George Washington, father of our country, made the following statement:
“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.”
Have you ever considered how the two major political parties in our country have put a strangle hold on power? Do you think Republicans and Democrats have the answers to every problem? I don’t.
One of the things that really upsets me is the coercive manner the parties use to ensure their members stay the party line. Our elected representatives are not free to speak their minds…at least not without retribution. Party leaders decide who gets into key committees. They also decide whether certain members will get money from the party for reelection and how much, based on their adherence to the party platform. God help the man or woman who sides with the other party on an issue of importance. If you do, they will run a candidate against you in the next primary to highlight their displeasure.
Imagine if we did not have political parties and instead required each representative to create their own unique platform. In such a case strategic alliances would hold sway only when there was a meeting of the minds. Our country would be stronger for it.
Some of the nonsense within political parties is currently being highlighted mostly by the Republicans in the race for the presidency. After spending an entire debate excoriating Donald Trump, complaining how incompetent he was, at the end of the debate each of the candidates then swore they would support him if be became the nominee. Were they kidding? No, unfortunately they were not. In our current environment, their loyalty to their party is more important than their values.
How did we get to this point? Wow.