In the coming weeks we will be blessed with two of the greatest spectacles on television; the Rupublican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention. These grand events will be beamed into living rooms by pretty much every network, beaming all of the pomp and circumstance each event has and inundating us with promises galore. Simply because I write for CurrentPolitics.org I will force myself to endure both of these glittering events of self-adulation, and try to keep my cynical rolling of the eyes to a minimum.
The thing about all political parties’ national conventions is that there is a lot of behind the scenes stuff that goes on that at times isn’t exactly pretty. It is how the sausage gets made, sort to speak, and trust me, if you ever saw how sausage was made you would probably never eat any link ever again. Anyway, with regards to the big two, the RNC and the DNC, there are a lot of things that goes on long before the bright lights and rock concert like events hit the airwaves. Things like the election of members to their national committees, which can get pretty contentious, and the formulation of the party’s platform; which literally spells out what each party stands for, and their goals to implement that platform.
Well, the Republican National Convention will be held first in Tampa Florida next week, August 27-30, but members of that party are already meeting and finalizing that party’s platform. There is one new thing that the GOP is adding to their platform this go around, and that is “audit the Fed” language; an obvious attempt to placate the many Ron Paul supporters in the Republican Party. On a personal note, I am glad to hear about this. As a skeptic, who feels duped by the Republican Party by it not being faithful to what it espouses (and other things that I just do not support), I cast a leery eye towards this as just a rhetorical device to try and keep the millions of libertarian minded people in their party from leaving, those being the as mentioned Ron Paul supporters and many of the Tea Party supporters. So, we shall see how much effort the GOP will put into actually following through with auditing the Fed. Of course there is also what has become standard fare in the Republican platform too, like pushing for a so called “human life amendment” to the constitution, which would curb abortion rights; which is certainly a lightning rod issue.
Now before everyone thinks that I am ripping on the Republican Party and letting the Democrat Party off the hook, I am not. I am honestly skeptical of either party’s stated language in their platforms as anything but feel good words put out there to please their many followers, but without any intent of those who run each party, and those who get elected to office for each party, to actually follow those platforms. I suggest everyone read each party’s 2008 platforms (read the DNC’s here and the RNC’s here) and then ask yourself how well either party did in upholding their platform. My favorite parts are on page 29 of the DNC’s and page 22 of the RNC’s. Both of those pages address each party’s concerns about the fiscal wellbeing of our country and yet under both party’s watch our country’s fiscal dilemma gets worse; just a little something to think about. In the spirit of fairness and full disclosure, here is the Libertarian Party’s platform. It is the shortest of the three, only 9 pages, but don’t mistake that for it not having anything to say. When you are the party that doesn’t believe big government is the answer, but does believe in each and every individual’s rights; then I don’t really think there’s a need to spill too much ink, but I know I am obviously in the minority there.
So, anyway, to all of those who identify themselves as either Democrats or Republicans, I am not going to tell you that you are wrong, that would be rather un-libertarian of me, however I would encourage you to not just sheepishly follow your party, but to actually pay attention to what the platforms are and then don’t be afraid to ask the most simple and complex question in any language, “why?” if you notice a deviation from that platform. A government of the people, by the people, for the people demands that We the People hold all of our elected officials accountable for their actions and their inactions in governance.
We have to live today by what truth we can get today and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood. (William James)