Early in our nation’s history politicians realized that by forming political parties they could advance their own agendas and the result would be both power and financial gain. Our founding fathers did not anticipate or desire the existence of political parties realizing they could be dangerous to the public interest. However, while George Washington was still in the presidency, the origin of political parties began. The result of these destructive beginnings have made politics a creation for the danger of the future existence of the United States.
Because the United States is a Republic and not a Democracy, we rely on our representatives to make good decisions for the American people. When political gain becomes more important than intelligent decision, our country becomes in the position of placing our nation in jeopardy. This is what is happening in Washington today; and it’s only going to get worse.
Why did the founding fathers reject the idea of political parties? Here is one reason which has happened precisely as they predicted: ‘Politics would disintegrate into battles between conflicting visions, and elections would generate division rather than consensus.’
And why has this occurred. There is a simple answer, and a dangerous one: There is no longer a separation between politics and running the government. Decisions on the important issues do not reflect the wishes of the American people, nor are they for the good or our nation; they are entirely passed or defeated based on partisan politics.
In a PBS discussion in October 2013, the deterioration of our political system was being discussed as another government shutdown seemed imminent. Jeffrey Brown was the moderator, and guests included Author Eric Liu and founder of Citizen University, Steven Hayward from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Beverly Gage from Yale University.
Mr. Liu believes citizens are more engaged because of the division in Washington.
“And that’s true on both the left and the right. Look, I think the reality is, when Steven was speaking a moment ago about the kind of encroachment of ever-growing and ever-larger government, we can have reasonable debates in this country about what the proper size and scope of government ought to be, but we ought to regard those debates not as ‘on/off, yes/no, my way or we shut the whole thing down’ kind of debates.
“And I think the danger of the Tea Party argument that every new thing, whether it’s Obamacare or something else, is another slide down the slippery slope, look, the bottom line for responsible citizenship is our job is to build steps on the slippery slope. It’s not to say, if you take one little step, it’s down to oblivion and to tyranny.”
Steven Hayward about the damage done to the Republican Party when the shutdown was averted, and possible future damage to progressives.
“You have seen a long-term trend going back really to the 1960s of the number of people saying they have confidence that the federal government will do the right thing down in 15 percent, 20 percent, when it used to be in the ’50s up around 60 to 70 percent. And to the extent that if you’re liberal and that you believe in political solutions to our social problems or government engagement with our problems, you want the public to have confidence in the federal government’s capacities.”
Beverly Gage speaking about the lack of Congress’ ability to deliberate the issues.
“I think the thing that’s new about whose happening now is really the frequency with which we are having these crises. So, as soon as one is resolved, we’re already starting the countdown toward the next crisis. And it doesn’t seem like there’s anyone out there who really has a definitive solution about how that’s going to end.
“And so while we have had these conflicts in the past, I really don’t think that we have had them at this level of one after another after another.”
I have posted a link to the complete transcript below.
What is the solution? Can a country that has become divided by red and blue states survive? Is politics creating a danger for the future existence of the United States?
The addition of a third party, the TEA Party, has not been a part of the solution, it simply increased the problem. The idea of states being divided by ideology must end; red and blue must be replaced with gray. And the Electoral College must be erased; everyone’s vote must count, and the candidate elected by the majority of the American people put into office.
Opinion by James Turnage