Ian Swanson Has a Point (KFAB)
What is the Purpose of a Political Party?
Ian Swanson and I have known each other for some time. He wrote an article at the link below which peaked my interest.
This is not a rebuttal of Ian’s article as it stands well to the facts. However, people have a malform understanding of politics. We have political parties to engage in the civics of understanding the concerns of our neighbors, families, friends and community. At the same time, politics is merely a nonviolent substitution for war. Politics is not about being nice. Often, it is about cutting your opponent's throat without using a knife or touching them. This is why politics is so hated and so often brings about the worst in people and requires a number of virtues such as tolerance, courage, forgiveness and honesty to hold it all in check.
George Washington had similar concerns as Ian has. Near the end of his first term as President, Washington had James Madison help write a farewell address but Washington decided to run for a second term. Yet, near the end of the second term, Washington decided not to run for another term. Alexander Hamilton helped President Washington to write a different, and longer address which is known as Washington’s Farewell Address.
Washington had a strong sense of civic virtue, and in his Address, he feared partisanship, factionalism, regionalism and sectionalism would tear these newly independent Republics apart and pit people against each other and destroy the new Union. Later, the Civil War proved Washington was right. After the Civil War, the US Senate and the House of Representatives would make a point of reading Washington’s Farewell Address. The tradition continues in the US Senate to this day but was abandoned in the House back in the 1970s. Maybe Congressman Don Bacon should make a point of reading it back to the Congress again.
People come to political parties and discover, it does not function like a school, a family, a business or your house of worship. It is chaotic with divergent voices and many different people wanting to be heard. This is normal and can cause discomfort. However if you want to know the broader world and know people, you have to engage in it at some level in spite of the discomfort. You cannot rely on the media for the importance of such social interaction. Political parties is where we learn about the broader communities beyond are front door. If we fear such interaction, we may as well stay home and never adventure beyond our front door.
Unfortunately, many, many people have become cowards or worn out by the intense conflicts. Ian referred to such people as “normies”. They often register nonpartisan, accept information passively and end up not voting at all. Some are captivated by television and never took action to read a nonfiction book They have become disconnected, ill informed, and disenfranchised.
I understand Ian’s frustration with the Republican race for governor but with the Democrat Party in such disarray, everyone knows whoever wins the Republican primary will be governor. This is why the fight between Herbster and Pillen has become intense well before the primary election date. Ricketts can hit Herbster over late property tax payments but Herbster paid interest on the late payment. Yet, the news media has never explained property tax liens or interest on late payment of property taxes. This is why more discourse is needed.
To make matters worse, we no longer agree about how to have discourse with each other and censorship and restrictions are now widely accepted in various forms. Writing cryptically has now become a necessity as has seeking other ways to get messages out. I could try to submit this essay to the Nebraska Examiner but I am confident editor Cate Folsom won’t publish it, in spite of the fact I have been in three political parties, ran for political office and was chair of a state political party. So you read this on Substack.