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Casey Kitchel

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Political parties should be banned in the United States of America.

In George Washington's 1796 Farewell Address, President Washington warned the American people of the dangers political parties pose to the nation's government (that of the United States under the Constitution). Considering the current government's stalemate and the abilities of political parties to “divide a nation”, it seems most evident that he was right in expressing his concerns for the future of this country and for the welfare of its people.

As it appears, elected officials are more concerned with maintaining their own party's control over their rivals rather than serving the interests of the people and opens up the debate on whether political parties should continue to dominate politics in the United States of America at the expense of the American people and at the expense of a functioning government.

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    Jun 8 2013: I'd be all in favor of your idea, Casey, if it were legal. Unfortunately, political parties are public associations just as legal as any other, and can't be banned. But they must be tamed, they have arrogated to themselves power that they should not have. As you say, they have become solely concerned about their own power, to the degree that the party that does not hold the presidency works constantly to ensure that the administration will be a failure. This is not in the country's interest, and is not the proper meaning of "opposition," which should imply a reasoned dialogue and assurance that all views be heard. But it's also true that it's a long time since a U.S. President made much effort to bring the opposition party into serious consultations.

    In my opinion, the best solution is for us in the American electorate to get so fed up with our dysfunctional Congress that we vow to elect no one but independents who are committed to electoral reform, particularly to removing the corrupting effect of private money that now drives our elections. This solution is cheap and effective: We simply check off the name of an independent candidate. (I will add that we often have Rep. or Dem. candidates campaigning on the promise that they will work for election reform. Don't believe them. Even if they honestly believe their own rhetoric, as soon as they get to Washington they no longer represent us, they represent their party and they understand who butters their bread. No meaningful election reform can happen as long as these two parties are in power.)

    I've written several essays on this topic on the web site Blue Ridge Journal. A summary of the ideas is here:
    http://www.blueridgejournal.com/brj-congressreform.htm

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