American Politics in 2010 For the FashionistaOctober 13, 2010
It’s not that those interested in fashion are completely ignorant of things not related to the latest Louis Vuitton bag or YSL shoes. It can even be said that the fashion lover is aware of current events but needs a bit of coaxing to get it on their respective radar. So I’ve put together a guide that outlines parties, platforms and positions. There are nuances to every position and it’s important to note that not every Republican wants to get rid of a union and not every Democrat is interested in allowing gays to marry. Party platforms evolve and candidates don’t always adhere to what the leaders say or what the platform says. Generally if someone claims to be a Libertarian they hold true to basic tenets of the libertarian ideal and platform (same with Democrats and Republicans and independents). The key here is knowing what side you fall on and who you want to vote for as a result.
Where We are Now
We’re approximately 2 weeks away from picking leaders for Congress. All 435 seats of the House of Representatives are up for grabs (no you won’t have to vote for 435 candidates). A handful of senate seats are up for grabs. And a handful of governorships are up for grabs as well.
Normally during mid-term elections (elections that don’t involve picking a President), the party in power loses some seats as voters voice their displeasure with the current direction of the country or their pet issues. If you’ve been reading the news, this doesn’t bode well for the current party in power for a number of reasons. Currently the Democrats effectively run all aspects of government save for the Supreme Court (which by its very nature should be devoid of political parties but still has an ideological bent). They have large majorities in the Senate and the House of Representatives and the President is … a Democrat. Unemployment is pretty high (9.6% to be exact), we are ending 1 war and are currently in the middle of another war that’s been raging for 10 years. There are all types of problem that have yet to be tackled including: global warming, green jobs, education, energy, crumbling infrastructure and the threat of terrorism are all facing the people who we vote in this year. Things look pretty bleak across the board. So how does a fashion follower make heads and tails of what’s happening?
The Players and Positions
Currently there are two major parties, an upstart party getting attention by the media who tends to get restless when someone isn’t saying something loud and several other minor parties.
Democrats – The current party in power since 2006, with a newly minted President in 2008. [currently advocate government intervention to spur growth in the economy, limited taxes to fund government, investment in education, embryonic stem cell research, extensive regulations on wall street to prevent future economic meltdowns, support for civil unions and to a lesser extent gay marriage, extensive support of unions, immigration reform that sees an eventual path to citizenship for a number of migrant workers already in the US]
Republicans – Current party out of power since 2006 aching for the reins and poised to make gains. [currently advocate smaller/limited government, reduced taxes, limited regulations on wall street, standardized testing, banning of government sponsored embryonic stem cell research, a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, immigration reform that sees all illegal immigrants deported, reduced role of labor unions, less separation of church and state, removal of affirmative action programs in the public and private sector]
Tea party – Basically Republicans with bite and a bit of an attitude, angry because they feel their country is slipping away, they’re being taxed to death, the government is too prevalent in their lives, a socialist (or so they level the charge that he is one) is in control of the country, the government is wasting too much money.
Libertarians – Folks who say live and let live and hate being called Republicans.
Greens – Folks who say live and let live, and want to save the workers and the environment and hate being called Democrats.
The remaining list of parties read like a hit parade of differing views in America: America First Party, American Party, America’s Independent Party, American Patriot Party, Boston Tea Party, Communist Party of the United States of America, Florida Whig Party, Independence Party of America, Moderate Party, Modern Whig Party, National Socialist Movement, New American Independent Party, Objectivist Party, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Peace and Freedom Party, Pirate Party of the United States, Progressive Labor Party, Prohibition Party, Reform Party of the United States of America, Socialist Equality Party, Socialist Party USA, Socialist Workers Party, United States Marijuana Party, Unity Party of America, Workers Party, Working Families Party.
Voting and Where you Fit in
Early voting is taking place in a number of states and generally the belief is that Republicans will make major inroads in their efforts to take back control of the government (or at least the House of Representatives). Democrats are saying they’ll keep both houses of Congress. What do you say? Election day happens Tuesday November 2, 2010 and if you’re registered to vote you can place votes for the person/party who represents your area and state. Let the voting begin!!Meghan Hart