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November 1, 2013


As my followers know, I am a retired lawyer and a lifelong liberal Democrat who very greatly deplores the antics of the Republican Party as of late, but I am in an intellectual quandary. I detest some of the positions they have taken, some bordering on sedition, as in the recent government shutdown and threat of world-wide depression, but yet I want that party (if not its stands on the issues) to survive as a viable political entity on the American scene.

The fight Republicans are having within their party is not making it easy for me. It’s as though they want to destroy their own party. I am opposed to such a Whig ending, but not because I have any sympathy for their political positions. I rather want that party to survive because we need a two-party system; it is the cornerstone of the democratic process, however far out some of their political positions may be.

Political institutions are human institutions and humans make mistakes. We Democrats need our Republican opponents on the scene to identify our mistakes to the voting public, and the Republicans need us on the scene for the same reason. If the Republican Party goes the way of the Whigs and we Democrats have little or no opposition at the polls, democracy will not be well-served. Democracy demands that we have the issues articulated and argued and put out on the public table so that voters have a choice. With what would essentially be a one-party system if Republicans cannot come together and instead descend into the oblivion of Whigdom, voters would not have that choice. That may be good for those anxious to grab power by any means, but it is not good for democracy or America.

I am well aware of the distortions of the democratic process caused by big money, voter suppression tactics of Republican state legislators around the country and the corrosive effects of the Supreme Court’s finding in Citizens United, among other such attempts to subvert democracy, but I have faith in the American people’s ability to see through the money/propaganda blind of such anti-democratic efforts to buy elections and vote for their own interests (which are not those of Wall Street).

If the Republican Party chooses to survive and comes out fighting for Wall Street’s rights to prosper over the well-being of the rest of America, fine. Let them put that on the table for a vote. If they do not believe there is a role in health care for government and that the present system is a good one, fine. Let them put that on the table for a vote as well. In other words, let’s have our arguments and have a vote with the understanding that democracy depends upon majority rule and that you don’t shut your government down or threaten global financial chaos to make a political point.

We have provisions for getting rid of laws you don’t like; you introduce a repeal measure. Don’t have enough votes in favor of repeal? Get them next election; campaign on that issue. You don’t burn the house down because you don’t like the furniture arrangement, for heaven’s sake!

I have blogged repeatedly that Republicans must rid themselves of tea party elements within their ranks or go the way of the Whigs, but if they decide to embrace tea party principles, it’s their choice. At least they will have a party and a channel for their arguments on the issues of the day to present to the American people for decision. Preservation of democracy is more important than the survival of either party, but we need competing views in the political marketplace for democracy to work. GERALD  E


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