Do Political Parties Do More Harm Than Good?
March 4, 2008 was one of the most exciting days in the history of our political process. As two of the states with the most voting delegates went to the Democratic primary polls, the entire nation sat by to watch Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama vie for the Democratic nomination. In an amazing change in momentum, Sen. Hillary Clinton was able to pull out both Texas and Ohio after losing 11 straight primaries. By day’s end, she would capture the strongest foothold she’d had during the entire race. No matter if you’re a Clinton supporter, a Barack fan, or a Republican with no skin in the game the entire show has b een thrilling one to watch. It’s been great to see each politician nudge each other back and forth over the process, and it’s great that we have this process going on so more people will continue to be involved in the different civic events that effect us all both at a micro and a macro-level. Yet, partisanship continues to fail us it was originally meant to serve.
Consider the GOP. There are MANY people out there, albeit the minority, who are stating they’d rather write-in a candidate than vote for John McCain because he’s not “conservative” enough. McCain has now been spending his energy gaining the approval of conservative archetypes like GW and preaching a message of more mainline conservative speak. His detractors portray him as an AARP-aged, ex-POW that will appear as the Republican party candidate by virtue of surviving the 25-man caged match that comprised the Republican nomination. Conversely, there’s the Democratic Race featuring the unqualified upstart with questionable affiliations who is exploiting his cultural background to try to win the popular vote in Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton is the ex-First Lady of Arkansas/ex-First Lady of the US turned Senator who’s husband has been deemed the “First Black President” for many of the wrong reasons.
In my humble opinion, all of the candidates are more than capable of serving as Commander-In-Chief and getting some major issues we face today turned around and likely with similar modes of execution. No matter what anyone SAYS to get elected it may be a different story once in office (ie George Bush and “No new taxes!”). In addition, we’ve seen too many times how confusing, divisive, and elitist political party affiliations can be. Truthfully, they can operate to serve some good, but the evidence shows that the bad far outweighs the good. My hope is that every American who makes the trip back to the polls in November goes with a sense of voting for the candidate that we each individually believe will best address the issues we face today; the economy/housing market, gas prices, the war, health care, etc. When we learn to vote for the good of our national community we will learn that it will ultimately benefit us all as individuals. I’ll end with this quote from George Washington during his farewell address as President:
On party politics:
They serve to Organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force–to put in the place of the delegated will of the Nation, the will of a party; often a small but artful and enterprizing minority of the Community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public Administration the Mirror of the ill concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the Organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common councils and modefied by mutual interests. However combinations or Associations of the above description may now & 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, & to usurp for themselves the reins of Government; destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.