Thousands of years ago when humans were hunter gatherers they discovered that their best chance for survival was to form a group. They also developed the “Us and Them” ideology. “Us” were just trying to provide food, shelter and security for the tribe while “Them” were out to kill everyone, steal their stuff and do unspeakable acts upon the women. Eventually humans developed agriculture and civilization was born, empires rose and fell, wars were waged and unspeakable horrors were committed all in the name of “Us and Them”
If you learned American history in public school you were taught that the colonies won the Revolutionary War, patted each other on the back and said “let’s draft up that Constitution. However this isn’t true, instead it was six years of non stop fighting, who would be in charge, who would have the right to vote and that whole pesky slave thing. Each side called each other “Torre loving imperialists”. The fight continued till the end of the War of 1812.
After the war American eyes turned west to the Louisiana Purchase and the newly acquired territory as a result of the Mexican American war. A new fight broke out between the Abolitionists and the Slave States, who would be admitted to the Union and how would they maintain the balance. This fight resulted in the Civil War.
After the Civil War the new fight was between the Expansionists and the Isolationists, should the U.S. continue expanding their territory south into the Caribbean and to Panama or should we remain within our own borders and let the world take care of their own problems. Also who should be allowed into the country and who should be kept out. This fight continued until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and America was forced into world politics.
After WWII the division was broken down between the Liberals and the Conservatives. One side was called “Tax and spend, bleeding hearts who supported Communists (eventually traded out for Terrorists).” The other side was called “Establishment War Monger Fascists”. This fight is still going on.
Over the years the terms Conservative and Liberal were kept pretty loose so anyone could be indentified in either group depending on the circumstance. Eisenhower was a Conservative who built the interstate highway system while Kennedy was a Liberal who used the CIA to topple Communist governments and built a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons.
If you’ve noticed the pattern there usually has to be a major event for the “Us and Them” categories to change and this happened in 2001 when America came under attack from terrorists, however the changes were surprising. After September 11th the U.S. actually became united against a common enemy, al Qaeda, however this was short lived when President Bush began pushing for an invasion of Iraq, based on the claim they had weapons of mass destruction. Soon Americans were once again divided along the lines of the Conservatives and the Liberals but even this would change. In 2009 after the election of President Obama a new group emerged, The Tea Party. Although they claimed to be a “grass roots” organization the truth was they were heavily funded by the Koch Brothers, oil executives with a history of environmental pollution, and promoted by Fox News. The main goal of the Tea Party was to disrupt any and all plans and programs by the Democrats.
By 2010 the Tea Party had accomplished their goal and the Republicans controlled congress. The GOP wanted them to disband but they refused and continued to try to influence politics. But they also began to try to define what being a Conservative was; mostly it was a politician who opposed Democratic policies. Pro guns, anti birth control, a parochial based education and no federal taxes at all. The Republicans found that they were coming under attack for being RINOs, Republican In Name Only and soon had to follow a more extremist ideology if they wanted to win elections. Worse, the demands of the Tea Party led to people like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump being considered viable Presidential candidates. Even now Mitch McConnell is threatening to block any debate on the nomination of a Supreme Court candidate until after the next President takes office.
With the rise of the Tea Party groups like the Democrats, Independents and even Moderate Republicans are finding themselves pushed out of the political process. With the new definition of what is a Conservative has reduced the number of “Us” and massively increased the number of “Them”, will the Conservatives survive or will they find themselves on the losing end of a political fight much like the Federalists or the Know Nothings of the past? The next election will answer that question.
Meanwhile in the 1980’s Lee Atwater, the leader of the RNC began to use the term “liberal” as a dirty word. Eventually the Democrats got tired of the attacks so they revived the old term Progressives, after all who could be against progress? The Republicans tried to fight back by calling Democrats “Socialists” like they had done during the New Deal era. In the 1930’s they claimed Socialists were associated with Communists but in the modern world they changed it to the Nazi, after all they called themselves the National Socialists. Instead of scoring points they were more likely to get a lecture on the history of Nazi Germany and how different they are from modern Democrats. Progressives were winning the “Us and Them” label war.
However, Bernie Sanders is running for President and has to gain points against Hillary Clinton. In order to get ahead he took a page from the Tea Party playbook and claimed he was the “true progressive” even though the term had been loosely defined. If we learned anything from the inner battle over who is a true Conservative we know this will end poorly, especially since Democrats hate being defined. In the end we have to wonder, will the “Us and Them” divisions between Conservatives and Liberals be maintained? Will new labels be created after the November election? And how will those people who are being labeled “Them” by the new description of the terms react? Time will tell.
Meanwhile as an independent candidate I am open to all opinions and as far as I’m concerned we are all “Us” and there really aren’t any “Them” except those who choose to be so. So my main goal is the same as our ancient ancestors, protect people, make sure they have a place to sleep and food on the table and keep “Them” from killing us, stealing our stuff or attacking women.
And remember; write in Ocular Nervosa as an independent candidate for the Vice Presidency in 2016.