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Past is Prologue I

ME has spent most of his retirement from service to the United States studying, thinking, and writing about the country he served.

Federalist Party

Federalist Party

Prologue

This series will become Letters to the Editor in my local weekly, the Bradford County Telegraph (Florida). I am a liberal (not a Bernie Sanders type, but a real one) in a sea of Red and intend to make my lonely voice heard with the Don Quixote-type hope of convincing a couple of what I call Trump Republicans to become real Republicans who will vote for America over Party.

As I write this, I am 74 1/2 years old and have been aware of and following politics for 64 of those years. I have lived through 14 presidents and remember 13 of them. I have watched the Democratic Party remake itself from one of Southern Conservative domination to one of Northern Liberals. I have also watched the Republican Party change from Lincoln Republicans (before my time) to a mix of McCarthy and Eisenhower Republicans to the pragmatic Nixon-Ford Republicans 0 to the conservative Reagan Republicans to the Koch-sponsored Tea Party Republicans to finally the Trump Republicans. I might live long enough to watch the Republican Party disappear altogether, which brings me to my next Letter to the Editor.

Past

It seems strange to talk about such ancient history in a letter to the editor. Unfortunately, it is very relevant to what is happening today and one would "hope" people would learn from it and act accordingly. Today's Republican Party (I will call them Trump Republicans to differentiate them from the Republicans that came before them) is on the verge of imploding, in my opinion. Only one major political party has ever done that before which resulted in a one-Party system for almost a generation.

The Party I speak of is the Federalist Party. Yes, the very same Party that is responsible for America becoming America. The Federalists was the name given to the group of liberal patriots who first wrote the Constriction and then fought so hard to get it ratified. Most people know a little about that story. They might also know about those who opposed forming the United States as we know it today - they were called Anti-Federalists and were primarily of the conservative persuasion.

After the Construction was ratified, the story of the Federalist Party gets extremely complicated and the ideals that brought it to life soon gave way to factionalism and partisanship within the Party. While important to history, those complications are not relevant to this story. What is relevant is the aftermath after the Party split into two factions - the dominate one headed by Alexander Hamilton and the subordinate one headed by ex-president Adams. (In today's context, we would be talking about Trump vs Rep. Liz Cheney.)

The fall of the Federalist Party revolves around its opposition to the War of 1812, where the Federalist took the side of the British. They ended up going off the rails by considering having the Northeast secede from the Union, but instead, sent a delegation to Washington with a set of grievances. Word of that got out and the Federalist Party was forever associated with disloyalty to the United States. It soon disappeared as a functioning major political party. That is where I think the Republican Party sits today.

Present

On February 4, 2022, the Republican National Committee (RNC), censured two of their own, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) for trying to get to the truth of what happened that led up to the riot and violence at the Capitol of the United States of America on January 6, 2021. In that censure, the RNC declared what happened on that day of infamy was "legitimate political discourse" by "ordinary citizens"! Over 730 of those "ordinary citizens" were arrested and some were even charged with seditious conspiracy (insurrection). This is how the RNC, the Republican Party characterizes the first insurrection against the United States since the Civil War! How is that different from the Federalists siding with the British in the War of 1812 and wanting to secede from the Union?

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It is understandable that Donald Trump would side with the people he sent to the Capitol that day. But to have the official Republican Party side with those who would overthrow our government? Isn't that a bridge too far for any patriotic American citizen to tolerate?

The Letter

Dear Editor,

Recently, the Republican Party (which I must now call the Trump Republicans in order to differentiate them from real Republicans) censured two of their own for standing up for the Truth. Of course I am talking about Representatives Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) who had the Courage to join the House Select Committee established to get to the bottom of WHY the insurrection on Jan 6, 2021 happened in the first place. Doesn't it just boggle the mind that there are some Americans who don't really want to know why over 1,000 people decided to invade the American seat of democracy and look for elected officials to harm or hang.

In the censure process the Republican National Committee (RNC) declared that Cheney and Kinzinger, along with the Democrats on the Select Committee, were persecuting "ordinary citizens" engaged in "legitimate political discourse". You know, of course who those "ordinary citizens" the RNC was referring to are the same ones currently being prosecuted for, among many other charges, Seditious Conspiracy! Those were definitely not ordinary citizens.

I bring this up because with one stroke, the RNC repeated the same mistake made by another popular party over 200 years ago - the Federalist Party. Yes, the same party whose members wrote the United States Constitution and then fought very hard to get it ratified. Like the RNC just did, the Federalist Party chose the wrong side of history around 1812 and supported the English in the War of 1812. Shortly thereafter, the Federalist Party collapsed and disappeared from political life.

Granted, the history of the demise of the Federalist Party is very complicated. with many twists and turns. The bottom line, however, is they stopped supporting the United States of America and the People didn't take kindly to that. By 1824, they ceased operation. The question today is - will the Trump Republican Party follow the same arc for basically the same reason - opposing American democracy and supporting those who seek to overthrow it?

Republican Party - Trump Party

Republican Party - Trump Party

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Scott Belford

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