by Wayne Simmes:
It is difficult for me to believe that our country is divided almost equally down the middle. One faction believing that large government is evil and the other faction that big government is necessary.
Our first President, George Washington warned against the evils of the two party system. Here is what he said: “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissensions, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty. Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischief of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it. It serves always to distract the public councils, and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another; foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another. There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This, within certain limits, is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party: but, in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.
His Vice President, John Adams said:
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.
So it is ironic that John Adams himself became part of the first division of our government into the two party system. In the election of 2796 Adams was the candidate of the Federalist Party while Thomas Jefferson represented what was then called the Democratic-Republican Party.
This was a sunning new phenomenon that shocked most of the older leaders of the Revolutionary Era. Even James Madison, who was one of the earliest to see the value of political parties, believed that they would only serve as temporary coalitions for specific controversial elections.
This election was waged with uncommon intensity. Federalist though to themselves as the “friends of order” and good government. They viewed their opponents as dangerous radicals who would bring the anarchy of the French Revolution to America.
The Democratic-Republicans despised Federalist policies. According to one
Republican-minded New York newspaper, the Federalists were “aristocrats, endeavoring to lay the real supporters of independence, friends to equal rights, and warm advocates of free elective government.
One other interesting things about that election was that at that time the runner up in electoral votes became the vice president. So when John Adams won the elector college 71 to 68 He became President while his opponent Thomas Jefferson became Vice President.
We are probably fortunate that we don’t still have that system today as it would encourage political assassinations, like we had when I believe that Lyndon Johnson had JFK killed so he could take his place.
Throughout our history since that time our government has been pretty much divided between two political parties. The names have changed over the years but the idea has stayed close to the same. One party believes in the absolute power of the federal government, stealing from one section of the electorate to give to another section. While the other party claims to be for small government, where people have the opportunity to succeed through hard work and diligence.
Several times in our history we have had third party candidates arise to challenge the elite. Perhaps the most successful attempt occurred when George Wallace ran as an Independent in 1968. He won 13% of the popular vote and almost enough electoral votes to throw the election into the House of Representatives.
In 1992 another Independent dared challenge the major parties. This time it was businessman Ross Perot. I believe that he would have won enough electoral votes to have thrown the election to the House had he not received death threats aimed at both himself and his family. Those threats caused him to drop out of the race at one point. He did get back in towards the end but he never again came close to the 33% he was polling before he was forced out.
You might be interested in knowing that one of his opponents was Slick Willy Clinton. I wonder who was behind the death threats?
These two instances enforce my opinion that our country is not evenly divided. In every election “we the people” are forced to make a decision between bad and terrible.
I voted for Perot in 1992 because I believed that even if he was the worst President in history, and judging from what has been forced down our throats for most of my lifetime, I can’t believe he could have been, at least we would have sent a message to the major parties that we were not going to stand for the garbage they put up to run for President.
Then a wonderful thing happened in 2016. Someone totally outside of the mainstream political arena came forward and ran for President. Although he ran on the Republican ticket, no one really believed that he was a Republican. Sure some of his values were conservative but for the most part he was his own man.
No one gave him any chance to win. Surely not the Republican elite that backed Jeb Bush. Trump was a laughing stock right up until he started racking up primary victory after primary victory. To the terror of the Republican Party one after another of their favorite candidates began dropping like flies.
For the first time, the mainstream media could not tell the people what to think. Trump used a new form of media, one that reached far more people than newspapers which few people bothered to read any more and even more than the twisted news organizations such as NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and CNBC.
Every time that these so-called news outlets would tell a lie about him, he combated it with a tweet from his Twitter feed. The more lies the Media told, the more he would tweet.
When he won that election and became President, I was hopeful that he major political parties would realize that “we the people” were fed up and were not going to lay down and let them walk on us anymore.
But that hope has been dashed as I watch the “Democratic Socialist Party” (communists for short) band together in a united front to make sure that such an outsider as Donald Trump will never succeed. And much of the Republican Party who are nearly as bad as the Democrats, join in closet opposition to him as well.
Neither party really wants Trump to succeed because if he does, more independent thinking people may come forward to run against them. And Lord help them if “we the people” decide that we will no longer support the two party system.