Last week, we published Jeremiah’s vision of a multiparty Congress. The big obstacle, of course, is that no one wants to “split the vote” and hand the presidency to the other side. Over the years, the power of the presidency has grown far beyond what it should be. Paradoxically, the remedy is to split the vote – and fracture the parties.
When there was a Republican in the White House, his partisans were happy to cede him powers that belong in Congress – and to abridge your civil rights. Since there has been a Democrat in the White House, the power shift has continued. It’s pretty easy to see how the party system erodes the proper separation of powers.
The alternate domination of one faction over another … leads at length to permanent despotism. Sooner or later the chief of some faction … turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.
Who was that news analyst? George Washington. It is a surprise that the Republic has held up as well as it has. In his speech, Washington was warning Congress of a clear and present danger. Party politics is corrosive to democracy.
If the parties were fragmented, though, they would recognize that their best advantage is in Congress, where each has a vote – rather than a winner takes all presidency. They would have an incentive to restore the balance of power. Midterm elections are the perfect time to do it.