If there were any doubt that America has just one major political party with two branches, Democrat and Republican, it was permanently dispelled once the nation's primaries ended. I would call it the Progressive Party, with Progressive Democrats on one branch and Progressive Republicans on the other. My definition of a "progressive" is one that believes in political change and social improvement by coercive governmental action. Under a true "republican" form of government, which our founding compact dictates, societal improvement comes from self-determination and mutual respect of each other's property. The only thing that has progressed, under both major parties, is the size and burden of the welfare and warfare state, for this and future generations of Americans.
The evidence of the charade that the two major parties are not one and the same - and that the establishment media is complicit in maintaining this myth that there is a difference and you actually have choices - is this issue's cover story on ballot access in Illinois. Further evidence is the Progressive Party's vitriolic response to the Tea Party movement. Rather than engage Tea Party participants (an obviously growing and organized voting bloc) about their concerns, no matter which party their voter-registration card reads, the Progressive Party demonized them.
First the Democrats stereotyped Tea Partiers as racists and then, when some Tea Party-backed GOP candidates succeeded in emancipating a candidacy from progressivism by winning a primary, establishment Republicans lost their minds, continuing to run as write-ins, and excising supporters of such upstarts from establishment-party committees.
There is no reason to believe that the incumbents from either major party, both of whom are clearly responsible for the eroding condition of our country, have the know-how, let alone any intention, of correcting for their decades of errors. It is just plain insulting to have to suffer the campaign posturing, knowing it is purely for election day and not a minute beyond.
There is no other reasonable action voters can take to declare their outrage than to vote the incumbents out, regardless of party. The challenge for those of us who prefer a republican or constitutional form of governance is that the pickings are very slim from the non-incumbent, establishment Progressive Party candidates.
There are at least two races on the ballot for Scott County residents that have refreshing candidates who are worth evaluating and seriously considering.
The mainstream media would have Iowans believe that there are only two gubernatorial choices this November: Culver or Branstad. Because the Progressive Party's leadership does not want Iowans too informed about a viable third candidate - Johnathan Narcisse - he has not been included in the three debates hosted by the complicit media culprits. Nor are his polling statistics included in any of the media's political analysis. It is a blatant betrayal of the public trust to deliberately limit Iowans' access to Narcisse's positions and views. The two incumbents have thoroughly proven they are unfit for the job of Iowa governor. Narcisse is an informed and viable challenger, whose governance agenda and strategies and ideas to fix what ails Iowa have been formed in the crucible of the corruption-ridden state capital where he lives. (See last issue's cover story and interview with Narcisse by Jeff Ignatius.)
It is no secret, but heretofore largely unreported, that beginning with Branstad and culminating with Culver, 100 percent of the urban high schools in Iowa are now officially failing. That includes all the high schools in Scott County. The mainstream media, Culver, and Branstad will not talk about this. But Narcisse will and does as he espouses opting out of federal-government programs and empowering entrepreneurship-driven budgeting and operations by teachers and parents. A new documentary, Waiting for "Superman," may possibly verify much of what Narcisse has been trying to expose as a failed model. Narcisse breaks the mold, as he is a former co-chair of the Polk County Democrats and is just as comfortable addressing a room full of Tea Partiers. His ideas about tax reform, education, and governance cross over the stilted us-versus-them monolithic Progressive business as usual, and his Web site is worth taking a look at: NarcisseForIowa.com.
The second refreshing race to watch is the Scott County Board of Supervisors ballot, where three of the five seats are up for election. Scott County problems can no longer be defined along partisan lines, because both parties are spending and borrowing like drunken sailors, growing inefficient government on the backs of taxpayers. Recent property assessments have more than doubled on some commercial parcels, with no logical reasoning other than "We need the money." The Scott County Board of Supervisors recently gave a blank check to a newly established taxing authority to govern the Scott County Emergency Center. While this happened quietly, the proverbial horse is out of the barn, and all residents can do now is hope that a new slate of independent supervisors will succeed in maintaining fiscal and operational vigilance over a potential boondoggle that already has problems with construction and radio technology emerging before it is built.
Happily, we do have three independent candidates from the newly established Iowans for Accountability (IFA): John Riley (Blue Grass), John Green (Davenport), and Jesse Anderson (LeClaire). If their moniker is to be believed at all, then taxpayers do have some real choices this fall. You can learn more about the IFA and its candidates at ScottCountyIFA.com.
Full disclosure: River Cities' Reader Publisher Todd McGreevy is co-chair of Iowans for a Fair Debate (supporting Jonathan Narcisse's inclusion in debates) and a member of the IFA central committee.