THE IRON PEN by Daniel Hite

September 20, 2010

Bottoms Up

The “top-down” structure of today’s political parties has run its course.  Smoke-filled back room deals will no longer satisfy the palate of an increasingly informed electorate.  I believe it is time for a “bottom-up” structural change. Now let me qualify what I mean by bottom-up.

Before that, let me first say that I do believe in representative forms of government at all levels.  An individual would have to be a full-time “vetter” to check out all the issues, all the incumbents and all the candidates in order to be fully informed before going to the polls to make a decision, besides expressing an informed opinion on all the current issues that come before elected officials. “We the people” need watchdogs to help with this process. (“The price of liberty IS eternal vigilance” as attributed to Jefferson, Curran and others.)

Now, by “bottom-up” I mean that we need good people at the top, who represent solid values ethically, morally and procedurally.  The time of party bosses, closed-door deals, seniority, and the like must come to an end. The time for principled politics (governance) in its purest form is now.  A procedural change in leadership is not enough, it must be a principled change in leadership. The whole party system must be overhauled and this reform must also work its way into the halls of Congress to release the current partisan stranglehold on procedures in both houses.  By “bottom-up” I mean the values and concerns of our moral heartland being represented in positions of authority and influence.  We are not a pure democracy, or “mob-ocracy” as our founders dubbed it.  We need representation (which is what a republic is), but that representation must represent someTHING not just someONE–not just representing people, but principle. Elected officials and party officials alike, must come from the same moral and values-driven stock.  We need God-fearing patriots who understand American ideals of governance like limited–really limited–government, decentralized authority, with an overall goal of protecting citizens rather than providing for them.  They must be of strong moral and ethical fiber and willing to stand up to the tide of progressivism.

I am not partisan and I am certainly no expert, but I am told the “two-party” system can be a healthy structure.  I am not thoroughly convinced of this.  George Washington did not think much of political parties and factions period.  I tend to agree, but on the other hand, the tumor has grown so large and pervasive in our collective political body that I am not sure we can survive with its surgical removal.  Only God knows.  For Christian believers, this must become a matter of concerted prayer and timely related action. Get inspired, get informed, then get involved!  Let’s make “bottoms up” a reality. If there ever was a time, it is now.

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