This week a hospital in China reported that “conjoined twin girls with a single body and two heads have been born at its facility.” By coincidence, (or was it Providence) the photo that accompanied the report perfectly illustrates the topic brought to my mind for this week’s column by the reported results of a Gallup poll conducted toward the end of April.
“Fifty-two percent of Americans believe the Republican and Democratic parties do such a poor job of representing the people that a third party is needed. … The percentage calling for a third party is down from August, when it tied its high of 58 percent.” Moreover the report goes on to note an even more significant fact, that “the majority of Republicans [now] back [a] third part for [the] first time.” It also notes that “right now there is also a significant party gap, with 52 percent of Republicans favoring a third party, compared with 33 percent of Democrats.”
The report goes on to confirm that this disaffection is of long standing. “Support for a third party has fluctuated since October 2003, when Gallup first asked this question. The majority of Americans thought a third party was not needed at that time. Since then, Americans have generally favored a third party. …” Thus for close to seven years a majority of Americans have consistently felt that the current party system doesn’t represent them. (Imagine a seven-year period in which Americans were found to be consistently pessimistic about the economy. Like casualties in a war, this would eventually have become a major news subject just about every day. Yet their seven-year stretch of political pessimism has been consistently ignored.)
Such persistent disaffection tends to confirm what I have argued for some time, in previous articles here (see, for example, “Democrat Pelosi’s undemocratic lament,” The pathetic shutdown charade” and “The 2-party system: Like a rigged casino”) and on my blog (e.g., the series “America’s real party system” and articles such as “Which is really the third party?” and “The ‘Two Party’ sham- the mask is slipping” – and a “host of other posts or references.)
As a vehicle for representative government, the New Deal paradigm for politics has utterly failed the American people. It produces results that put government power in the hands of an oligarchic clique bent on consolidating their control of practically every aspect of America’s life. This leaves many Americans dissatisfied precisely because it no longer involves respect for the principles of constitutional government that make the consent of the people the sine qua non of legitimate government power.
The articles referenced above (in particular the series “America’s real party system”) are based on an understanding that goes beyond the fact that the New Deal paradigm eschews the goal of perpetuating representative government. They aim to help people think through the underlying structure and method that governs the forces now working to overthrow, once and for all, the form of constitutional democratic self-government America’s founders endeavored to establish. The deception, manipulation and betrayal people have come to resent in the current elitist way of doing politics are symptoms. Exclusively focusing on these symptoms is in fact part of the strategy that undermines our will to sustain self-government.
Clarifying the underlying structure and method involved in this strategy is akin to the search for a scientific understanding of a disease that afflicts the human body, though in this case the afflicted subject is the body politic. Armed with this understanding, people are more likely to distinguish the quack who’s supposed “cures” simply palliate the symptoms, from the capable physicians who offer regimens that pre-emptively thwart or shut down the mechanisms by which the disease achieves its damaging and ultimately deadly effects.
As we deal with what could very well be the terminal stages of the disease that afflicts the American republic, however, we not only need a curative regimen. We urgently need an effective way to implement it, so that the curative effects take hold before the deadly ailment has run its course. I get the sense many Americans (including me, of course) have a gut feeling that the election in 2012 will either be the denouement of the American political tragedy, or the turning point of the happier drama in which the opportunities liberty affords are preserved for future generations. Many also have nagging doubts that anything can thwart the insidious direction toward which the twin-party system is ineluctably dragging our country. They hear and are tempted to accept the underlying assumption that no effective challenge to the twin-party sham will ever succeed.
I believe the key mistake many such people are making lies in their continued acceptance of this quiet assumption of helplessness, an assumption the elitists seek assiduously to impose on every mind. As a fallback, aimed at minds strong enough to insist on acting out their disaffection, the elitists encourage the equally debilitating notion that the answer lies “out there” somewhere, in some combination of media, money and charismatic leadership (all three, by the way, under elitist control) that will miraculously do for us what we can no longer do for ourselves – pull our nation out of its plunge into the historical abyss with some magical string of “fixes” that whistle away the specter of bankruptcy and servitude to an all powerful government.
In this respect, however, Shakespeare’s Cassius (Julius Caesar, I, ii: 140-141) made an accurate observation when he admonished his friend: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” We need to remember with respect to ourselves what our sham elitist leaders (pursuing “nation building” mirages in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq) have consistently forgotten with respect to others. Liberty cannot be handed out to people. They must achieve it for themselves. It is not the singular gift of some nobly obliging elite individual or class. It is the birthright of all people, which they will nobly save or meanly lose by their own action or inaction.
So if the twin-party sham has abandoned the goal of representative government, if the elites it serves have decided to repeal the exception America’s founders made on behalf of the liberty of mankind, we must abandon them. In 2012 that means rejecting every artifice, every promise and every one of the candidates offered by means of a party system now deeply rooted in a purpose that contradicts the very possibility of government of, by and for the people. We must instead look within ourselves for the faith that says In God We Trust. We must listen for the voice of one crying in the wilderness: make straight the ways that respect the right endowed by our Creator God. When, by our independent effort, we have created the political vehicle that allows such a voice to speak from the White House – then and only then will we have proven that we still are what we must be if our liberty is to endure: Americans, faithful to our heritage, determined to reassert moral control of ourselves, our material resources and our politics; and willing ultimately to be dependent on no government but that of the Creator God who made and even now may keep us free.