Friday, August 12, 2011

The Parties Are Over

There may be no "I" in "team," but there is in "independent."

If you look up my voter registration, it will say "Democrat," but only because there are no open primaries in my state. Frankly, I'm not sure why there should be primaries at all, but I avail myself of the system that exists, a system that, frankly, shouldn't exist.

The Constitution of the United States makes no mention of political parties, minority whips, or any of the other baggage that has been dumped on the floor of the House and the Senate, or at the door of the White House, or in the vestibule of the Supreme Court. There are no Articles pertaining to how power shall be apportioned between political parties, or how parties can manipulate the Rules of Order and Procedure to create, maintain, or thwart power. The system in place now -- the unwritten system -- that lies atop those actual rules supplied by the Constitution are fabrications of the political parties that run the nation.

It's time for the parties to depart.

In case it has escaped anyone's notice, and how can it, when the news media waves it in your face unceasingly, the government in Washington, D.C. is broken. It has become an ungainly series of flanking maneuvers, reckless charges, holding actions, and stalemates masquerading as governance, perpetuated by an electorate which has, wholesale, shirked its responsibility to hold its leaders to account and remove those who cannot get the job done. Actions in Congress are made based on their effect on the next Presidential election, which is coveted by each party so that they may try to manipulate the Supreme Court. The system of "checks & balances" has now been turned into the system of "charges & counter-charges." Where one party controls both the Legislative and Executive branches, the other is "forced" to fight holding actions and use delaying tactics to make it to the next election. Where power is spread out between the parties, governance, such as it is, grinds to a halt.

A nation cannot afford to be locked into only two modes of thought. There are not two and only two solutions to any and every problem. Absolutism in any measure weakens freedom and liberty, if one is forced to swear allegiance to an agenda. When we decide that people must be segregated by political doctrine, we supplant the natural strength of representative democracy, because we have inserted middlemen into the process. Why should a representative be beholden to a party, when it is not the party that elects them, but the people?

In a multivariate and pluralistic society such as has been created here, the problems we have are not black-and-white for the most part. To reduce every aspect of our sovereign rights and governance to two-sided bickering is to wonder why we don't just flip a coin, in the name of expedience. The tug-of-war between Republicans and Democrats does nothing to but throw dirt in the gears of what is supposed to be a smooth-running machine. The Founding Fathers never expected everyone to agree on everything, but they did see compromise and compassion as valid tools for governance, tools that are being left to rot by parties that are more interested in scoring points than saving a nation.

It's time we reevaluated our political process and stripped it of the frippery and dead weight that have turned us from a nation to be admired and emulated, into a nation to be reviled and denigrated. It's time we ceased being the patsies of party organizations, whose only interest is furthering the interests of the party, not of the people. While you might wish to make a case for the nobility of what either party has accomplished over its history, one need only look at the current state of affairs in our nation to see that the emperor has no clothes. Both parties have brought us down, and it's time they were sent to the sideline, so that we might pick up the pieces of the debacles they have saddled us with, and rebuild our nation properly, along the lines of that which our Founders hoped for: conceived in liberty, with freedom and justice for all.

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