This article is NOT about Anthony Wiener. It is about partisan politics. But Mr. Weiner’s situation plays well in explaining much about the climate in Washington. The insidious spirit of “Partisanship” which now infects our nation’s deliberations has proven destructive to reasonable conversations on critical matters.
Take for instance the debate over our current deficits and national debt. Discussions are riddled with partisan vitriol which fails to serve the needs of the American people. The demands of the population to solve the problems and get our nation on a sound financial base are lost in the political infighting that infests the Washington debate. Both sides are more concerned with winning partisan points than solving problems.
How does this relate to the travails of Representative Anthony Weiner? Representative James Clyburn, #3 in the Democratic Party, stated clearly that Mr. Weiner must serve two constituencies: The first are the voters who elect him from his home district. The second and, more important, are his party comrades in Congress. This last group is more important to him, according to Clyburn, because it is they who control his power, his future, and advance his agenda.
In other words, the influence of the political party on a representative is of greater import than satisfying the desires of the people who elected him…and therein lays the problem.
President George Washington warned the American people about the threats of partisanship in his Farewell Address:
“They [political parties]serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.”
His warnings go on further: “However combinations or associations of the above description 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”
He so recognized the threat parties poised for the republic that he urged the American people to be vigilant and assertive: “…the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.”
President Washington foresaw the dangers of political parties and partisanship. He warned the American people that if left unrestrained they would threaten the republic. Today, when America faces its greatest threats in generations, we need our political leaders to set aside the childish toys of political posturing and focus instead on the absolute needs of the nation.
Today, the present climate is so charged with politics that one cannot help but believe that unless more moderate minds take control, our nation will fall prey to a cruel alliteration: the pathetic politics of partisan political parties.
Profound challenges face America today. Our economy has nearly collapsed, our nation is the largest debtor nation in the world, we face international threats of a kind no other generation could have imagined, and there are critical domestic issues that demand attention.
Americans must start thinking as Americans if we ever hope to overcome our problems. Washington once again struck a resonate cord: “The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.”
Our politicians are failing us. It is the duty of all Americans to take them to account and punish them in a manner which they can fully comprehend. Instill in them their greatest fear …removal from power. The American voters must assert themselves, as President Washington counseled, to reclaim our nation before partisan politicians leaves no nation left to reclaim.
by Ron Chapman
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