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Parties are not government. We seem to be very confused on this fact quite regularly. But knowing this is essential to keeping the proper perspective on elections.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is demanding that the GOP presidential candidates sign an oath of loyalty. People can see right through this and know exactly WHY the RNC is doing this now. The members of the RNC can righteously be upset at the hypocrisy of their leadership. HOWEVER…
Members of the Republican Party have no right to be upset about this demand by their leadership. The Republican Party is not government. The Republican Party is a private corporate club. They are not required to be “open minded.” As a matter of fact, the entire purpose of a private corporate club is that they CAN discriminate based upon their platform.
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It is well within the rights and the powers of the private corporate club called the Republican Party to require their members to sign an oath of loyalty. It is well within the rights and the powers of the private corporate club called the Republican Party to require their members to sign a “non-compete clause.” People cannot be outraged by that; they cannot even be surprised by that.
If there is outrage over the private corporate club called the Republican Party imposing these requirements upon its members, it only proves that we are fundamentally confused about WHO these parties really are.
The problem is NOT that the private corporate club called the Republican Party is requiring their members to sign loyalty oaths. The problem is that this private corporate club has quasi-governmental power! The problem is that people mistake this private corporate club for government.
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Ever thought how ridiculous it is that a private corporate club has the power to dictate where, when, and how we vote? Ever realized that an election primary is not a civic function, but the choosing of the representative of that private corporate club?
Ever thought how absurd it is that a private corporate club can decide which laws we have and don’t have? Ever thought how outrageous it is that a private corporate club can determine who will be our representative, governor, or president?
That is exactly what happens when the people take up loyalty to a political party. That is exactly what happens when government is run by establishment party politics. Think about it. How many laws are debated on the platform of party? How many decisions are made in government based upon party politics? I know you have heard these arguments:
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“We cannot support that because the Dems…”
“We must pass this because the Republicans…”
“We cannot pass because the Republicans won’t…”
“We must support this person or law because it’s a Republican…”
If we actually grab hold of this reality, we might better understand why we are strung along from election to election. Remember in the 2010 election that the mantra was “take back the House.” All we need is a Republican majority in the House, and we will change the world. We gave it to them. What changed? Then the demand in 2014 was, “We must have a Republican majority in the Senate to stop this out of control president!” We gave it to them, and nothing changed. Now, we;re hearing something along the lines of: “We can’t change anything unless you give us a Republican President.” The truth is that the fulfillment of the request of 2010 was all that was really needed.
Article 1, section 7 of the Constitution gives the simple majority of the House alone the power to fund and defund. The Constitution establishes a budget system that is based upon the “power of the purse” resting in the House alone. The Senate “may” offer “amendments”; but if they don’t, then constitutionally the House budget stands. There is NO constitutional power for the president to veto any budget. Budgets are not law because they expire, so they are not bound by the same process as laws. There is a very specific reason that budgets were left in the sole power of the House: to concentrate the power of government in the people. And the truth is that a simple majority in the House could defund ANY activity funded by the federal government, whether it is Planned Parenthood or the executive branch!
“The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose, the supplies requisite for the support of government. They, in a word, hold the purse that powerful instrument by which we behold, in the history of the British Constitution, an infant and humble representation of the people gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.” James Madison, Federalist #58
“The Constitution places the power in the House of originating money bills. The principal reason why the Constitution had made this distinction was, because they were chosen by the people, and supposed to be the best acquainted with their interest and ability.” James Madison, 15 May 1789
Knowing the truth makes you ask the right questions. If changing the House was all we needed, then why did nothing change in 2010? If a “conservative” majority in the House is all we needed to get a balanced budget and control of the executive branch, WHY do we keep getting all these excuses?
Here is another “right” question that is HUGE. We are FIFTEEN months away from the elections in November 2016. Did you know that there are 463 seats in Congress up for election in November? Did you know that there are over 20,000 seats up for election on the State and local level? Why are we then absolutely and completely consumed, in conversation and media, with one single office and two potential people?
The answer? Because it is NOT about fixing the government; it is about consolidating power. One private political club consolidating all government power within their corporate leadership, and the other private corporate club just waiting for their turn. It is nothing but prostituting for power.
George Washington warned us about this very consolidation of power in his farewell address:
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.
Finally, here is the REAL question we must answer:
Why will the people be more upset about a private corporate club requiring their membership to be loyal to the club than they are by the fact that our laws are made and our government is run by private corporate clubs?
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website.