by Julian Quaye
America is missing a major part of its political system: The far left. In America, politics aren’t exactly very diverse. The political spectrum is stunted, and while the far-right thrives and is accepted by the American populace, the farthest left you will ever see in positions of significant power represent tepid neoliberalism. The far left is a massive part of political ideology but in America nobody powerful represents those ideas.
Even with an individual such as Bernie Sanders who technically represents progressive/left ideas, damn near anything they propose is shot down. Bernie is also known to take his name off bills that he co wrote because of the connotation of him being “far left”. I believe that this is ultimately an issue that stems from the two party system. Since the decision of who to vote for is between red and blue, the parties have to appeal to the most people, which is why you see milquetoast candidates with no real values being propped up. While they may not bring change they give that party power. The two party system encourages political hegemony, leaving the voter with a choice between two relatively similar candidates while never truly being able to move towards goals that many of the populace want and need.
Along with the issues inherent to a two party system, leftist ideas are in opposition to capital owners and large business. For progressive candidates, funding comes entirely from individual voters while conservative or just liberals are able to accrue massive donations to run ads and promote their campaigns. Just anecdotally, have you ever seen a Bernie ad? But seemingly this is only the case for America, a majority of the “developed” (hate using that word) nations in the world have a government that in at least some form has a powerful left-leaning party. But, back in the states if I say anything about universal healthcare, I’m considered a “commie”.
How did we end up like this? Well, it all comes back to the red scare. At the height of USSR-American tensions out came Joseph McCarthy and he created what would be considered the modern-day Salem trials. Anyone who was thought to be a “communist” was blacklisted or lost their job so leftists were scared away from organizing. And of course, those who weren’t scared off were in some cases just straight-up murdered like in the case of Fred Hampton, ya know, classic FBI hijinks. The culture of fear and hatred regarding the left became baked into American nationalism and is blocking American politics from true open discourse.
Ultimately I believe that the American people need to understand that Republicans and Democrats aren’t the end of the political spectrum, the world is not static, and as society advances so should politics but, America, it seems is being left (pun 100% intended) in the dust.