There is nothing more fallacious than dismissal. To dismiss the difference between different ideas, different viewpoints, or different conception of the world we inhabit is the height of intellectual malaise. An honest analysis of any conflicting viewpoints shows exactly that, conflicting viewpoints, and nowhere is the contrast between ideas so great and the dismissal of their dichotomies even greater than in the vacuous debate of political parties. It has often become the fashion in many circles to dismiss the difference between political ideologies as minimal at best and downright conspiratorial at its worst. However, to renounce the differences between Republicans and Democrats, to name the most prominent parties, is to be blind to their almost antithetical perceptions and actions in the political field.
One need only look at the differing views of these two parties in their handling of economic matters to see that the similarity between their view points is as similar as black is to white.
To one philosophical bent the source of inefficiencies, the creation of destitution and dependency on restitution lies at the foot of the government. A lumbering bureaucracy that even with its best intention, which undoubtedly the cronyism and corporate backhanding prevalent in the government regime prevent from ever existing, can never match the well of free enterprise capitalism from which perpetual happiness springs eternal. Contrast this viewpoint however with the liberal viewpoint of a Capitalism being an economic organization filled with flaws like monopoly, concentration of wealth in very few hands, and the tragedy of the commons that are in need of correction by a governing body, and it is easy to see two conflicting narratives of the world that have rather very little in common.
Of course there is always the complaint that even if the two political parties have different views they are still ruled by the all mightily dollars of campaign donors, however this as well is the assumption of the lazy thinker. Of course raising campaign money is a huge component of any politicians schedule, however the influx of funds have hardly led to bipartisan deal-making in government. In fact as campaign contributions have increased over the past decade ideological extremism has only become more prevalent, and the current congressional gridlock over the current budget and debt ceiling debates show that compromises between parties is at a greater impasse than at any other time in recent history. As a matter of fact the current congress and its preceding body have been the most unproductive congresses in a century. So much for politicians putting aside beliefs for their high paying constituents.
Now I will concede that the political parties can not represent every belief on the political spectrum not will they ever represent the most extreme viewpoints of the population be it libertarian voluntaryism or Marxian communism but that is hardly an excuse for dismissal of the two parties as the same. Time and again through policies such as gay marriage, abortion, prayer in school, and drug legalization the parties have shown themselves to be ideologically divided and representative of the beliefs of the people at large. No party is perfect and oftentimes they do cater closer towards the center of the ideological spectrum than some would like because of the first-past-the-post voting system but the parties are only able to exist in such a manner because they represent the beliefs of the people at large. No party could exist if they did not represent a significant plurality of the public, so perhaps next time instead of criticizing elected officials for having beliefs you disagree with you should criticize the citizens they represent instead.