Party Politics is Killing American Democracy

Late last month I posted that party politics is killing America. (link) I used the Veronica Escobar versus Dori Fenenbock race as the example of how party politics has supplanted public policy as the determining factor in an election. I argued that the El Paso race was about who was “more Democrat” then the other, rather then who would represent El Paso’s interest in Congress better.

As many of you know, Donald Trump has wholeheartedly endorsed Roy Moore in tomorrow’s election for Alabama’s senate seat. As you likely know, Moore is embroiled in several sexual harassment imbroglios. Whether the many accusations have merit is still up for debate, however many GOP leaders and several officials have outright declared Moore guilty or have distanced themselves from him.

However, Donald Trump reluctantly endorsed Roy Moore for the seat. I wrote “reluctantly” because although Trump is asking voters to vote for Moore, Trump hasn’t allowed himself to be photographed or publicly told voters that Moore is not guilty of the accusations levied against him. Instead, Donald Trump has urged Alabama voters to vote for Moore because the country “cannot afford – this country, the future of this country – cannot afford to lose a seat in the very, very close United States senate.”

In other words, the Senate seat is much more important to the public policy agenda then the individual holding the seat. On the surface it looks like it’s a simple case of Moore shoring up the Republican votes in Congress. It may be so. But that assumes that Roy Moore will vote as dictated to by Donald Trump.

If Roy Moore votes as dictated to by Trump, then what does that say about Moore? What does that say about American democracy? But if Roy Moore votes his constituency’s interests and they happen to oppose Trump, what does that say about the notion of Trump’s endorsement for party politics?

Ultimately, the issue is one of party politics over a representative form of government that the founding father’s envisioned for the country. Under the founding father’s brand of democracy, the country is supposed to be run by representatives voting based on the needs of their constituency instead of on the needs of the political party.

Therein lies the problem with political parties, on both sides of the isle, usurping the ideal that U.S. democracy is about the equal representation of the voters. The United States elects presidents based on the Electoral College, a formula that is supposed to give every voter an equal opportunity to be represented in the election of the president. The idea is not to have too much power resting on the larger states taking away the smaller states’ right to be equally represented.

Yet, if you allow party politics to dominate any election, then the power no longer rests on the individual voter, but rather on the larger political body the sets one agenda for all. It is this model that allowed Hillary Clinton to usurp Bernie Sander’s access to the party ticket and why the issue in El Paso is not about who will offer a public policy agenda serving the unique El Paso needs, but rather which candidate represents the Democrat party ideals better, Veronica Escobar or Dori Fendenbock.

Hence, party politics is killing the ideal of a representative form government and is transforming it into two fiefdoms setting the ideology of the country after each election. Thus, voters are now voting for party ideology rather than representation before government.

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