Episode 123 S3-42
Dangers of a Two Party System
The Walls of Freedom Ch 42
In The Walls of Freedom story, Erika begins stands before the Federal Governing Board with Vince. In my book I used a three party system to illustrate my disdain for the two party system. Our guest today, Dave Shestokas, discusses how this system came into being and the dangers of continuing to rely upon it. Dave has been a practicing attorney for over thirty years and is the author of Constitutional Sound Bites and Creating the Declaration of Independence.
Now-a-days our political system in America focuses around two parties: Democrats and Republicans. The dual party system exists because of the presidential elections. It hasn't always been Democrats and Republicans. George Washington was a Federalist and he was succeeded by a Federalist. However the powers at be realized a long time ago that you couldn't elect a president without a large group of people behind you. It took a massive effort to win the majority of the electoral college.
Originally the number one electoral vote winner became president and the second runner up became vice president. Once competition intensified for the presidential role, it was decided that this was a bad idea. Competitors would become partners and this did not work out well. History has shown a long pattern of nitty gritty competition between the two dominate parties for control of Washington. Although, it may seem worse now-a-days it is not. There is more media coverage to bring us a play by play of every moment, which makes it seem like there is more conflict.
The Federalists eventually evolved into the Wiggs. The Wiggs party eventually split into the North and South during the Civil War. Lincoln founded the Republican party in 1856 from the Northern Wigg party. The current Democratic party was started with Andrew Jackson.
Although other parties exist they don't get as much air time. The Democrats and Republicans have become one "in charge" party. The image of competition keeps the populous entertained while they manipulate laws to favor keeping their parties in power. For example, the parties set political entrance deadlines with arbitrary dates that only someone planning a career in politics would be aware of. These types of rules favor the currently established career politicians who can make politics a full time job.
The current political parties do their best to block the entrance of any new parties. It is true that independents do make it onto the ballets through state dictated signature requirements but rarely do they make it all the way to a national stage. Usually if the independents have a quality idea, the idea is consumed into one of the major parties that may or may not act upon it.
Technology may be the best friend of new political entrants, currently. Technology has made it possible to reach individuals on a broad basis without the assistance of traditional media outlets. For example the Libertarian and Green Parties have gained quite a foothold due to this emergence of technology.
In Mr. Shestoka's opinion, President Trump has been doing his very best to follow the laws of the Constitution and only make decisions based on the rights afforded him through the Constitution. If there is a major decision that needs to be made and the Constitution does not allow him to make that call he has been asking Congress to step up and do their job. Mr. Shestokas feels that if another major party is going to be created anytime soon, it will probably start with Mr. Trump. During his presidential election he broke a lot of molds to get elected and this momentum could help him to start a new successful political party.
The Changing Earth Series
David Shestokas earned his B.A. in Political Science from Bradley University in 1975 and his Juris Doctor from The John Marshall Law School, cum laude, in June of 1987. In 1986-87 he served on The John Marshall Law Review. He studied law at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.
Mr. Shestokas has been admitted to practice law before the Illinois Supreme Court in 1987, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in 1988, the Supreme Court of Florida in 2004, and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida in 2006.
Mr. Shestokas founded the Law Office of David Shestokas in November, 1987. After practicing in areas such as criminal defense, corporate law, real estate, and business financing, he later served as Assistant State’s Attorney for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago, IL, from 1994 to 1998, involved in over 10,000 criminal prosecutions. During that time he also worked on the Felony Review Unit, participating in police investigations and making charging decisions in over 400 felony matters.
In 1992, after the Republic of Lithuania regained its independence from the Soviet Union, Shestokas
joined attorneys of Lithuanian heritage from around the world as a member of the First World Congress of Lithuanian Lawyers. The Lithuanian President, government officials, and the Lithuanian Bar worked with that Congress to restore the rule of law and a constitutional government after four generations of Soviet occupation.
Along with volunteering at the Salvation Army providing pro bono legal services for the homeless, David has also given his time at the Quality Life Center to educate at-risk youth about the values ingrained in America’s Founding.
His latest book, Creating the Declaration of Independence, takes you into the minds of Richard Henry Lee, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in the weeks before July 4, 1776. Experience Lee’s trepidation as he knows when he proposes American Independence to the Second Continental Congress that he is literally risking beheading. Join Adams and Jefferson at City Tavern as they begin crafting the Declaration and follow the story of how Jefferson came to reluctantly draft the Declaration when few others, including Adams thought that Jefferson’s assignment was important. You’ll even learn a shortcut Jefferson used to craft a document of such immortality on such short notice and how that short cut affects the work of the Supreme Court today.
He has worked with Dr. Berta Isabel Arias on the Spanish language translation of Constitutional Sound Bites: Cápsulas Informativas Constitucionales . This work represents, in a format that modern media consumers prefer, a long tradition of informing citizens about the country’s founding documents in their native languages. In 1787, fully one third of Pennsylvania’s residents were German speakers. Accordingly, of the 4500 copies of the proposed Constitution that legislature ordered, 1500 were printed in German. Everyone understands important ideas best in their native language, and Cápsulas Informativas Constitucionales recognizes the growing importance of making available crucial aspects of America’s Founding and Heritage to this growing community of Spanish speakers in America.