What GOOD do political parties, Left or Right do today? For that matter what good have they EVER done? All parties from the beginning of politics seem to have existed for the sole purpose of taking political power from those who own it and those who have been assigned it and consolidating it into as few hands as possible. Political parties allow a few to harness the power of many followers and apply pressure to the political process out of the sight and control of the very citizens whose power that party uses. I fail to see that this is a good thing, especially in today’s interconnected world where everyone’s voice can carry equal weight.
Time and time again politicians will act and vote by the direction of their Party instead of their constituents. Simply put, under the present campaign finance system to be elected they HAVE to allow the party leaders to put a ring in their nose like a bull led to stud. Parties and political donations are the rocks on which the ships of state have foundered all over the world, all through history.
Parties seem to be nothing more than a political expression of Tribalism. A group of self interested people gather together a herd of citizens wishing for a leader and use them to not support, but subvert the political process in promotion of Me and Mine over Thee and Thine. The votes of Party politicians becomes not about following the collective will within a Constitutional framework but a zero-sum game of You-Win-I-Lose.
We see the result of this winner take all attitude in the willingness of too many politicians to give up their voters’ ideals when faced with a party issue. This was demonstrated recently when 10 Republican Senators voted against an amendment to a bill (all the other Senators, including 30 Republicans voted Yes) that restricts the Federal government from contracting with a company that requires it’s employees to give up the right to sue or pursue criminal cases against other employees even in the case of rape and kidnapping. This amendment had been inspired by an actual case of the raping and kidnapping by Haliburton employees of another Haliburton contractee and the company’s subsequent refusal to allow civil or criminal proceedings (as per contract).
The 10 Senators felt that since the measure had been proposed by far-Left Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. that it had to be a “ploy” (it was) and so might damage the party. It is sad that it DID damage the Parry a bit simply BECAUSE the 10 feel for it and voted by Party and not common sense. But the saddest part by far is that the 10 Senators, after being beaten up by the press, and the Party, feel that THEY are the injured party due to the Democratic “slurs” against them for voting the Party Line. The quote that seems most representative of their attitude comes from Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas:
“Trying to tap into the natural sympathy that we have for this victim of this rape —and use that as a justification to frankly misrepresent and embarrass his colleagues, I don’t think it’s a very constructive thing.”
In case you missed his point, the good Senator is upset that AFTER he and the other nine voted against the amendment Senator Franken used their pro-Party/pro-Haliburton vote to ridicule them for being of all things…party hacks!!! Senator Cornyn considers it to be dirty pool for Mr. Franken to have put him in the position of having to balance morals against The Party. It is just not cricket, you know! That is how far the party system has taken us from reality! Unfortunately, this is hardly an isolated incident of partisanship. Other examples abound from any and all parties be they past or present.
But, in this Digital Age for the first time, Humanity has the chance to apply constitutional democracy in a pure form. Let us abolish parties! They are nothing but a bad solution to the problems of pre-industrial communications. Let our politicians stand on their own platforms to campaign and by their voting record once elected, NOTHING ELSE! Let campaign donations of ALL SORTS be eliminated and instead, every candidate that qualifies for a given ballot receive the same “war chest”. Further, let no one be paid for their time working in a campaign other than contracted services such as catering, printing costs, air time or other non-creative, non-campaigning related services. In this new world direct campaign workers of all types would be solely volunteers!
Just imagine it Virginia! Politicians set apart from the influence of small groups of the self interested and forced to follow the consensus of all their constituents! Imagine politicians that have NO other forces influencing their votes than what their constituents feel should or should not be done within the limits of The Constitution. I don’t know about you Virginia, but that sends a shiver down MY leg! How about a change that actually gives us hope?