I’ve often pondered the rationale behind allowing people who do not belong to a given political party to participate in that party’s candidate selection process. I was led to do so again by what transpired in the Cochran-McDaniel race for nomination as the GOP’s candidate for U.S. Senate in Mississippi. The outcome was well within the margin undoubtedly provided by voters allowed to participate in the primary election even though they do not belong to the Mississippi GOP.
What would members of a union say to the proposal to allow non-union members to vote in the election of union representatives? I think they’d smell a rat. Common sense would suggest the likelihood that managers from non-union enterprises would use the opportunity to dilute the base of unionized voters with people primed to cast their votes for candidates who could be induced to compromise the best interests of union members, or who would at the very least, limit efforts to expand the base of enterprises with a union presence.
In terms of their shared sense of what’s in their best interest as workers, unions need representatives who will be true to the common values and goals agreed upon by union members and who will faithfully respect and pursue them after they are elected.
Though it’s hardly remembered any more these days, what we call political parties are supposed to be voter unions, in which people who agree upon common values and goals join together with a view to electing representatives who will respect and carry out that agreement. Political platforms are its written memorial, hammered out so that representatives can be held accountable for what they subsequently do.
Of course accountability requires a culture of fidelity, in which party members and candidates affirm their acceptance of the platform, and their commitment to support it in action. Like the solidarity that has been the backbone of successful labor unions, the success of political parties as vehicles that truly represent the voters who compose them depends on the good faith of those who make and are bound by this affirmation.
Obviously, accountability is cast aside if people who have not affirmed the platform, and who therefore have no allegiance to it, can vote for or serve as party representatives. The platform ceases to be a memorial of the terms of a good faith agreement. It becomes instead an instrument of deceptive persuasion, intended to bait people into voting for the Party’s candidates even if and when they declare openly that they abjure the platform positions carefully crafted to attract unwary voters.
Of the two so-called major political parties in the United States, the GOP corresponds almost exactly to this scenario for using elections to gain power without accountability. The saddest part of its success in doing so is the pathetic spectacle of voters who have inherited or developed an emotional attachment to the Party’s label loyally casting their votes for people who cynically reject their most profound convictions about what is right, and what should be done about it.
My wife often chides me for showing this kind of irrational loyalty to brand name products that I’ve used for many years. Even when it becomes undeniably clear that some other company has, as it were, built a better mousetrap that they sell for a lower price, I’ll often persist in my misguided loyalty until some episode smacks me in the face with the absurdity of it. It’s the downside of what can, in the right context, be an invaluable trait. Or should I say, in the context of right.
For there are timeless moral truths that deserve such loyalty even when something comes along that seems to get the job done more cheaply and effectively. They are the truths that inform the God-endowed conscience of humanity when we deal with matters of intrinsic worth, according to the standard of worth that transcends our selfish will and interests to encompass, in our deliberations, what is right for all and sundry in every circumstance of God’s creation.
Was there ever a nation before the United States composed of people who explicitly professed their allegiance to those timeless truths, and made it their goal to establish government devised, structured and bound by careful instruction of God-endowed unalienable right to respect them? If so, there was never one more successful, or that extended the benefits of their observance to a larger number of its citizens?
Given this record, why would citizens who profess to be loyal to the Constitution thus established, persist in their misplaced loyalty to a Party that has time and again, with more and more contemptuous abandon, openly forsworn the platform supposedly constructed to respect that Constitution? Why would such citizens time and again accept the pretense that candidates who have openly expressed their disdain for the platform; and whose records generously prove their repeated opposition to its tenets, are preferable to those of the Democrat Party simply because of the Party label their actions turn into an empty word?
More important, perhaps (in the context of the aforementioned result in Mississippi’s GOP Primary), is the question about why conservatives (by which I mean those loyal to America’s Constitution and founding principles) refuse to see that they are now the victims of factional collusion between the GOP’s elitist faction leadership and its counterpart in the Democrat Party. This collusion makes sense of the otherwise inherently contradictory institution of crossover voting in primaries. That institution is intended to allow the socialist allies of the GOP’s elitist faction leaders to come to their rescue whenever their disloyalty to the GOP’s professed views threatens them with the electoral defeat they deserve.
There is only one way conservatives will ever again be able to restore the accountability needed to secure true representation from the electoral process. They must find a way to confront the GOP’s treacherous elitist faction leaders with a simple ultimatum: “Commit now to do what is necessary to halt the destruction of America’s Constitution and liberty, or we refuse to vote for you, no matter what lies you tell. You say the Obama Democrats are worse, but what is worst of all is the fact that our nation is being bankrupted, our security betrayed, and our God-endowed rights trampled to such a degree that we face the choice of tyranny or war, and all you are willing to offer is the surrender of liberty without even the dignity of fighting to preserve it. Pledge to impeach and support the removal of Barack Obama from office, or else.”
The pledge to impeach mobilization is the vehicle for delivering this ultimatum prior to the election in 2014, as well as offering candidates the means to respond to it with action. Have you joined the pledge to impeach mobilization? Have you urged everyone you can influence to do the same?