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….
- 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’……
- 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”