Parliamentary Fighting

I have a lot of very nice friends on both sides of the US ideological divide. Almost all of my academic American friends side with the Democrats, many of the friends I made in Japan who are with the US military side with the Republicans. I myself am no fan of either party (other than maybe the left fringe of the Democrats), the mainstream Democrats are also way too war-happy and corporate for me to have any sympathy for them. I sit back and enjoy watching the political confrontation. Since Facebook became big, it’s much easier to gauge someone’s political convictions, and I think it fair to say that in 2016 US Republicans and Democrats hate each other. The people on the Republican side thought of Obama as some kind of communist Satan, whereas the Trump election has caused considerable hysteria and seeming near-depression in some Democratic followers. I think this massive animosity is also present among the elected officials of either party.

Then, one may ask, why don’t Republican and Democrat politicians hit each other? A ridiculous suggestion you are saying? Not at all. There are many examples of fights in parliaments world-wide. Here is a fight from Venezuela:

Here is a very skilled fight from South Korea:

I enjoyed the Korean dudes showing some real Judo skills. Often parliamentary fights are rather unskilled standup-wrestling and pushing based affairs.

There is even a blog with parliamentary fights! So, why do the American politicians usually not hit each other? The sole example in above blog is from a regional parliament in Alabama, and there is no video with it.

The countries featured in the blog are the following (the larger the font, the more fights from that country are on the blog):

Afghanistan Argentina Bolivia Brazil Canada Congo Georgia Germany Great Britain Greece India Iraq Israel Italy Japan Jordan Kenya Kosovo Lebanon Macedonia Maldivia Mexico Nepal Nigeria Pakistan Russia Somalia South Africa South Korea Sri Lanka Suriname Taiwan Thailand Turkey Ukraine USA Venezuela

These are mostly countries in major turmoil (Turkey, Nigeria…), in very difficult geopolitical situations (Israel, South Korea, Ukraine), or plainly failed states (Afghanistan, Somalia). The US as a state and society has some issues, but no problems anywhere near Afghanistan’s or Turkey’s.

In the video below only guys fight. In some parliamentary fighting videos you however also see women fighting (like in one fight in Japan), so I don’t think that there is a big sex-based bias here. But, a lot of the fighting politicians this fun videos are rather young; It just takes a young man’s anger and testosterone to get into a fist fight. These Nigerian fighting lawmakers seem to be in their 30s and 40s.

In the US, you need to be either very rich or have worked your way up the party hierarchy for a long time to end up in the Senate or Congress. That both takes time. I have the impression that the average age in these two parliamentary chambers is above your typical fighting age. Lastly, I never had the impression that the US upper class sees physical fighting as a proper way to resolve disputes. This might be different in other cultures, especially in Asian cultures with a strong martial arts tradition (lots of fighting in the South Korean parliament). When it comes to this point am speculating, though. But I do think that US politicians’ advanced average ages and the relative stability of the US as a state are the main reasons for the absence of physical Democrat – Republican altercations.