“When the pursuit of party power becomes the end goal and not merely a tool for achieving a better society, it is democracy itself that is laid beneath the guillotine’s blade.” (i)
Back in July Bloomberg Businessweek ran a cover story entitled “King Karl” and it was all about Karl Rove’s ambition to become the de-facto C.E.O. of the Republican Party with a goal of making the Republican Party the “Ruling Party.” No doubt the heavy weights in the Democratic Party crave that position of power as well. And all the data suggest that this is what politics is all about today.
On their website, The New York Times reports how members of Congress vote on each piece of legislation brought before the House and Senate. If you look, you will note that the vote, for most major pieces of legislation, is along party lines. Very few members of Congress have the courage to vote their own conscience and beliefs. They are being told how to vote by those who control the Party.
As a Professional Politician, standing up to those in power is not a good career move. Congressional districts can be altered to increase or decrease your chances of being elected. Important committee assignments are reserved for those who “play the game” and the big bags of money needed to run a successful campaign will not be given to those who dare question the Party leaders.
This is not the democracy we studied in high school civics class. I find it so ironic that we criticize political leaders around the world for abusing the power of their office by funding and doing all sorts of favors for their political cronies. How is that different from all the favors done for the Wall Street Banks, the Unions, the Health Care Industry, Insurance Companies etc., etc.
It is any wonder that someone like Karl Rove would love the power to call all the shots. Probably gives him a high just thinking about it. And is it any wonder that so few intelligent and talented individuals seek a career in politics? Who wants a job where your individual thoughts are not welcome? A job in which you will be told what to think and say, and your advancement is determined by _____________________________ (you can fill in the blank).
Nothing is going to change until we reject this system of two “Ruling Parties” having complete control of our government. The U.S. has the brightest and most talented people in the world. And we need to take it upon ourselves to break up this duopoly by encouraging and supporting the best and the brightest who can lead us into a much brighter future.
(i) The Parties Versus the People- Mickey Edwards