Archive for January 16th, 2010


George Warned Us About This

January 16, 2010

A friend of mine reminded me the other day about George Washington’s opinion of political parties.  In his Presidential farewell address, he states, “it [the spirit of party] 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.”  Holding this strong opinion, poor George’s bones must rattle in his grave at the state of affairs today.

While there are many political parties in the Untied State, two hold power – the Democrats and Republicans.  The United States is an example of a two-party system.  While nothing in the Constitution demands this, the nature of the popular vote and Electoral College tends to align the people along liberal or conservative ideologies and the two-party concept, the result being a concentration of political power within the parties.  The two-party system is the single greatest danger to liberty in the United States.

Over the course of U.S. history, other parties held power, the first two being the Federalist and the Anti-Federalist Parties.  While parties may come and go over time, and particular issues change, the underlying alignment of liberal vs. conservative remains.  If you ask members of any U.S. political party why they exists, the most likely answer is they feel their party best represents American values and ideals.  This is false.  No political party looks at America’s needs beyond the needs of the party.  Of course, members of a party feel their beliefs are best for America.

This “we know best” mentality speaks to the danger President Washington pointed out when he bid public service good-bye.  It creates an atmosphere of perpetual conflict in Congress and ill serves the American people.  It leads to deal making and the combining of legislation into huge bills that shutdown government if not passed.  It does not matter which party is the majority, they both act in this way.  Both parties stifle debate this way.

By concentrating power in two parties, we open the door for corruption.  Big money panders to the majority party but gives enough support to the minority party to maintain favor should they take power. In the end, political parties are more interested in maintaining power than doing the business of the American people.  Special interests groups take advantage of that desire and corrupt the process. In the end, it is America as a nation that looses, we all loose.

Details, Details, Details

The devil is in the details,
at least that’s what they say.
For in the details live the snares
that catch us on our way.

With surgeon skill they craft the tone
within the plan they seek,
but shades of gray is what they weave
and havoc they will wreak.

In fog-veiled words and turn of phrase
pirates steal this land,
proclaiming all gave approval,
using their slight of hand.

Slick deception is the standard
that got us to this place
Be it party over nation
or simply lack of grace.

No, we cannot trust to others
to do what things are best
so we need to keep our guard up
and put them to the test.

When intent lacks understanding
before the task is done
the result will cause true damage
to freedoms we have won.

Influence is bought and traded
like some stock on the floor
but congress owes us better –
let’s kick them out the door!

Then open up the processes
on all they say and do
and force them to leave the lobby
that hides and turns their screw.

To hell with will all the details!
let’s simplify the day.
And to hell with both the parties
they stand in freedom’s way!

Copyright © 2008 MH Benton
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