Okay, now that the dust has settled from both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions our country is on the homeward stretch towards Election Day on November 6th. I guess it is now a good time to reflect upon what those tax payer funded political party throwdowns have taught us – or at least what I learned from them.
First of all we learned that both of them were scripted events, watch the video below, I think it sums it up the best on how both parties could give a frog’s flying fat ass in Hell about the wishes, and voices of their delegates (who are supposed to have a voice at the conventions – that’s why they are there).
Well, my take on both of those instances is not too unlike that in the video; that these conventions, have become major television events, as such they have no time to allow for any sort of parliamentary procedures. Nor do I think they actually care about a sizable percentage of their party actually wishing to have a voice in these political machines. In short they are a farcical, made for TV ceremony that has a set schedule with no room for anything but the towing of the party lines. They are like those all too popular boy bands, where everything is prewritten, produced, marketed, and lacking in originality. The Democratic and Republican national conventions, and I would argue the party’s themselves, are nothing more than consumer products now, relegated to commercial appeal, like laundry detergent. They have no interests in what their delegates say, or want, their only goal is now to promote and protect their brands. And if they could care less about their own delegates, what do you think they think about the rest of us?
Now let me contrast these two staged extravaganzas, where the delegates are ignored, with another convention that I actually attended; the Libertarian Party National Convention. At that convention there was no ceremonial coronation of their Presidential nominee. There was a debate between the two leading candidates, there was a floor vote taken of all the delegates afterwards to select that nominee, it was never just a given that Gov. Gary Johnson was going to win the nomination. Then came the election of party officers, and the delegates on the floor were included in that process too. Oh, it wasn’t pretty (but real democracy is rarely pretty), the nomination and election of the Libertarian Party Chair was particularly contentious, and took two days, but the delegates were essentially the ones running the show. I know for a fact that there were plenty of people watching on C-Span that were snickering at the apparent dysfunction of this party, but what is more dysfunctional; allowing delegates to participate in the process, or ignoring them? That question can be asked about the current state of our politics on the whole too, just substitute the word “delegates” with citizens.
Both of the big tax payer funded conventions were dripping with patriotism, and talk about what America, and Americans are, what it and we stand for, and of course how they, as government officials, are going to restore America. Essentially the messages of both conventions were that the government is the solution to all our ills, and to go with the laundry detergent analogy, how the government will even get the stains out of our clothing. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, if you will just submit to the wills of the government, then all your dreams will come true – so long as those dreams meet local, state, and federal regulations of course.
Look, I believe that both of the big two parties are filled with good, honest, hardworking Americans that love their country. My problem I have with the parties themselves though is that they are using that patriotism as a marketing tool to gain market share in the halls of government. Most marketers don’t actually care about the product, or the consumer, they are only focused on selling and making profits. In the case of these two political machines those profits are power. “We the People” are simply tools for them to get that power. Once the elections are over then it is business as usual for them. Pass another bill that tells us what to do, or not do – whether we want it or not. Send our troops into another conflict – whether we want them there or not. Impose another regulation making it harder for small business to profit, or comply – whether it’s needed or not. Add another trillion or so to our debt – whether we can pay for it or not.
My point is that it is time to stop identifying and dividing ourselves into Republicans and Democrats, and then essentially deifying whichever candidate “your” party nominated; especially given the fact that both of these parties have shown they could give a crap about many of their own delegates/members. Isn’t it time to quit electing people who are telling us in flowery, patriotic speeches essentially how they are going to control us if we are kind enough to elect them? Isn’t it absurd that we are so willing to head to the voting booth and vote for someone to be our masters, rather than our representatives? Despite all of the talk at these shindigs, that is not what America is about. America is about the people, not the government, that is why the Constitution starts off with “We the People,” not the government, not the Democrats, not the Republicans, or any other group or faction. It is about each and every one of us, as individuals, who should still operate under the belief of “united we stand, divided we fall.” If only there was still a candidate out there who understood and believed that . . . Oh, yeah, he is that guy from the “dysfunctional” party that let’s its delegates speak, be heard, and participate . . . what’s his name again? Here’s a hint, he was a two term governor in New Mexico, you’ll have to click here to learn more.
“If I could not go to heaven but with a party I would not go there at all.” (Thomas Jefferson)
“Much indeed to be regretted, party disputes are now carried to such a length, and truth is so enveloped in mist and false representation, that it is extremely difficult to know through what channel to seek it. This difficulty to one, who is of no party, and whose sole wish is to pursue with undeviating steps a path which would lead this country to respectability, wealth, and happiness, is exceedingly to be lamented. But such, for wise purposes, it is presumed, is the turbulence of human passions in party disputes, when victory more than truth is the palm contended for.” (George Washington)
“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” (George Washington)