I am inclined to agree with this author’s assessment of the present state of the American political system. Within the context of the existing US state system, it is probably a good thing that the political class is fragmented into a polarized partisan divide. It is probably good that the two parties rotate the presidency roughly every 8 years, that control over Congress vacillates, that the Supreme Court is split down the middle, that Republicans control a majority of the states while Democrats control the large cities. Within the context of the liberal-democratic-state-capitalist plutocratic oligarchy that we currently have, it is best that power is dispersed among liberals, conservatives, and moderates. It is also probably a good thing that the two-party system has the effect of marginalizing the most dangerous extremists like fascists, Communists, Islamists, Nazis, Antifa, white supermacists, and black supremacists. I am increasingly leaning towards the view that anarchists, libertarians, anti-statists, anti-authoritarians and decentralists need to focus on building their own movements in a way that is completely independent of not only the existing state, but also the far right and far left as well, in order that an agglomeration of such movements can eventually emerge as a kind of revolutionary center.
By Bill Schneider
The United States has become increasingly ungovernable. Thank God. Because when you have a megalomaniacal president, ungovernability is a blessing.
The U.S. system was designed to be difficult to govern. The framers of the Constitution had just waged a revolution against a king. To them, strong government meant despotism. The Constitution replaced an earlier document, the Articles of Confederation, which created a government so weak it was unworkable.
The Founders set up a complex and ungainly system, with two houses of Congress, three branches of government and competing centers of power in the federal government and the states. The idea was to limit power. The result is a constitutional system that works exactly as intended. Which is to say, it doesn’t usually work very well at all.
As President after President has discovered, there are innumerable ways opponents can stop things from getting done, even if the President’s party holds a majority in Congress. Look at what happened to President Clinton’s health care plan in 1994, when Democrats controlled Congress. And to President Trump’s health care plan this year, with Republicans in charge.
Deep polarization between Republicans and Democrats has produced gridlock. In a parliamentary system like that of Britain, gridlock is unconstitutional. A core principle of the British constitution is, “Her majesty’s government must be carried on.’’ If the government is gridlocked and cannot act, it falls and new elections are held until the people elect a government that can act decisively. The United States has no queen. There is no constitutional necessity for the government to rule decisively. And it often can’t, to the consternation of many voters.