With distrust of politicians mounting, the public becomes more polarized
Max Blaska, Clarion staff
April 25, 2012
Filed under Opinions
As we enter a new political season, we are embarking on one of the most divisive eras this country has ever seen.
This election year, I thought it would be interesting to interview both a Tea Party conservative and a Marxist. I interviewed Robin Gee who is the staff advisor to the Madison College International Socialist Organization and Katy Louks, a member of the tea party.
Is Obama a socialist or have socialist policies?
According to Gee, he is not and he is backed by corporations just like any other politician. She also said he is working for the rich in this country and not for the working class that does the actual work. She also pointed out when government bailed out the banks it wasn’t socialism.
On the contrary, Louks said that his policies were socialist. “Making Christians that buy insurance to purchase things that go against the tenets of their faith – that is all part of the whole health care law. Forcing someone to do something that is unconstitutional is a form of socialism,” she said.
Gee is a firm believer that health care is a right and we should have a single-payer health care system.
“We are the richest country in the world. It is not a socialist thing,” Gee said. “The costs are shared over that entire group of people. There are going to be very sick people but there are also going to be very healthy people as well. We can bring costs down and everybody would have access to the same health care.”
Louks has a differing opinion on the subject of health care. She stated that she believes there should be a total free market based system where employers don’t have to provide insurance for their employees. She also believes people should be able to shop around for their insurance just like shopping for a cell phone, a computer or a pair of shoes.
“It wouldn’t hurt the poor because it gives the poor more freedom, a freedom of choice,” Louks said.
What does it take to compromise?
When it comes to compromise, it doesn’t appear that it comes easily.
“There can be no compromise between the socialist viewpoint and the capitalistic viewpoint as revolutionary socialists. We don’t believe that you can reform capitalism but you can make it better,” Gee said. “It’s not that we think reforms are bad. We will fight alongside anyone that wants to make things better. We can make things better in the temporary sense.”
Just like Gee, Louks will keep the “fight” going. However, as Gee is looking for change, Louks says she wants to fight to make sure that there isn’t too much spending and to put limitations on government.
“I don’t believe in compromising. If I was in congress let’s say, if there was this massive appropriations bill. I wouldn’t want all this spending to come to my district,” Louks said. “I don’t want my constituents, the taxpayers to have to deal with this heavy burden, unless everybody voted for it and said that we want more spending. I would probably be voted out because I would base my theories on principals, moral fiscal principals, less spending and do what I can to fight for that. And I would do everything … I could not to compromise.”
As we enter the new election year, we have just seen two snapshots of common opinion among today’s voters. The political landscape is as polarized as it could be. And what is discouraging is that it’s debatable if middle ground is truly in sight.