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Sunday, July 3, 2022

Columns

Political parties are ruining the country


The 2016 election has become a contest between two candidates who each benefits from the unsavory reputation of the other.

The Democrats gain the lead from Donald Trump’s “do and say anything to win” campaign while the Republicans see a window of opportunity via Hillary Clinton’s dishonest reputation. These campaigns prove that the two-party system is more interested in preserving its existence rather than supporting its candidates.

Trump didn’t endorse his two biggest critics because of wanting to ensure their elections. He did so because he needs a Republican House and Senate to accomplish his goals. This became clear two weeks ago. Trump endorsed Arizona Sen. John McCain after denouncing him just a year ago.  He also endorsed Speaker Paul Ryan — yes, the Ryan who said that Trump “wasn’t quite there yet” after the RNC.

Don’t think things like this happen only to the Republican Party.

WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, released almost 20,000 leaked emails in July from the DNC chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and some of the top heads of the Democratic Party. Schultz and her compatriots actively supported Clinton and derailed Bernie Sanders’ run in the primaries, giving supporters of the Vermont senator a reason to believe their votes weren’t respected.

The DNC was more concerned with the strength of their party than the desires of the voters. Sanders is a socialist and, even if he won, he would have had trouble finding support from more centrist Democrats because of his political revolution.

Political parties were never intended to influence the outcome of primary campaigns.  Their purpose is to support the candidates in the general election.

Political parties used to be required due to the expansive geography of the United States and the cost to run a successful campaign.  However, political parties are relevant now only because of lazy voters and politicians.

Trump and Sanders proved that a candidate can garner support regardless of political affiliation. They began as outsiders and ran their campaign without either political experience, support of party leaders and, except for Trump, money.

They both employed inexpensive marketing tools: social media, internet, newspaper and interviews.  As their supporters rose, so did their donors who, in turn, began to fund their campaigns and allow for more traditional campaign platforms, rallies, town hall meetings and television ads.

Trump’s clinch as the GOP nominee proves that a candidate no longer needs the support of either political party.

Today’s political parties survive on the power and votes they can provide. Today’s voters will support a Democrat or Republican based purely on their party affiliation.

Instead, we should find out all the ideas these candidates represent and vote according to this rather than doing so blindly.

They are relying on members to thoughtlessly back and/or halt legislation. Trump alluded that without a two-party system a politician will have to do something awful like justify legal proposals, create independent support within Congress and work to get enough votes to pass laws.

Political parties no longer care who gets elected as long as they have a majority. Voters have to stop the corrupt monopolies of political parties.

There are three steps to do this.  Step one: Unregister from each party. Step two: Don’t vote a straight party ticket, but actually listen to the candidates and hear what they are saying. Step three: Vote for the candidate that best supports your agenda — not your parents’, teachers’ or friends’, but yours.

Trump’s speech on Aug. 5 reminded me about U.S. values and traditions. Our Bill of Rights and Constitution writer Thomas Jefferson disowned political parties, saying “If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.”

Political parties are not a requirement of the Constitution and the Founding Fathers were repulsed by them. Why embrace them now?

Opinion columnist Cari Netemeyer is a creative writing senior and can be reached at [email protected] 

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