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Chapter 12: How to fix our political parties

June 4, 2012

All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies.” —English author and satirist John Arbuthnot

“The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.” —American author and satirist P. J. O’Rourke

What’s wrong with

America’s political parties

  • Republicans represent special interests. In theory Republicans stand for free enterprise and limited government. In fact, the party’s primaries are usually dominated by Big Business and the Religious Right.
  • Democrats represent special interests. In theory Democrats stand up for the little guy. In fact, the party’s primaries are usually dominated by Big Labor and lawyers.
  • What’s the difference? In practice (after the elections) there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two major political parties. Both parties are guilty of promising too much and delivering too little, wasting tax dollars, handing out special favors to their supporters, and increasing the national debt.
  • Career politicians. Both parties usually nominate career politicians who have only one real priority: their own reelection. In public, they give lip service to their voters and to the nation’s well-being. Then, behind closed doors, they cut deals that take care of their real masters—the special interest groups that finance their campaigns.

How to fix what’s wrong

with America’s political parties

  • Election reform. Only individuals should be allowed to make campaign contributions to politicians and political parties. Big Business, Big Labor and anonymous special interest political action committees (PACs) should not have the controlling influence they currently enjoy. (For more details about this proposal, see the “Election Reform” chapter.)
  • Limited government. With strict limits on the role of government, political parties will have less power. (See the “Government” chapter for more about this issue.)
  • Force Congress to telecommute. See the “Congressional Reform” chapter for more details about this proposal.

“When politicians want to do nothing, and yet look like they are doing something, they appoint a blue ribbon committee or go to the U.N. or assign some Cabinet member to look into the problem and report back to the President —hoping that the issue will be forgotten by the time he reports back.” —Thomas Sowell, American economist, author and columnist

“Political parties, overanxious for vote catching, become tolerant to intolerant groups.” —Wendell Willkie, 1940 Republican candidate for U.S. President

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