Friday, January 29, 2010

Roots of American Political Parties -- and What to Do about Them

Town of Olive Conservative Party chair Chris Johansen sent me this link by Ryan Burgett of the Classical Liberal site. Burgett gives a fine thumbnail sketch of the origins of the Republican Party. The Republicans were traditionally the big government party and the Democrats were motivated by the populism of William Jennings Bryan to adopt the Republican perspective from the working man's point of view. Of course, that would be squaring the circle. The Democrats have been as much the party of the rich as have been the big government Republicans. The chief avenues of subsidy to the rich are the Federal Reerve Bank, which is responsible for the super-sized advances in the stock market since the 1940s and government regulation that serves to protect large industry, which has lower per unit compliance costs, from smaller competitors.

The solution to this is not just what Burgett concludes, vote your conscience. Rather, it is to get involved with the nomination process and demand that any and every candidate whom you support reveal their true beliefs.

Two litmus tests:

1. "Where do you stand on the 2008-9 bailout of Wall Street? Would you in similar circumstances have liquidated the investment banks or paid them trillions via TARP, the bailout monies and the hidden subsidies from the Federal Reserve Bank that have been much larger?"

2. "Outline specific steps that you will take to cut government waste."

If a candidate cannot answer these two questions clearly, he or she is not a good candidate.

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