Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Democratic was once a party of the common people.

While I agree that the DNC has a good argument for tracing its origins back to the Democratic-Republican Party of Jefferson & Madison, since it is the sole surviving splinter faction from the 1824 election, it is disingenuous at best to make the connections you are attempting to do. Slavery was not an issue upon which the DRP was founded, nor was it an issue that drove wedges between political parties of the late 1700s and very early 1800s. Again, I’m speaking solely of the politics of the era of Jefferson, Madison & Hamilton. To make the leap you are doing in scoring a cheap political point against the modern DNC by tarring both Jefferson & Madison over something neither had a hand in (at least not more so than ALL the Founders) makes a mockery of history. In doing this you are also, ironically, borrowing a portion of a tactic the extreme Left uses to discredit ALL the Founders as nothing more than rich, white, male, racist, sexist, blah, blah, blah. The DRP had economic and political differences with the Federalists. Slavery was not among the major issues dividing these early parties. There were Federalists who supported slavery and those who opposed it, just like there were Democratic-Republicans who supported and opposed it. Ditto for the Whigs.

Both the DNC and GOP have evolved over the years, straying in some ways from their origins, and both have elements of Jeffersonianism and Hamiltonianism in them to varying degrees. The modern DNC may have a claim of lineage to the DRP, but cannot say it holds to all of that defunct party’s original views. Don’t believe me? Okay, let’s look at the major differences between Jefferson and Hamilton and how they might apply to today’s political landscape:

1. Which modern party supports a strong central government and which one favors a smaller Federal government, at least in theory? Jefferson held the latter view while Hamilton held the former.
2. Which modern party claims to favor states rights, at least in theory? Jefferson favored states rights while Hamilton did not.
3. Which modern party favors strong government oversight of banking? Today’s issue is somewhat different than what Jefferson and Hamilton argued about regarding the establishment of a Bank of the United States, but a reasonable argument can be made from their positions on that issue. Jefferson would probably oppose strong Federal oversight of banking today while Hamilton would probably support it. One can also surmise that both Jefferson AND Hamilton would be less likely to support Federal involvement in private business that we see today, though for differing reasons.
4. Which modern party holds to a broad interpretation of the Constitution and which one favors a narrow, or “strict”, approach? Jefferson argued for a narrow interpretation which favored states rights while the Hamilton favored a broad view that favored the national government at the expense of the states.

Jefferson & Madison are as much a part of the GOP’s political heritage, in philosophy at least, as Hamilton is part of the DNC’s. Neither modern party can be said to be “pure Jeffersonian” or “pure Hamiltonian”. The issues of their time differ from those of ours even though elements of their disagreements can be found in modern political discourse.

CUBAN DOCTORS defecting to the U.S. via Venezuela.

After bribing Venezuelan and Cuban staff who work as immigration officers at Maiquetía airport (16 miles north of Caracas), seven Cuban doctors serving on aid mission Barrio Adentro arrived Wednesday in Miami.

The defectors, who were seeking to fly to Miami, were briefly detained at the airport, and paid USD 5,200 to have their passports stamped and be allowed to board a flight bound to the United States. "We collected money among the seven doctors who were detained and we finally managed to travel," Jesús Peralta, 26, one of the defectors, told El Nuevo Herald newspaper