I'm Right Again Dot ComA new commentary every Wednesday — March 2, 2016
BICKERING ATTAINS A NEW HIGH IN AMERICAN POLITICS
Even prior to its birth, this nation was a grand congress of individualists. According to The Gilder Lehman Institute of American History, "Before America broke away from England, the 13 colonies had a long history of bickering with one another"
There was that terrible Civil War, yet we take for granted that the governments elected by the people can, we hope and trust, be stable, long-lasting and effective.
First, we had only one party: the Democratic Party. With the election of former General Andrew Jackson as presidential candidate in 1829, the Whig Party came into being to oppose him. Whigs, who took their name from earlier American revolutionaries, supported the supremacy of Congress over the President.
William Henry Harrison, formerly a General who was victorious over the British and later, Native Americans led by Tecumseh, was the first President (#9) nominated by the Whigs, but he spent only a month in office, before dying. President Number Ten, John Tyler, was a Whig for six months, then switched to Independent in 1841 and served until 1845.
James Polk (#11) regained the presidential seat for the Democratic Party in 1845. Then, Whig nominee Zachary Taylor (#12) took it back in the 1849 presidential election. He then succumbed after about one year in office. In 1850, His Vice President, Millard Fillmore succeeded to the office, finished that term as President, was nominated for a full term by the Whigs in 1853— but lost to Franklin Pierce, a nominee of the Democratic Party.
Fillmore, (aptly President #13) whose birthday, March 8th, was celebrated as late as 1970 by aging hippies in the Haight-Asbury district of San Francisco and in communes elsewhere, was the last of the Whig nominees for President. By 1856, the Whigs had become split over the issue of slavery in the Territories. In the North, they formed the Republican ticket: those in the South adhering to a party called (again aptly) the "Know-Nothings." Do not confuse them with "Duck Nation," prominent duck call entrepreneurs or "Swamp People," first class crocodile hunters, and please don't tell me if any of them support Trump or not.
Fillmore joined the "Know-Nothings," for another run for the White House. That pretty well ended his political career.
I hope you kept notes on this 7th Grade history recap, for I believe there is a chance for a schism in the Republican Party: between The Trumps and the Anti-Trumps. If there ever was a time for compromise, it is now. Never before have I heard such intra-party name calling and bickering. How can someone who has called you a bad name expect respect and comity over an important issue? I am called to point out that the preceding history of American Politics does not bode well for a productive Congress or long and successful lives for politicians. Either you work magic right off or You Are Fired.
Our system of doing government does not work that way.
I dread the coming party conclaves and the General Election.
-Phil Richardson, Observer of the human condition and storyteller. "He goes doddering on into his old age, making a public nuisance of himself." - Joseph L. Menchen
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