Just 1 race, so just 1 party?

Published 12:00am Wednesday, October 16, 2013

There is only one race — the human race. Craig Venter, one of the first researchers to sequence the human genome, realized the truth of that statement through his work.

Here is what he wrote.

“Race is a social concept, not a scientific one. There are no bright lines (that would stand out), if we could compare all the sequenced genomes of everyone on the planet. When we try to apply science to try to sort out these social differences, it all falls apart.”

Science proved that deep down in the genes we are much the same. Yep, there is only one human race. Unfortunately, in this country the human race has divided itself into two parties — Republican and Democrat.

We see this and we know that these two parties are so at odds with each other they are willing to shut down the government. My question is how in the heck did we get here. What exactly is the definition of a political party and who had the brilliant idea to start them?

The dictionary defines them as groups of people “who control or seek to control a government.” I’d add, or decide to shut down a government and to threaten to push an entire country off a financial cliff.

Our constitution makes no mention of political parties. In fact, George Washington warned against them. (Why didn’t we listen to that first President George?)

Apparently, political parties came about because of an argument. Now, considering where we are today, it is not hard to imagine that this mess came into being because politicians couldn’t agree.

It started in the 1790s when a quarrel broke out between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton over how much power to grant the federal government. The argument split their followers into two separate groups — thus the beginning of U.S. political parties.

The Democratic Party is the oldest party, and some scholars say it started when Jefferson founded the Democratic-Republicans in 1792. Jefferson opposed a strong central government. (That sounds strangely like something from a Tea Party flyer).

Today’s Democrats, known as “the Party of the People,” tend to take a more liberal stand. They believe in federal government having a more active role in people’s lives, particularly those in need.

Now we come to the other party. The Republican Party formed in 1854 when a man named Alvan E. Bovay brought together antislavery leaders, which was a pretty liberal thing to do in those days. They also wanted to build a transcontinental railroad and to give free land to settlers. (How Democratic of them).

These days, Republicans tend to be more conservative on issues. They believe the federal government should not play a big role in people’s lives. (Sounds a little like that Jefferson guy who started the Democratic Party).

Obviously, we have political parties that over the years flip-flopped their positions, each one going down a path that seems opposite from the one they were on when the party began.

Now here we are with two parties that, as I type these are words, are at war with each other. The casualties of this war, it seems, are the folks who voted for them in the first place.

And, that brings us back to where we started with Craig Venter and his statement about how if you scratch beneath the surface of every person, you cannot find the genes that make us socially different or as I see it, that make us members of one political party or another.

So, I think maybe all of us voters need to head up to Washington D.C. and skin some Republicans and Democrats so they can understand that underneath it all they are just members of one race, and as such, should make at least a tiny effort to cooperate with each other.

Oh, and after we skin the ones we’ve got now, we vote them all out of office and start over.

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