I have been doing some research, and my thoughts were confirmed; political parties were not originally present in The United States government; this was exemplified by George Washington’s diverse and ideologically different cabinet. I was actually very interested to read that George Washington considered political parties to be self-serving, divisive, and detrimental to the good of government; and I agree wholeheartedly with him.
I have also read that in a winner takes all, presidential system, that this naturally lends itself to a two party system; with that, I adamantly disagree. If we were to follow this premise, then I would say that The United States naturally lends itself to a two separate country system; one being The Liberal States of America, and the other being The Conservative States of America. Therefore, if we are going to be a country of Republicans and Democrats, and neither party is willing to build consensus with the other, then aren’t we already living in two very different countries that we merely call united?
If we read back to the time to when our founders were drafting The Constitution, you will find that there were The Federalists, who believed in a stronger central government, and The Anti-Federalists, who were concerned that the new federal government would have too much power, and could swallow up the individual rights and liberties of the states, and the people thereof. Ironically, it seems that we are fighting a similar battle today, only the new names are The Democrats and The Republicans.
I definitely lean more toward the Limited Government side, and if I were alive in 1787, I would more then likely be an Anti-Federalist. I am for smaller government, low taxation, and individual rights of states and the citizens of each state. That being said, philosophically, I would likely lean more to the modern day Republican party; however, I still consider myself a center to right Independent, and do not affiliate myself with either of the two major parties.
If anyone is truly interested in understanding how our founders envisioned our country, then I would recommend doing some reading on events that lead up to The American Revolution, The Declaration of Independence in it’s entirety, the creating of The Constitution, it’s contents, and the differences between The Federalists and The Anti-Federalists. If you read that much, I can assure you that you will really come to appreciate the sacrifices that our founders made, and our modern day system of governance, and how it came into being. In fact, The First Ten Amendments to The Constitution, also known as The Bill of Rights, were a concession made to The Anti-Federalists as assurance that the states, and the citizens of the states would continue to retain their individual rights, even with a new federal government in place. Imagine for a moment, not having the freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the freedom of the press; and they are only from the First Amendment. Our founders believed in a de-centralization of power, realizing that too much power in one branch of government, could lead to tyranny, and an overly powerful federal government; and this is how the different branches of government, with checks and balances, came into being.
Today, I can see some good in both The Republican and Democratic Parties, philosophically, however, on an ideologically, and realistic level, I do believe that both parties, and Washington D.C. politics in general, are very flawed and broken; both are filled with special interests, and lobbyists seeking legislature for pay. The Republican Party appears to be trying to reinvent itself from the grass roots up, however, I remain skeptical (at this point) that either party can, or will, reform itself; or has done very much to do so.
I do believe, if we are to make forward progression again, in this country, then we are going to somehow need to find some middle ground, and build consensus. If it were up to me, I would abolish both parties, and again resolve to a no party system, to where rigorous debate can still take place, based on our “Constitution,” while leaving behind the party allegiances, and the party line votes. I pray that one day, we will not only call ourselves The United States of America, but we can once again be The “United” States of America.