Two party politics leads to bipolar politicians?

I’m watching the political silly season unfold, and doing so with some degree of amusement and wonder that I’m so in to it.  After all, politics is not my education, and in my life prior to the change of the century I really wasn’t too interested, though I made a point to vote in every election.  But now I find myself drawn to the analysis, the talking heads, and yes I even have watched a few debates.

As I do so, I’ve noticed a pattern that seems to either go unmentioned or unnoticed by the “casual political participant”, like I used to be.  Our politicians are so focused on the two party system and it is so ingrained in the thinking of US Politicians, that they natively think in false dichotomies.  “You are either with us, or against” being a classic example.  Of course this choice makes for good partisan politics and forces folks to look at an issue as if there were only two choices, but it’s a lie, and flawed logic.  Maybe I think both sides of that choice are rediculous, or I see value in bits of each. 

So as I watch the Democratic Presidential Candidates beat up one of their own over his comments about past Republicans, as if a Democrat could *never* see value in a Republican opinion *gasp* it seems that we’ve got a bigger problem.  I do not see eye to eye myself with many values of the current administration and Republican party, but I couldn’t deny that Abraham Lincoln held values and leadership characteristics that are to be admired.

“that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain–that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom–and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

So as I listen to Obama talk about his thoughts on the Republican party, and hear his opponents from his own party rail against his comments I wonder if we really have slipped so into political bipolarism that we can’t see value in having a balanced opinion on issues and positions. 

After all, you’re either with us or against us….