Our government is not operating quite as the Founding Fathers intended.
But it is not beyond correction. Yet.
They intended ours to be a system of checks and balances so that no one branch of government held more power than the rest.
That is difficult to do in an era where one party holds all power and are cowed by the rhetoric of the leader of the Executive Branch to speak out and balance his actions so that they do not lead us to an “Imperial” Presidency.
Which is why perhaps it is time for the formal founding of a third political party.
Both the GOP and the Democrats have shown there are deep divisions within their ranks that make them unable to exercise the bi-partisanship and willingness to compromise in the governance of a country too large and diverse to hold onto extremist left or right views and accomplish anything of benefit for the people.
And as Abraham Lincoln so eloquently said, ours is to be a country “of the people, by the people, for the people.”
And too many of the people continue to be disregarded in the political environment we have experienced since the 2010 midterms.
I would like to see the idea of being “moderate” or “centrist” in your political views stop being anathema.
By being thoughtful, by not being rigid and at the far of either ends of the political spectrum are we to find the only chance that the way we govern benefits the greatest majority of the people.
I realize that an established third party with genuine political clout leads us more into a parliamentary style of governance. But other countries do it and retain their democratic values.
This is different from claiming to be an “Independent,” which is an individualistic stance that says “I will vote for whichever party I feel is best reflecting my personal preferences, beliefs and needs” of the moment.
It will not lead to good governance.
Only when we recognize that as a country, we are also bound together as a community -as diverse as that community is- will we ever get back to a state of rational government in the United States.
Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence and helped craft our Constitution, said this about governance:
“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good governance.”
FDR said “The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country “
But perhaps it is Mark Twain who offers the most practical view of all: “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”