When we declared independence from England, our Founders established our country as a Republic, a nation “of the people, by the people, and for the people” and a beacon of hope for those around the world oppressed by governments run by royalty and oligarchies. Our forefathers wrote a Constitution and a Bill of Rights to ensure the freedom of the common man and to guide our representatives in government in enacting laws to promote and secure our way of life.
For more than two centuries, the people of this great land have prospered under the freedoms guaranteed us by these documents. Yet, as the years have passed, our guaranteed freedoms have been adulterated under the guise of national security and social welfare.
Our government today is comprised of elected representatives from two parties, Democrat and Republican. The two-party system evolved in America following the two terms as President served by George Washington. During most of our history, the system has functioned quite well as the two parties, although ideologically different, acted in a bi-partisan manner on a host of issues. Elected officials, moreover, considered their government service just that – a service to the public. Elected office was not considered a career choice.
Somewhere along the line, however, everything changed. Our elected representatives instead of being the servants of the people have become the ruling class. They have used their power to separate themselves from the people they are supposed to represent. They enjoy private pension plans, cost of living adjustments, tenure, and numerous other perks, while their constituents suffer with broken promises and pick up the tab for their affluent lifestyles.
Our elected officials are charged with fostering a sound currency, maintaining national security, and promoting the good and welfare of the citizens of our nation. To accomplish these goals, they should judiciously and economically levy and administer taxes as well as balance the federal budget. In short, they should handle the people’s money as if it were their own.
Our two-party system has run amok, robbing our citizens and creating problems that will plague generations of Americans not yet born. With all its flaws, however, I have always believed in its promise and have always considered the ballot box sacrosanct.
Yet, as a private citizen who has lived and contributed to the preservation of our freedom, I am beginning to question whether our country still holds its democratic principles; particularly, as it applies to the means of selecting a candidate for President of the United States.
Frankly, I am getting tired of hearing about arcane rules regarding how parties selected candidates in the days when primary elections simply stated the “preferences” of the voters. Today’s primaries and caucuses bind delegates to candidates, as well they should if our political parties want to retain the loyalties of those who stand in line to vote and participate in their caucuses. After all the voting is concluded, the delegates selected should abide by the will of those who voted. Otherwise, the voices of the party members will be silenced and the decision regarding that party’s Presidential candidate will be made in a proverbial smoke filled backroom by the same forces who have voted themselves lavish lifestyles at the expense of the American taxpayer. Is our country turning into a dictatorship? Absent the loud, persistent voice of the people, it may well become one.