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Ideology and the Two Party System

November 18, 2017

Despite all the criticism and punishments meted out upon Richard Nixon for the Watergate break-in, we forget that the election of 1960 was stolen by voter fraud in cities controlled by the Democrat Party.  Whether from a deeply-felt patriotism or a residue of Quaker religion that Richard Nixon inherited from his parents, Nixon did not challenge the election results.

That was more than half a century ago and the people, political parties and American politics have changed.  We saw the 2000 election between Al Gore and George W. Bush decided by the Supreme Court of the United States and now Hillary Clinton has questioned the legitimacy of the 2016 election.

We sometimes forget that the early National Period in our history was not always wine and roses. The delegates to the Philadelphia Constitution in 1787 engaged in a process leading to the Founding of a Constitution that defended civil society from the excesses of democratic regimes. They wanted a strong Executive, but not one as strong as George III, and they valued the principle of subsidiarity, that political decisions are best made closest to their implementation. But they attempted to protect civil society from the disordered enthusiasms that often gripped the state legislatures. The Electoral College was one of those methods they employed to protect society from the excesses of the majority.

That system of government worked until the Progressive Left threatened to re-write the Constitution using the method of a new Constitutional Convention.  A compromise was reached by accepting popular election of U.S. Senators. That made the U.S. Senate more sensitive to modern ideologies than the controlling political interests in the States and we’ve lived ever since with Senators who represent ideological “causes.”

During that period of more than one hundred years, major institutions including our Protestant and Catholic churches, universities and the legal profession have championed ideological causes and the persons who represent them.

Causes for “one man one vote,” Social Justice, equality of wealth, universal peace,  a “New World Order” of international law, to name just a few that immediately come to mind have divided popular opinion. All in all, with the exception of the election of 1824 when John Quincy Adams defeated Andrew Jackson, Presidential elections were not challenged by those who lost. Like Hillary Clinton, Jackson won the popular vote, but not the Electoral College.

Even Richard Nixon did not challenge the stolen election of 1960. But seventeen years ago, Al Gore and now in 2017, Hillary Clinton have called those elections into question. Election of a “celebrity” with no experience nor knowledge of government in 2016 was a sign that American politics and our political parties are more fragile than we would like and that future elections may repeat the election of 1824 that was settled by the U.S. House of Representatives.

With the breakdown of our Two Party system, American politics will fragment and the popular vote in Presidential elections may not decide the outcome. Pressure will be brought to dissolve the Electoral College and ideologies–utopian “Second Realities”–will afflict American politics until….

Well, look at the France of Louis XVI, the Germany of Kaiser Wilhelm or the Russia of Czar Nikolas and we see a possible future for America.

 

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