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Unity08: Political Puree To Bring a One-Party State

It’s a story that the mainstream press is going just ga-ga over: Unity08 is a small group of people who are trying to start a new political movement to shake up both of the major political parties… by helping both major political parties to remain in power.

I know, it doesn’t make lots of sense, but there you have it. The goal of Unity08 is to create a unity government with a President from one political party and a Vice President from the other political party. The Cabinet would also be staffed by members of both political parties.

Why, how would such a government function, if the Democratic Party and the Republican Party disagree with each other about important policy matters? Well, that’s the creepy power of the Unity08: The organization’s goal is to get the Republican Party and the Democratic Party to stop disagreeing with each other, and unite behind a single vision of how the government should be run.

The people at Unity08 call it bipartisanship, but I have another name for it. I’ll give you a clue: It’s what happens when you take a two-party system and smush the two parties together so that they’re working for the same, single political agenda, without any disagreement (also known as dissent)… Have you figured it out? I knew you could. It’s a One Party State, for crying out loud!

In other words, what Unity08 is aiming for is the end of democracy. You see, if you have two political parties that share exactly the same political platform, then voters are only going to have the chance to vote for that one political platform, no matter who the candidate is. Are we supposed to think that’s a good thing? Hell no!

Listen, I live in a town where the Supervisor has been endorsed by both the Republicans and the Democrats. That means that when voters go to the polls to vote for who should occupy the most powerful political seat in the town, they have the choice for voting for the candidate on the Republican line or voting for the very same candidate on the Democratic line. In other words, the voters have no choice at all.

Look beneath the surface, and you’ll see that this Unity08 project is little more than an attempt to ressurect the spirit of that terrible, dissent-silencing slogan “United We Stand”. You know what I’ve learned over the last six years? I’ve learned that leaders who expect everybody to unite behind them are very, very dangerous. This idea of unity is a thin mask for the suppression of dissent.

For cripes sake, it is a sign of a seriously unhealthy society when everybody agrees on the most important issues of the day! Stop and think about the kinds of societies that have achieved unanimity of political opinion: The Soviet Union, Taliban Afghanistan, China during the Cultural Revolution, Nazi Germany. I don’t think that America should be headed down that road, thank you.

Dissent is good. Disagreement is good. You can’t have democracy unless voters have a choice, and voters cannot have a choice if all the political parties stand for the same thing.

The crisis in American government that we are experiencing today is not due to political polarization. The crisis in government our country is experiencing is due to the fact that the Democratic Party has not been serving as a strong opposition party. The Democrats have caved in and cowered in fear every step along the way as George W. Bush has abused our trust and reduced our freedoms. We need the political parties to be more different, not less different.

The truth is that there is no coherent political philosophy that can be called “moderate” or “centrist” that all Americans can rally around. There’s good reason for that. The Republicans in government have radically transformed the American way of life from one based on freedom to one based on fear. That radical transformation requires a strong reaction to restore our liberty, not some mushy campaign asking everybody to stop arguing and just get along for the sake of looking nice.

Let’s say that this Unity08 project works, and we get a unity ticket elected to the White House in 2008, with support from Republicans and Democrats alike. There will be a President of one party, and a Vice President of another party, with the Cabinet all mixed up.

What the hell kind of political philosophy can we expect out of such a White House? Oh, the answer is easy: We can expect no political philosophy at all. No guiding principles. No common understanding. No uniting strategy. Just a bunch of very different politicians with very different agendas playing it safe, and not dealing with the most challenging issues of the day. The White House would become a political puree, a mush of a bunch of different political philosophies all put into a blender until their chopped up into a stinking, soupy mess.

How very evocative of Soylent Green. Pablum. Mushy porridge without any spices. A safe, but bland and uninspiring dish for America to eat.

No thanks. You keep your unity. In the America I love, there is a diversity of opinion, and people care a lot about what they believe in. In the America I love, people aren’t afraid to disagree. In the America I love, we have the freedom to be different, and to work like hell to promote our particular visions of what our society should be.

13 comments to Unity08: Political Puree To Bring a One-Party State

  • I got to wondering who was backing Unity08. It turns out that the domain, unity08.com, is registered to Peak Creative Media, a PR firm in Denver, founded by one Jim Jonas, a longtime Republican propaganda consultant.

    Their “who we are” page lists 31 members of their “Founders Council” (listing Jonas as their CEO), and says, “Announcement of an expanded Founders Council and the Steering Committee of Unity08 is anticipated before the end of June 2006″. 13 of those members are college students, and one is a high school student.

    Their “Buzzworthy” page has a Flash game, a clone of “Frogger” in which the cars trying to run you down before you reach Democracyland are driven by politicians and corporate interests. The only person posting to their blog uses the pseudonym “Publius”, as in the Federalist Papers; but he certainly doesn’t write like Publius. They have a length Privacy Policy which basically says they can do anything they want with your information.

    The domain unity08.org, which goes to all the same servers as unity08.com, is registered to something called “Whois Protection Service”–i.e., a smokescreen to get around the law requiring domain holders to provide accurate contact info. However, unity08.org was registered 2 days later than unity08.com, so I think we can go by the contact info on unity08.com.

  • Sarge

    My freind, Mr. Lamprecht, tells me to think of the present “system” as a restaurant which was built with your tax dollars and must give you certain basic services that you, as a resident supporting it, are entitled. It advertises (school classes, other means) and if you don’t dine there, you have no right to gripe about how it’s run. Mr. Average goes., waits in line while others are let in in front of him, if he is actually seated, none of what is advertised is available, or the price has changed, or it is reserved for certain customers only. Unless you tip up front and big, you won’t get served at all, you’ll get hauled out by the police.

  • Danya

    While I think Unity08 is very idealistic and possibly unrealistic, I also think it’s a fairly decent idea. It may not be run by people of the purest background and intentions, but the idea of making the White House a home to more diverse political interests *during* each administration is a good one. It would allow there to be more discussion and debate within the government, and would make each administration less of a one-party-state in itself, and more of a *constant* battle between parties, instead of an every-four-years battle. This way, the parties would have to come to consensus and make compromises more often, which would satisfy or at least acknowlege the agendas of each area on the political “spectrum”.

    As always, corruption and “poor sportsmanship” (to be corny) are likely to be prevalent. But the aim is improvement, and not necessarily perfection.

  • Danya, I don’t think a Unity08 administration would actually produce the kind of give-and-take you’re talking about. Suppose we really did pick a President from column A and a VP from column B; and suppose the President really did appoint some Cabinet members from column B. What then? Well, as usual, the Cabinet members would be under pressure to go along with the President’s agenda. The Bs would probably get more pressure than the As, because they’d be suspect by default of, well, being Bs. The result would be that the Bs would be more or less forced to act like As. Any Bs that actually stood up and acted like Bs would be replaced by As. Maybe there’d be a token or two that was allowed free rein, but they’d be in lower-profile departments like Education or Veterans’ Affairs.

    And, of course, the VP being a B would be meaningless, because the job isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit. It might actually be a bad thing, because some violent whacko B would decide he had to shoot the President to make sure a B got into power.

  • Alan

    Today the site is doing some opinion polling. If the Republicans are keeping lists of every phone call we make, I wonder what they do with the information of who has which political opinion at which IP address. Personally I am very cautious about giving political opinions to strangers and do not answer phone surveys. Maybe it’s just my natural paranoia, but I wouldn’t leave my IP address at that site either.

  • Ralph

    Putting in a VP and cabinet from a different political party isn’t going to amount to a hill of beans as long as executive power is in the hands of the president and neither the Congress nor the courts effectively checks and balances his power.

  • Tom

    This idea won’t fix the reasons why our current form of demokrazy is broken: special interests and
    lobbyists, entirely too much executive power, stacked courts and a rubber stamp congress. Our vaunted system has been so corrupted that it now no longer even resembles the America our founding fathers designed. Meanwhile, most of the electorate waits to see who the next American Idol will be . . .
    This country has turned into the biggest sick joke on the planet.

  • Dick Ball

    Thank you for informing me of a movement to bring the silent majority back into the poling booth. Your prejudicial slant reminds me of the Media bashing of Ross Perot. He forced Bush Sr. and Clinton to speak to issues. Having his family threatened, forced him to step back. (For good reason he did not have Secret Service protection for his family) Review the coverage of his campaign, your comments follow many of the slams of that day.

    When the powers that control both parties realize there is a viable alternative they will do anything to stop this Unity08. The very expensive and successful campaign “A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush” was funded to a great extent by these behind the scene power brokers.
    R. Ball

  • Jim

    Actually, the “vote for Nader” was funded to a great extent by these behind-the-scene power brokers. We call them Republican Party bosses.

    In the case of Unity08, it’s venture capitalists and hedge fund managers.

  • A viable alternative? The silent majority?

    What alternative does Unity08 stand for, other than getting its own people in power? How can you call Unity08 the silent majority, when it has so few members?

  • anonymous

    “The Silent Majority” is a Republican slogan from the Nixon campaign.
    Unity08 does not represent a candidate nor does it speak to issues. At least, not openly.

  • Kirstin Johnson

    All I can say to your idea of a “one party state” is we are already in one, the ruling party is the party of money. Initial disclosures of 20 million per candidate and it is not even 2008? Even if unity08 has some Lobbyist in it I am not surprised. Has anyone every changed the system from the outside? Protest will galvanize but real change will always happen by those in the system. Were Jefferson, Washington and Adams landless women?

  • [...] there’s one thing we’ve all learned since Americans Elect got started under the name Unity08 way back in 2006, it’s that the leaders of Americans Elect are going to do what they want to do no matter what [...]

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