Time to stop the madness with a third party?

two-partiesThose who follow the nation’s politics understand that the creation of a viable and effective third political party in the US is the LAST thing Washington wants.  The dems and repubs will fight a third party with all the power, energy, zeal, vehemence, vigor, cunning, and skulduggery they can manage – and then some. 

Look.  Our political system was designed for multiple political parties … not just two parties such as we have today.

Having only two parties is extremely risky.  Over the years we have seen the two parties switch positions and recently we have watched as the Republican Party, supposedly the home of those of the conservative persuasion, adopt the liberal and progressive positions of the Democratic Party on a scale that has rendered the GOP as something of a pale reflection of the party that has been the traditional home of Socialists, Marxists, and Progressives– the Democratic Party.

What that means to Americans is simply this: We actually have two branches of the same party trying to govern in Washington today … the Democratic Party and the Democratic Party LITE. The GOP (the Republican Party) exists in name only.

Creation of another political party, as a third political party, is something of a misnomer.  In fact, it would be the creation of a SECOND political party as we currently have only one political party — with two branches — in authority in the Congress today.

I mentioned at the beginning of this piece that our Founding Fathers actually meant us to have multiple political parties and not just the two we have come to think were bequeathed to us by The Founders.

President John Adams, one of the most intelligent presidents this country has had the good fortune to have, said this:

   “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.”

George Washington, the first President under the constitution,  agreed.  Washington said this in his farewell presidential 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.”

I have come to believe that the current two-party system in America is — UNAMERICAN.  Here’s why I say that:

Above I mentioned the two parties had merged their  ideologies effectively blurring the lines between them.  But what troubles me even more is the feeling I get that, between them, the two parties have created a “ruling class” in America and THAT is absolutely un-American. 

I fear I would not be welcome in any political party these days.  See, I don’t like compromise… period.  Compromise is NOT honesty — therefore compromise cannot be a virtue.  If one believes one’s political philosophy, one’s core belief,  is correct, then why compromise? Why LIE?  Seems to me that if a man truly believes that WHAT he believes IS THE TRUTH,  he will hold fast and not budge one iota from that position — for any reason.  That used to be referred to as “having the courage of one’s conviction.”  Sadly, few, these days, have such conviction — or courage.

We have become so used to compromise — going along to get along, group think, being good little socialists — that when a person who has the courage to stake out a position and refuse to give it up to those who disagree and stands pat and defends his position against all comers, he is pilloried, said to be a mental case, cursed, metaphorically spat upon, and made an outcast of our hypocritical society. 

I must tell you, there is something dead and rotting at the core of any society that treats a courageous citizen in that manner.   Look. I may not agree with that person’s conviction, but I admire his courage, his honesty. 

In the meantime, get used to the mess we have in Congress today.  It WILL get worse.  

There is no constitutional answer to this particular problem.  We can’t recall them and we can’t dissolve the Congress and hold national elections and send a new crop to DC.  (Would that we could!) We can only lawfully do it — a handful of seats at a time in both houses — every two years.

The title to this piece was posed in the form of a question.  My answer to the question is:  “I don’t know.”  Believe me, that is not meant as some sort of cop-out.  I REALLY don’t know.  I cannot escape the feeling that there is something basically, fundamentally, WRONG with the government today.  Not JUST the government, but society, as well.

Like so many Americans today, I am frustrated to the nth degree.  No matter our protestations, the government isn’t listening, therefore nothing is resolved — no matter how hard we try to get our message through to them and acted upon.  It is as though we are racing in a circle, at an ever increasing speed, in an ever decreasing circle.  Only disaster awaits us. 

I fear the old constitution-based America is in a death spiral from which it will not, nay, cannot, escape or recover.  

History tells us that when a democracy crashes and burns it is followed by a dictatorship – every time.  Already, we see evidence of the encroachment of a dictatorship in America today as many of us are convinced we have already entered the “police state” stage of devolvement. 

If my assessment proves correct, then another political party won’t make much difference now, will it?

American people biggest winners in gun-grabbing defeat

In the aftermath of the Senate’s rejection of the gun bill this week that would have expanded background checks (and other civilian disarmament initiatives attached as amendments) and once the smoke finally clears, the biggest winner of all will turn out to be the American people.

No law-abiding American person wants guns in the hands of criminals.  But even proponents of the bill admit that expanded background checks would not have prevented the Sandy Hook tragedies, nor the Columbine massacre, or the Virginia Tech shooting, or the Aurora, CO theater incident.  In essence, even the bill’s own support structure knows as well as anyone that the proposed bill stood as nothing more than hollow, feel-good measures meant to make the parents of Sandy Hook – who allowed themselves to be shamelessly propped up like pawns in President Obama’s gun-grabbing cries – think that something actually got done.  What a slap in the face.

The American people achieved victory this week.  Background checks or no background checks, gun crimes will not stop.  Self defense is crucial to stemming the effect that gun violence has over our society.  Every day that a law-abiding citizen walks around the streets unarmed is a day that their level of personal protection is weakened.

To celebrate, take your favorite gun out to the range and start shooting.  Enjoy your freedom to keep and bear arms…while you still have it.

Arizona voters reject bill that would solidify two-party system

landscapeArizona residents gave third parties some good news last November as state residents rejected Proposition 121 that would have excluded any third party from the general election in the state of Arizona, a result that the Libertarian party says is proof that informed voters are generally supportive of challengers to the status quo.

From the Chairman of the Arizona Libertarian party, Warren Severin:

“It started as an uphill fight and it stayed that way, all the way. And, we won!” Severin said.

“Mid-summer of 2011, an ex-mayor of Phoenix decided that what was good for California surely must be good for Arizona. So, he began a ballot initiative to amend the Arizona Constitution to replace much of Arizona’s election code (‘Title 16’) with a top-two system. Unlike a legislative change, a constitutional amendment is the way to get something implemented so that it isn’t easily reversed a few years down the road, when folks figure out it was a bad idea. And, a ballot initiative is a sneaky way to implement a Constitutional amendment. Instead of requiring a two-thirds majority to pass in the legislature, it takes a mere 50 percent of voters at the polls.

“There was serious money, by Arizona standards, behind the duplicitously named ‘Open Government Committee’ and their Proposition 121. Overall the committee spent over $1.3 million to get the measure on the ballot and publicize it.

“Arizona’s major media outlets, including the Arizona Republic, lined up behind Prop 121, running favorable editorials and letters to the editor throughout the campaign.

“The pro publicity was extremely effective. In November 2011, one year before the election, Arizona State University Morrison Institute for Public Policy conducted a poll to gauge the support for such an initiative. The poll showed that voters who had an opinion were 2:1 in favor of the initiative.

“Opposition to Prop 121 started with a heads-up email from then-LNC chair Mark Hinkle to me, the Arizona state chair, noting that a top-two ballot proposition had been filed with the Arizona secretary of state the day before. Richard Winger, editor of Ballot Access News, quickly made contact with the Arizona LP (AZLP) to offer his help. A joint meeting of the AZLP and Arizona Green Party (AZGP) boards was quickly convened in my living room. Richard Winger flew in for the meeting. At that meeting, it was agreed that AZLP and AZGP would join forces in opposition to the proposition. While we would not speak for each other, we would at every opportunity reinforce our joint opposition, and we would collaborate on opportunities to do so. We very quickly found another ally, the League of Women Voters of Arizona.

“There was tight communication between these groups for the duration of the fight. All opportunities for speaking and written opposition were quickly communicated among us. We all took every opportunity, whether online or in the printed press or public speaking. Winger provided documentation and historical context. Before long, the press took note that there was tightly knit opposition. In Arizona, the secretary of state publishes a booklet of pro and con statements about the various resolutions, mailed to every voter. The AZLP alone was responsible for three separate statements in that booklet.

“Reinforcements began to arrive. Meetings with local Tea Parties were fruitful. Mark Rogalski, a local activist lawyer, joined the team. Mark successfully petitioned the secretary of state to have the wording of Prop 121 on the ballot and in the voter guide changed to something fair to both the proponents and opponents.

“This was critical to informing voters of what they were voting for. Wording that favored proponents in the California and Washington ballot initiatives may be the biggest reason they passed in those states.

“Americans for Responsible Leadership, a group of conservative Arizona business leaders, formed a group called Save Our Vote Arizona. This group and Michael Liburdi provided legal counsel during the summer. Court challenges were launched on two fronts — the constitutionality of the proposition in regard to Arizona’s ‘single subject’ rule for ballot propositions as well as the legitimacy of the signatures on the petitions. Although both actions failed, they raised public awareness.

“Local Ron Paul supporters began to see the detrimental effects that Prop 121 would have on the broader Freedom Movement and took up the fight against top-two.

“Christina Tobin and her Free and Equal Elections Foundation were valuable. Christina herself made a tour through Arizona in opposition to Prop 121, speaking at the Goldwater Institute and a host of other venues all across the state.

“By late summer unofficial polls rumored that Prop 121 might be in trouble. Then, the icing on the cake — in October, Save Our Vote Arizona put $400,000 into a final anti–Prop 121 mail advertising campaign.

“On election day, the results were profound. The proposition that had started a year earlier with 2:1 voter approval lost by a 2:1 margin, despite the fact that the proponents outspent the opposition by 3:1. We all pulled together with good communication and cooperation, and the electoral process performed as it should. Sometimes I think the system might just work.”

More Republicans willing to accept tax increases to avoid cliff

In a sign that Republicans feel the pressure from the White House and Congress to pass “something” that resembles fiscal reform, more Republicans in D.C. are showing signs that they are willing to accept tax increases on the wealthy to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that looms in the near future.

This includes Tea Partiers who at one point slammed Congress for not doing enough to curb spending and provide tax relief for the majority of taxpayers.  At the heart of the matter is whether or not the Bush-era tax cuts will get extended to all Americans, or just those who make under $250,000 a year.

“I am not going to take anything off the table if we can resolve some of our biggest issues as a country,” said Michigan representative Justin Amash – an attorney by trade – who enjoyed big-time Tea Party support.  Or Sean Duffy from Wisconsin, who said that he believes in a “balanced” approach to the fiscal problem and generally accepting of the language put in place by Democratic leadership to raise revenue via taxation.

Even Florida Congressman Allen West, who recently lost his re-election bid (but still holds his seat until January) said he generally supports tax increases on wealthier Americans.  He believes the threshold for “wealthy” needs to be set at $2m, rather than the $250k set forth by the president.

Many of these Republicans seem unaware that public revenues often decrease as taxes on the wealthy are increased.  Facts and basic economic principles be damned, though, as our elected representatives decide on which Americans to screw over in order to fund the next wave of government spending.

Many support the closure of loopholes in the system, and that’s good.  But far too much attention is being paid on the easier solution of raising taxes on those who already pay the majority of taxes – which, as we’ve stated many times before throughout SmallGovTimes.com, encourages the exploitation of loopholes, offshore bank accounts and in some cases a straight exodus of revenue-generating businesses from our nation.

Republican Steve King said of the matter, “Conservatives might be able to figure how they can go home and rationalize a vote that included a revenue increase and or a tax rate increase.”  There always seems to be a way, and that is the problem.

Compromise cannot be the cornerstone of Republican recovery

It is darn tough to be a Republican these days.  The Republican Party in Washington remains steadfastly opposed to fighting for the principles that they supposedly believe in.  Their candidate lost to one of the more beatable Democratic presidential candidates in recently history and, not even a full work week after the loss, had their Congressional leader promise compromise on one of the biggest and most costly regulations this nation has ever seen.

John Boehner is in the hot seat in Washington.  The House Speaker appears to understand that the United States government cannot continue reckless spending, but holds a muddy view on the solution.  Is the fix less spending or more revenue?  Again, Boehner promised compromise with Barack Obama who has repeatedly stated his desire for higher taxes on the wealthy.  More revenue is no solution.

Further, the Republican leadership has seemed to give up entirely on the issue of Obamacare, declaring the complex new set of regulations to be the law of the land.  Not only did the Republicans fail to prevent its passage, but they now seem comfortable and content with its presence in the American economic landscape for years to come.

It is no wonder that the Republicans failed to pick up a more powerful voice in Washington during the 2012 elections.  Quite frankly, they do not appear to have much of a voice at all.  What is their direction?  When is enough enough?  How many more failures will the GOP endure before they realize that compromise and limp-wristed policy-making is no way to re-build a clearly flailing political party?

Small government is the solution to the Republican party.  Americans consistently embrace the principles of a more Libertarian and laissez-faire government and economic policy structure, but few are prepared to place their vote for anyone other than a Republican or Democrat.  The Republican base is looking for a reason to vote again.  They will take almost anything, any semblance of reform, of true change, of a smaller and more freedom-loving government.  All the Republicans need to do is offer it up.

Will the Republicans respond?

Gary Johnson a spoiler in the 2012 elections? Think again

It is inevitable.  If the Republican Party loses an election – especially one against an entirely beatable candidate like Barack Obama, the blame game begins.  A popular victim in this game of placing blame?  The libertarian party, and this time, the supposed spoiler is Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

The problem?  Johnson had absolutely nothing to do with this election.  The spoiler in this race for the Republican party was none other than Mitt Romney.

Without exception, polls show the American people are disgusted with their government.  The people find politicians untrustworthy and, in many cases, downright criminal.  Americans place very little confidence in the economy and especially our political class’ ability to manage it.  This election was ripe for a change at the helm.

Unfortunately for the GOP, facts stand in the way of placing the blame on Gary Johnson.  In an election where nearly 105 million people voted, Johnson received just over one million.  Romney and Obama both garnered over 52 million a piece.  One million votes do not, under nearly any circumstance in an election of this magnitude, make or break an election.  If you cannot beat Barack Obama because a third party claimed 1,012,617 votes, then you have a serious problem on your hands.

The problem was Mitt Romney.  The larger problem is the entire Republican party.  The issue lies in the destruction of the Republican base at the hands of GOP leaders in Congress, primarily lead by limp-wristed John “Obamacare is the law of the land” Boehner.  The utter abandonment of any semblance of small government within the Republican party effectively destroyed the GOP’s chances at beating Barack Obama even in times of extreme economic uncertainty, huge debts and low poll numbers.  In short, Republicans were unmotivated to vote.

Gary Johnson had nothing to do with this election.  The problem lies with the Republican party, and until they begin taking personal responsibility for their own failures, this country will continue to see Democratic rule from the top spot in the land.