Uncle Sam Is Very Sick

Nicholas Connors

June 19, 2019

If there’s one thing Americans agree on—besides the fact we don’t agree on anything—it’s our overwhelming mistrust of government. We have no confidence in Washington, and no confidence that elected officials from different parties work well together.

And why should we? Dysfunction in Washington has been a theme for the last several decades.

We cannot seem to agree on why it is so. There are some who say that gridlock in Washington is a result of the personalities holding elected office. Others will say outside organizations—lobbyists, PACs, corporations—are the ones to blame. Still others will point to the lack of a third major political party.

In this case, we might not agree, but at least everyone is correct. The answer is D) All of the above. But here’s the problem, these are symptoms of a diseased Washington; they are not the cause.

And so, we need to stop focusing on the symptoms alone and start talking about why they exist in the first place.

To do that, one needs only to look at the rules and procedures which regulate our elections and the governing process itself—the U.S. political system. Because it is here that the infliction of Washington dysfunction has its primary origins. The Founding Fathers would be greatly alarmed with how far our current system has strayed from what they envisioned when the U.S. Constitution was ratified.

Partisan primaries, gerrymandering, party-determined committee assignments, segregated cloakrooms, the Hastert Rule, and much more have been created by party leaders and political insiders. And done so largely in back rooms with only nominal public representation.

It is important for Americans to understand that these rules have nothing to do with the U.S. Constitution. They are the creation of partisan elites.

Though the complete body of rules that regulate our elections and government processes are a mixture of old and new, most older rules have been transformed into more dictatorial and partisan adaptations. Other rules that were adopted as a force for good have either had their weaknesses exploited or because of advancements in technology and changes in American culture are now detrimental to the system. And of course, there are numerous rules that exist solely because the majority caucus of the time wanted to preserve and concentrate its power or achieve ideological objectives.

 

As power has transferred back and forth between the parties, each new majority – those in charge of rulemaking—has engaged in retaliation for unfair (or perceived unfair) practices of past opposition governments. Dangerous precedents have been set.

These partisan maneuvers have been exacerbated with the advent of social media, digital voter databases, digital mapping, as well as a lucrative election and political advocacy industry that caters to partisan insiders and special interest groups.

There must also be something said about accountability.

In our political system, partisan insiders are police, judge, and jury. Defective rules, exploited rules, and abolished norms that promoted civility, fairness, and bipartisanship are never repaired or reinstated. Instead, the newly added concentration of power is utilized by each new majority to push its own agenda.

The end result is a system with minimal... Continue Reading at The Bulwak.

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