By JOHN E. WARREN
San Diego Voice & Viewpoint
It is an established fact that public policy is the result of ideas that start with people, who create interest groups. Interest groups usually form on both sides of an issue, and issues give birth to proposed rules and potential laws that reflect the prevailing views growing out of the initial issues with its pros and cons.
The United States Constitution never provided for political parties as we know them today. The party system we have today associated with our government now operating in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate is the by-product of a 1787 battle over the ratification of the U.S. Constitution and the two factions that grew out of the conflict over how powerful the federal government should be. Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury, developed a movement known as the “Federalists” who wanted a strong central government. On the other hand, Thomas Jefferson, then secretary of state, advocated for “States Rights”. The Federalists coalesced around business, and the “States Rights” people around an agrarian (rural) society.
This bit of history is important today because we are faced with a Republican Party no longer committed to “Protecting and Defending the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic,” but preserving and protecting their own interest in spite of the Constitution and the 13th,14th and 15th Amendments that provide equal protection under the law and protection of the rights of all.
When we understand that political parties are the result of battles over issues that compete, such as who should be able to vote and how those in power may limit the rights of others, then we have reached a point that requires public policy, reflected in proposed legislation, that must not be blocked.
We the people, following the Constitution, which does not require a “Republican Party”, have the ability to vote out of office all those elected officials who have decided to follow a Republican Party mantra that votes “political party” instead of the will of the people; or those who refuse to allow a discussion of ideas followed by a reasoned vote based on the issues and not party loyalty.
We the people in every state must look at who is running for office next year; we must look at all 43 of those states that have voter suppression laws totaling over 253 legislative proposals and we must organize just as “Black Votes Matter” in Atlanta has done. We must follow their examples and bring pressure on those corporations that support those elected officials advocating the voter suppression laws and we must continue voter registration to ensure that we the people outnumber Republican interest by 2022. We can make public policy more important than the Republican Party. Let’s get busy.
John E. Warren is the publisher of The San Diego Voice & Viewpoint.