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Take America Back: Abolish the Party System

ABOLISH THE PARTY SYSTEM

Want to save America? Abolish the party system. Think it’s a radical idea? Let’s see what George Washington & John Adams said on the subject.

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Figure 1: John Adams

 

JOHN ADAMS

John Adams, generally recognized as the most influential American politician of the Revolutionary War period, said the following when the party system passed over his opposition:

 “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.”[1]

John Adams said this during the Revolutionary War, as various parties were already splintering the nation before the Republic was even official. Divisive and opportunistic politicians have been the biggest problem  of America from day one, even before.

Let’s now turn to perhaps the most revered American, one respected in his day, and throughout American history.

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Figure 2: George Washington, White House

 

GEORGE WASHINGTON

The founding father of the nation, the military leader of the revolution, and the first president, George Washington concurred. When leaving office, President Washington said in his farewell speech:

“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent 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 mischiefs 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 the 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.[2]

As you can see, George Washington considered it the “duty of wise people to discourage and restrain” exactly the type of partisanship practiced by the Republicans and Democrats today.

GEORGE WASHINGTON & DWIGHT EISENHOWER FAREWELL SPEECHES

I have read the farewell speeches of every president, except of course those who died in office. The two that stand out is President Washington warning about the party system, and President Eisenhower warning about the dangers of the Military Industrial Complex.

Unfortunately, the Republic has ignored the departing advice of two of our most respected generals and presidents. John Adams and George Washington would no doubt be appalled by today’s partisanship, just as Dwight Eisenhower would protest how much the Military Industrial Complex has become even bigger and more dangerous since his warning.

Like President Washington, I consider it wise people’s duty to oppose the partisanship that is destroying our country. Want to know how little the majority matters in a partisan system that discourages voting?

THE ESTABLISHMENT IS OUT OF TOUCH

Many Americans, including some Republicans, believe the GOP Primary shamed, not only the party but the country.

AMERICANS DISLIKE HILLARY CLINTON & DONALD TRUMP

Both major parties chose candidates Americans despise. Here’s a truth no Trump or Clinton supporter wants anybody to talk about: The majority of Americans hates both, 68 percent of Americans claim they’d never vote for Trump [4] while 61 percent insist they’d never consider voting for Clinton.[5]

A recent Los Angeles Times article was titled: “A Trump-Clinton general election poses a question: Which one does America hate less?”[6]

Is that the kind of America we want, one where we keep choosing the lesser of two evils?

ABOLISH THE PARTY SYSTEM

We can and should do better. In the spirit of John Adams and George Washington, I call on wise Americans to unite to say no to Donald Trump, no to Hillary Clinton, and no to both parties.

Republicans and Democrats inched us towards Donald and Hillary for decades by slinging mud on every issue. We should remove hyper-partisanship from the political process by abolishing parties. While we’re at it, we should boot everybody out of Congress, and make them run as independents against other independents prepared to honestly and intelligently debate the issues.

We need positive change in the United States. Let’s begin by removing the two biggest obstacles, the two party system, and people’s biggest excuse for not voting: “It doesn’t matter.”

 

Jerry Beller is an author and activist.

 

SOURCES

[1] “The Works of John Adams, Vol. 9 (Letters and State Papers 1799-1811) – Online Library of Liberty.” Accessed June 8, 2016. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/adams-the-works-of-john-adams-vol-9-letters-and-state-papers-1799-1811.

[2] “Our Documents – President George Washington’s Farewell Address (1796).” Accessed June 8, 2016. https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=15.

[3] “2016_Republican_Clown_Car_Parade_-_Trump_Exta_Special_Edition_(18739683269).jpg (1920×1080).” Accessed June 7, 2016. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/2016_Republican_Clown_Car_Parade_-_Trump_Exta_Special_Edition_(18739683269).jpg.

[4] Murray, Mark. “Unpopularity Contest: Poll Shows Grim Outlook for 2016 Winner.” NBC News, April 18, 2016. http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/unpopularity-contest-poll-shows-grim-outlook-2016-winner-n557821.

[5] Graphics, WSJ com News. “The Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll Results.” The Wall Street Journal. Accessed June 8, 2016. http://graphics.wsj.com/wsjnbcpoll.

[6] Times, Los Angeles. “A Trump-Clinton General Election Poses a Question: Which One Does America Hate Less?” Latimes.com. Accessed June 8, 2016. http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-trump-clinton-analysis-20160427-story.html.

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