2010…just like 1840!

American Politics can be a funny bird.  Times change, the technology changes, the players change and after all is said and done.  It all seems to turn out like “old hat yesterday”.  Immigration, Civil Rights, Personal Freedoms, the Political Process, Economic Crisis and finding a firm direction for the future of our country is a constant challenge.  Today, the Republican Party is in severe disarray.  Those of us unwilling to blindly follow “the leader with the loudest voice” is cursed to think each issue out independently and try to find some course of clarity.

Might anyone recall who the President was in  1856?  Well, we won’t hold that information from you in any esoteric way: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Buchanan

Does anyone recall which political party JB belonged to or what his planks were that he ran for office on?  Let’s just say that things were in flux and the country was going through a long term of trauma and confusion after the 1820’s of Andrew Jackson and our”Manifest Destiny” and removal of all the Indians to the Badlands.  A brief reference to the parties engaged in trying to find a consensus for our country were confusing at best:

American Political Parties


Mid-19th Century Political Crisis

Disputes over slavery in the territories first erode, then destroy what had become America’s second two-party system. The erosion began in the 1840s as various factions opposed to the post-Jackson Democratic political coalition begin to form.

Liberty Party

Run abolitionist candidate James Birney, for president in 1844.  Won only 2% of the vote but drew votes from the Whigs, especially in New York.

Free Soil Party

Not abolitionist but opposed to expansion of slavery in the territories.  Won 10% of the popular vote with Martin Van Buren as their candidate in 1848.  Lost 50% of their support in 1852 when their candidate repudiated the Compromise of 1850.


Split over slavery into:  Southern, “Cotton” Whigs who eventually drifted into the Democratic Party.  Northern, “Conscience” Whigs who moved to new parties, i.e. Free Soil and, later, into the Republican Party.

American Party

Popularly known as the “Know Nothing” Party.  Nativist party based on opposition to immigration and on temperance.
Run Millard Fillmore in 1856 and win 21% of the popular vote.  Absorbed into the Republican Party after 1856.

Republican Party

Formed in 1854 when a coalition of Independent Democrats, Free Soilers, and Conscience Whigs united in opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Bill.  Stressed free labor and opposed the extension of slavery in the territories (“Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men!”).

Moderates, like Abraham Lincoln, could, therefore, opposed slavery on “moral” grounds as wrong, while admitting that slavery had a “right” to exist where the Constitution originally allowed it to exist.  John C. Fremont was the first Republican presidential candidate in the election of 1856.


And here we are in 2010 facing fringe parties, facing majority parties out of whack, facing issues which will put our country at risk without some direction and final decisions…right or wrong!  By the way, where were those Democrats in 1840?  All over the board!

As we look to 2012 and we see the likes of Sarah Palin, The Tea Party, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Bobby Jindal or Ruth Crist….good grief!  Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Rachel Maddow, Keith Obermann, Glen Beck or Mike Huckabee?  Please, no matter which side of the Political Spectrum any of us reside…the choices are not that wonderous!  The Leader that we seek to take us further along the road to new jobs, new technology and honorable ethics in the political arena…..seem to be failing us, much as they did in the days before the Great Civil War.

The mid-term elections of 2010…will be a bloody affair which will mean either a great change or a meaningless frustration will be the result.  Our guess is that the Democrats will hold a majority in both Houses.  Our guess is that the Republicans will be marginalized even further and our guess is that Independent voters will do nothing to bring a true course from which the majority can govern on any of the prime, critical issues…facing us today.  Obama Heathcare?  Just that one issue alone could divide our country!

The United States can ill afford a taxing “Cap & Trade” bill, or losng the Bush Tax Cuts for those making $62K-$128K – even if the marginal rate only goes from 25 to 28%…that is a serious tax hike for those, just hanging on the edge to keep their families going at a reasonable level.  We can ill afford instituting a VAT or reducing Trade Restrictions on countries that fail to return the favor.  The USA can ill afford a “blanket amnesty” for illegal immigrants.  We can ill afford to have our own government restrict personal liberties in the name of protecting us further from terrorism.  We can ill afford to bail out Corrupt or Misdirected Municipalities, States or even Major Cities that have unsustainable Pension and Retirement Obligations.  Those that can’t even afford the political will to cut their services to affordable levels for health and safety issues.  We can ill afford having world banking interests keep their cash stuffed under their beds, when they need to lend it for new technology and for expansion of small businesses all around the the country.

Recently, aboard an American Airline flight from La Guardia Airpoprt in New York to Los Angeles, some nutcase locked himself in one of the lavatories and tried to light something on fire.  As soon as passengers saw the sparks – they broke down the door, pulled the guy out and beat him senseless.  The pilot landed promptly in New Mexico.  “The people had spoken!”  Saving us from the major issues at hand will require that “the people speak and take action”.  The FBI and Homeland Security even showed up to do their duty!  However, without the people’s efforts, the results could be less than what is required to support our progeny in the years to come.  The message is, we suppose:  no one is going to do it for us…it will take the action of  the people!

Let us all now, take a long look at our government during this election cycle  and demand that we not return to the days of the 1840’s!  We need to have our country come together with a desire to solve the problems at hand – not further amplify them!

About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk show...is the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.