Nobody Wins When We’re Fighting Ourselves.
Democrats blame Republicans for the failure of our government. Just as loudly, Republicans blame Democrats for the failure of our government. I’ve got to say, I think this may be the one time when both sides are telling the truth.
Just as the Executive and Legislative Branches of U.S. government were designed to make balanced progress through a constant struggle for both progress and power, so should the relationship between our politicians and citizens work. Obviously, it’s not working.
Citizenship vs. Partizenship
The past decade has seen far too many advances in the power of our partisan politicians, at the expense of our citizens. The power shift has been so great that the bitter partisanship now reins supreme in D.C., giving citizenship and politics both a bad name.
Partisanship thrives at both a political, and a grass roots citizen level. When citizens finally buckle, and give in to the mob rule of partisan pressure – the same pressure politicians gave in to decades ago – I call that “Partizenship,” and I don’t think many would deny that today’s divisive culture reeks of partizenship.
Divide and Conquer
The Devil loves partisanship. Like racism, financial inequity and sexism, partisanship is just another effective tool that can be used to divide people, and stall meaningful human progress in its tracks. It’s no wonder the word “diabolo” means “divide and separate,” a favorite activity of Diabolo himself.
Billion Dollar Barrier To Entry
Unless you’re Ross Perot or Donald Trump, the high price of modern day campaigns is a major factor that keeps candidates, and would-be candidates indebted to the partisan machines. Federal campaigns are simply out of reach for most Americans who dream of running. Who benefits from the minimum buy-in being so high? The parties (oh, and the billionaires).
Today’s political parties have become nothing more than general cause lobbies, and they’ve gotten extremely proficient at not only fund raising and campaign management, but they’ve also mastered corporate espionage and intelligence gathering, big data mining, information gathering, race baiting, rumor mongering, reputation bashing, career-threatening, scandal spreading, and more.
Today’s modern political parties are in fact, mega corporations, with multi billion dollar budgets. And here’s a scary fact: they’re self-policing.
Thriving on Crisis
“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”
– Rahm Emmanuel
Political crisis is revered and welcomed by today’s partizen leaders. The simple reason: crisis brings money and power to the party. Political division, with flames fanned by partizen interests, fills treasure chests faster than unity.
Fact is, few people contribute to a political cause unless they think the cause is in imminent danger.
So again, we’ve got major dissonence between partizen and citizen interests. Citizens want unity and action; partizens know division and stalemate earns them relevance in their fund raising efforts.
When political issues are managed by partizen leaders looking for an opportunity to turn a buck or pad their power base, you can bet the partizen will most often seize the moment, and pull a Rahm.
Addicted To The Lobbyist
Parties launder lobbyist money into campaign coffers faster than OPEC pumps oil. Parties haven’t met a lobbyist or corporate interest they aren’t willing to fully weigh in and pay in to buy influence at every level of government, as well as play kingmaker in elections, playing a deciding (and corrupt) role in which precincts, districts and states will have contested elections or not, making decisions which were supposed to be reserved for the People, not the Parties.
No Leadership Development
Parties neglect the valuable purpose a political party can, and should play on behalf of the American citizen: to find, encourage, recruit, fully vet, organize and train in tomorrow’s political leaders. They do an adequate job of laying the planks of a party platform, but parties have all but forgotten how to be an integral part in developing and fostering authentic leadership for the future. Why is
Authentic leadership isn’t dead in America, but you won’t easily find it in the partizen systems we’re suffering under today.
Campaign Costs Out of Control (By Design)
Our political leaders are constantly fundraising, all the while consuming inordinate amount of time. Meanwhile, taxpayers are left footing the bill for part-time for Presidential fundraiser appearances, security batallions, travel and per diem costs for it all. All to raise untold billions of dollars to further empower political parties to do what exactly?
Individuals are utterly powerless to harness or re-direct the all-consuming monster they helped create. So, what do they do? The only thing they think they can do: they bow to its power, and feed the beast with more money, more power, and more patronage, at the expense of citizens’ rights.
Separation of Party and State
Just as we have a legal and Constitutionally directed separation of Church and State, to help ensure any particular religious institution can’t or won’t impose its own agenda or will upon the people, we too need to realize other corporate institutions – in this case, political parties – can and have corrupted our governmental process.
To fight the temptress of political partisanship, too need modern defen
We need to intercede with a clearer separation of Party and State. Here are just a few needed reforms and NEW regulation of PARTIES (below), WHAT are your ideas for reform, if any?
– Term limits for all elected officials (2 terms)
– All vacant seats (through retirement, resignation, death of current elected official, etc) are filled by ELECTION only, no appointments by parties OR elected officials (e.g. Governor appointing Senators, etc)
– Publicly funded campaigns – NO campaign contributions allowed, period
– No campaign staff can be hired by the elected official
– No sitting elected official above Precinct Committee level may simultaneously be a Party Executive nor Board Member
WHAT are your ideas for reform? I’d appreciate your thoughts in the comments!
Photo by Scott Law | Photo illustration by John Coonen