As the 2012 political conventions come to a close, we reflect on the great moments of shady vote results and multi-day infomercials, all partially funded at tax payer expense.
We saw Republican party bosses disenfranchise the duly elected delegates of a candidate from taking their seats at the convention and centralize authority in the central committee–something that doesn’t seem in keeping with general Republican principles of small government and states’ rights.
We saw a Democratic party convention chair call for a voice vote three times as he stood in disbelief of the vote result–then call the vote for the outcome that was assuredly per-determined by party bosses before consulting with…you know, the actual party delegates.
Republicans adopted a platform which seems to support an outright ban on abortion, not providing for the usual exceptions from pregnancies resulting from incest, rape, or where the mother’s life is endangered.
Democrats played a video suggesting that Americans all “belong” to the government.
We’re frankly sickened by such displays on both sides. It’s a sharp contrast for the party of the current president, who compares himself to Abraham Lincoln, to be stating that it’s the American people who belong to government. Lincoln wrote famously that government was “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” In our Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote that people are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights and that government’s purpose is to secure these rightsand to derive its just power from the consent of the governed. In short, the American people lend government its power–it is not for the government to determine what freedoms to permit its people to enjoy.
Both parties received approximately $18 million taxpayer dollars to pay for convention expenses. In a time when the national debt tops $16 trillion and our national checkbook has nothing but red ink in it, this is a slap in the face to Americans who work and pay taxes. Both major parties are fully capable of raising funds to pay for their convention events, the fact that they don’t have to disadvantages smaller parties who aren’t able to qualify for tax payer funds.
Our suggestion? Next April when you file your taxes, don’t check off the boxes to contribute to the Presidential Campaign Fund. If the two major parties want to host circuses of conventions, free of sensible and meaningful policy debate, then they should raise their own funds instead of relying on taxpayer contributions. While the Presidential Election Campaign fund is a voluntary contribution on your tax forms, its time for our political parties to stand on their own, raise their own funds for conventions, and publicly disclose the source of the funds they raise.
Note: Freedom Forge Press does not endorse either party or candidate. But from the tone of this article, you probably knew that already!