Monday, November 4, 2019
In the name of unity, Political Parties often faciliate the SWAMP!
Weekly Opinion Editorial
First, political conflict in the U.S. is not new. Thankfully it hasn’t reached the level of pistol dueling yet, but the personal attacks and mischaracterization of political opponents and their positions fuels conflict. If it continues to escalate, we could see violence. Margaret Thatcher said, “Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.” Taking the high road is never a bad idea. Jesus called it, ‘loving your neighbor.’
Second, Burr is important because in 1805, he presided over one of the most famous impeachment trials in American history. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Samuel Chase was accused of making judicial decisions based on partisan politics and not the Constitution (sound familiar). Chase was acquitted by the Senate, but Burr is credited with the establishment of guides and rules for that first impeachment trial. VP Burr set a high bar for behavior and procedures in the Senate chamber, many of which are followed today.
Third, Political Parties bear little resemblance to those first two. Parties are primarily used as vehicles to be elected by candidates. Party unity is stressed over conviction; Numbers in a caucus over uncertainty. President George Washington, who was not a member of any political party, was right when he said, “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
Those cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men(and women) President Washington spoke of are the ‘swamp’ in politics. Sadly, too often political party leaders are providing the tracks on which the swamp’s train is running.