We Need Two Parties

We Need Two Parties In America: Just Not These Two


Leonard Zwelling

In the give and take of political battles on Capitol Hill, it is sometimes hard to recall that the existence of political parties is no more a part of the Constitution than are political action committees. Our first political parties, as I understand it, were the Federalists led by Washington, Adams and Hamilton and the Democratic-Republicans led by Jefferson. This created friction in the earliest days of the republic. Neither of these parties exist today as they did in 1800 although Jefferson is the father of today’s Democrats just as Lincoln is the father of today’s Republicans. I wonder what two of the men on Mount Rushmore would think about the current versions of the parties they started. I suspect, not much.

Let’s start with the Democrats because some of my more conservative readers claim I favor them.

The Democratic primary of 2020 was a joke. The eventual nominee couldn’t even win runner-up in Iowa or New Hampshire, but his campaign was salvaged by Black support in the South Carolina primary, a state he lost in the general election. Now President Biden is trying to hold together a coalition that needs to encompass the leftist Bernie Sanders and the moderate Joe Manchin. How well is that working out? It worked out well enough to pass the pork-stuffed Covid Relief Package that included way more than covid relief. This strategy of using reconciliation (50 Senate votes) to pass a bill and prevent a filibuster is not likely to work on Biden’s Jobs Bill which has money for everyone in it. Biden has become the Oprah Winfrey of Washington. Here’s a billion for you and for you and for you! Biden cannot spend America into prosperity. He needs to focus on an issue (e.g., real infrastructure) and pass that bill. Then he can move on to other things. He also cannot give in to the pressure from the extreme left in his party that really does not represent the mainstream of American’s attitude toward many of these problems. Is climate change real? It is. Does that mean we have to bankrupt the country to fix it. No.

The other problem the Democrats have is that they are viewed as the captive party of minorities and immigrants. Without that Black support in South Carolina and elsewhere, Biden had no chance. He has interpreted that to mean that he has a huge debt to the African-American community. He has a huge debt to all of those people who voted for him and even the ones who did not. He needs to articulate clear policy that is good for all Americans, especially the poor and disenfranchised, but that includes American Indians and the Asian community, too. He’s the President of the United States now, not of just some of the U.S. He needs to better articulate why this enormous spending spree is good for the country and why the bills he proposed need to be so full of pork.

The Republicans are an even bigger basket case. Some want to develop an Anglo-Saxon Caucus. Talk about racist! How can that get any traction in 2021 America? Yet it does. As radical as the Squad is on the Democratic side, Republicans like Jim Jordan, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Ron Johnson have dropped off the deep end representing true lunacy despite their often Ivy League educations. That Rand Paul graduated from Duke Medical School is one of the embarrassments of my life.

It is for all of these reasons that I cannot register as either a Democrat or Republican except just before a primary so I can vote in the one that matters most. I have voted Republican and Democrat in the past. I firmly believe it is time for the sane factions in each party to realign behind a conservative or liberal banner and restart the entire two-party system.

What our Founding Fathers did warn against were factions and right now both political parties are riven with extremist factions none of which further the cause of freedom or liberty let alone individual rights. Maybe Mr. Biden, Ms. Pelosi, Mr. McConnell, Mr. Schumer and Mr. McCarthy can meet over drinks and jettison the current makeup of the two parties, rename them Conservative or Liberal and allow everyone currently in Congress to declare his or her affiliation. Then each party needs to articulate what it stands for and what it proposes to do to further the mission of the United States as is well articulated in the Preamble to the Constitution.

I’m not sure which of the new parties I would join, if either. I know I cannot join either of the current ones. Neither has an underlying philosophy consistent with mine. Of course, does either really have an underlying philosophy beyond winning?

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