Mail Bag

When the "Right" Party Wins

John W. Starke Westphalia
Posted 10/7/20

Dear Editor:

As the general election looms close a lot of people are hoping that their favorite candidates will win. Some will vote a split ticket and others will vote along rigid party lines. …

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Mail Bag

When the "Right" Party Wins

Posted

Dear Editor:

As the general election looms close a lot of people are hoping that their favorite candidates will win. Some will vote a split ticket and others will vote along rigid party lines. Some will go even further and wish for a day when all this political nonsense comes to an end. They envision a time when "their" party will be in complete control. On that day "The Enemy" will be vanquished and our country will finally be run by the "right" party. It is for this group that I am writing this letter. 

First a little history. The founding fathers of our nation disliked the idea of political parties. Following the American Revolution they sought to unite all the colonies under a single virtuous leader who would be impartial and rule for the good of all. Thankfully they chose George Washington yet almost immediately Americans began to divide into two political camps. The Democratic-Republicans (this is not a misprint, in the old days there really was a political party by that name) organized under Thomas Jefferson in opposition to Washington's Federalists. When the Federalists flexed their power, Jefferson criticized them and accused them of behaving like monarchs. Even with a dedicated leader like George Washington in charge, government policies still sparked disagreement. 

Out of this conflict came a valuable lesson which still applies today. Competing political parties are vital to a democracy. An opposition party helps stabilize government. Their leaders act as watchdogs to keep the ruling party honest and accountable to the people. We know that power breeds corruption and it follows that absolute power breeds absolute corruption. A multi-party system also allows people who don't agree with the leaders currently in charge to envision putting their own ideas into practice. They can continue to support the government even if they disagree with its current lawmakers. They know that if they can garner enough support, they can win control of the government and enact policies they prefer (which is what Jefferson did in 1800). 

That election was crucial to the success of our government because it proved that power could change hands peacefully. If opponents ofa regime have no hope of regaining control through an election and the peaceful transfer of power, they will work to undermine the system. Those in power will declare those voicing opposition to their government to be traitors and respond with arrests and violence. Just look at what mnhoritarian "President" Alexander Lukashenko is doing to his own people in Belarus (while his mentor Vladimir Putin looks on and smiles). 

This is what awaits our country if one party finally succeeds in conquering the other. Still not convinced? Just look 

around the world at some of the other countries who operate under a one party system. Red China is an example of one party rule and so is North Korea. There are others but the most shining example of all is Russia. They hold mock elections for the sake of appearance but everyone knows that their old KGB Colonel is still in charge and no positive change will be forthcoming under his leadership. There are people here in this country right now who long for that kind of power too. Once they establish one party rule they won’t need your vote anymore. They can do whatever they want with no system of checks and balances to keep them in line. 

I’m not trying to tell anyone how to vote on Nov. 3.  Most of you reading this have already made up your minds and it is certainly not my place to tell another how to think or what to do. I will say to those who long for complete victory, for the day when the “right” party finally wins: “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.” 

John W. Starke 

Westphalia

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