If you are a Republican, you usually or almost always vote Republican. If you are a Democrat, you usually or almost always vote Democrat. No matter what. If the GOP candidate has repeatedly lied about his position on issues, yet you are a Republican, you will vote for the lying Republican; so onerous is voting for a Democrat to you. Same goes for Democrats. Decades have gone by with these two parties at the helm, and what America has devolved into is a country with politics left up to the least common denominator; Is he Democratic or Republican?

What ever happened to the question, "Is he or she the best candidate for the seat?"

Oh, I know. It went the way of, "He’s a Democrat, so he has to be the best candidate. I’d never vote for a Republican! And Independents just can’t seem to make up their minds. Yup, definitely, my party hack is the best candidate. So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to just click on the "Vote All Democratic" icon, and be done with it for this list of seven different seats I am voting on today. There, I did my duty. I feel like a real American."

It must be nice to be so certain. And yet, how can you be certain that you are making the best choice when you plod along voting for the political hack who belongs to your Party? After all, both parties have had vast opportunities to govern, and the best they’ve come up with is this:

1. America is as divided as it has been in the last one hundred years, and that division is a direct result of the Republicans and Democrats.

2. America teeters between too much government spending and massive debt, to a bubble economy that continuously leaves our Middle Class poorer and poorer. Where America once had a Middle Class that was the envy of the world, today we have a Middle Class that is in many ways as poor and bereft of opportunity as most of the nations in the world.

3. Social Security has been failing for decades, and both Parties have completely ignored it for decades. They get a special "attaboy" for that.

4. Republicans have ground our economy into the dirt, and Democrats have been reticent in dealing with it. One in five American males remains unemployed, and the best news we hear from the White House is that high unemployment is here to stay for a long while. But Democrats never miss a chance to tell us that our economy is recovering. If by that, you mean to compare it to an alcoholic who is always in some stage of recovering, then I suppose you aren’t lying. Otherwise, you are lying.

5. Back room deals, political bribery, aristocratic attitudes, life-time seats, and looking the other way when their political contributors break the law or ignore regulations are traits both Parties have in common, and it’s simple to understand why: It’s much easier to bribe an entire political party than it is to bribe every single elected official. Bribes buy legislation favorable to special interests, and no one knows how to suck the cock of a special interest better than a political party. That’s true for BOTH parties.

6. Both parties repeatedly toss in candidates designed to make the electorate feel like they are choosing between the lesser of two evils. This makes it much easier for a partisan electorate to simply vote the party line. I don’t how President Obama snuck in there in 2008. I get the feeling it was supposed to be Hillary Clinton against John McCain, so we could all feel like it didn’t matter who we elected; both candidates would have stunk. In 2004, it was Bush against Kerry. Please. In 2000, Bush against Gore. How droll. 1996, Clinton against Dole. Two trolls. Shall I continue? I haven’t even begun to list Senate and Congressional campaigns.

The gist of it all is that political parties have been, and are continuing to, dumb down our politics. The health care bill just passed is one example. It could have been so much more. Instead, it was the best that dumb party hacks could come up with. I cheered it as a first step, but really, why does reform have to be a process? Wall Street regulatory reform? Are you watching it? I guarantee you that any reform done on Wall Street will say the most while accomplishing the least. What else can you expect from two parties that regularly suck Wall Street cock? Oh, I am sure we’ll hear the "This reform bill has TEETH!" crap, but nothing will change, because the two political parties don’t want it to change.

What they want is for you, all of you fine people here at FireDogLake, to NEED them. They want you to fret over issues, to be fearful of your future, but above all, to be so confused about our political process that you leave it up to them, the American Political Mafia. Their design is to have it all; control over everything, but if they can’t get that, then they want you divided. There is nothing like a nation divided that lights up the campaign coffers of political parties. The more division the better.

We’re being screwed here. Are you going to take it? Are you a Democrat? Are you a Republican? Are you going to continue to vote with either party while they rob you and America of time and treasure? Are you going to continue to pull that lever for your party while you remain out of a job because they just don’t have time or the ideas to deal with you? Are you going to remain steadfast with your political party while they lie to you about how well the economy is recovering? Are you going to vote for your party hack while he passes a health care bill that demands you buy insurance; insurance which he wants no part of?

And what about Free Trade? Well? What about it? Both Parties are responsible for it, and continue to lie to us, telling us that jobs aren’t leaving our shores, and that if they are, they will be replaced with high paying "Service Sector" jobs. THERE ARE NO SERVICE SECTOR JOBS! You have to make things in order to service them. You are being lied to. Democrats and Republicans have sold the American Middle Class out to the highest bidder, and their name is Walmart, Apple, and a host of other "great American Companies" who are hiring overseas labor for $1.48 an hour and receiving tax breaks from YOUR government for doing it.

Meanwhile, you sit there, unemployed, or underpaid, or held to a job you can’t stand because you fear that if you walk away from it right now, you might never be able to find another job. Tell me, how are those political parties working out for you?

America is not about the least common denominator. We are better than that, way better, and we demand better. We don’t need to settle for dumb Party hacks who vote along even dumber Party lines. You deserve better. You deserve better than the same, stale ideas that both parties have trashed and recycled over and over. You deserve fresh ideas, and you aren’t going to get them from a political party. They don’t have the balls to try anything that hasn’t worked before. In other words, if it won’t help them pull the wool over your eyes, they aren’t interested in it.

Demand it. Stop pulling that lever for Party hacks, and start demanding more Independent candidates. Demand that since your tax dollars pay for each political party’s primaries, that any candidate that wants to run against those parties in a primary be allowed to. Or, tell the Democrats and Republicans to pay for their own damned Primaries.

Demand better, and you will get it.