Political parties first emerged during George Washington’s first term in office. It began with the Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Party in 1791 and in the following year, the formation of the Anti-Federalist Party or Democratic-Republicans under the leadership of Thomas Jefferson.
Then, as now with the Republican and Democrat Parties, the two political parties formulated their views of how government ought to operate.
After many political skirmishes, foreign policy differences, personal differences between members of each party, and even violence. When Alexander Hamilton appeared at a meeting in his home state of New York to explain the benefits of the Jay Treaty (regarding restitution of the lost ships and a number of outstanding issues with the motherland leftover from the revolution), crowds hissed and booed and some even threw stones at the Secretary of the Treasury.
You see, party lines and loyalty were drawn to the point of personal bitterness and public destructiveness. The deep divisions made a mighty impact on President Washington. He understood intuitively that these divisions would eventually harm the fragile nature of this newly formed nation.
Washington knew that political parties had, at its core, a destructive nature because of the temptation to manifest and retain power and eventually they would seek to extract revenge on political opponents. In addition, the alternate domination” of one political party over another, allows a temporary power interlude in which one party can use its power to obtain revenge on the other.
In reading Washington’s Farewell Address, I am going to point out some passages :
- 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.
- 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 finds 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.
Do either of these passages sound familiar? Another one of our esteemed Founding Fathers, stated the following: 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.
In other words, political factions in their end state, will exist as their own “nation” including and excluding one or another based not upon the Constitution but for their own means. This played out in the most surreal manner when the individuals running for President were coerced into pledging a loyalty oath, not to the Constitution or the people of America — in fact, not even to America —- but to the Republican National Committee that in the event the votes did not go their way, then they would not compete with a third party.
One by one, each of the candidates who were sure that THEY would emerge the sole winner signed publicly this oath to the party – not to the Constitution or the people of the country, but to the party. Trump, understanding that this trap was meant for him, was the final hold-out.
The disturbing nature of this whole escapade, however, was the lack of intellectual depth. It is remarkable that the Founding Fathers were able to think through the consequences of “man’s behavior” and propensity towards so many self serving behavioral patterns without the benefit of the internet or any other modern aids. The 17 standing on the stage did not the courage and maturity to say “We should not sign oaths to anything or anyone but the Country we wish to represent as President.”
Since then, we have witnessed one after another candidate fall by the wayside screaming that if “this one” or “that one” gets elected the the “party” is “dead”. No one is worried about America or America’s people………. only the “party”.
So steeped in the love of this “party”, men have been driven to utter madness. One former Presidential candidate from a different year is so fearful of the loss of his “party” power that he has become a “serial endorser”, jumping from one endorsement to another in the hopes that his endorsement will somehow hold more sway on the public opinion than it did the first or second time. In his feverish zeal, he does not even care how awful he looks to people who keep watching his grovelling accolades for a man he now vilifies. Whether he did it for money then or not, he will never hold the esteemed stature he once did.
So blinded with fear and hatred, the so called “establishment” don’t know that the people are watching and truth is being revealed. The “other” party had long said that the Republican Party seeks to “suppress” votes in order to win…… Now we have an obscure unbound delegate by the name of Curly Haugland, from North Dakota that said “The rules are still designed to have a political party choose its nominee at a convention. That’s just the way it is. I can’t help it. Don’t hate me because I love the rules.” In other words he said that, in fact, the voters don’t choose the candidate – he and people like him “do the choosing”, then adding insult to injury…. he indicated that he does not even know why primaries are held the people’s votes don’t even count! So the rules Mr. Curly Haugland “loves” are the ones that would “suppress” the votes of millions. And he has gleefully expressed this on many news shows including “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” who will use these words again to illustrate claims of “Republican voter suppression” against illegals, felons, people who vote 50 times in every state and anyone else not given a ballot at will. Because, after all, the Republicans “suppress their OWN voters, why not everyone else…… will be the reasoning.
Well, perhaps there IS a shining light at the end of this shameful tunnel. Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) today announced He has rejected the “Never Trump” movement, and made a bold announcement that he’s standing WITH Trump! The GOP establishment is done for,” he said on MSNBC’s Meet the Press. “This race shows that.”Jindal has watched the political establishment attack and smear Trump… They have called Trump “racist,” “bigoted,” and even shared pictures from his wife’s modeling days. In a word, they are “shameless” in their behavior.
This is NOT a Trump piece, this is just one observation from the trenches. The behavior of the members of the Party, their fear of losing their grip on power and money, the admission that they are not above rigging the system to “select” a candidate rather than “elect” a candidate as one would do in an election in a free country indicates that the party never wanted to express the will of the people nor the values the country was founded upon. And most importantly, they never believed that votes reflect the will of the people but sought to IMPOSE their will UPON the people, because it is their Party and they know best.
So, can the Republican Party be saved? Or is the Party over and the lights out on the Grand Old Party? I guess it is up to the PEOPLE to decide, but instead of “Grand”, we might use “Gasping” because people are getting real turned off by this …… real turned off. And regardless of the outcome, I think it is going to take a Herculean level of effort to get the PEOPLE to trust them again.
Our first President as many of the Founding Fathers had great insight…….