Former top intelligence official Paul Pillar and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates both attacked the party system in the U.S. as a primary cause of the great strategic and economic danger the world faces today. On this question, Lyndon LaRouche said to his own organization Tuesday night: "Belief in party, is belief that popular opinion is truth! Most people haven't got any idea of what truth is, particularly when it comes to political and historical truth.... If we support either of the two parties now, if we do that, that will be enough to ruin the chances of survival of the United States. Why? Because... the removal of us, or our failure to play our role, would cause the disaster."
Pillar, writing in The National Interest, says that the American population has reverted to "tribalism," replacing the thinking process with blind support for their party "tribe." In a review of some books making silly arguments about historical and philosophic factors determining why people support certain political parties, Pillar counters that, "It is essentially a form of tribalism. People identify with either the Republican tribe or the Democratic tribe and shape their views on matters of public policy accordingly." He says that the reason people "tend to be grouped into recognizable clumps is not because they are all going through the same coherent thought process — or any coherent thought process. It is because they are taking cues from groups with which they identify.... Most of all, the cues come from political parties.... The message implied by much of the party politics of today is that all the right answers exist on one side of the divide or the other. This has made the American electorate more mentally lazy than ever. Its part in the political game is simply to pick a tribe and fall in line."
Gates does not hit as strongly at the party system itself, but strikes a stern warning against the disasters stemming from extreme partisanship: "At a time when our country faces deep economic and other obstacles at home and a world that keeps getting more complex and more dangerous, the inability of so many political leaders to step outside their ideological cocoons or offend their most partisan supporters has become a real threat to the future of our country," he said at the University of Oklahoma on Oct. 24. "When push comes to shove and the future of our country is at stake, ideological zeal and short-term political calculations on the part of both Republicans and Democrats must yield to patriotism and the long-term national interest."