Ci vuole più terzismo nella politica americana

Fareed Zakaria lo chiama “bipartisanship”: il suo editoriale di questa settimana è notevole, ed illuminante nella parte che rivela che da tempo si auspicava laggiù che la politica americana e il ruolo dei partiti si avvicinassero di più ai modelli europei: per le stesse ragioni per cui qui, intanto, si indicava come faro il modello americano.

E guarda in che guaio ci siamo cacciati tutti quanti.


“Paul Begala, “Crossfire’s” other host, explained his show this way: “Everything is reduced to left vs. right, black vs. white.” Exactly, but “Crossfire” is now a metaphor for politics in Washington. There are two teams, each with its own politicians, think tanks, special-interest groups, media outfits and TV personalities. The requirement of this world is that you must always be reliably left or right. If you are an analyst “on the right” you must always support what the team does. If President Bush invades Iraq, you support it. If he increases the deficit, you support that. If he opposes stem-cell research, you support that, too. There’s no ideological coherence or consistency to these positions. Republicans are now fervent nation-builders, but only two years ago scornfully opposed the whole concept. You must support your team. If you don’t, it screws up the TV show.

The problem is much larger than television. Any policy proposed from the left is sure to meet an instant avalanche of criticism from right-wing think tanks, talk shows, political groups and, of course, politicians. This is less true of the left, but just wait. Liberal donors are forming groups of their own, hoping to mirror the right’s success at this game. All of which means that honest debate, bipartisanship and, hence, governance become close to impossible.

Some political scientists long wished that America’s political parties looked more like European ones—ideologically pure and tightly disciplined. Well, it’s happened—there are fewer and fewer moderates on either side—and the results are polarization and gridlock.

Other than the occasional maverick statesmen like John McCain, those who advocate such compromises will find themselves marginalized by the party’s leadership, losing funds from special-interest groups and constantly attacked by their “side” on “Crossfire.” Better to stand firm, don’t give in and go back and tell your team that you refused to bow to the enemy. It’s terrible for governing, but it’s great for fund-raising.”


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