Restore the Republic

Dear Editor:

Why do we even have political parties?

George Washington who some would argue was our greatest president, did not belong to or run on a party ticket and these days, with the exception of a couple of hot button issues like abortion and gay marriage which never seem to be resolved, is there any difference? Sure, the platforms state divergent “principles,” but when it gets down to it, both are big government, endless wars of dubious merit, whittled down and diminished civil rights, and promoting job killing trade pacts which no one but their elite lobbyist donors seem to support. Talk is cheap and actions often reveal something quite different when the office is won.

In a “government of, by and for” the people, you would think that all citizens would have the widest possible mechanisms for choosing who “represents” them … unfortunately, you would be wrong because the self-same two parties are the ones who set up the rules that allow a person to be on the ballot. They seem to view themselves as a “country club” who sets steep limits on democracy and under the pretense of “non-partisanship” vet their own groomed candidates for we the rabble to argue over … certainly no “grass roots” or real choice here. Even the two parties who pay lip service to the “free-market” will not allow honest competition on our ballots.

Case in point, “Buck gets the Boot.” Libertarian state representative candidate Martin Elsass had to conform to rules that required him to obtain a large number of signatures to get on the ballot. Since we have been brow beaten with the two-party mantra that a third party vote is a “wasted vote” and hence we should pick among their meager offerings, only 11 people have “Libertarian” membership, thus precluding being able to secure the required number of signatures. Mr. Elsass tapped into the majority of people who are sick and fed up of the duopoly, and sought “unaffiliated” voters (well over 45 percent) and obtained their signatures to meet the quota and found himself eliminated by doing so.

The board of elections and the state said, “hey, just following the rules,” but when the majority of the people despise or distrust the top two parties as being unprincipled careerists, what real choice does the lowly voter have? Is it any wonder so few people trust the government when “they” (the duopoly) make it such a difficult club to access by we peons who pay the bills and suffer the consequences of their limited choices?

Samuel Adams noted, “It does not take a majority to prevail … but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”

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Wayne Herrod