In his farewell address, George Washington warned against the party system. “It serves to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration….agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one….against another….it opens the door to foreign influence and corruption…thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.”
We see the result of not heeding his warning in U.S. politics today. And what follows is an example of what happens when the party system takes over politics in America. Magnified many times over across the United States, it is no wonder the public are jaundiced against politics, parties, and politicians.
Last Wednesday a group of Republicans in Nodaway County, Missouri, met in a secret meeting to set the agenda for the March 17 county caucus meeting and decide on a slate to attend the Republican convention at the district and state levels. They agreed in secret on who would be nominated to chair the county caucus meeting and who would be the Parliamentarian, Sergeant-at-Arms, and rules committee members. A list of delegates was drawn up that will be submitted as a package. Each person committed to vote for Rick Santorum.
If their secret plans unfold like they anticipate here is how it will go. After signing in before 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 17, the meeting will be called to order. Someone will quickly nominate their choice as chair. He will name the Parliamentarian and Sergeant-at-Arms. Then a slate of delegates will be put forward and voted on. It will be the same slate decided on in the secret meeting. Any objections will be ruled out of order. Within minutes the meeting will be over and Republicans from outside the inner group will be astonished and disappointed by the proceedings, not knowing that what they just witnessed had been planned and choreographed before hand.
Four years ago I attended the caucus as an outsider. There were nine of us to 11 insiders. We were quickly out-maneuvered, out-voted and silenced, completely unaware of what was happening.
A preferred scenario would see more outsiders than insiders in attendance. (The insiders will likely have 20 people at the caucus meeting.) The outsiders would nominate their own chair and vote as a block against the insider chair. The outsider chair would name an outsider Parliamentarian, Sergeant-at-Arms, and elect a rules committee. Then the floor would be opened for nominees to attend the district and state conventions. The nominees would represent all four Republican candidates, not just the one candidate the insiders want. They would have an opportunity to speak and express their support for their candidate. A slate would finally be elected that represents the viewpoint of all at the caucus meeting.
The party system is destroying liberty in America. No longer do the people decide who will be the next president, but instead we have two choices that are decided in secret meetings across America. Both candidates are mirrors of each other and don’t truly represent the people of the United States. A similar process is followed in single party democracies like Cuba, Venezuela, China, and Mexico. George Washington warned that this would happen. Secret combinations, not the people, are deciding who will govern us and what policies will be enforced.