Noam Chomsky details how Republicans exploit "deeply undemocratic features of the electoral system"

"Republicans could never win a fair election on their actual programs," said Chomsky

Published November 16, 2021 4:36AM (EST)

Noam Chomsky   (Getty/William B. Plowman)
Noam Chomsky (Getty/William B. Plowman)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Noam Chomsky is offering an assessment of what the Build Back Better agenda suggests about the corporate interests of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Speaking to TruthOut's C.J. Polychroniou, Chomsky explained how the United States political system may appear to be run by two parties. However, the actually political system aligns more under one party: the business party.

"It's often been observed that the U.S. has a one-party political system — the business party — with two factions, Democrats and Republicans," Chomsky explained. "In the past, the Republican faction has tended to be more dedicated to the concerns of extreme wealth and the corporate sector, but with the resurgence of the one-sided class war called 'neoliberalism' under President Ronald Reagan, the leadership has been going off the rails. By now they barely resemble a political party in a functioning democracy."

While Republicans have often been dubbed the party of the rich, Chomsky highlighted the evolution of Democratic lawmakers, as well.

He added, "Since the late President Jimmy Carter years, the Democrats have not lagged far behind, becoming a party of affluent professionals and Wall Street donors with the working class handed over to their bitter class enemy."

One difference between the two political parties is voter base. It's no secret that Democrats have a much larger base. However, there is a strategy that keeps Republicans in play. Referencing one of former President Donald Trump's rare factual statements, Chomsky explained the political tactics Republicans have to deploy to win elections. They tend to focus on cultural and economic issues in order to not "lift the veil" and reveal their main constituency.

"One of Trump's occasional true statements was that Republicans could never win a fair election on their actual programs, Chomsky said, adding, "Recognizing this, since President Richard Nixon's Southern strategy, the party has been mobilizing voters on 'cultural issues' — white supremacy, abortion, guns, traditional patriarchal families, God (favoring the evangelical Christian variety)… anything that doesn't lift the veil on their loyal service to their prime constituency. That way they can at least stay in the running, exploiting the deeply undemocratic features of the electoral system with its built-in advantages for their largely rural voting base."

By Meaghan Ellis

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