Political parties put an end to idealism

Karen Grennan

Political parties originated as foundations for ideologies and support systems for broad ranges of philosophical and political beliefs, but they have disintegrated into blanket platform, follow the leader at all cost propoganda machines.
Deliberative bodies depend on autonomous idealism, but the United States Congress has devolved into a veritable gang war, with the two major political parties representing rival mafia factions – anyone who dare “go against the family” is outcast, and for all intensive purposes, politically “whacked.”
The House is inherently more susceptible to party-led scare tactics, with two-year terms forcing candidates to begin campaigning for re-election virtually the day of their previous victory, but the Senate Judiciary committee exemplifies the hypocrisy that now sadly defines the political parties.
Republicans have claimed moral outrage, admonishing Democratic leadership for blocking several ultra-conservative Bush judicial nominees, despite the fact that scores of Clinton nominees were not even granted hearings when the committee was under Republican control in the mid 1990’s.
During a recent hearing, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) urged quick passage of a nominee and stated that he had always supported great deference for presidents in their judicial selections.
What McConnell seems to forget is that he himself voted against 16 Clinton appointees in the first two years of the previous administration. And what is deference in terms of democracy? Leaders are elected to decide, not blindly fall in line.
The Clinton impeachment was a perfect example of how party politics demean modern government. Impeachment involved one question: Did the sum of President Clinton’s actions qualify as high crimes and misdemeanors?
Was it a coincidence that Republicans almost unanimously said yes, while Democrats almost unanimously answered no? Of course not. What should have been a black and white legal question became an entirely political scenario.
What has caused the downward spiral towards a toe the line, majority platform policy system of governance? The simple answer is money, and it is derived from special interest groups.
Special interest groups are the poison pills that the parties have facilitated. Both parties depend on interest groups to fund campaigns, with labor unions and the ACLU being the major Democratic contributors, and the National Rifle Association and the Christian Conservatives servings as their Republican counterparts.
These groups can essentially hold legislators hostage by threatening to relinquish financial backing if their one specific concern is not acted upon, often times at the sacrifice of all other legislation.
The solution is an easy one, but unfortunately, a seemingly impossible one as well. America needs its political leaders to officially distance themselves from special interest groups.
America needs to return to a campaign system rooted in public debate and philosophy, rather than the issue advocacy and financial name recognition that now rule the day. Of course the interest groups should retain a political voice, but that voice should be filtered through writings and oration, not money or intimidation.
True leadership stands on the strength of unfettered conviction. Any system which places unquestioned party loyalty above this principle is not worthy of service.
The United States readies for war now, and any unnecessary bloodshed shall be on the hands of those leaders who advocated going too soon, or even too late, because of political expediency.