Our Constitution does not provide for political parties, but they exist because people naturally coalesce with others having similar values. In Congress, the parties have become increasingly partisan, unfortunately causing a dysfunctional Congress.

Plutocrats contribute to congressional dysfunction by funding their extremist minions who get elected to Congress. Extremists intimidate moderates for breaking ranks. Moderates fear reprisal that would threaten their re-election. Many people are so disaffected and disgusted with partisanship they become independents.

Sources of the disaffection are many, but some are glaringly causative. The Democrat Party has a moderate wing and an uncompromising liberal wing. The Republican Party has splintered into three disparate wings, moderate Republicans, Christian conservatives and tea partiers. Christian conservatives want “creationism” taught in public schools and want no separation of church and state. They are bent on overturning Roe v. Wade. They threaten, harass and intimidate rape and incest victims at clinics.

Tea partiers have effectively frustrated the first African-America president’s efforts at every turn. Success by this president would debunk white supremacy allegations. Tea partier partisanship has been “no compromise,” shut down the government and don’t pay the debts Congress has already incurred. At the same time, they are clueless that partisanship threatens loss of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

Congressional dysfunction is rooted in gerrymandered electoral districts. Electoral district lines are drawn in secret by unelected party henchmen. The boundaries are drawn in disregard of geographic population density. Meandering lines create weird shapes that enclose a sufficient number of committed party voters to guarantee their candidate will be elected.

Legislation empowering the Federal Election Commission to approve redistricting could stop party gerrymandering of electoral districts. That could end extremist partisan disruption in Congress and help restore true representative government to the people.

Jim Chiddix

Waterville


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