Parties not from Constitution

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  • Anonymous
    Jan. 18, 2008 5:22 p.m.

    Utah has a three party system, and GOP chair Stan Lockhart is chairman of two of them.

  • Thomas
    Jan. 14, 2008 10:01 p.m.

    Anon 5:34 -- Try these on for size:

    1. A culture whose default setting isn't calibrated to produce a nation of Britney Spears clones.

    2. An economic system that maximizes individual freedom. (Unfortunately, there are about six self-proclaimed conservative politicians who are really consistent on this, including Jeff Flake; the rest are standard-issue porkbarrelers once in office.)

    3. Individual freedom generally. The old saying is that Republicans want to regulate the bedroom (and even that isn't true anymore), while Democrats want to regulate everything else. (Save the apoplexy about FISA, etc. for another space; short version -- you're straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel; counterterrorist powers don't hold a candle to the power the government already seized, with bipartisan assent, via the "drug war.")

    4. Civilizational confidence. While it's useful to have a loyal opposition to keep confidence from becoming arrogance, it's useful for the people ostensibly in charge to know what side they're supposed to be on. Robert Frost once defined a liberal as someone so fair-minded he was incapable of taking his own side in a fight; the old boy wasn't too far off.

  • Worried?
    Jan. 14, 2008 9:53 p.m.

    Maybe Mr. Swim is worried that his pawns in the legislature are going to get cleaned out. He wants to be governed by principles? How about the principle that elected leaders actually represent what the people want rather than what some "institute" wants? How about spending legislative time on things that the people care about? How about making sure that district boundaries work to ensure people have a chance to be represented by one with similar interests? The Sutherland Institute is a group of Pharisiacal nincompoops.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 14, 2008 5:34 p.m.

    I don't think anyone is "painting conservatives as villains" as "lost in DC" would like us to believe.
    That sort of thing is what the Limbaughites like to do - make villains of ... well, EVERYBODY that disagrees with conservatives.
    I really do not have the slightest notion as to just what it is that our so-proclaimed conservatives are trying to conserve? All I see happening is a widening gap between Americans.

  • lost in DC
    Jan. 14, 2008 4:39 p.m.

    Go ahead and rewrite history: read the first comment where the author paints conservatives as villains.

    Jefferson would not have been elected but for the political compromise that gave southern states an electoral advantage. Slaves were property, not people, yet they were counted as population when electoral votes were allotted. Without the electoral votes given by the inclusion of slaves in the population, he wouldn't have been elected president. Jefferson never freed his slaves; his opposition was in word only, not in deed.

    Hamilton did not support a monarchy; the charge is left from Jeffersons attacks. He favored an ordered society, seeing the danger that exists with anarchy; Jefferson never did. Jefferson refused to see the excesses of the French revolution. Jefferson was nave to the depths of depravity to which people could descend. Hamilton sought the presidency, so did Jefferson, so whats so criminal about that? Jefferson opposed the power of the presidency, but lusted after and actively sought it. If he truly opposed it, why would he seek it?

    Jefferson also had a knack for ignoring laws that were not to his advantage. He smuggled material out of Italy; had he been caught, the penalty was death.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 14, 2008 2:13 p.m.

    Maybe George W. Bush is right after all.
    Maybe the Constitution is "just a piece of paper."

  • Go ahead and try to re-write his
    Jan. 14, 2008 2:12 p.m.

    Lost in DC, It's so wonderful that you know so much because you read a few books. I'm not painting any person as the villian but am pointing out Hamilton started it. This is a historical fact. The election of 1800 was a turning point in our country. It was in this election that Jefferson defeated Adams who was fool.

    Jefferson was correct in resisting the power of the Presidency and should be commended for setting a precedent. But of course you feel that Hamilton who thought the British form of government was the best in the world was only "guilty of responding." It's a given reality that Hamilton was a monarchist who sought the Presidency.

    Furthermore, Jefferson was opposed to slavery and spoke out against it and attempted to include it in the Declaration of Independence. I suggest you read the original draft of the Declaration because you accept revisionist history. It was the liberals who opposed it. In addition they were the ones who fought for the Bill of Rights while the likes of Madison stated that the role "of government is to protect the opulent from the majority." Washington wasn't much better either.

  • lost in DC
    Jan. 14, 2008 1:49 p.m.

    Republicans seek to destroy also needs to review his understanding of Jefferson and political parties. Jefferson started the Democratic Party (though it was known as the Republican Party then, Lincoln was among the first members of the current Republican Party). Some may question whether Washington would be considered a conservative, since he led the continental army. Hamilton also served under Washington and led a charge overrunning a British position at Yorktown, and Hamilton definitely was a conservative. Jefferson, on the other hand, failed to mobilize the militia or take other reasonable and prudent actions to protect the colonial capital of Williamsburg when the British invaded, he ran away.

  • lost in DC
    Jan. 14, 2008 1:39 p.m.

    Republicans seek to destroy needs to review his history. Having read excellent biographies on Hamilton, Jefferson, and Washington (I still need to read the one on Adams), I think he is painting the wrong person as the villain. Many historians agree that Washington would have been considered a Federalist (Hamiltons and Adams) party. Jefferson began his campaign of dirty tricks early in the 1st Washington administration while he was Secretary of State. His intent was to undermine the office of the president as he was opposed to the office and the power therein. Was Hamilton guilty of responding? Absolutely, but Jefferson also used minions, (Madison and Monroe) to attack both Hamilton and Washington. Jefferson was anything but the loyal opposition. Washington, I think, would have to have been considered among the conservatives of the era. He wrote a letter to a friend talking about the different directions the industrial north and agricultural south were heading, and said if the different directions ever resulted in a conflict, he would have to side with the north. Jefferson definitely preferred the southern agricultural lifestyle, though it depended on slave labor to be sustained. Remember, the liberals supported slavery, the conservatives opposed it.

  • 2 bits
    Jan. 14, 2008 1:24 p.m.

    I tend to agree with the opinion writer. Political parties and their control of our politics is out of hand.

    I think the opinion writter was against party-bondage in general... He didn't say we have the wrong NUMBER of parties (which many commenters have fixated on).

    I don't agree with "Anonymous" or "AMR" that lessening Party aligence means we must go to one of the other extreems (1-party/facism or anarchy). There are some other less extreem options... Like candidates being more independent (which isn't the same as anarchy).

    I don't think keeping the status quo and just adding a 3rd party would be an improvement. It would just add more petty pickering and impediments to progress.

    Currently 3rd party/independent candidates are not viable candidates. Their contribution of ideas is very valuable, but they have no chance of being elected or succeeding in implementing their ideas if elected (because of party politics).

    Currently a 3rd party candidate can only be a spoiler in varying degrees to the other candidates (not a help to any candidate or the United States).

    More independence accross the board would be an improvement. A move to 1 or 3 parties doesn't fix anything.

  • Chad
    Jan. 14, 2008 12:57 p.m.

    "In Utah one faction is in control - and the people refuse to control it."

    I love statements like this because they both bely the ignorance of the person making the statement and they belittle the american people. This implies that everyone has been duped and no one is capable of rational thoughts - except of course for the person who said this. This is the standard "why can't everyone else see that i am the only one who is right?" argument. Of course if you are not inclined to believe what the MAJORITY believe, you will feel they are "running amok". It jsut means you are in the minority. Democratic republics tend to work that way, as our representatives are voted in by the majority.

    By the way, those are PEOPLE who are voting, so apparently the people are controling it, just not the way YOU want them to.

  • Joe Moe
    Jan. 14, 2008 10:05 a.m.

    In all this talk about parties, let's not forget: the political parties are nothing more nor less than people (voters! constituents! citizens!) joining with other people with similar values and goals. They are loose coalitions at best, with a continuum of beliefs within them, but with enough internal consistency to warrant their combination.

    Political parties are people! They do not fall outside the system. If you want to affect parties, get involved!

    As for me, I'd really like to see how a three-party system would function....

  • wrz
    Jan. 14, 2008 9:58 a.m.

    "Let's all pray that our families will be kept safe from Republican voters who want to hurt us and harm us."

    Let's all pray that we will be kept safe from Democrats who want to raise taxes and give us socialized medicine.

  • Mike
    Jan. 14, 2008 9:41 a.m.

    As I see it, a candidate's loyalty to his party often is greater than his loyalty to his constituents. When that happens, he no longer represents his constituents. On the other hand, a lone independent voice may not be heard above the clamor of the political parties.

    The war between the two major parties has been so intense during this session of Congress that nothing of substance has been accomplished. To cure that condition, irresponsible legistators should be fired and responsible legistators should be elected. By responsible, I mean legistators who represent their constituents, not their party.

    A political party should not control the legistators, but should provide information and services to enable the legistators to function effectively without redundancy in each legistator's office.

  • WC
    Jan. 14, 2008 9:18 a.m.

    I commented poorly about the Sutherland Institute - but after reading people comments I thought I would interject. The reality is the letter is correct. There is NO mention of parties in the constitution. The federalist papers warned of these factions being created and taking away from the voice of the people. However parties quickly developed soon after the creation of the country. Jefferson said there is no way to avoid factions - but we must just control them from getting out of control.

    In Utah - one faction is out of control. And the people refuse to control it.

  • WC
    Jan. 14, 2008 9:16 a.m.

    Sutherland Institute.....blech.

  • Scotty
    Jan. 14, 2008 8:00 a.m.

    Why not do away with political parties, and have all candidates be "independent" instead? Elected officials would then not be beholden to a national party agenda, but rather to their constituients, and conscience. Also, in order to win election, a candidate would have to win more than 50 percent of the vote. If not, then a run-off election between the two top candidates would be mandated. This would be required for all elections, including President.

  • ediddy
    Jan. 14, 2008 7:55 a.m.

    "Republicans seek to harm families.." needs to reel in the hyperbole. Painting with a brush that broad is ignorant of reality and inflamatory. All are entitled to their opinion, but branding conservatism and "Republicans" as some great evil and a threat to all families is plain absurd. Under the broad strokes used to vilify conservatives herein, exactly the same tripe could be thrown at liberals and the "fascist" left. (in case anyone wondered, fascism isn't the sole bastion of the "neocons" and, forgive me, Limbaughites. It is merely thrown first to deflect such underpinnings in thosethrowing out the mud.

  • amr
    Jan. 14, 2008 7:35 a.m.

    Instead maybe he's suggesting anarchy with everyone out for themselves.

  • get real
    Jan. 14, 2008 7:17 a.m.

    We don't have a two party system. We have one party with two factions. One leans left, the other leans further to the left.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 14, 2008 6:28 a.m.

    So, is the author suggesting a one-party system?
    No checks and balances?
    Isn't that fascism?

  • Republicans seek to destroy fami
    Jan. 14, 2008 1:36 a.m.

    Mr. Swim needs to get a clue. It's truly shocking that people of his caliber are Directors at our Policy Institutes. I hope that no elected official considers the policies supported by this institute to be worthy of any consideration.

    While it's true that the spirit of party isn't good for this country, isn't found in the Constitution and is generally bad it's the conservatives led by Alexander Hamilton who started it and all we can do is be thankful for men like Thomas Jefferson who while opposed to parties decided to resist those who would lead this country to its doom. We should be grateful that men like Washington resisted this spirit because the conservatives would have started this a lot sooner.

    We should all pray that we will find peace and that the spirit of party will be dispelled but so long as there are conservatives and Republicans intent on harming us and our families we will fight back, we will resist their efforts and defend what we love from them. Let's all pray that our families will be kept safe from Republican voters who want to hurt us and harm us.