Political parties are the self-appointed “ruling class” in America
By Joe Angione Founder Citizens Against Political Parties.
Less than 14 percent of Americans approve of the work done by our representatives in Washington to govern the nation in the best interests of the people. Nearly everyone knows that, although “we the people” elect the members of Congress, they refuse to faithfully represent the will of the people, choosing instead to follow the dictates of the political parties to which they belong. Citizens Against Political Parties will change all this.
Time to put political parties out of existence. Political parties have become the self-appointed “ruling class” in America. Their power has been usurped from the American people. Nothing in the U. S. Constitution gives them the authority to control the business of government.
Citizens Against Political Parties is being launched to bring about positive change that will redirect our representatives in Washington toward responsible, constituent-oriented government.
An irresponsible Congress, unresponsive to America’s needs, is the product of a deadly poison that is eating away at the framework of our republic even down to the foundation upon which it stands: The United States Constitution. This poison has grown more potent across each generation and has seeped into every issue we face, every position taken in government legislation. This poison is the system of political parties we’ve allowed to infect and corrupt elected officials at all levels in America.
Political poison puts America on its “death bed.” There is no antidote for this poison. But it can be cut off at its source by denying political parties the funds and support they need to exist. If we, the American people, don’t do everything in our power to defund political parties, and disband them by refusing to accept their agendas, America will not survive for more than another decade. We need only to close our wallets, put down our checkbooks, and refuse to join and fund organizations that put political power first and the people last. No more contributions to political parties.
Political parties have reached a new lethality. Government gridlock is the power play being used by congressional adversaries. There is virtually no issue--even the budget necessary for national defense--on which these parties will negotiate in good faith, no less come to some agreement.
The political battle for control of Congress is all consuming, leaving no concern at all for the best interests and urgent needs of the nation. Even the media, mainstream or conservative, have little interest in how politics serves the public good. Commentary focuses almost exclusively on the fortunes of the warring political factions. This war is all that matters.
America is being held for ransom by the political parties that control the elected officials “we the people” put in office. It’s painfully clear they have absolutely no allegiance to us. Are we too stupid to understand that, the moment we elect people to office, they pass out of our influence and into the hands of corrupt political leaders? Few among our elected leaders have the guts to break away from their party controllers…to vote their own conscience…to follow their own inclinations…to faithfully represent their constituents…to do what they truly believe is right for America.
Free America from political oppression. You’re invited to join Citizens Against Political Parties (CAPP). The movement’s goal is to put a cap on political poison and then drive it out of existence. There are no forms to fill out…no dues to be paid…no cards to carry to be a member. All that’s required is your personal commitment to end your membership in, and cease all your support for, any political party. Naturally, a replacement for the promotional activities and communications events associated with election campaignsk is absolutely vital...so is a viable alternative for the fund raising that is needed to propel political candidates on to win elections.
The CAPP plan presents these alternatives. America urgently needs more good men and women in government who will stand true to themselves…acting with honor…adhering to their personal convictions, while remaining always loyal to the trust the American people have placed in them. The following pages present a plan to end the power of political parties.
About Joe Angione From 2004 until 2010, Joe Angione served as chief opinion page columnist for The Villages Daily Sun, a 40,000 circulation daily located in Central Florida. He has written hundreds of articles on a wide range of social, political, military, economic and environmental issues.
Prior to joining The Villages Daily Sun, Joe spent 35 years publishing magazines for various businesses and professions, including food retailing, restaurant management, cable television, human resources management and for a broad spectrum of medical practitioners.
At the heart of Joe’s newspaper columns are these convictions:
- The U.S. Constitution must be preserved at all costs. - A country without secure borders is not a viable nation. - Diversity is a deceit; assimilation has made us strong. - Political parties have gained too much power and operate in an unconstitutional manner. - Socialism is the most failed political ideology in history, and not to be repeated here.
Joe now publishes his own Internet newsletter that has received an overwhelming response from conservatives locally and across Florida. Feel free to visit “conservatively.net”. Occasionally he speaks at Tea Party meetings and meetings of other conservative organizations.
Citizens Against Political Parties A Plan to End the Power of Political Parties
Part One: There is an urgent need to eliminate political parties as the corrupt source of power in American government. If we are to survive as a free and prosperous nation and a world leader, political parties must be driven out of government.
Many of those who have paid attention in recent years to the political discourse coming out of Washington might readily agree that our political parties are unconstitutional in their impact on the American people. And I mean all of the nation’s more than 30 major and minor parties: Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, as well as the Green Party, Constitutional Party, American Conservative Party, the Communists and Socialists, and any party organized for the purpose of gaining power to control government at any level in the United States.
The arguments against the power of political parties are now more important than ever before to the future of our republic because the war being waged against the people by political parties has finally brought us to the brink of economic and social disaster. In the case of our two major parties, Democrats and Republicans, their battles to control Congress and every aspect of the federal government have virtually reduced all Americans to nothing more than refugees looking for any cover they can find on a desolate landscape ravaged by ruthless warlords who have absolutely no interest in the wellbeing of the public.
They govern exclusively to pander for votes that will perpetuate their power, and in so doing, they have turned Americans against each other: the poor against the rich, rich and poor against the middle class, the unemployed against working people, labor unions against employers, minorities against whites, immigrants (legal or illegal) against citizens of the United States. The list of sometimes violent confrontations between ethnic, economic and social groups in America goes on unabated, increasing in intensity, with one political party or another striving to gain some advantage from the so-called “utopia of diversity” that has done little but make America a “house divided against itself.” Underscoring most of our concern about how well the federal government serves us is our growing fear that American political parties are obstructing Congress from doing the business outlined for it in the United States Constitution.
U.S. Constitution is silent on political parties. Many of us believe that political parties are expressly ordained by our Constitution, but they are not. There are many other things about our government that we take for granted as explicitly written in the Constitution. You might be astonished to learn that along with no mention of political parties, there’s also no mention in the Constitution about primary elections, executive privilege, the right to vote, separation of church and state, or even the number of justices that should comprise the U.S. Supreme Court.
Of all the things not covered in the Constitution, political parties are now the most troublesome and dangerous to the functioning of government as envisioned by our founding fathers. In recent decades, they have become the single greatest evil challenging the rule of law established by the U.S. Constitution. Political parties rot the fabric of our society and despoil the rich traditions that have made America strong and sovereign for more than 200 years.
George Washington was totally against the idea of political parties, so was Benjamin Franklin.
USConstitutiononline.net notes: “In the time of the Articles of Confederation, there weren't even any parties; factions, perhaps; regional blocs, yes; but no parties.”
The first political parties didn't evolve until well into Washington's presidency. Back then, two of his cabinet members, Alexander Hamilton (Treasury) and Thomas Jefferson (State), didn’t agree on anything and disliked each other intensely. The first political parties, the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans, were formed to support the views of one or the other of these antagonists. This might be a good indication of the true purpose of political parties: strengthening adversarial relationships to accumulate power.
However, not until the Jackson and Van Buren administrations did organized parties really take hold on the American political scene.
Political parties shift focus and strangle democracy. In his book, “Political Parties and Constitutional Government,” University of Virginia politics professor, Sidney M. Milkis, explains: “Political parties initially formed as decentralized political associations that engaged the attention of ordinary citizens and held presidents accountable to local constituencies. But as the power of the presidency and the federal government grew, parties shifted their attention from building political support in the states and localities to vying for control over the national administration and, in the process, lost their vital connection to the electorate.” It might also be said that, in doing this, political parties not only abandoned voters but often purposely worked against them.
In this context, it may be argued that political parties impede the functioning of government and usurp the right of individuals to determine how they are governed.
Milkis goes on to contend that, in the past thirty years, partisan disputes have undermined the public's respect for American political institutions. This has led to Congress being subverted to create special interest-focused rights and entitlements that help concentrate power in the hands of a dominant party and manipulate government. No matter what political parties were originally intended to accomplish for the public, Milkis says they are now increasingly guilty of undermining the wishes of our nation’s founders who favored a republic of free citizens each with a meaningful say in how they are governed. In effect, political parties are replacing our constitutional republic with an oligarchy in which a few powerful persons dictate the flow of all rights and privileges to the people.
Political parties present a “distinction without a difference.” Historically, political parties have come and gone. Today, the Whigs, Federalists, Know-Nothings, Populists, Bull-Moose and Free-Soil parties that wielded considerable power in earlier times are not remembered at all by most Americans. Although each party was initiated to support an opposing ideology, all had an identical objective: control of government for power and profit.
In “The Idea of a Party System,” a book by Columbia University historian, Richard Hofstadter, the author defines a legitimate political party as one offering opposition to existing government policies and practices that is responsible and effective and adheres to the Constitution. He explains: “When we speak of an opposition as being responsible, we mean that it contains within itself the potential of an actual (viable) alternative—that is, its critique of existing policies is not simply a wild attempt to outbid the existing regime in promises, but is a sober attempt to formulate alternative policies which it believes to be capable of execution within the existing historical and economic framework…”
Today, it’s easy to see that political opposition, as reflected in party platforms and campaign rhetoric, is mostly an attempt to outdo the other party in volume of promises wantonly made to seduce voters.
Once parties get their candidates elected--such as to Congress and to state legislatures—most political promises are forgotten, and elected officials go back on their word, abandoning their constituents in favor of following party orders.
A clear example of this was the intent of Congress back in 2007 to extend amnesty to illegal immigrants thereby going against the wishes of more than 70 percent of the American public. If not for an extraordinary public outcry against the amnesty bill, it would have passed.
Amnesty would have translated directly into votes from special-interest groups. That’s why so many in Congress favored it.
Another instance of Congress blocking the desires of constituents is seen in how members have dragged their feet on oil and gas drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf and in Alaska’s ANWR. Although Congress has ended the ban on drilling that had existed for decades at certain off shore sites, it has done nothing to speed up the process of authorizing drilling companies to begin tapping these rich resources. Congress, along with the president, seem more fearful of angering a few radical environmentalists than they are of openly resisting the will of the vast majority of Americans who see increased drilling here and now as the only near-term way to break our dependence on “enemy oil.”
“Clout” of political parties undermines citizens’ rights. The litmus test of whether political parties are unconstitutional isn’t that they are not mentioned in the Constitution or that they desire to influence government. It’s that, too often, their money and clout with the media restrict the range of office seekers to the party “faithful’ who, when elected, turn a deaf ear to constituents whenever necessary to promote the good of their parties. Under no circumstances was control of government by powerful cliques ever favored by the framers of the Constitution as a fair and equitable means for managing the affairs of our nation.
It’s said that American democracy would not work without political parties. That may have been so in the past, but not now. Communications technology is about to make participation in democracy…by the people…and for the people…independent of the need for self-serving push promotions by the political elite. But, more about that later.
In September of this year, the St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote that it is “time for the people to take elections away from parties.” The newspaper reiterated the fact that both James Madison and George Washington repeatedly warned of the danger to our republic inherent in the growth of political parties. “The arts of electioneering will poison the fountains of liberty,” Madison wrote.
Washington’s farewell address sounded the alarm about the corrupting influences of political parties. He said that “in the course of time” political parties would become “potent engines by which cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men would be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government…”
An electoral system stolen from the people. In a recent book, The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans, Mickey Edwards, a former Republican Congressman from Oklahoma, laid out three suggestions for returning to the American people an electoral system stolen by dishonest party professionals. Edwards argues that all states should adopt “open primaries” so that independent voters don’t have to wait for the general elections, only to be offered candidates selected for them without their consent. Edwards wants Democrats, Republicans and other candidates to all run in the primaries against each other. The general election would then pit the top two candidates against each other, whether or not they are from the same party.
Next, Edwards suggests that all states should adopt a “nonpartisan” redistricting commission that would take politics out of the process by which congressional districts are divided up.
Finally, he notes that virtually all candidates who seek to be on the ballot in November are subject to great pressure by their parties to take “hard line positions.” This rigidity is often thought by political parties to give them an edge with their voter base, but because it ignores the vast number of moderates among the electorate, “it is at the root of today’s political dysfunction.”
Everyone must have a hand in rescuing America. Each of us must take action to roll back the power of politicians, to make them work within the precepts of the Constitution. As useful citizens, we must be prepared to take back our republicl. We must vigorously insert ourselves into the mix of influences that shape America’s leadership at all levels of government, and become strong, resolute overseers of our representatives, holding them first and always to the service of their constituents.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that we should retain the political framework within which candidates for office are now identified, recruited and promoted to win elections. There is another way. It has worked to build massively profitable international corporations with hundreds of millions of customers and members. It has already worked with some success on the national political scene, growing more prominent in the last two presidential elections. Read all about it in the second and final part of this series discussing how to end the power of political parties.
A Plan to End the Power of Political Parties
Part Two: How to eliminate the single greatest evil working to destroy America.
Are all political candidates and office holders inherently evil and worthy of our scorn? While a few politicians remain praise-worthy throughout their careers, and many start out with a sincere interest in working for the people, unfortunately most of the good intentions of the newly elected end shortly after arriving in Washington and meeting with the Congressional leaders of their party.
Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania who ran in the 2012 GOP presidential primaries, said quite candidly that “politics is a team sport.” He meant it in both a positive and a negative sense. After political parties began to acquire real power in the 1830s, “playing ball with one another,” and “going along to get along” became the watch words of our elected officials. Back then, the game of politics switched quickly from a desire to focus the urgently needed resources of the federal government on the states, municipalities and electoral districts to one of politicians banding together in an effort to carve up the power of the federal government, and forcing it to serve the special interests of one political entity or another. It’s been said that “birds of a feather flock together.” But modern Washington takes this one step further: If your plumage doesn’t quite blend in when you arrive to take your seat in Congress, you’d better change your colors fast, if you hope to receive an important committee appointment and begin to roll up credits necessary for re-election. Of course, you can stand fast and remain loyal to your principles, but that would only relegate you to sitting behind your impressive desk with nothing to do but pull lint out of your navel. Pardon the pun, but few politicians have the stomach for that. And so, it’s not necessarily that bad people flock to Washington, or into state or local government; it’s mainly that good people find themselves in a bad place and feel they must capitulate to evil or be rendered “hors de combat.”
A complaisant America lets democracy slip away. It never ceases to amaze me that so many intelligent Americans can see how today’s political parties operate with such distain for the people and not become sufficiently angry to actually rise up and do something about it. Right now, the American people’s approval rating for the U.S. Congress stands at about 14 percent. Congress is composed nearly exclusively of Democrats and Republicans with a few independents thrown in who essentially vote with the Democrats. Those who regard Congress as the enemy of the people should know by now that it is indentured to the major political parties. Nine-out-of-ten Americans see the self-serving greed of political parties, and want it ended. They want government at all levels to do the will of the people, but they don’t aggressively demand it. And so, the rape of America happens more often and becomes more outrageous each year.
Contrary to what many perceive about political parties, they are not empowered by the U.S. Constitution to control government at any level and rule over the people. The power political parties have accumulated has been stolen from the American people.
Recently, the news has been filled with stories about the dangers inherent in America falling off the “fiscal cliff” when Republicans attempted to defund Obamacare by passing a federal budget that included no money for the new health care law. The president would not sign off on such a budget, resulting in a portion of the government shutting down for a brief period. The fiscal cliff has turned up repeatedly in recent years, and is thought by many Americans to be an impending catastrophe. But, others have called it little more than a political game of “chicken” in which Democrats and Republicans compete for greater power by introducing “fiscal rescue plans” based on combinations of tax increases and entitlement reductions that are designed only to make the other party appear responsible for any economic suffering that falling off the fiscal cliff might bring. These competing plans are discussed by party bigwigs and in the media purely as strategies for one party to wrest more political power away from the other. Virtually nothing is said, and no concern expressed, about how each party’s rescue plan will actually benefit the American people. The impact of these plans on the people is all but ignored. The only thing that counts is which party will gain more power and have a tighter grip on the federal government, resulting in a massive strangle hold on the quality of life available to low- and middle-income Americans. How can those who are suffering the most from these political power struggles find sanctuary? The answer is there is no place to hide. To timidly seek sanctuary only allows political parties to wrleck more havoc among a citizenry that has been led to believe it is totally defenseless. It’s time to wake up…and to get tough. In reality, there is much that Americans can do to rid themselves of the assault on their wallets and the restrictions on their freedom that comprise the true business of political parties:
“Money is the root of all evil.” How often have we heard this, and it is as true of political parties as it is of any other practitioner of avarice. Power corrupts and money purchases the tools of corruption. The first step in ending the influence of political parties is simply to defund them. Our donations, ranging from a couple of dollars from the poor to thousands poured into party coffers by the affluent drive the engines of political power. We need only stop filling the tanks that feed these engines to bring them to a halt. But what about the tens of millions of dollars contributed by billionaires like George Soros to the cause of Democrats and Sheldon Adelson to Republicans? Regardless of whether they continue to fund political parties, their donations alone aren’t nearly large enough to keep the parties in business for long. Without the small contributions from average citizens across America, political parties would collapse like the proverbial “house of cards.” However, bringing political parties to a dead stop won’t happen quickly. It may take a generation to immobilize them. But with the patience and determination of a fed-up and energized citizenry, political parties can be forced out of existence. Our grandchildren may be the first to enjoy the benefits of an America free of political corruption, but their wellbeing is immensely worth our courageous endurance. It’s said “all politics is local,” and so local political organizations should be the first to be defunded. Send no donations to any local party affiliate, or to their state and national headquarters. And do not donate to a party in the name of a candidate you favor for office. Make your donation directly to that person, only in the name of that person. Also, make a special effort to learn about candidates for elected office who are unaffiliated with a political party. In many instances, unaffiliated candidates can be better qualified than those whose greatest achievement might have been to suck up –and pay their dues—to a political party. Fortunately, unaffiliated candidates now have powerful new tools to build awareness for themselves, their achievements and to solicit contributions to their campaigns.
Enter the Internet’s social networks: the new public forums for the 21st century.
Facebook. In 2004, when 19-year-old Harvard student, Mark Zuckerberg, launched a website called the facebook.com, he envisioned it as nothing more than a place where students could post photos of themselves and pass on bits of information about their lives. Zuckerberg didn’t realize what a fabulous idea he had. By 2006, Zuckerberg’s site had been renamed Facebook and was available to anyone over the age of 13 who had a valid e-mail address. Today it’s one of the largest social networks on Earth serving more than a billion users worldwide.
Political networking is growing fast as a reason to use Facebook’s immediate reach to vast numbers of people. The average Facebook user is said to have 130 “friends” whom they communicate with as often as 40 times each month. But some users have expanded their list of Facebook friends to many thousands, and no one seems to have reached the limit of friends they can add to their Facebook community.
It’s been reported that Barack Obama and his campaign team used the Internet with great success in building a strong nationwide following for a relatively unknown, young senator in the 2008 presidential election. It’s also said that Obama’s success in “cyber space” was his best strategy for pushing Hilary Clinton out of the 2008 presidential race. Of course, Obama and friends used their in-depth experience with the Internet as a key political tool for beating Mitt Romney in the 2012 race for the White House. Romney never really saw the disaster that came his way from out of cyber space.
Any unaffiliated candidate for political office would do well to learn how to put Facebook and other social networks to use in their campaigns as an inexpensive way to build awareness and also to solicit campaign funds. The more local the campaign—for municipal posts, state legislatures and U.S. congressional seats—the more important Facebook and other cyber space promotional strategies become.
Twitter is another ideal tool for an unaffiliated political candidate with little campaign money to make connections, share interests and solicit support from powerful people and organizations. It’s an information network that connects users to the latest ideas, opinions and news about what they find most interesting.
Twitter is also where a political candidate can post brief messages called “tweets” (consisting of about 140 characters) that help interested users link back to a complete political presentation that might also include photos, tables, charts and videos. Those who see a Tweet that interests them and click on it are called “followers,” and will usually continue to access someone’s messages as long as they find them important. Twitter offers political candidates an easy way to engage an audience, and build voter relationships with thousands of people.
LinkedIn.com is yet another networking site that can assist a political candidate in exchanging government-related ideas and commentary with an expanding network of professionals. LinkedIn enables a member to establish a professional profile that works to shape the impressions people get when they search for them online. It’s an excellent vehicle for reaching politically active people and organizations with an influence on vast numbers of voters.
These are by no means the only Internet-based opportunities for a political candidate to inexpensively reach out to large audiences of potential voters. The best mix of these Web-based networks and creative ways to use them are well within the capabilities of any serious candidate willing to do a little surfing on the Net.
Quite naturally, these social/business networks must be combined with a well-drafted candidate’s official website that becomes “home base” for a comprehensive presentation of the candidate’s qualifications, achievements and positions on major issues of the day. It’s the place to invite voter contact, promote speaking engagements, and solicit campaign contributions. A candidate’s official website is the campaign tool well worth the cost of an Internet consultant or “web master” to fine-tune communications for maximum results.
We must head off a dictatorship. The results of the 2012 elections would indicate that the balance of power within our “two-party system” may have shifted dangerously in favor of the Democrats who have indoctrinated the American people into voting for the party offering the most entitlements from the national treasury.
While it is natural for voters to want the most from their government, today no level of government in the United States—federal, state or local—has the resources to deliver the benefits promised by politicians who will say anything, promise anything, to win votes and remain in power. When these entitlements become so unaffordable as to be backed mainly by the treasury’s issuance of increasingly valueless “fiat” money, run-away inflation results and the nation collapses into bankruptcy giving rise to a dictatorship. This has happened all throughout history.
Some may think this attack against the power of political parties is being made mainly to eliminate the Democrats. But, conditions would not be any better for the nation if the Republicans ruled all levels of our government.
The Declaration of Independence specifics that the “just powers” of government are derived from “the consent of the governed.” It also states that “all men are created equal.” Therefore no one or no group--simply because they exist--has the right to rule anyone else. It’s incredible that, in spite of these pronouncements spelled out so clearly in America’s founding documents, political parties have been so successful in stealing government away from the consent of the people.
Isn’t it right…isn’t it just…that in taking back America we rescue it from the political parties that are now engaged in tearing it asunder.
If these words write the beginning of a national movement to bring down the corrupt power of political parties, that movement needs your support…your ideas…your involvement…your concerted efforts…and an enduring commitment to return our government to the hands of good men and women—independent and free of political duress-- who dedicate their minds, their hearts and their actions exclusively to the American people.