The Case For a Zero Party System
Upon travelling to the Black Hills of South Dakota and seeing Mount Rushmore for the first time, Gutzon Borglum proclaimed, “America will march along that skyline.”
Between the years of 1927 and 1941 Borglum sculpted and blasted away at that mountain, along with 400 workers, and finally realized that vision. There they were, the gigantic sculpted faces of 4 great presidents-George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, and after that last blast of dynamite on October 31, 1941, that mountain came to life.
And since this is my little blog universe, and because I can (which is as good a reason as any), I’m going to sprinkle some magic dust and say the magic words, and tell you that mountain of blasted and sculpted granite literally came to life on that cold Halloween morning. George Washington, squinting in the autumn sun as it rose over the majestic Black Hills and filled the sky with dazzling orange and purple hues, turned to Thomas Jefferson, and while remembering his Farewell Address to America written on another fall day in 1796, squawked:
“Damn it Tom, I freaking told you so!”
Thomas Jefferson, you see, was the founder of the Democratic-Republican party, a party created in response to Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Party, and the two party system of American government was born. It was born, however, much to President Washington’s chagrin.
How was it that what has been characterized by our Constitution as a “perfect union” of thirteen colonies, was first organized and led by a president who not only refused to affiliate himself with a political party, but who also warned his contemporaries against the dangers of splintering that very union into a partisan-system of government?
In September, 1796 George Washington, with a quill and feather pen while sitting in his study, wrote a farewell address to the American people. A draft of the letter was initially started in 1792 after the end of his first term in office, but as the newly formed republic began fragmenting and dividing into Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties, President Washington was coaxed into serving another term (and he ran unopposed) in the hopes that he could hold this union together.
The address was later revised in 1796 with the help of Alexander Hamilton. It warned of the grave dangers associated with a representative government being divided into a partisan political process. This is what the only president who was never identified by a party wrote about partisan politics:
“It serves to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration….agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one… against another… it opens the door to foreign influence and corruption… thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.”
I don’t know about you, but reading that sends chills up my spine.
What was it that Washington was so afraid of?
Well, unless you’ve been in a coma over the last 214 years, the answer to that question should be rather obvious.
We operate our government through two political parties who, rather than being beholden to their constituents, are beholden to their corporate and special interest masters. Rather than being beholden to the core philosophies that they purport to espouse, their primary focus is to gain power and maintain and increase the power they get.
THAT is precisely what Washington was afraid of.
“It serves to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration… agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one….against another….”
You said if brother!
A socialist, fascist, communist, liberal president, born in Kenya, who practices Islam on the sly, as he plots the downfall of America with a Baptist minister from Chicago. He’s an African Adolph Hitler, I tell ya’, who wants to send grandma to a death panel and put that old bat down. Plus he smokes cigarettes. You want proof? That bastard just rammed down our throats a health care plan that Mitt Romney implemented in Massachusetts, the House Republicans tried to pass in 1993, and Richard Nixon advocated for while he was president of the United States.
Did you say the President lied about cheating on his wife? Here’s what we need to do – shut government down, assemble both Houses of Congress together, spend tens of millions of tax payer dollars investigating what “is” is, and impeach the son of a bitch!
THAT is precisely what Washington was afraid of.
“It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption… thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.”
NAFTA, NATO, UN, Kyoto, Copenhagen, China, Citizens United vs. FEC, 737 US military basis across the globe, 2,500,000 US personnel serving across the planet, the international privately owned Federal Reserve which controls our monetary policy.
THAT is precisely what Washington was afraid of.
(And that noise you just heard was him smacking Thomas Jefferson upside the head-go to South Dakota and you will hear and see it for yourself).
Enough said. We’re screwed.
We’ve lost ourselves. Our parties don’t stand for anything anymore. They pretend to stand for substantive things, but they really don’t. They’re doing what George Washington said they would do-they “agitate the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms” in attempting to cling to power. That’s their sole function. They ceased to govern and began to rule. After all, governing demands accountability to those being governed, while ruling requires only propaganda and servitude by those being ruled.
I know I tend to pick on Republicans far more than I pick on Democrats, but that’s because I probably identify most closely with Republican core philosophies as more a part of my own core philosophies, and I feel like I’ve been absolutely jilted and abandoned by a party that rarely practices what it preaches. Think about what we’ve been sold in terms of traditional conservatism:
2) low taxes;
3) state’s rights;
4) laissez faire foreign policy and isolationism; and
5) fiscal responsibility.
Now think of what has been given to us:
1) the Patriot Act;
2) abortion restrictions;
3) ban on gay marriage;
4) a $2.4 trillion Iraq war;
5) a military-industrial complex culminating in more than $1 trillion a year in military spending;
6) maintenance of over 700 overseas military bases;
7) insistence on overturning marijuana decriminalization in states that pass it;
8) an income tax base that allocates more than half of its intake to maintaining defense spending;
9) government monitoring of book purchases;
10) warrantless wiretaps;
11) corporate takeover of our electoral process through Citizens United vs. FEC… and on and on. It seems that every opportunity Republicans get, they are looking to intrude on our private lives, create a “Big Brother” government which violates our civil liberties, and expand our military while expanding our debt to pay for it, which requires more taxes.
What the hell happened to this party?
This is the party that had to be dragged into World War II. This was the party that preached global isolationism. This was a party that preached no government intrusion into your private affairs. Now they’re in my bedroom, taking my weed, sending me to war, building military bases all over God’s green earth, and making me pay for it all, while claiming there’s no money left for me to see a freaking doctor!
WELL, SCREW YOU GUYS, I’VE HAD ENOUGH!
The Republican party has been bought and paid for-that’s what happened. And it’s a lot easier to buy and pay for a party that is continuously in a struggle to maintain its hold on power than it is to buy out individuals on a one on one basis that have to answer to constituents. These men and women don’t answer to you and me-they answer to Exxon/Mobile, Halliburton, and Chase Bank. They will placate their constituents with rhetoric and diversion that we’ve come to know as “partisanship,” in order to funnel more money to their corporate masters.
Of course in an attempt to create a façade that they are operating true to their core philosophies, they’ll use those same core philosophies as a convenient excuse to oppose something politically when it suits their corporate masters’ interest-for example health care reform is conveniently not fiscally responsible, but juxtapose that fiscal irresponsibility argument with the complete silence on fiscal responsibility when it comes to defense spending, and you see the absurdity that is the Republican party.
Democrats are equally divorced from their core values incidentally. The “Civil Rights” Party was completely silent on the Patriot Act, and couldn’t have been more accommodating when it made its way into passage in lightening speed through Congress. They were completely silent on the Iraq war, voicing no objection to George Bush’s bogus claims of Iraqi 9/11 connections and non-existent WMD’s. They got us locked up into Vietnam-that was a mess created by two Democratic administrations and an appeasement of the same defense industry master that controls Republicans. Democrats are equally in bed with the military-industrial complex, just as the Republicans are and pass a budget every year that allocates over a trillion dollars for defense expenditures. In all fairness though, their hypocrisy seems to be a bit more measured than that of Republicans. But make no mistake, they have their masters too, and many of them are the same masters the Republicans have and both parties routinely answer to them.
I keep hearing that we need a third party in this country.
What the hell for? Typical American reaction, you see two bad things, now let’s add another bad thing to it in the hope that things will improve.
All I need is another group of boobs that play slave to corporate America. All I need is another party that advertises a philosophy and abandons it to hold on to power. That’ll fix things all right!
No sir. Give me a man or a woman that will answer to their core philosophies and constituents and not tie themselves to a bogus party line that will keep him or her in power so long as they continue to tow that line.
Washington’s co-author in his farewell address, Alexander Hamilton wrote, “The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE. The streams of national power ought to flow from that pure, original fountain of all legitimate authority.”
The consent of the people. Not the consent of the party, nor the consent of lobbyists and special interest groups. Not the consent of foreign countries, and foreign banks. But the consent of the people.
How will America achieve this? In the same manner that Gutzon Borglum envisioned that America will march along a new skyline in which a national monument was carved into the face of a granite mountain with powerful dynamite blasts and the elegant hand of a sculptor with his chisel. Like Borglum, we need to blast away this old mountain of partisan-politics and carefully sculpt a vision of America that was first conceived by our founding fathers and born through our Constitution, and then march along that new skyline.
America was not founded under an ideology of partisanship. The literal fabric from which this country was born-the Constitution of the United States-was not created with such an ideology in mind.
There are practical considerations to make when abandoning the party structure of government to be sure, but other countries have done it. Future articles will explore how that can be accomplished. Indeed I am in the process of writing a book that addresses this issue in great detail. However the purpose of this article is to allow you to envision a country without partisanship, and realize that this was precisely the intent of the founding fathers when this country was formed.
Our country was designed to be non-partisan.
The preamble to the Constitution opens with: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union…”
…not “we the People of the Republican or Democratic Party in order to form a more imperfect Division.”
Division and partisanship lead to entitlement and elitism. Division and partisanship lead to loyalty to party rather than loyalty to country.
It’s time to revert to what the Constitution of the United States intended for us, the People of the United States, to do-create a more perfect Union. It’s time for us to abandon this “enfeebled” partisan structure of ruling which does nothing more than kindle animosity and get back to the business of governing-with a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
It’s time again to march along that skyline and forge an America in the vision of what our founding fathers had in mind when they first drafted that Constitution and created this undivided, non-partisan, perfect Union.