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Party Perspective

Political parties are vestiges of the past non-digital age, when they relied primarily on “branding” via TV, Radio, and print media. Their main purpose in those days was to communicate, organize, and importantly raise funds for party candidates. The internet is now capable of accomplishing all this at hyper-speed. Just look at the millions of dollars raised by Allan West in Florida, and others, who gained much fame and money from internet posted YouTube videos.

Incumbent party officials will, of course, suggest that without just two parties, chaos will ensue in the legislative process. How can it get any worse than what we are currently witnessing, where the majority party literally shuts the minority party out to the legislative process and both parties are constantly striving to destroy each other? Look at the unsustainable, almost bankrupt economic predicament our country is in due to the current two-party system! Additionally, European Parliaments without a two party system appear to function quite well. As an aside, the Republican Party started as a third party and Abraham Lincoln was a third party candidate in a four-party race for the Presidency in 1860.

This is not to suggest that “Tea Party” patriots or independents should form a new party. That would be insanity! We do not need yet another political bureaucratic infrastructure that will require much money, time, and effort and which encourages massive egos and corruption? Instead, the point is that voters need to once again become individuals, not “members” of something, who vote for viable candidates most closely aligned with the Constitutional principles and who best represent “We the People”. Karl Rove, the former Republican Party Senior Advisor, Chief of Staff, and strategist for George Bush, in a December, 2009 Wall Street Journal editorial stated: “Tea Party members should resolve to resist being turned into another partisan political group. The movement's power stems from its ideas, not from any party it supports, and it has been very successful in educating Americans and arousing the country. It should let its members set their own personal course in primaries and fall elections.”

Incumbent party officials will also attempt to dissuade voters from individually deciding which viable candidates to support for fear of splitting the votes and having the politically polar opposite candidates win elections.  They instead want all voters on either the right or left side of the political spectrum to vote in lock-step for their party’s anointed candidates. What they won’t tell you, though, is that the current reality is that political parties are rapidly losing party-affiliated voters, whose votes can be assumed, and, instead, both parties already fight over the rapidly increasing base of independent voters who individually decide how they will vote from one election to another. Net, the “Tea Party” or independent voter already has much voting power! Why as a party-affiliated voter should you allow your vote to be taken for granted by the party and thus diminish your influence? As a worst case congressional race example, what would happen if one side of the political spectrum splits votes among their candidates and the political polar opposite candidate gets elected? Would a better candidate with broader appeal not be able to more easily knock this supposed poorer candidate out of office during the next election cycle? A free market of candidates which provides competition and choice, in the long run, should result in better candidates who more closely represent the people who elected them, not the party that helped them get elected.

It should be noted that America’s Founding Fathers were very much for individuals exercising their civic duties and were against political parties. Our Founding Fathers placed principles over party, went to Congress to serve, not to be served, sought common ground, and passed laws with a knowledge that they would have to return home to live under these laws. In regard to political parties, John Adams commented that he considered them “the greatest political evil under our Constitution.” George Washington in his 1796 farewell address stated “However [political parties] may now and 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 and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion”. This is precisely where we find ourselves today, i.e. career politicians have too much power, have become elitist, and have lost touch with the common constituent voter. Instead, these career politicians are making us serfs of the state with their heavy taxation to support them as elected officials, their massive government bureaucracies with its many regulations, and their massive politically motivated government spending to secure votes for reelection.

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