Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Federalist paper number 10 is one that has long resounded with me as a commentary on modern society. It is about the evils of factions. I view modern society as rife with factions. Today’s presidential elections have become name calling contests. I remember hearing so much backbiting between the candidates of the different parties. I did not know much about Barack Obama’s platform. I knew he was running as the democratic candidate, but I didn’t hear a lot of specifics. I still remember, however, hearing on the Republican talk radio shows my dad likes to listen to about how Barack Obama’s church was apparently anti-American or something like that. I find myself, more and more, agreeing with James Madison’s statement, “that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties.” Our nation often can’t get anything done due to the extreme contention between rival parties. In his recent State of the Union Address, President Obama urged Republican congressmen not to vote against issues brought before them just to block the Democratic party’s actions. I think the way our country is run has devolved from the original intents of the Constitution. The Constitution was not framed with a 2 party system in mind. In fact, in Federalist 10, James Madison said: “By a faction I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” I believe that today’s dominating parties, the Republican and Democratic parties, are just such factions. The majority of Americans do not seem to be staunch followers of either party. However, these two parties control our politics, laws and government. Where is the fairness in that? Why can we not be represented by people who actually represent us? I, for one, would like to see the United States go back to the way it was originally intended to be run. George Washington was no member of any political party. He did not go through a Republican, Democrat, Federalist, or Whig party caucus or primary in order to get elected. He did not even subscribe to vicious campaign techniques. He was not power hungry, and did not seek after glory or wealth. Where are the candidates today who don’t say vicious things about their opposition? Who don’t use the power of a faction to get elected? The presidency, of course, is only one example of how political parties have become the ruling factions in this country. This premise can be seen throughout government, on federal and state levels. I believe that if James Madison could see the way our country is being run, he would be appalled. I, personally, do not believe in political parties at all. I believe they will be the downfall of this country. They do not even represent the majority of the people anymore. It is time to heed the words of some of our wise founders, James Madison (the father of the Constitution), being one of them, and do away with a system that leaves the majority of middle of the road Americans unrepresented and important issues swept under the table in favor of political correctness and other such nonsense. People need to realize that they don’t have to subscribe to a political party’s view over their own. We need to create a system that will have the people represented, not just whatever party dominates at a particular given time. It is time to do away with the party system that will eventually prove the downfall of this country.