If one ever wondered what it was like to live in a one party system, they would only have to travel to Maryland, where apparently it is almost illegal to be both Republican and black. (not that white and Republican is much better.) In November African-American Democratic leaders including Maryland state senator Verna Jones said Republican Senate Candidate Michael Steele (who is black-for those who do not know Maryland politics) invited comparisons to an oreo and Uncle Tom because he is a republican. Recently Democratic opponent Ben Cardin brilliantly attacked Steele in an effort to try to link Katrina and anti-Republican sentiments, which of course has everything to do with Baltimore’s failing school system and high murder rate. Cardin also stated he would not use race in the senate race The simple fact that the candidates say they will not talk about race shows you how far we have to go in the issue of race.
Sadly, the latest Cardin Steele poll confirms the fact that too many blacks still view any black Republican as traitors. I have tried to have a rational dialogue on the various political merits of the different parties with many in that community, but with many politics have devolved into name-calling. More may be lost here then is first thought. For when the ability is lost to consider new ideas and evaluate your own beliefs and values rationally, you have ceased evolving as an individual and a society. And as the old adage goes, an idea and a belief that cannot stand up to scrutiny is not a belief worth having. As I heard an African-American co-worker defend the oreo comment, I noticed that a culture that prides itself on diversity appears to be intellectually and politically discriminatory
For as much as a disagree with liberal Democrats I would never want their kind to disappear from the world entirely, as it keeps the Conservatives intellectually honest. And there are real, valid differences between the parties that deserve real consideration and merit. But it is so much easier, and often more politically damaging just to say that republicans hate the poor, gays, blacks, or just insert your target group here. But again, there are real differences that too often get lost in the name-calling. For examples, the Democrats believe the best way to fight poverty is handouts and welfare programs, where the republicans think the best thing to do is create a business climate where the poor can get a job, car, house, and become the middle class. (After all, what has decades of social programs done for urban society?) Simply, the difference between Democrats and Republicans is the Democrats think you cannot get by with them and the Republicans think you will do best if we just stay out of your way and let you keep all your money. But they were not listening.
I could have also talk to them about the history of the GOP, and who was the anti-slavery party, or in what party the first black senator sat, or who voted in greater numbers for the civil rights act, or what party had the most people of color in positions of power, but no one was listening. I could point out that decades of Democratic rule in Baltimore city has only left whole blocks in rubble, and regardless of what O’Malley says Baltimore has the highest murder rate in the US and the second worse graduation rate. But still, no one is listening
And if you stop listening, you stop thinking. And if you stop thinking you stop evolving and you get taken advantage of. Welcome to Maryland, the closest one can get to a one-party system in American. Such is the effect of intellectual discrimination and a lack of political diversity
A system of one party, one thought, benefits nobody.