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Are Political Parties Becoming Dangerous or Irrelevant?


The day before our Tennessee primary election, Ted Cruz overcame overwhelming odds to win the run off election for U.S. Senate in Texas.  Mr. Cruz did not have the endorsements of the establishment,  anywhere close to the money of his opponent, but he won handily with 57% of the vote.

Thursday in two Middle Tennessee races there were two candidates who were funded and endorsed by the GOP establishment, yet were soundly defeated by candidates with zero political experience, few endorsements, and very little money.  I am referring to Tennessee House races: Lauri Day in District 74 and LTC Courtney Rogers in the 45th District.

What made the difference in these races may be citizen activism.  Individuals acting on their own, doing what they could for the candidates in whom each believed.  Both candidates refused to run negative ads against their opponents, even when an opponent engaged in a massive misinformation campaign, dominating the air waves for weeks, as in the case of incumbent Maggart’s campaign against eventual winner Courtney Rogers, in the 45th District.  We the people do have a choice.

Go back now to 2008 when Rosalind Kurita was our incumbent State Senator in District 22.  She won the primary race against Tim Barnes but the Tennessee Democrat Party did not like the way she played nice with Republicans during her preceding term.  The Democrat Party, at Barnes’ request, in opposition to the expressed will of the people, nominated Tim Barnes (D) as their nominee, forcing Senator Rosalind Kurita (D) to run an unsuccessful write in campaign.

After this year’s primary, the Tennessee Democrat Party again set aside voters’ wishes in the U.S. Senate race, disavowing the winner who had twice the number of votes as his nearest competitor.  Since they are not in control of the government in Tennessee any more I guess they felt they could not just put someone else on the ballot.  Instead Tennessee Democrats disavowed U.S. Senate primary winner Mark Clayton, and why? Because he belongs to a group who has the guts to stand up for traditional marriage and  pro-life issues.

Are Democrat voters in Tennessee really ready to throw traditional marriage under the bus?  I could be wrong, but Democrats I know say they remain loyal to their party because it is their heritage, not because of the obtuse course to family and traditional American values taken by the Democrat Party in the last few decades.  What may be even more disturbing is the opinion the Democrat Party leaders of their own constituents.  Among the reasons given by the Democrat Party for disavowing Mark Clayton was that Clayton received twice the number of votes as the nearest candidate because Clayton was the first name on the list and Democrat voters (who they seem to think are too dumb to know anything about the candidates) must have just taken the first name on the ballot.

The party system has failed us.  Our first President, George Washington, knew that it would.  In his farewell address he said of parties “They serve to organize faction; to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community, and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans, digested by common councils and modified by mutual interests. “  Every citizen would do well to research and read President Washington’s entire farewell speech, he had much more to say about political parties.

It is time for us as citizens to do our DUE DILIGENCE regarding those who seek our trust.  Find out what, if anything, candidates stand for.  What is in their heart?  Do you align yourself with those things?  And then disconnect from TV networks that shower you with ads and partisan propaganda paid for by people who have their own agenda and not yours or our country’s best interests at heart. Knock on doors for your candidates, make phone calls, put up signs and support their public meetings.

As individuals we can make parties irrelevant again and prevent them from becoming any more dangerous.  Did you ever play follow the leader in school?  It was kind of fun, and usually harmless.  That kind of blind faith in parties and government, however, is dangerous.  While it is still up to WE THE PEOPLE, let’s begin again a better direction, let’s BE THE PEOPLE.  Our nation cannot be sustained without our citizens diligent care.

Editor’s Note: The views expressed herein are solely those of the author of this piece; and are not necessarily the views of Clarksville Online, its staff, other authors, or advertisers.

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