Dr. Michael Rushnak
February 3, 2021
President George Washington was our only President who was not a member of any political party. He was wary of political parties and in his Farewell Address in 1796, he said, (political parties) "agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one party against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection."
That's exactly what happened on January 6, 2021. Why do WE THE PEOPLE need political parties? Surely in a Republic, we need representation in Congress but why shouldn't American citizens vote for Independents to represent us- independent of any divisiveness between political parties?
Have political parties ever put county before party except in times of War when America was attacked?
President Washington wanted to be a president of all the American citizens. The most important reason was he believed unity, not division, was necessary for our democratic republic to survive. Washington believed that political parties would divide and destroy the United States. The Constitution that Washington helped draft in 1787, the Constitution our government still operates under today, makes no mention of political parties.
The Preamble to our Constitution states, "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." How many Americans believe that Political Parties have been a positive force to form a more Perfect Union and in establishing Justice for all Americans?
I agree that political parties have been a dismal failure to serve the needs of all Americans. I believe we need many more Independents who have to answer only to their conscience to put Country before Part. I also will vote for the best candidates of each Party if they put partisanship aside and show their character and courage to vote for what is in the best interests for all Americas.
If the candidate you are considering voting for as your Representative in Congress does not believe in this principle, it is possible that hate replaces love and mutual respect for one another. Under that scenario I hope Washington is wrong and Americans will change for the better and unite for the sake of our nation, but it appears to me today that America as we knew it in the first part of the 20th Century MAY not long survive, as Washington's wisdom reminded us centuries ago.
An ever increasing percentage of WE THE PEOPLE have come to realize that both major political parties promise and deliver when their large contributors want something such as the 2017 $2 TRILLION dollar tax cut for the super wealthy oligarchs in a bill passed by the House and Senate and signed by President Trump in less than two months. The Senate was able to pass the bill with only 51 votes, without the need to defeat a filibuster, under the budget reconciliation process which meant that only the Republican Party voted for the Act. There was no bipartisanship, no unity as President Washington would have wanted.
The Congressional Budget Office, think tanks and academia assailed the law, mainly based on forecasts of its adverse impact (e.g., higher budget deficit, higher trade deficit, greater income inequality, and lower healthcare coverage and higher healthcare costs, disproportionate impact on certain states and professions, disproportionate impact on certain states and professions and the misrepresentations made by its advocates). Some of the reforms passed by the Republicans have become controversial within key states, particularly the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductibility, and were challenged in federal courts before being upheld by judges appointed to the bench by partisan Presidents.
Polling showed more public opposition to the law than support for it. Did this partisan passed Act contribute to the General Welfare?
No. The law gave us greater income inequality, and lower healthcare coverage and higher healthcare costs, and a disproportionate impact on certain states and professions. Did this massive tax cut benefiting mostly the super wealthy contribute to establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity as stated in our Constitution? I think not.
WE THE PEOPLE realized it was not right as it put Party before Country. In January 2018, just after the bill became a law, only 33% of Americans approved and 55% disapproved. Given that the GOP-sponsored tax bill passed without a single Democratic vote in either chamber of Congress, did that Tax Cut unite us as Americans? Absolutely not,. It was divisive and further polarized the tensions between Americans.
How did Congress respond to the needs of the middle class and the poor during our current extremely deadly COVID-19 pandemic?
Nearly 24 million adults — 11 percent of all adults in the country — reported that their household sometimes or often didn’t have enough to eat in the last seven days. Please be aware that the government reported unemployment rate only counts Americans actively pursuing employment. If you stop looking for work because you are sick or there is no employment that you can get to if you don't have transportation to a potential job or literally because there is no employment in your area where you live as more small business go out of business, or you "retire" during the pandemic then you are no longer counted in the unemployment rate but are counted in the labor participation rate which makes the lower unemployment rate look like not as many Americans are out of work, but there are 24 million Americans suffering, and children are starving in the richest nation on Earth.
After 8 months of disagreements between Democrats and Republicans during which time Americans faced eviction from their homes because they had no money to pay their mortgages, renters could not pay their rent, more Americans were dying of COVID-19, more hunger among the poor and middle class who had been unemployed because the ruling class released hard working taxpayers so they could stay in business, Americans could not pay for their healthcare just before Christmas 2020, Congress passed a Bill that gave $600 stimulus checks for millions of Americans, 10 weeks of jobless aid, $330 billion in small-business assistance, money for vaccine distribution, and funding for a range of other programs.
Why did it take 8 months during which time Congress took their usual summer recess to finally pass a $600 stimulus checks for millions of Americans, 10 weeks of jobless aid, $330 billion in small-business assistance, money for vaccine distribution, and funding for a range of other programs? How far does $600 go for every citizens facing personal crises everywhere they look? How can they trust their political parties to look out for the interests of the middle class and the poor anymore?
As Congress recessed for Christmas, many other issues remain unresolved. Republicans were still demanding limits to the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department’s emergency lending programs. Democrats say that such restrictions, pushed primarily by Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.), would constrain the ability of the incoming Biden administration to stabilize the economy during a protracted downturn.
With the partisan divide growing deeper and as more personal words of hatred were exchanged between members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and as the finger pointing escalated, we must always remember January 6th as the day that President George Washington's prophetic words about political parties came true when he said in 1796, "they foments occasionally riot and insurrection."
Going forward, I am voting for Independent candidates and the few members of each political party who have the character and courage to challenge the leadership of both the Democrats and the Republicans to ALWAYS put Country before Party. When Ben Franklin was asked what the Founding Fathers had done in passing our Constitution, he replied, "We have given you a Republic, if you can keep it."
I hope and pray that my fellow Americans take the Founding Father of America's advice.
WE THE PEOPLE must PEACEFULLY rise up and do what is right for all of us as Americans to keep our Republic Representative form of government and to preserve our Democracy for our children and grandchildren.