Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Restoring American Democracy- Part VII The Parties
It should not be a surprise to any reader of this series; "Restoring American Democracy" that I am vehemently opposed to the parties. I have some major issues with BOTH parties and I feel they are very slowly ruining our country. The way I see it, either party with a large majority turns into a ravenous shark. They lose all control and become so overwhelmed with the smell of blood that they start tearing apart all semblance of dignity. They see something they want and proceed to grab it, and their promises during the election become a distant memory. Their position as a representative of the people ceases and their eyes roll to the back of their head as they bite into the blood- filled meat of power.
Each party has developed a niche according to the two basic philosophies of government., that it is either there to help people (the Democrats) or, alternately, it is there only to provide for the basics of government; defense, currency, and infrastructure (the Republicans). In the past, both parties were able to come to some sort of compromise and each got "some" of what they wanted and things "got done" such that the basics of the American population were being served. No more ! Today each party is so partisan in their ideas and philosophies and so unyielding in their approach to legislating that nothing is accomplished and even common sense solutions to our nations problems become "dead in the water" as each group gravitates to the extremes of their parties. More often than not, this position is not only a refusal to compromise, but also the least intelligent and thoughtful of all options. They are like children having tantrums because they cannot get their way.
In the last election, I was fortunate enough to be a "guest columnist" for the Orlando Sentinel. I submitted a letter that I felt focused on the most important issue at hand in the election; "Which candidate is capable of working out compromise with the other party?". (Published Oct. 31, 2012) In the article I quoted George Washington's opinion of the idea of political parties in his farewell address in 1796;
"However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion."
If our nation's founding father was so clearly opposed to this idea of political parties then how did we come so entwined in it? More importantly., why do we continue to tolerate it?
Once again, if you look at the money you will see the chance for liberation.
If no candidate needs money to run for office, then he/she no longer has to have affiliation with either party. He is free to take a stand on what he thinks is important and stand up for what it is the people want and need. After all, isn't that why he's there in the first place? Get rid of the money and the parties cease to have such a detrimental effect on our government. I'm not so naive as to say they will cease to exist, but their power will be more in line with where it should be as an influence but not the deciding factor in each election and in each candidate. There would be be a multitude of ideas to choose from, not just the right or left idea and even party members would be more likely to offer up new, more flexible ideas without fearing their financial support would suddenly be withheld.
I will probably always be an Independent, but if any candidate gravitates more towards compromise than not, I am more likely to vote for that candidate. This is true, even if the compromising party is not to my personal philosophy.
Until money is removed from the process of elections, that is the only way for an individual to have a positive effect on our government.