There’s a sense the presidential campaigns of two major parties are unusual in nature but it truly is 2016 politics as usual. Many believe this is a year of odd political theater, tactics, and results. A democratic socialist is challenging a long established party leader on the democrat side while a wealthy, bombastic business mogul who has freely donated to both major parties is leading a field of seasoned politicians on the republican side. These two factions are the main focus of the media (which is very usual) and the campaigns are turning bitter and divisive (also very usual). Factions are fracturing from within while people are questioning both organizations for providing such folly and overall curious choices for potential nominees to the highest political job in the country. (This may be the most unusual aspect as the two parties have resisted internal destruction, despite major platform changes, since effectively controlling government over independents and third-parties since 1899.)
Both factions are dominated with candidates who appear to be unfit
Some of the emotions today’s political race will conjure up are feelings of being embarrassed, frustrated, dismayed, supportive, entertained, excited, confused and more by those citizens who invest any time in watching 2016’s campaign folly. Whether democrat, socialist, republican, liberal or conservative it is increasingly hard to accept the best people for being the chief executive of the U.S. are currently leading their respective race. If these truly are the best of the best many question how long this country can continue. Both factions are dominated with candidates who appear to be unfit in leading the general government and executing the laws effectively. But unfit leaders being elected is not unusual. We’ve seen politics attracting some of the worst among us since democracy began to dominate the approach of elections at all levels, funded questionably, broadcast accordingly.
No leading candidate of either party is proposing any actions reflecting the fundamental approaches authorized and approved under supreme law. One current candidate remaining talks of support for the Constitution while promising actions that will require unconstitutional usurpation if the promises are to be delivered. All promises being made by presidential candidates will require abuse of power in order to even have a chance of being fulfilled (while most campaign promises are never meant to actually reach fruition), again very usual. Abusing the power of the executive branch is so common people routinely turn to the President of the United States and expect things be done this office was never designed to deliver under federalism but human nature always strives to deliver when power and money are involved. Having the protection of government to gain oversight is the usual way things are getting done, after all.
We have seen the executive power grow through abuse for more than a century, aided by both a legislative and judiciary branch dominated by republicans and democrats supportive of the abuse. State governments are equally mimicking structures designed for centralization. Both parties embrace democracy as their tool for piecing together what they refer to as a mandate from the voters.
The notion of the U.S. being a democracy no longer is subject to debate
A perception of a mandate by voters is usual. Soundbite sales pitches continue to drive people to support candidates based on very specialized interests and classifications rather than supporting the notion of what is best for the public good and private rights overall. The notion of the U.S. being a democracy no longer is subject to debate as it was when Woodrow Wilson first started selling the notion back in the late 1800s. Now the debate is morphing into whether democracy or socialism is better for the future when history shows one naturally leads to the other and the U.S. is simply following this same, usual path.
Democracy, dominated by factional special interests, encroaches on general welfare. It becomes easier to redistribute wealth, support equality in property rather than opportunity, and centralize power through bureaucratic lobbying, special interest pandering, and regulatory expansion. Democracy, whether pure or representative, fails to protect the minority from the majority and fails to protect the majority from factions able to sustain control through minority voter turnout. Democracy allows the growth of party politics, administrative states, and centralized power, power necessary to give the people what is promised for the return of their vote. Democratic socialism gains fertile soil.
A competent electorate poses a danger to party power and democracy helps minimize this danger. Federalism was designed to insure competent selections were made. Despite the fact American Federalism was designed to defend against the dangers of democracy the two major parties effectively built a system that, today, mimics representative democracy complete with ever growing centralized power and regulatory control.
Since this system has been developed over decades today’s voters believe we are a democracy. Parties are happy to support the notion. The Republican Party is even attempting to convince their members they should be allowed a vote on the next Supreme Court nominee while standing against the constitutional requirement of a sitting president to nominate replacements. The further push for more democracy, and away from American Federalism, only stands to help insure the quality of those seeking elected offices further deteriorates at all levels of government which people accept as the way we govern, business as usual.
2016 is politics as usual in all its ugly manifestations
2016 is politics as usual in all its ugly manifestations. Citizens divide easily into classes, factions pitch the biggest tent possible to help control the majority of the voting electorate, special interests and crony capitalists give large amounts to both major parties, media embraces those spending the most on campaign advertising, and our usual system of nominating and electing political office holders grinds on. It is natural for humans to develop factions and it is common to see factions control mankind.
We see more clearly in this election the facts Madison discussed when writing in 1787; “The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man; and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity, according to the different circumstances of civil society. A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good.” (Federalist 10) Human nature has created an environment of division and animosity while the people are the ones left to suffer from their own willingness to accept the piffle playing out as some horse race or sporting event, as usual.