Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Party of One ...

I watched a number of the speeches from the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last weekend on C-SPAN (yes, people do actually watch this channel), and was pleased by a number of the concepts and sentiments expressed. One of the things that particularly struck me was that while it was assumed that these principles are more in line with the Republican Party than with the Democrats, neither of these parties is allowed to call the resurgent conservative movement their own. The Tea Parties likewise seem to be successfully resisting the siren song of those desiring them to become the most conservative and vocal part of the Republican Party. Even Libertarians, who epitomize truly conservative thought by an organized political party (and sometimes it's a stretch to use organized when speaking about Libertarians), do not get ownership rights to this movement. 

It occurred to me while processing all of this information that in fact many more candidates than ever more are running for office without seeking the approval, support, or funding of the two major political parties. The concept of the truly Independent candidate is becoming as much the rule as the exception in politics today. Now the argument made against these independent candidates is that without party affiliation, they will find their battle to achieve office more difficult. 

So what! 

Achieving elected office is a pretty good gig these days and no well paying job is easy to get. Why shouldn't they have to work hard for it? We are told that funding will become much harder to find for such campaigns, since they don't have the traditional support afforded to candidates of the two major parties. I find these comments rather disingenuous, since they usually come from people representing those two major parties, and often by the very same people who decry the overabundance of money in politics. 

We are likewise told that un-allied neophytes to political office will be much more likely to fall under the sway of evil lobbyists. It seems to me however, that our "experienced, professional politicians" have done an admirable job of falling prey to the mesmerism of these bottom feeding drones, so I see little to concern me and absolutely no proof that the situation will become worse. We are told that only through bi-partisan compromise between the two major parties can government steer the country on its proper course. 

Well the Democratic and Republican parties have been around for well over 100 years, and the most cursory examination the course they have charted for the country looks like the zig-zag sailed by a vessel attempting to navigate waters under open submarine warfare. (Come to think of it, this course also seems like one we would see under the control of drunken sailors, the same comparison we often use when discussing their spending habits.) Besides, I haven't noticed a lot of bi-partisan compromise going on lately, regardless of which major party is in power, so why should my support be based on such a concern. 

We are finally told that if such people are elected to office, that they will be able to accomplish little while in office. It is said that without party allies, they will not be able to advance an agenda. My response to this is, "What's wrong with that?" It's not like I approve of much of what either major party in government has been accomplishing lately. 

Perhaps if politicians were able to accomplish less for a while (or nothing at all for that matter), the country would be better served. The bottom line here is that in a country governed by a representative republic (which is what we are, not a democracy) citizens elect from among themselves people to serve the interests of their constituents and not that of a national political party. 

The current state of the republic in this country often seems to have gone terribly wrong however by putting party loyalty ahead of constituent loyalty. I therefore have no problem at all with the current crop of Independent candidates, and in fact welcome their entrance into the political process. If this is the only we can get back to having elected officials truly representing the interests that they are supposed to be, then I believe that more of us should embrace these Parties of One.

1 comment:

Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...


Just think ow refreshing it would be if people of independent thought were to take hold of the governmental reigns and perhaps do what was best for the country, the party be damned.

What a concept!

Right out of the thoughts of our founding fathers ;-)