I can only speak to my personal experiences, but I have long thought that anyone wanting to understand the inner workings of direct democracy should become a member of multiple “Fraternal” organizations.
The local “Warren” of one I belong to has had nearly non-stop churning of epic power struggles, epic heights of proficient slandering and expertly administered backstabbing for probably the last twenty years or more. It doesn't seem to be near as bad as it had been since many of the older belligerents have died and the “younger” scrappers have become burned out or disgusted with it all and have either left altogether or stay as far away from the politics of the place as possible.
The place stays only a step ahead of closing the doors and every few months there is a full member meeting where they ask for input on how to save the “Warren” from permanent closure. The invariable conclusion is that they need new members. It's been my observation that if they quit
running people off they wouldn't need to have membership drives with new members being enthusiastic for a couple of months, then suddenly quit coming in and don't renew their membership when it's due.
For the most part, and for obvious reasons, long term members want no part of being any sort of officer within the “Warren”, as to do so involves acquiring a bulls-eye between the shoulder blades. The more proficient bullseye snipers tend to be long term members.
There are exceptions, but quite a few new officers have no experience running a business of any sort, and a good chunk of those have had long term financial failings in their own life. Yet they are suddenly in charge of what amounts to running the business part of a charitable organization.
The following does not apply to everyone in that “Warren” in the past or during the present by any means. Quite a bit of money and product have simply vanished over the years, and there has been quite a bit of the attitude “I don't get paid to do this” within what is supposed to be a charitable organization administered by volunteers, with the result that those “volunteers” have often compensated themselves in the past with a large dose of complimentary product in exchange for their minuscule contribution of labor.
There is a clique which spends little in the way of purchasing product while doing everything they can to keep product cheap, does not in any other way contribute to the financial well being of the “Warren”, considers the “Warren” as their own private living space with many others being unwelcome intruders, and do not participate in the charity for which the the organization is supposed to exist while running off newcomers of whom they disapprove.
In the meantime, the Poobahs in the larger organization go from “Warren” to “Warren” in what amounts to a 100% free, perpetual traveling party, with room, board and booze tabs picked up by the local “Warren”.
The other Fraternal Organization I belong to has some of the same problems which revolve more around having one foot in the grave and, among some, both hands around each other's throat. Embezzlement and other misappropriation do not appear to be the problem in their case.
It would not surprise me to see an “I Like Ike” or “Adlai Stevenson for President” bumper sticker in the parking lot. These tend to be old and cranky people. The “Warren's” revenue appears to more revolve around selling scheduled meals from the kitchen rather than counter top product. However, they tend to complain about the meals and while some are surprisingly far more modern concerning taste in juke box music, more would prefer The Mills Brothers turned down to barely audible. There have been incidents of complaints about the volume of juke box music when songs were playing but the music was completely inaudible ten feet away – while the complainers were clear across the very large room.
They too have periodic meetings concerning what to do to save the “Warren” due to insufficient revenue, and they too have the same answer every time for their problems: “We need new members”. However, they tend to not understand it is not 1956 anymore and to gain new members mean
that those new members need to be able to have fun, which the present members don't seem willing to allow.
Note to whomever from either one of those organizations who are butt hurt by my public observations: I don't care. I'll tear up my card and send it in via the Postmaster if you don't like it. Screw you if you are butt hurt by the truth.
What does this have to do with the Republican Party? Plenty in the form of politics.
Both parties have sold us out. The hierarchies in both parties may publicly trash one another and make a lot of noise about political agenda, but both serve the same masters, who benefit regardless of which ideology prevails on Main Street.
Look at all those politicians on both sides of the isle who enter politics with modest means and within a few years become wealthy. You have all those rich Democratic politicians who rant about rich people who don't pay their fair share of taxes as well as the excess of Wall Street, and yet owe much of their wealth to Wall Street and will never pay their very own fair share of taxes as they define the problem.
Then there's all those rich Republican politicians with all that blather about the Constitution and looking out for Main Street and shamelessly do nothing for either one.
This is Congress: Obamacare was passed on a partisan vote with no one knowing what it was. Once Pelosi saw that the bill was passed and Congress had a peek at it, they ALL ran from it like it was a ticking bomb and exempted themselves from it. Since then, neither side has given us relief from what they ran away from.
Bernie Sanders, who isn't even a Democratic Party member, is a middle finger to the Democratic Party hierarchy as well as their masters. Donald Trump, whatever he may truly be, is a like message to the Republican hierarchy - “You have f*!ked us enough. What we care about is that you no longer pull the strings. We are closing the doors on you, and we don't give a f*!k what you think about it.”
Then there's the further reality concerning power struggles, slander, back stabbing and what ultimately happens next November.
It's going to be one of the three, Sanders, Clinton or Trump. I don't believe the # Never Trump crowd understands that concept, throwing themselves on the floor and beating it with their feet and fists, just
not happy unless they're miserable and sour grapes bitching about it all.
I know what Clinton and Sanders are all about, and while I didn't support Trump before Cruz and Kasitch dropped out I understand exactly how they will fill four Supreme Court vacancies. Trump may be better in that regard than the others. So, do we take our chances with the unknown, or do we help bring in what is sure to be Obama's third term by staying home on election day while trashing Trump at every opportunity until then?
-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary