In Suzanne Collins’ book Mockingjay, main character Katniss Everdeen and the other refugees from District 12 have found themselves in the mysterious District 13. District 13 had thought to have been destroyed during the last uprising against the Capital 75 years ago. The District survived thanks to an under-the-table treaty with the Capital. In the years that followed, District 13 created a very strict society in which every citizen works for the communal good of the community, is given exact portions of food at meals, wears the exact same clothes, and nothing is wasted. During those same 75 years, the Capital has lived in lavish luxury on the backs of the 12 Districts which it presides over. In other words, District 13 is a metaphor for communism and the Capital is a metaphor for a feudalistic plutocracy.
So what does any of this have to do with the American two-party system? Simple, District 13 and the Capital will be the result if either party is given free reign/control over this country. The result of each party’s policies will ultimately end in tyranny for the American people. Just look at our options for President this year. Of the candidates for both parties (including the current President), only two of them aren’t outright nanny staters or authoritarians (one of them is too kooky to win and the other one isn’t considered a “pure” enough conservative to lock up the GOP nomination). The simple fact is that neither party gives a rip about things like liberty, equality of opportunity, or the well being of the American people. They care about winning and power. That’s it.
I know that I have all but given up writing about politics, but while reading Mockingjay last night I couldn’t help but see it as a cautionary tale to the future that we could have if we let either party have their way. If nothing else we should have learned from the first two years of the Obama administration and the first six years of the Bush administration, that anytime one party controls both Houses of Congress and the White House the result is horrendous for the American people. As Tom Dobbs (played by Robin Williams) said in the film Man of the Year (quoting Benjamin Franklin) “Politicians are a lot like diapers. They should be changed frequently, and for the same reason.” Truer words have rarely been spoken.