Thomas Paine had some words of wisdom that are applicable to the current dismal state of affairs in the Democratic Party. Mr. Paine penned his words of “Common Sense” for a different time and his warning rings true today.
The few are manipulating the many and as Mr. Paine warned, it is to their own benefit not the benefit of those they were elected to represent.
I quote Mr. Paine here –
“In a former page I likewise mentioned the necessity of a large and equal representation; and there is no political matter which more deserves our attention. A small number of electors, or a small number of representatives, are equally dangerous. But if the number of the representatives be not only small, but unequal, the danger is increased. As an instance of this, I mention the following; when the Associators petition was before the House of Assembly of Pennsylvania; twenty-eight members only were present, all the Bucks County members, being eight, voted against it, and had seven of the Chester members done the same, this whole province had been governed by two counties only, and this danger it is always exposed to. The unwarrantable stretch likewise, which that house made in their last sitting, to gain an undue authority over the delegates of that province, ought to warn the people at large, how they trust power out of their own hands. A set of instructions for the Delegates were put together, which in point of sense and business would have dishonored a school-boy, and after being approved by a few, a very few without doors, were carried into the house, and there passed in behalf of the whole colony; whereas, did the whole colony know, with what ill-will that House hath entered on some necessary public measures, they would not hesitate a moment to think them unworthy of such a trust.
“A large and equal representation.” “A small number of electors….. is equally dangerous.” Words that are especially germane to what is happening in America today. Words that are echoing through history to warn us not to give in to the demands of the few. The “few” are disenfranchising the many. Mr. Paine’s words are a wonderful argument against caucuses and against the party bosses.
“A set of instructions for the Delegates……approved by a few…without doors….(translate back room dealings?)….whereas, did the whole colony know , with what ill-will…” Amazing how these words resound today! Is it possible that instructions, issued privately, in the back rooms and corridors of power are being used to manipulate the outcome of the Democratic Presidential Primaries??? Of course it is possible and, sadly, even probable. Ill-will? How else to label the nonsense issuing from the mouths of the party elite?? How else to explain the convoluted allocation of delegates and the blocking of the votes in Fl and MI? The few have grown enamored of themselves and the power they have usurped from the people.
“They would not hesitate a moment to think them unworthy of such a trust.” Dean, Pelosi, Kennedy et al are no longer worthy of my trust. In my humble opinion they are fighting to hold on to their power and are no longer able to discern the hearts and minds of the electorate.
More From Mr. Paine-
“But as the colony increases, the public concerns will increase likewise, and the distance at which the members may be separated, will render it too inconvenient for all of them to meet on every occasion as at first, when their number was small, their habitations near, and the public concerns few and trifling. This will point out the convenience of their consenting to leave the legislative part to be managed by a select number chosen from the whole body, who are supposed to have the same concerns at stake which those have who appointed them, and who will act in the same manner as the whole body would act were they present. If the colony continue increasing, it will become necessary to augment the number of the representatives, and that the interest of every part of the colony may be attended to, it will be found best to divide the whole into convenient parts, each part sending its proper number; and that the elected might never form to themselves an interest separate from the electors, prudence will point out the propriety of having elections often; because as the elected might by that means return and mix again with the general body of the electors in a few months, their fidelity to the public will be secured by the prudent reflection of not making a rod for themselves. And as this frequent interchange will establish a common interest with every part of the community, they will mutually and naturally support each other, and on this (not on the unmeaning name of king) depends the strength of government, and the happiness of the governed. “
Mr. Paine points out to us that the elected are to have the same concerns as those who appoint them. They are never to “form to themselves an interest separate from the electors.” I submit that the party bosses have done exactly this- they have formed a cabal whose only interest is retaining their power. Let the people cry out asking for every vote to be counted and the people are deluged with cries of “The Rules.” Whose rules??? Oh yes, that set of instructions they cooked up, that set of instructions that is being used to manipulate the outcome of this election. That set of instructions that THEY wrote, that they know most of the electorate has not read.
Some of us have read “The Rules” and know this is nothing more than a ploy for them to get the result they want. The rules were written in such a way as to render them meaningless; they can be interpreted and applied in a variety of ways.
History is crying out to us with valuable lessons. Let those who care listen and beware.