Random Thoughts: Elephants and Donkeys

Random Thoughts: Elephants and Donkeys

Political factions or parties began to form during the struggle over ratification of the federal Constitution of 1787. Friction between them increased as attention shifted from the creation of a new federal government to the question of how powerful that federal government would be. The Federalists, led by Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton, wanted a strong central government, while the Anti-Federalists, led by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, advocated states’ rights instead of centralized power.  Federalists coalesced around the commercial sector of the country while their opponents drew their strength from those favoring an agrarian society. The ensuing partisan battles led George Washington to warn  –

“Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.”  Farewell Address, September 19, 1796The Library of Congress

George Washington in his farewell address sent a warning of how political factions can ultimately be the demise of our country and I agree one thousand percent.

The creation of the political factions which later evolved into what we now call political parties (Republican and Democratic)  were needed for the times that they were created in, a new country trying to find its way, away from the ideals that led them to leave the “old world” in pursuit of something else, something free from tyranny.

In my opinion the use and need of political party distinction is an antiquated concept and further separates us. People have already been brainwashed to find reasons to separate themselves from others based on class, race, gender etc., why keep in place yet another system that promotes separation?

I belong to the Democratic party because my mother told me years ago that it was the party for the people, while the Republican party was a party for self-serving wealthy people. I completely disagree with her logic, both parties are self-serving and no one is for the people.

The thing that amazes me most about political affiliation is the blind loyalty some people have towards them. It’s comparable to the loyalty of someone belonging to a fraternity of sorority, the affiliation brings something out in them, a sense of belonging and pride that often times trumps morality, empathy/apathy for your fellow man/woman, logic, and common sense. Now this isn’t the case for everyone, for the most part I’d like to believe that people understand being affiliated with a specific party just comes along with politics and doesn’t play a role in their lives outside of that forum.

I wonder what this country would look like without the parties? Are they even needed when there is distrust and breakdowns in ideology within each party?

All of this eerily reminds of the Divergent movie/book series.

How do you guys feel about our political system? Do you feel it’s in desperate need of an overhaul? Let’s talk politics respectfully in the comments below.


3 thoughts on “Random Thoughts: Elephants and Donkeys

  1. “Desperate” is the perfect word. Yes, I believe we are sorely in need of change… but (embarrassingly) I must admit that my list of changes is very long, and very unpopular with most people I’ve spoken to (and perhaps not achievable in my own life-time). The more people I meet, the more I believe that most people are afraid of change, and perhaps even afraid of thinking, and would prefer someone else do it for them. It makes me sad. Many people don’t seem to mind all of the needless divisions that have been created within our society; we have a “broken home” of a country on our hands, and many people seem to cling to it instead of seeking a better way.

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