What Is Wrong With Our Country #2

WTF Happened?

This is my continuing series on my thoughts on the problems this countries is having which is scraping the very foundations of our government.

I started with a post about money in our government that has got its claws in the legislative process and grind our system to a virtual halt…….https://lobotero.com/2022/02/09/what-is-wrong-with-our-government/

I wish I could state that it was the only problem we are having….but sadly it is not and that is why I decided to continue the series.

This post is about the political parties and their role in grinding this country to a halt.

The current ruling two-party duopoly is so ubiquitous that we take it as a given. We teach the “two-party system” in government classes. Taxpayers pay for their primary elections, notwithstanding that legally, parties are private associations. We have allowed the two ruling parties to institutionalize themselves in our political and governing systems. They get preferential ballot access and legislative committee assignments and camaign finance laws are rigged in their favor . . . . just to name a few of the advantages they are afforded.
Given this dominance, one might conclude that the two-party system arises from our constitutional roots. But in fact, the opposite is the case. Virtually every one of the Founding Fathers eschewed the idea of political parties and fretted over what might happen to the country if political parties were to come to dominate the country.

It appears that their reservations were well founded.

Let’s start with everyone’s hero our first president, George Washington….

“[Political parties] 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. . . .Let me now . . . warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party

. . . . It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeebles the public administration.  It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; foments occasionally riot and insurrection.  It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption . . . A fire not to quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into flame . . .”

Then there was John Adams’ thoughts on parties….

There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.” 

Now the ever popular Alexander Hamilton…..

“I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent.  If I could not go to heaven but with a political party, I would decline to go.

Then to Thomas Paine the original Father of the United States….

“Party knows no impulse but spirit, no prize but victory.  It is blind to truth, and hardened against conviction.  It seeks to justify error by perseverance, and denies to its own mind the operation of its own judgment.  A man under the tyranny of party spirit is the greatest slave upon the earth, for none but himself can deprive him of the freedom of thought.” 

As you can see the Founders at least some of them could not see any redeeming qualities in the party system….and recent events are proving these people right.

And yet with Jefferson presidency run parties became the rule of the day…..an identity if you will…..

“Two political sects have arisen within the U. S. The one believing that the executive is the branch of our government which the most needs support; the other that like the analogous branch in the English Government, it is already too strong for the republican parts of the Constitution; and therefore in equivocal cases they incline to the legislative powers: the former of these are called federalists, sometimes aristocrats or monocrats, and sometimes tories, after the corresponding sect in the English Government of exactly the same definition: the latter are styled republicans, whigs, jacobins, anarchists, disorganizers, etc. these terms are in familiar use with most persons.”

Hamilton and the Federalists….

Federalists

  • Committed to a fiscally sound and nationalistic government
  • Favored a National Band, Tariffs, and Good Relations with Britain
  • Supported Implied Powers – those powers authorized by a legal document (from the Constitution) which, while not stated, seem to be implied by powers expressly stated.
  • More conservative views
  • Composed of the elite class

Jefferson and the ‘Republicans’……

(Jeffersonian) Republicans

  • Committed to the rights of states, the primacy of yeoman farmers, and the principles of republicanism (liberty and inalienable rights)
  • Opposed the Jay Treaty, wanted good relations with France, not Britain
  • Opposed the ideas of a National Bank or implied powers
  • Predominately “Anti-Administration”

As you can see in the early days of the republic in spite of the dire warnings political parties became the center of our political world….and now we have a system that is as useless as it can be…..because of the influence of political parties……which has brought this nation into the world of political tribalism.

As this country continues to travel this path the nation will splinter and fall apart……

Is that what we want?

Does this country have a future that the Founders intended?

I ask zand wait for an answer…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

24 thoughts on “What Is Wrong With Our Country #2

  1. The problem is humanity itself. The Founders (and this will disappoint many) were only human, no supermen there for sure. They exhibited the same level of human foibles as well as strengths as we have today. The only evolution in the last 240 years has been in technology.. and we made language and grammar far different (hence our problems interpreting the Constitution). But our humanity (or lack of it) still is part of who we are. People getting together in support of similar ideas and goals is a human thing that can’t be just switched off. A social reset? Sure. Everything human has a tendency to be cyclical. Disrupt the current mess… spilling blood usually makes people “start over”, or rather, reset society for the next cycle.
    I’d not want to be part of the beginning of a cycle or certainly the end of one. Somewhere in-between gives the illusion of comfort, security, and prosperity.

    1. If this was my younger years I would be we need to do whatever is necessary to right this downward cycle….but I am an old fart so all I have left is words and my principles…..and I just soldier on…..chuq

      1. Me too, chuq.. me too. Moratorium Day 1970,, I was 19, in college… some out-of-the-way junior college in the middle of Illinois cornfields. The resident hippies were gathered at the base of the campus flagpole with their guitars and amps. A few of us “radicals” slapped on American flag stickers and stood around the flagpole to make sure none of those “godless Commies” pulled down the flag. Such foolishness and I am still shocked we all made it through that nonsense. Boomers coming of age.
        There’s no doing stuff like that now, old buddy. We are too old to dodge tear gas.. and there’s a lot more guns out there. All we have now are words.

      2. Just a side note regarding events we do not know, possibly to unfold in the next year or so.. it’s important to consider as a political/social-changing effect the changing global climate. Any one or more of these things.. the continuing drought, the fires, a couple Katrina-like storms hitting a vulnerable coastline or two…. maybe a tsunami or an earthquake… I am talking here heavy devastation in property, infrastructure and lives. All this could have that “reset” effect as the nation musters its capacity to provide aid. and/or tries to recover from the loss in the distribution network with shortages at the local Walmart. These things tend to make a society humble at-large and reconsider its role and it struggles for capacity. Personally, I think we will have dodged a serious bullet if nature smacked us up side of the head instead of the impending civil unrest over the results of the Jan. 6 committee, the DOJ/Georgia indictments coming down, one side or the other claiming the next two elections were frauds… the list goes on.

      3. It is true that we seem to pull together when there is a disaster but it takes little time for that to fade into the insults and bias…..the next couple of elections will make or break this nation…..chuq

  2. The two-party dominance works the same way here too. The Conservatives moved further to the Right to appeal to the Populist voters, and the Labour Party abandoned its Socialist agenda to appeal to big business contributors. We ended up with no genuine choice any longer.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. The Government of The United States, as presently constituted, is like two galaxies of stars rushing headlong toward each other in the vast reaches of space. Sooner or later they are going to collide and, like the present spacial bodies, will merge, mingle, destroy and expand the resultant chaos so that all that which was old will be replaced with all that which is new and none of it will have the slightest resemblance to anything that we know today. The outer bands of those two spacial entities are, even as I write, rubbing elbows with each other in the outer bands of their reality … the construct of the impending explosion is already forming and sooner or later, all the warring factions within our present political reality will cannibalize each other and something new will arise from the ashes or the whole thing will disappear into the footnotes of eternal history just the same as all the ancient empires did.

    Since The United States has grown so large and so diverse and so divided, I believe that effectively governing it is no longer a possibility regardless of ideation, regardless of ideology, regardless of political theory …There are too many minds steeped in too many differing traditions, backgrounds and ethnological conceptualizations to allow for any degree of rational cohesion of political concepts or ambitions that would lead to any form of enduring stability.

    We are beyond the Rubicon on this one, folks and sooner or later, it is going to be “Every Man and Woman for themselves” because tribalistic politics will no longer be able to sustain the whole.

    1. I agree John I also think that states rights will make any unification impossible…..that was a bad idea from the beginning. chuq

    2. As you suggest, John, size does matter and I mean that as a matter of population. The more the population increases, the more medical science keeps us alive longer and can adapt to the inevitable pandemics… the interaction of man with himself becomes more acute. We likely should keep in mind that Nature runs the show.. and mankind is a part of nature in spite of our quest to try and control nature’s elements. Are we there yet where nature takes charge to once again find a natural balance for all living things? Well, we are experiencing a climate shift as a result of man, and that will have a cascading effect across all living things.
      Sounds bleak I know. But if we take this in shorter bites… our current political divide is less about Nature’s imposition to balance life and far more about the cyclical nature of man existing socially with himself.
      Simple fact, what going on now no one a year ago would ever have guessed things would turn out like this. That means, anything under the Sun can happen inside of the next year to radically change the things we hold as a priority now. The signs are already there, it’s just that we can’t yet see them… and I am not all that sure the signs can be defined as leading to something “bad”.
      Man prefers life as … maintaining a status quo (a “normal” existence based on existing routine).

  4. What are your thoughts on former Reps and Dems forming the Forward Party? They are planning their first convention next summer.

  5. “Party” is always the problem and the concept of political parties gave the founding fathers nightmares.

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