Todd Juvinall: Politicial parties serve an important, powerful purpose
November 17, 2017
In response to "Brian Hamilton: Stop with the party line; start thinking for yourself" (The Union, Nov. 15).
Yes Mr. Hamilton, most people want to "just get along" and lead lives that are calm and peaceful and safe. Maybe many people get together ideologically and agree with each other to accomplish those goals. Sometimes there are so many they start a political party!
And why do they do that? Because others have banded together to push their agenda down their throats. And to defend against that, we have Republicans or Democrats or others.
Every year one party or the other passes thousands of new laws to hobble Americans. Just think about it. Since the inception of America there have been millions of laws passed to restrict the actions of individuals or whole groups of people. Are we supposed to take it without fighting back if we don't agree? Of course not.
The people in “parties” are certainly likeminded, but that is a good thing. No anarchy ...
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Look today at California. One party, the Democrats, own the state, lock, stock and barrel. Republicans have no power. So why haven't they, as you suggested, included the Republicans in their decisions? Because they have the power! And we know what happens when some people have that don't we?
And all this desire for "compromise." Tell me how you compromise an issue like abortion? One side says a woman can abort at any time and no one can stop her, the other side says that is a life and needs protection. How do you compromise that? How about health care? One side, the Democrats, want the government to take it over and tax every citizen to achieve that goal. The other says no. We believe in free markets and choice. How do you compromise that?
It only works if one group or the other has the power to implement their vision. The Democrats had the power in 2009 and passed ObamaCare. The people in America were not happy and tossed many out of power and replaced them with people promising to throw it out. That is the idea with political parties. Gaining the majority!
You mention Las Vegas and guns. A huge number of Americans are all in for the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms. And another segment is all about taking those guns away. And America has passed 20,000 laws over the years to restrict those weapons and still we have the debates. Rather than blame the person who actually does the terrible deed, we see that one side blames the weapon. How do you compromise that?
Racism is the other issue that seems to be unsolvable. Blacks, whites, Latinos and Asians are different in that their skin colors are different. Yet in America, in my lifetime, we have tried to ensure all are treated with equal opportunity. Thousands of laws were passed to force that. And still we see minorities unhappy that they feel there has been nothing done. Hogwash. We Americans of goodwill cannot fix a movement that says I and you have "white privilege." How can we fix that?
I like what Martin Luther King said about "content of character" but now we can't even show ourselves in public if we are white! How do you compromise that?
What I see happening about "thinking for oneself" is simple. People will read the paper, watch the news and check the internet and make up their own minds. The people in "parties" are certainly likeminded, but that is a good thing. No anarchy. Check the far-left "Antifa" anarchists of Berkeley for a good example of people that do not have the best interests of the country at heart. There is safety in numbers to protect yourself and your family. If you want a true hermit lifestyle, you will be severely disappointed.
When I ran for State Assembly in 1992 in the Republican primary, I learned some lessons that are pretty basic about power. Bernie Richter won the primary and the Republican Caucus asked the rest of us to attend a "kumbaya" meeting in Marysville to get on board endorsing Bernie. Now the campaign was pretty spirited and Bernie had his agenda. But the scouts from the Assembly said it was all about numbers. 41 to be exact. And what Bernie said on the trail was not the issue. It was winning and power. And that is life in a nutshell.
I would like to see unicorns and sweet blueberries too, but let's get real.
Todd Juvinall, a former Nevada County supervisor, lives in Nevada City.