Subtitle: Court and Country. Article V opponents and some proponents view the Article V COS movement through the lens of our national political parties. The time is long past to dislodge oneself from this paradigm. To remain in this mindset is unhelpful at best, and destructive at worst, because the two national parties are one Uniparty incapable of reforming the racket that serves its members so well.
Professor Angelo M. Codevilla coined the term, “Uniparty” in 2013. His explosive article nudged many conservatives to accept what they long suspected, that among the top echelons of the two parties there is little difference between their public policy goals. What joins the GOP and Democrat parties overwhelms their minor differences. Instead of public cage-fights over strongly held principles, what we see has more in common with professional wrestling; the contest is rigged, and rigged in the Democrat’s favor. As junior members of the Uniparty, the GOP often suffers barbs from media and harassment from conservatives, yet its members are still paid very well in salary, wealth and prestige, just like the democrats. Why change?
As Codevilla wrote: “The Uniparty, the party of government, the party of Ins, continues to consist of the same people. The Outs are always the same people too: American conservatives.” Recent events brought Codevilla’s theory into focus, as the Uniparty establishment fights tooth and nail, not only in opposition to President Trump’s reforms, but openly toward his early removal from office, by any means necessary.
There is a broader historical concept that wraps around Professor Codevilla’s Uniparty, which Article V supporters should use to their advantage. From roughly 1720 to 1740, Viscount Henry St. John Bolingbroke (1678-1751) publicized the need for a Country Party to rescue Great Britain from the Court Party. Bolingbroke’s Country Party framed a movement rather than an organized party and had no formal structure or leaders. It was a nonpartisan force fighting for the national interest – the whole country – against the self-interested actions of the Court Party, that is the politicians in power in London. Like Tea Partiers and COS supporters today, 18th century English Country men watched the Court party corrupt the government through patronage to buy support, and threaten English and Scottish liberties.
To Bolingbroke, the Country Party represented the voice of the nation, the common interest of all. Like James Madison, Bolingbroke regarded parties as collections of men driven toward private interests rather than the common good. From this sense, Bolingbroke wrote, “A Party, thus constituted, is improperly called a Party; it is the Nation, speaking and acting (on its behalf). It will prevail in all struggles sooner or later, as long as our Constitution subsists (my italics).”
As applied to our Constitution, I found the italicized words to be chilling. Where the British constitution is whatever Parliament determines it to be, the American Constitution is a positive, enumerated grant of specific powers from the demos, We the People. Yet, the Uniparty conducts itself as if, like parliament, the US didn’t have a written Constitution.
Codevilla and Bolingbroke intersect in their solutions to Uniparty/Court Party oppression; both advised their nations to fight the Uniparty/Court Party on its own turf, that is, in congress and parliament. As military and political historians know, attackers rarely prevail in battle on the defender’s place and terms.
In Great Britain, where the first and last recourse of the Country Party is limited to attacking the Court Party ramparts in parliament, We the People, the Country Party of the United States can outflank the Court Party. Through an Article V COS, we needn’t waste resources in a hopeless campaign, as Codevilla promotes, to break up the Court Party. This isn’t to say we shouldn’t support President Trump’s efforts to drain the DC swamp, but realize that he alone cannot restore free government. Nor will relief be found by sending presumably better people to congress.
The Article V COS movement, the Country Party, stands above the collection of factions comprising the Uniparty/Court Party. Just watch any YouTube, or read any transcript of common citizens testifying before state legislative committees on behalf of Article V. Their uplifting and noble appeals to the general welfare of the nation pluck the patriotic strings in every American’s heart.
Legislators in twelve states climbed out of the factional box of political partisanship and passed the Article V COS Resolution. If, like me, you are a current events junkie, and live in one of the thirty-eight remaining states, consider paying more attention to state matters. The online resources available today make it easy to keep track of the goings-on in your state capital. Have you contacted your state legislator and senator regarding Article V? They will appreciate hearing from someone with the greater good in mind, someone not asking for a self-serving favor.
I felt a deep sense of relief and liberation when I cast off the chains of party. Sure, I still pay attention to current events, but it’s from the standpoint of entertainment, of watching a sport as honest as professional wrestling. Since it is pointless, I no longer stress out at the lunatic ravings of some Democrats, nor do I shout at cowardly Republicans. I direct my efforts where they carry the promise of real reform, and the possibility of once again living under free government.
We are the many; our oppressors are the few. Government is the playground of politicians, but the Constitution is ours. Be proactive. Be a Re-Founder. Join Convention of States. Sign our COS Petition.
Reference: Bolingbroke, V. H. (Circa 1730). A Dissertation Upon Parties. Unkown: Unknown.