When Barak Obama was elected for a second term he declared it a mandate from American voters confirming they prefer his vision for government to the one offered by Republicans. When Donald Trump won the election two things happened. The Democrats completely dismissed any suggestion of Trump’s victory being a mandate and the Republicans declared it a victory for the Republican Party. There’s just one problem with both—the American people didn’t vote for Trump because he was a Republican. They saw him as the outsider, independent of the corruption of both parties. And despite what both parties want to admit, Trump supporters did vote for a mandate—the end of party corruption!
Trump supporters came from all parties, races, religions and income levels. They didn’t support him because he was running on the Republican ticket, they supported him in spite of it. They supported him because they believed he was the one person who could stand up to the corruption of both parties and disrupt the status quo. The push-back he received, and continues to receive from both parties is proof of that and just makes more people like him and those that already did like him more.
Anyone who’s followed my articles knows I wasn’t a Trump supporter but I was a Trump voter. And I must admit, while I’m still very leery of what his presidency will mean, I have been pretty impressed with his decisions thus far and I love how he continues to shake the status quo the American people are sick to death of. Personally, I would like nothing more than to see this two-party system crushed forever. It is dividing us as a people, putting our nation’s security at risk and putting way too much power in party establishments.
President George Washington cautioned us of this very thing in his farewell address. His message to current and future generations seems almost prophetic today. He warned that “[parties] serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party.”
Isn’t that exactly what has happened? If a candidate runs under a certain party they are told they owe allegiance to that party. They are expected to be a “team player” and “support the party.” Which apparently means to heck with the people. This past election the American people said, “To heck with the parties” both in the Republican and the Democratic primaries as well as the general election.
I’ve had firsthand experience with party corruption many times. In Ohio in 2010 for instance. My friends Peter Wolf and Warren Edstrom from the Voice of America and I travelled across the nation teaching liberty groups in local communities how the party system works and how to effectively get out the vote. When average American citizens started to realize state and local central committees determined what candidates the parties would support and how party money would be allocated, they decided to run for election in those seats. In Ohio we had 43 tea party members (average American citizens) that ran against establishment Republican candidates for State Central Committee seats. If even half of them had won it would have meant a complete take-over of the Ohio Republican Party.
When the ORP realized what was happening they immediately began a full-force campaign to protect their establishment. They hired a public relations firm to create a logo of a tea cup with the caption “Tea Party Values” and printed thousands of full color glossy campaign flyers for every contested Central Committee seat. On every flyer was the logo they created. When Republican voters received the flyers in the mail and saw the logo, they thought they were voting for the tea party candidate when in actuality, they were voting against them. We had no idea the lengths to which the party would go to stay in power. The Ohio Republican Party spent an estimated $1.2 million in the 2010 primary election all to keep liberty-minded citizens from winning elected offices the party usually has to beg people to fill. That same year the Democratic Party caught wind of our efforts to fill committee seats and completely changed all the rules so no one but establishment candidates could even run.
I have been in planning meetings where representatives from both parties sit at a table with a district map and discuss which races they will run in and which they will give to the other side. The candidates are often completely oblivious to this. They think because they’re running under the party banner they will have party support. The party will throw them token support but they concentrate their time, money and efforts on those few races the two parties agreed on with a handshake as they left the room.
This is the kind of corruption the American people are sick of. When Donald Trump ran as the outsider, and Bernie Sanders campaigned on outsider policies, the American people jumped on board. It was the year of mandates—stop the corruption, throw out the lobbyists, abandon the corrupt parties!
When the American people voted for Trump, whether they were a Trump supporter or not, that’s what they were mandating. That is what the American people voted for. Only time will tell if Trump will deliver and truly be the independent president he campaigned on as a candidate. I would love to see the parties relegated to a much more insignificant role in the electoral process; where we vote people instead of parties and principles instead of politics.
Donald Trump has the opportunity like no one ever has before to put both parties on notice and move the nation in that direction. I would love to see him raise his hand to take the oath of office and turn to the American people to open his inaugural speech with, “My fellow Americans, I now declare myself an independent. I am beholden to no political party. My only party is the people. My only allegiance is the Constitution of the United States!”
That sure would shake up the status quo.