A Question of Priorities

All of the expert analysis about Scott Brown, Tea Parties and Congress have missed the central issue. And, until this is realized and addressed, both political parties, all legislation and even the Republic itself are in jeopardy. Tea Party goers feel what is wrong even they cannot clearly express it in words. It is vital that the country understand why there is such discontent in the nation today. If the problem can be positively identified, correcting the problem will be much easier. As a bonus, understand the root problem today will avoiding future problems of this magnitude.

You have to go back to 1788, during the height of the political debate over a Constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation, to find an answer. The issue of national political parties as a way to organize political power was debated, hotly.  There was a school of thought that wanted to ban these  “factions,” as they were called. But, concerned about the negative implications of denying the freedom to band together for political purposes, the Constitution was silent on political parties.

In the 212 years since then, a two party system has developed in this country, which controls the entire election process. While there is a certain logic to this system, there is an unintended consequence which now pollutes politics from top to bottom. It is this pollution that the Tea Party, independents and many party members feel but cannot describe. It is, simply, that all politicians are expected to hold their allegiance to the party, and not the electorate they represent, or even the United States itself.

Reliant on political parties for campaign financing, committee assignments and support for their own pork, politicians, even those who enter politics with honorable intentions, eventually have to cave to “the cause.” The problem is, the cause they are required to cave to, is not in the best interests of anyone, save the party itself.

This explains why the Tea Party movement spans both parties, why a party with only 12% of the voters can win the “safest” Senate seat in the country. Americans are tired of partisanship. They elected a man who promised an end to partisanship, only to become the most partisan president since Theodore Roosevelt. It explains why the discontent in America has been growing since Ronald Reagan left office in 1993.

The message to the president, Congress and political parties, is simple. Pledge allegiance to the United States and your electorate, or face political obsolescence. And, soon.