The Problem with Politics
I wrote the following in response to a post made on a Political discussion board meant for use by residents of my HOA. The original poster felt there was a need for term limits on Congressmen just as there is for the President.
What needs to happen is that we need to vote them out, and stop letting Political Parties scar us into not voting for anyone else.
Unfortunately to truly vote someone out and still get a person from the same Political Party that you like means you must get involved in the Primaries and Caucuses. For a country were less then half the population votes regularly, this is asking a lot. Yet when we are offered an alternate choice we get scared of choosing that alternate with ideas such as “throwing your vote away”, or letting the worst person win by not voting for the “lesser of two evils”.
The real problem with our political system, in my opinion, are the national parties. There is absolutely no Constitutional basis for national parties. Yes I know they are not Constitutionally banned, but they are not necessary either. George Washington, in his fairway address did warn of giving our loyalties to Factions (A word he used to describe a Political Party – see: http://www.liberty1.org/farewell.htm):
“All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction; to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community, and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans, digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.”
What we have today, is the very thing the Constitution of our Country was supposed to prevent, a concentration of power. We have one Faction that has almost complete control over the government, so that it no longer matters that the government is split up in to three branches that are supposed to balance one-another. This one Faction has enough control of all three branches to the point were they can push forward what ever agenda they wish; despite what the Constitution or “Rule of Law” may say. If you think I’m picking on the Democrats, we had the same problem not too long ago with the Republicans too. In both cases, things got done that I found abhorrent, and that allowed the Federal Government to gain power were it has no right.
One reason I believe the two National Parties are so powerful today, is because we have term limits on the President. Instead of voting for the person we fill is best fit for the job, we end up voting for the Political Party that will try to replace the last person we liked that they got elected to that same position.
I received an e-mail from one of my state’s Political Parties inviting me to participate in their national convention as an at-large delegate. Something in that e-mail shocked me, and I realized the true problem with the current political parties.
The e-mail had a list of requirements to be considered for either an at-large or an alternate delegate position. The one requirement that made me realize the true problem with having the average person’s voice heard in a nation party was what I would call “the wealth factor”. To even be considered, you had to give them your credit card information, so they could be certain you could afford to attend the convention. The one week long national delegate process was going to cost anyone who went thousands of dollars in fees, travel, and hotel expenses.
For me, taking a week off work, and spending thousands of dollars in expenses is not something I can easily do without careful planning and saving. I can’t see anyone as middle class as myself going to because it’s cost prohibitive; let along someone in the poor house. It became clear to me that the people truly running our national parties are either very dedicated to their party or rich enough, with a flexible enough schedule, to be able to take such a trip. The average person’s voice would never be heard in such a venue, and thus I don’t see how we will ever have a presidential nominee from either of the major national parties that truly understands the average person.
What can we do about this? How can the average person ever expect to be heard when it is clear that the well to do have a monopoly on our national elections process? Who can speak loud enough so that the average person can be heard? Perhaps National Parties are not the best way to elect our most powerful public servant after all?
Near the end of the 1700’s being dedicated to a party was equated by some to having loyalty to a private selfish faction that stood to conflict with the public good. George Washing himself warned of such loyalties has he left office after his second term as President. He easily would have won a third term (which was allowed at that time), but he knew of one other truth: That absolute power, in the hands of imperfect men, will thoroughly corrupt anyone. Today we have two parties that hold the vast majority of the political power in the USA, a notion contrary to the principle of separation of powers the USA’s constitution sought to prevent. This countries loyalty to these factions has undermined this very principle, and that is the real problem with politics in this country today.
These two parties today continue to drive divisions between Americans, and the last time a major party was replaced by a new one was when Abraham Lincoln was elected as the First Republican Party President. Civil war shortly followed. Perhaps the best thing to do is outlaw national party affiliations all together.
Why do we need national parties anyway? The only political office that has any kind of national vote is the one for the executive office, better know as the President. However, the vote of the people isn’t really want elects the president, as it really only determines who the individual states will chose to participate in the electoral collage that actually elects the president. Perhaps what we really need is to have people focus on who they are electing to the electoral collage, and let them do the work the way it was intended to be done; without undue national influence from political parties.
I got an e-mail from the CEO of the company I work for. He was supporting a proposition the local city government was pushing that would get the city into a position of competition with other businesses. I don’t want to give to much detail on the specifics of this issue, but what’s more important was his reasons for supporting the proposition. He sighted what benefits it would have to the company and how it would help the company save money. he didn’t care about the unfair competition it would create, or the tax payers that would likely end up paying for a big portion of if. It gave me another reason to believe that there’s a big problem with our political system in America today. Big business and Big government are too eager to scratch each others backs, and help each other out, that they forget that they are stepping on you an me in the process.
That same company also keeps telling us employees how a week dollar is good for the companies bottom line. Another good example why our politicians need to pay more attention to the people who actually elect them, and not the companies who can afford to send lobbyists to Washington D.C. and/or Capitol hill go get their own agendas pushed forward. I’ve been tool after all that it’s the small businesses that make up most of the economy.