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Sometimes we need to look from without to see within.
A good self-honest look in the mirror from time to time is required to maintain a strong foundation of adherent principle. This is true not only of individuals, but of organizations, groups, companies, families and so on.
When learning civics we were taught that the process of elections was to select from the best of the best that American exceptionalism had to offer. We were told to go and find a person that understood governance was for the protection of ideals, not the creation of governmental ideas.
What we were never taught was that any registered political party regardless of what you call them is really a corporation. They are not a governmental body or Constitutional authority. A political Party is required to register with the States as a company. They register as a different type of company than say a “for profit” or a “charitable corporation”. The political companies, that we call political partys, purposes are to raise money to promote persons to fill elected positions within government from their company. You know like the Mayors, Council members, Senators, Congressmen and Presidents as well.
The history of each of the two major party structures and their founding is particularly interesting and important to this discussion. The two major partys formed just prior to the civil war. They formed as an outcome of slavery and still carry the binary energy that developed them then. We never seemed to shake the negative bond that created these two partys, in some weird way it was harnessed and acted as propellant.
The issue of slavery split the Whig party. “Conscience Whigs” in the North favored the abolition of slavery and halting the institution’s spread into new territories. The “Cotton Whigs” in the South took the opposite viewpoints. Following Scott’s poor showing in 1852, the southerners moved to the Democratic Party and the northerners to the newly formed Republican Party.
There was never a truly consistent Whig political philosophy, except in the negative sense of opposing excessively concentrated power in the federal government. Their objectives came about largely after their disappearance. With no Southerners in Congress and Abraham Lincoln, a former Whig from Illinois, in the White House, the Republican Party finally passed much of the economic legislation regarding banking and tariffs that had long been advocated by the Whigs.
We can say the same thing today about the two major Partys. Each Party has lost their ability to see the political philosophy that made their party viable. Not only are the major Party apparatuses unable to behave in a principled way, they are unable to legislate from their own platform of political ideals.
So what happened over time? How did these gigantic companies come to stand for everything they say they stand against? The answer is easy to see if you step back and take even a glancing look at the party landscape. This is where the introspection becomes a powerful tool. Remember that the Party is a corporation, a business.
The first similarity you find to a regular business is a Board of Directors. Of which there are several in the Republican and Democratic Party org charts.
Then there are donors; these are the income source for the company. Instead of “selling” a physical widget, the party sells ideas. If you like the ideas then you participate in the company. The Party generally creates a platform of ideals that express those concepts and promises, it is their marketing. The expectancy is that if you give the Party money or support their candidates, they will work to advance the ideals as spelled out in the platform. Rather symbiotic in it’s pure form. Simply, the premise is that if you like where they say they are going politically then you will support them.
There are also stock holders in the company. They are known as voters. The idea of our form of elections is “one man one vote”.
Along the way there is a point at which men with personal ambition and money wrestled power away from the stock holders. They began to hold influence over the company in ways that eroded the true political ideology and motivations of the platform as well as its supporters. Their influence promoted their interest whether it was concurrent with party political philosophy or not. They use the Party to elect beholden legislators for special interest purposes that are a benefit to the few and not the Nation.
In an effort to calm the shareholders whenever the cracks begin to form, the Party begins dispensing loyalist rewards and graft in an effort to keep the façade of ideology in place. It is important to understand that at a point in the development of the political party there ceases to exist a pure ideological inertia that drives the operations. It morphs into a bi-polar leviathan of greed and self-interest vs. principle. Some call it “compromise”.
Behind the scenes and away from prying ears and eyes of God fearing Americans, political organizations fulfill the obligations of big donors and loyalists before our interests. They do this while they declare their ideological motivation as a smoke screen for their back room deals. After all, they are a corporation and are very good at marketing.
So if you listen to what is said by the Party and its leaders and compare it against the actual legislative outcomes you can see this plain as day. This is never more apparent than with the current two major Party candidates for President.
Political leaders are willing to make excuse after excuse for those that violate the basic tenants of civility let alone principle. Why? They do it so that they may WIN. They have to WIN in order to fulfill their laundry list of favors, graft and pay off. They have to WIN to make good on their effort of deception and greed. They have to win to remain in power. They have to win to keep the Corporation relevant, the doors open and the money flowing in. “Our side good, their side bad”.
So when you speak of crony capitalism remember crony politics. It is even more dangerous to America and her societal fabric.
What we are seeing unfold in front of us is truly historic in scale. These days we live in will be written about and remembered for a long time to come. We are voting for a candidate so we can vote against the other one. How twisted is that? It is even more twisted especially when there are more than just the two of them on the ballot.
As far as I can tell, not only has the body politic become consumed from its own ego and self-indulgence but democracy, because of the lack of conviction to principle, is rapidly departing America as well.
America and her political system have become a hollow shell. There is nothing left but greed and coercion and the threat of coercion. We have forsaken our principles and denied our character. Our institutions are choking from the ruthless behavior of those that have hijacked it for personal wealth and power.
And those that remain in the body politic to revitalize or save her are doing a disservice. The longer we string this gluttonous monster along the more we prolong her inevitable demise. Any system sick and riddled with dark intention that masks herself as the great American savior should be moved to the back pasture and taken from the earth. It is time for a renewal of principle.
When the authors of day’s future reflect upon the cause and the reasoning of the collapse of the two major Party structures and influence they will undoubtedly see the cause was simple. The Party stopped being an ideological vehicle for likeminded men to insure their independence and freedom. It has since been replaced with actors and charlatans abusing their power and influence for the interest of a few, over the interest of a nation’s people and her principles.
A lot of this was possible because of the trust voters / shareholders placed in the system. We gave absolute credibility to the leaders and stopped watching our own. We accepted the occasional morsel of principle they throw to the floor when we become too restless and we settle in an interest of unity.
There are a lot of actors in this long running play. And there is no one less responsible than the other. There are however those more principled in their intent than others.
There are a small percentage of Republicans and Democrats that still hold to the ideological premise of the political Party. However, the Party does not have your ideological interests as fuel for its inertia. So when the fallout from this embarrassing circus we call an election settles you can be sure that the ideological shareholders will be villainized and purged. There is at last no place left for good men to serve in the major political Party’s.
So I ask again, the big tent is on fire, where do you go from here? Because it seems like honesty has become self-sacrifice. Perhaps an affiliation with principle and not a Party is a direction to consider.
~ Eric D. Miller – 2016