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Letter: What’s The Point Of Political Parties?




Dear Editor: For years, many of us have shown up at precinct reorganization meetings, paid our dues and traveled across the state as convention delegates. But how much impact has our participation in local political party organizations really made here in the South Carolina Upstate, or in Washington, D.C.?

What exactly is the purpose of the political party in South Carolina today?  Are there not more effective means of political activism?  For all the meetings and activities required for party participation, there seems to be very little time and energy left to focus on important local, state and national issues.

Elected officials should be held accountable at the voting booth, but local and state political parties have virtually no involvement or control in their own party primary elections here in South Carolina.

If political parties suddenly ceased to exist, wouldn’t the same incumbents continue to be re-elected, as some have for decades?  Would things really get much worse?

When U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy was elected to replace Bob Inglis in the historic 2010 elections, there was a thriving tea party movement in the Upstate.  It was rowdy, messy and disorganized but held together by common threads of limited government, free markets and individual liberty – not political party affiliation.

George Washington warned of the “continual mischiefs” and “frightful despotism” of the “spirit of party.”  He also said it was “the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.”

Today, most of us have the ability to research, identify and support like-minded candidates unimaginable to us even a decade ago.  Perhaps it’s time to channel our resources away from political parties and toward good candidates.  Conversely, we must put “term limits” on corruption and tyranny at the ballot box by any means necessary.  Loyalty to a political party makes the latter virtually impossible.

Robbie Bowen
Inman, S.C.


sic speaking

Robbie: Well said. And thank you for permitting FITS to run this letter.  As you probably know, you’re not the only one who feels this way.  Anyway, please feel free share your views with us anytime.

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