posted on Jul, 28 2006 @ 11:17 PM
I am doing this piece because I want people to understand the Moderate party and what it represents. There are many misconceptions about it and this
is my intent to clear up those misconceptions. In order to do this, I have decided to go back in History and talk about the two main political
parties train of thought throughout American History. And, I’m sure most already know this, but it’s good to have a refresher every now and
again. And hey, the good thing about this is it contains very little if any rhetoric. Yes, we’re all guilty of using rhetoric. LOL. Anyhow,
The Democratic debate began between the Federalists (elite democrats) and the Anti-Federalists (popular democrats) after the Revolution. The
Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 and the “Spirit of 76" or “republicanism” (not to be confused with the Republican party founded
in the 1850's) began with ten states establishing constitutions to replace the old colonial charters. And thus we have our first system of national
government, a confederation where the states themselves, not the nation were the centers of political life. The Articles of Confederation were
adopted in 1777 but not finally approved until 1781 until thirteen states had joined and approved them. This brings us to the Constitution. The
Revolutionary spirit had died down between the decade it flourished and the time the Constitution was created because of debts, foreclosures and the
scarcity of money. The rural majority was very poor and the state legislature was dominated by powerful bankers and merchants who ignored them.
People wanted their state to relieve their stress and petitioned for laws to postpone foreclosures and to allow payment of debts in agriculture
commodities. Therefore, in 1786 Shay’s Rebellion took place by desperate farmers because they felt that they were losing everything the Revolution
had promised them. As a result, “stay” and “tender laws” were placed into effect and paper money legislation was passed. Their state
legislation had responded to their plights. But, the new state laws concerned the conservative and propertied Republicans and lost belief of the core
ideas of the ‘Spirit of 76'. To them the rich elite were no longer a threat, but the legislatures were. And this brings us up to the
Constitutional Convention of 1787 which was assembled largely because of the developments in the states and a new national government was formed. And
the Democratic Debate began. (I’m going to do a piece on the Constitution later, so I’ll leave this part vague for now).
The Anti-Federalists began the Democratic-Republican party in 1792 and was founded by none other than Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in
opposition to Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists which was also created in 1792. The Federalists believed that most people were more worried
about their own lives than politics, and that when they did get involved in political decisions they tended to get a tad bit emotional and intolerant.
To the Federalists a democracy basically meant free and fair elections where the elites rule by competing for votes and that the main goal of a
democracy should be to protect the rights of its citizens so they can have the freedom to pursue their own interests. On the contrary, the
Anti-Federalists believed that people naturally wanted to participate in decisions that affected their everyday lives and that if they did not
participate something would be naturally wrong with the democratic system. They believed that through this participation people could keep a check on
their government and that the main threat came from the government itself; not from ordinary citizens. To them a Democracy meant more than fair
elections it meant the participation of citizens in decisions that would naturally affect their lives; contrary to the Federalists who believed that
political representatives should filter people’s views through their superior expertise, temperament and intelligence.
It basically boiled down to the two sides disagreeing on six basic political issues: human nature, the proper scale of political life,
representation, separation of powers and checks and balances, the purpose of government and stability and change. So, on one side we had the Popular
Democrats that wanted politics that extended self-government to ordinary citizens and on the other side we had the Elite Democrats who wanted to
ultimately leave sovereignty to the people, but believed they should actually be governed by the economic elite.
Now, I could go on through the history of the Whig Party, etc. But, in this piece I’m going to stick to the main parties’ ideologies although
other parties were influential throughout our history. So, on we go to the creation of the corporate world.
It seems that our founding fathers did not only disagree on such things as our welfare, but also our Economy. In our early years we were a nation of
small farmers and were dependent upon European imports. Alexander Hamilton (Elite Democrat) came up with an idea to curb the reliance on Europe and
called for a manufacturing sector that would increase the wealth of our young nation. Naturally, Jefferson opposed Hamilton for promoting industrial
capitalism primarily because he felt that it would undermine the Democracy. Jefferson thought that working for a wage compromised citizens’
independence and their willingness to participate in the Democracy for the common good. But, after he was elected President in 1800 his views
gradually changed, although he continued believing that an agricultural economy was the best foundation for the Democracy.
Elite Democrats basically believe that markets maximize freedom and minimize power, unlike the government which is complicated by laws and
bureaucracy because markets don’t force people to do anything. They have a choice. The plan was that if everyone pursues their own selfish
interest, the result is the greatest good for the collective whole. In other words, in modern society if a corporation does not perform to satisfy
it’s customers then there will always be new companies willing to supply better goods at cheaper prices. They contend that the market is
self-regulating and that government should set rules to ensure fair and honest competition. They also felt that the government should only get
involved to correct things such as depressions and that it should provide things to the public such as highways, dams, military protection.
Furthermore, they believed that government should take care of those who genuinely can’t compete in the marketplace. But, beyond these policies
they believed the government should stay out of it.
Popular Democrats believed in the importance of the markets and private property. However, they contend, that too often corporations use their power
and wealth to influence politics and government. Thus, the rising inequalities of the little guy. Small businesses do participate in the market,
however they are unable to compete with the corporations due to prices of advertising, tax breaks, price controls and the manipulation of consumer
demand. Which means to Popular Democrats that there really isn’t a free market in American Society. They also believe that the corporations only
further the monetary inequalities in society while thinking that the capitalism prone to crisis and self-destruction.