps, whose ideology are described as centrist at best, can be called liberal with a straight face.

The terms “liberal” and “progressive” are often used interchangeably. Some liberals don’t like the word liberal because it can be considered an insult. I don’t find the term insulting, but I prefer progressive because it’s more descriptive. Progressives want progress.

On the other hand, people who want to keep things the same or go back to how things used to be are conservatives. They want to conserve the established order. With this in mind, take a look at the top runners for the Democratic nomination.

We’ll start with Gen. Wesley Clark. I don’t think it’s possible for a general in the U.S. military, or anyone in the U.S. military for that matter, to be progressive.

Clark supports this theory as well as anyone. This guy used to be the NATO Supreme Allied Commander. The good general, who is now retired, had an active role in the bombing of areas that were densely populated in Yugoslavia in 1999. He even wanted a more aggressive attack and permission to launch a ground attack if the air strikes weren’t effective.

Clark also commanded forces in the Vietnam War, the first Gulf War and Latin America in the 1990s. Lack of military restraint is clearly a trademark of conservatives, because it upholds U.S. military dominance and aggression.

Next we have Sen. John Kerry, who used his senatorial vote to support the invasion of Iraq in October of 2002. Those not outraged at that act of aggression don’t deserve to be labeled liberals.

Kerry also supported the Welfare Reform Law of 1996, which Norman Solomon has rightly called a "class war against low-income mothers."

Howard Dean, who many seem to consider the most liberal of the group, also supported this law. Dean recently told the Wall Street Journal, "I've always considered myself a centrist" and "I am pro-business." The Journal then reported about Dean's family roots on Wall Street and history of being pro-business.

All of these candidates are critical of how the Bush administration has invaded Iraq; if they weren't, there would be no reason for them to belong to a different political party, but their criticisms are lacking.

You never hear any of them mention the thousands of civilian casualties whose blood is on the hands of Bush and the rest of this country (at least 8,000-10,000 now, they have put a stop to official counting). They rightly criticize the current administration for lying to Americans to build support for an act of aggression, but they don't criticize the spread of U.S. imperialism.

This is a disturbing excuse for democracy. This two-party system that might as well be a one-party system is not democracy. There are more than two sides to almost every issue. The people can't possibly be represented properly by two parties that are so alike.

Eric Blevins is a columnist for the Sidelines at Middle Tennessee State University. This column was distributed by U-Wire.

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