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Republican Party, RIP

Posted in Government, and Politics

14708116_1096483603737998_234943883589916502_nSince the founding of the nation, the fundamental political issue has always been size and influence of the Federal Government and the extent to which it exercises control over state and local governments and the citizens and has the borrowing power to wage war and drive the nation into debt. In the early days, it was strong central government and central bank advocate Alexander Hamilton vs. Thomas Jefferson, champion of the decentralization and freedom of an agrarian society. That disagreement led to formation of the two party system, consisting originally of “Republicans,” favoring the Jefferson philosophy and “Federalists,” aligning with Hamilton.

Party names and alignments have changed over the decades, though they have generally been divided along the Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian philosophical positions. However, it is clear that big government advocates have clearly won the battle with a nation now having a federal government that spends around 20% of the GDP of the nation, a significant portion of it borrowed, sends a monthly check to about half the citizens, and has accumulated a debt approximately equal to GDP, not to mention the unfunded liabilities that do not show up on the balance sheet. Even worse, the USA has military forces all around the globe and has developed an addiction to war and military action, angering a third or so of the global population, attracting terrorist activity, in the process. And we quibble uselessly over whether this quarter’s GDP is higher or lower than last quarters and whether this month’s job creation is up or down from last month. That change from the agrarian small-government society of the 1700’s to the mess we have today has progressed fairly steadily through the past 250 years regardless of the dominant political party of the time. We are all to blame.

And now, fortunately, in 2016, the traditional two party system has broken down and we have an opportunity to restructure. We have been offered two deeply-flawed presidential candidates who are both big government advocates and want to be in control of rather than serve the citizens. Both candidates realize that the way to control all the citizens is to demonize the opposition and make useless promises to enough constituencies to get elected. Both promote the mistaken notion, shared, unfortunately by half or more of the citizens, that the solution to our problems lies in Washington DC while, in fact, it is Washington DC that is the source and cause of our problems. The solution lies with better education of the citizens and some simple government reforms.

The three fundamental reasons for the failure of the system are:

  • the rise of professional politicians and lobbyists and the strong linkages among them, combined with the demand on elected officials for continuous fund raising, campaigning, and vote buying and the associated opportunity to get rich in government service
  • the willing acquiescence of state and local governments to conditional bribes offered by the federal government in efforts to bypass constitutional limits on federal power
  • evolution of a ridiculously complex tax code that leads to game playing and favor granting in search of votes.

These trends have seriously jeopardized our freedoms.

So, the party supposedly supporting small government and freedom has failed and needs to be officially be put to rest and replaced by a new party that will quit jousting at windmills, arguing over resolved issues, and will deal with the current situation. We will never return to the past but must stop the bleeding with three simple and logical and reforms:

  • term limits to kill the professional politician system (See this.)
  • outlawing transfers of funds from the federal to the state and local governments to kill the system of destructive bribery that has evolved (See this.)
  • Elimination of tax deductions, exemptions, exclusions, and credits for both personal and corporate tax codes to eliminate the vote buying through tax favors that has become endemic to our system of government (See this.)

With those three simple reforms, politicians will never again get rich serving the people, citizens in Small Town, USA, and Rural State, USA, will stop giving up their freedoms in return for bribes, and the whole lobbying-for-tax-favors industry will die. Then we can once again begin to think about education, personal responsibility, and freedom as priorities.

There is a good chance that half the citizens of this great nation, including many current Democrats and current Republicans would join a party with such a simple platform, a platform avoiding social issues entirely in the belief that killing the current corruption in both parties and in the government itself, would eventually lead to better decisions, or perhaps no federal decisions at all, on issues in all areas of concern. But be patient. It will take decades to unwind the mess we have allowed to evolve.

Then maybe we can have a hit Broadway Musical called “Jefferson.”


  1. Bill Barnes
    Bill Barnes

    As always enjoyed your perspective and the more strategic root cause analysis of our current situation. I do think that we need to add the failure of the media to present the facts vs support a specific objective and to “make the news” vs report the news. As you said the population needs to be educated and unfortunately in the media spin world that we live in most people do not take the time to evaluate all sides on any argument. The ratio of the major networks…if there is really such a thing anymore… on the Trump behavioral issues vs the Wikileaks emails for Clinton has been about 4 to 1 with Trump getting 80 % of the negative coverage. In the end what is more critical to our nation’s success, a man who has some personal flaws or a woman who says that you need to have external statements that do not align with your internal policies to be effective? When everything that you hear is political spin you lose trust in the rule of law and we are in deep trouble.

    October 13, 2016
    • skepticalobserver

      The media will always take sides and positions. You may remember the famous story about how William Randolph Hearst instructed all his newspaper editors in 1949 to “Puff Graham.” If you don’t remember, just Google “puff graham” and stories will pop right up. Now the instruction from some apprently is “Destroy Trump” and from others, “Destroy Clinton.”

      October 13, 2016
  2. Lynn McDowell
    Lynn McDowell

    One of the most concise, cogent essays I’ve seen. Plus, I happen to heartily agree. Thanks for your thoughts, and your skill at expressing them.

    October 13, 2016
    • skepticalobserver

      That is the kindest note I have had in a while. Thanks.

      October 13, 2016
  3. Hank Chardos
    Hank Chardos

    The hit musical will not be in my lifetime. So for now, prayers and more prayers are needed.

    October 13, 2016
  4. I have to agree with Bill Barnes, an objective, honest media to keep the politicians in check is necessary. Unfortunately, they have grown in to multi-generational bunch that are as interest in the spotlight as objective reporting.

    One must remember that many great leaders in the bible were flawed, so we must not give up on these nominees.

    October 13, 2016
  5. Sean Lally
    Sean Lally

    I like your suggested reforms. The presidential choices we have are pretty lame. Would be lovely if we could break out of the two party system, but from what I understand we’d have to switch over to a parliamentary style of government for that to work.
    Thanks for continuing to post to Google Plus. :^)

    October 13, 2016
  6. Jim Hartman
    Jim Hartman

    I would add a 4th reform; Pass a law that no elected person can receive a medical or retirement benefit that is different from those imposed on the US voting citizen.

    October 15, 2016
  7. Michael Neade
    Michael Neade

    The Freedom Party? It could work, and take back control of our government. Futst order if business and key to success: elect enough representatives to pass a Constitutional Amendment allowing Congressional term limits -a tall order.

    October 17, 2016

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