“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissention, which in different ages & countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders & miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security & repose in the absolute power of an Individual: and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.” — George Washington, September 19, 1796
The political convention season puts partisan politics on a pedestal for all to see. The Democrats and Republicans both host extravagantly choreographed shows designed to convince America that the other guy is the grossest person in the world, even though the two candidates differ less than 10 percent when it comes to actual policies.
And it works. The majority of Americans define their political ideologies in terms of their party. Republicans swear electing Mitt Romney will “save America,” and Democrats run around claiming that unless Obama gets four more years, America will find itself thrown back into the “failed policies of last century.”
It’s all a load of crap.
No matter which one of these men manages to garner enough votes to enable him to call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home for the next four years, the federal government will continue to expand, will continue to grow more intrusive and will spiral deeper into debt.
Yet millions of Americans cling tenaciously to the myths spun by their respective parties.
Take this brilliant comment by Terry.
“People have this bad assumption about big government. I want big government if that big government is supporting and defending our founding constitution and supporting those principles that are the core of our country. Republicans have a tendency to lean toward our founding principles. Big government becomes burdensome and dangerous when in the hands of liberals who seem to consider the constitution only when it serves them to do so.”
Never mind that big government is the antithesis of America’s founding principles. And never mind Terry baselessly assuming Republicans actually consider the Constitution any time other than when it serves them to do so. The very notion that “big government” serves a great purpose as long as “our guy” controls it should send shudders down any thinking American’s spine.
Of course, Republicans don’t hold a monopoly on blind partisan loyalty. I saw an Obama 2012 sticker on the back of some care with a peace symbol the other day. Yes – nothing says “peace” like blowing up your neighbor with a well-executed drone strike.
This was the kind of mentality George Washington warned about. When we buy into the “our guy’s a saint; their guy’s a devil” thinking, we become willing to place a mantel of power on our guy so he can “get things done.”
Terry and many other people get it wrong on so many levels. But their willingness to place big government power levers in the hands of his preferred party guys poses the greatest danger.
Big government is dangerous and burdensome. Period. And your guy is not a saint. They are all devils.
That’s why we must restrain all of them with the chains of the Consitution – Democrat and Republican alike.