Our Founding Fathers never anticipated political parties or the influence that special interests and lobbyists would have on the political process. Governance, the bureaucratic State evolving into an administrative deep state answerable only to an elite ruling class were afterthoughts. Our Founding Fathers weren’t naive, and they understood very clearly the fallen nature of man and the need for the side rails of government.
The evils that existed in every man’s heart—including their own, avarice, pride, and covetousness—needed to be controlled so that individuals could protect their own families and property, work to produce familial and community wealth, and compete in open marketplaces where goods and services could be exchanged openly and the needs of both buyer and seller could be facilitated and met.
The Founding scripts of our country—The Constitution and our Great Declaration, were unique in their time and remain transcendent and unparalleled. They recognized our dependence on Devine Providence. They incorporated into the moral predicate of our unique corporate enterprise the lessons of civilization’s great March that started in antiquity in Israel and Athens. They established a political philosophy recognizing that the best most moral governments derived their authority from the consent of the governed—not a king or feudal lord, not a state-sponsored Bishopric, and certainly not from a General.
Most political scientists today believe that the beginning of political parties in our country began with the Presidential Election of 1800 between Federalist John Adams and Republican Thomas Jefferson. These parties actually grew out of well-recognized political “factions” that had their origins much earlier in Great Britain, Ireland, and Scotland. Different than in our country these early factions in Great Britain arose from parliamentary controversies about the relationship of the monarch to his or her subjects. The Whigs opposed an absolute monarchy and the Devine right of Kings. They supported constitutional monarchy. Their adversaries were the Tories. The Whigs between 1700 and 1850 would merge with the Peelites and the Radicals to form the Liberal Party.
In our country, the Federalists led by John Adams and Alexander Hamilton were for strong central governments. The Republicans that morphed into the Democratic Party of the 1820s were for strong State governments and a weaker central government. Only with the addition of the Bill of Rights to our Constitution mostly written by James Madison—a Jefferson Republican, and Alexander Hamilton a Federalist, were the two political factions in our country able to merge and then emerge from the inadequacies that were inherent in the Articles of Confederation.
Today in our country both in the States—just look to Idaho, and in Washington DC, we are unable to find common political ground in our politics, or in trying to govern ourselves. They are in the end the same issue. In our country the early political parties were formed so that individual citizens with a common moral predicate and political philosophy, could come together for what they perceived to be a “common good” for one reason only—to leverage political power. Today our political parties lack a common or central moral predicate and when they come together with the purpose of exerting their own political power, they implode and diffuse what political capital they may have gained. The humanistic moral philosophy of the political left lends itself more to a “group think” mentality and the support of a coercive intrusive state—think Oceania in 1984.
Remember when the late Adli Stevenson the Sr. opined that “there comes a time when we must all rise above principle”? That is anathema—if you have a medical dictionary maybe even an enanthema, to those who refuse to understand that compromising a political position on issues of a prudential truth is very different than compromising a position of Providential truth—like a pro-life position or one of family sovereignty. Conservatives in our country are “rugged individualists”. Trying to get a group of conservatives to agree to anything—much less 80% of a party platform is like herding cats or doctors at a medical convention. COMPROMISE is a sign of weakness for most conservatives even if the strategic end would justify the political means.
The other problem with modern-day political factions is that they tend to follow cults of personality. The allegiance of a follower is based on emotion and intuition. Liking a candidate is very different than respecting a political position based on a shared principle of governance. There are certainly admirable personality characteristics in people who represent all political philosophies. It is more important to look at what people do and write and how they address specific issues, than it is to vote on their physical appearance or ethnicity, or gender. They say that most of our founding fathers were anything but attractive in their physical appearances. It was what was in their hearts, minds, and souls that made them unique. That is where we should look to when deciding who will lead us.
Whether you are a mayor of a small city taking a large campaign contribution from a developer who does business before city council, or a Governor of a State whose power comes not from your own conscience or political philosophy, but from the monied interests that also do business before the State; or you are a legislator in Washington DC having cocktails at The Army Navy Club with defense contractors, the purpose of such transactions must always be examined. If one is more interested in getting reelected or having access to a beachfront property on the Chesapeake Bay or Snake or Boise River, then let’s kick the monied ruling. legacy, aristocrats out. If they are more interested in consolidating power for themselves and not for the people, they represent then it is time to move on. Political factions must first and always stand on the will of the people and should never be used to enrich in any way politicians or lobbyist interests.
The moral standard that I am going to use to assess a politician asking for my vote for as long as I am able to vote can be found in the last sentence of our Declaration of Independence:
“And for the support of the Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Devine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our Lives, our Fortunes, and Our Sacred Honor.”
What politics is lacking today is the moral predicate to bring factions together. For me, the reliance on Devine Providence is key. We can disagree on many issues like a budget process or a continuing resolution, or where and how a road is to be built, or the $18million/2yr salary of a hospital CEO whose institution receives fungible government transfer payments. I can only hope and pray that the person representing me—at any level of government, would be willing to take and live up to such a pledge. What more important job could there ever be—other than being a mother or father, than the job of ensuring the liberty and sovereignty of one’s constituents?
One final note about that last sentence in our Declaration. Did you see what their publicly stated priorities were? Lives, Fortunes, and Honor. To them ONLY HONOR WAS SACRED. How many of our politicians today could make such a statement without the entire electorate breaking out in mass laughter?