June 12, 2024

Who's Poor Richard?

Benjamin Franklin, writing under the pseudonym Richard Saunders (AKA "Poor Richard"), published Poor Richard's Almanack from 1732 to 1758. The almanack provided useful information, proverbial wisdom, and humor to the American colonies.ย 

In keeping with Franklin's legacy, Poor Richard's Blog tackles todayโ€™s complex issues and the foundations of the Franklin Party, while hopefully also dispensing some wisdom and good humor along the way.ย ย 

The

Announcements

Commentary

And More

Poor Richard's Blog

Benjamin Franklin, writing under the pseudonym Richard Saunders (AKA "Poor Richard"), published Poor Richard's Almanack from 1732 to 1758. The almanack provided useful information, proverbial wisdom, and humor to the American colonies.ย 

In keeping with Franklin's legacy, Poor Richard's Blog tackles todayโ€™s complex issues and the foundations of the Franklin Party, while hopefully also dispensing some wisdom and good humor along the way.ย ย 

Welcome to the Franklin Party Newsletter!

The Biggest Tent of All

โ€œLet each of us range himself on the side which unfurls the ensigns of public good. Faction will then vanish.โ€  โ€“ Benjamin Franklin


The common denominator in the words party and partisan is part. That is because both words come from the Latin root, partis, which means part. And a part is a subset, a division less than the whole. So, in terms of people, party or partisan by definition means โ€œnot everyone.โ€

โ€œLess than everyoneโ€ may be how some political parties operate, but it is not how democratic governments are supposed to run. To the fullest extent possible, just governments should always equally benefit all those governed.

In the United States, every public official takes an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. And in that Constitution, which defines our system of government, Americaโ€™s founders clearly state it was established to, among other things, promote the general welfare. Not the specific welfare of any group or party.

A political party may represent less than the whole but elected representatives should not. Elected officials are sworn to represent the best interests of all their constituents. Even if a citizen votes a straight party ticket, in the United States it is never political parties that are elected. It is individual representatives. And it is individual representatives who take the oath of office, not parties. Individual candidates may win or lose an election (ideally based on competence), but constituents should never lose. People should always be over party.

And yet, in recent years, we have witnessed elected officials operating in a partisan fashion to reward their followers at the expense of all the American people. One notable example of this is the 2017 tax cuts, which disproportionally benefited corporate interests and the wealthy, and passed with only Republican and no Democratic votes.

Another example, championed by progressive Democrats, is the recent executive order by President Biden to write off up to $20 thousand in federal college debt per borrower. If it survives legal challenges, this student loan forgiveness program will help those who took out loans to pay for college but doesnโ€™t help the millions of Americans who:

  • Didnโ€™t go to college
  • Are struggling with other loan debt, such as auto, mortgage, or medical
  • Paid off their college loans
  • Have yet to go to college and are facing astronomical education costs


This type of partisanship erodes trust and makes the public cynical. Where, for example, are the nonpartisan proposals to make housing more affordable across the U.S. โ€“ a policy that would benefit the vast majority of Americans?

At the Benjamin Franklin Party, we are not just for those who are for us. We are for all Americans. We firmly believe in justice, not โ€œjust us.โ€ The Benjamin Franklin Party is the not a part-y party. Does this seem idealistic, nonsensical, or naรฏve to say so? Fine, we accept that. The big problems facing America require everyone to be involved. And the solutions should also benefit all Americans. At the Benjamin Franklin Party, we are not:

  • Urban
  • Rural
  • Suburban
  • College-educated only
  • Non-college-educated only
  • Conservative
  • Liberal
  • Single issue
  • (Fill in a divisive demographic and its opposite here)


Democrats and Republicans claim to be โ€œbig tentโ€ parties. And they both try to grow their tents by adding special interest groups. But, while tents keep people in, they also keep people out. The Benjamin Franklin Party only has one special interest group: the American people. The biggest tent of all is everyone. The biggest tent of all is no tent. We welcome you to come join us in the Benjamin Franklin Partyโ€™s no-tent tent!

Yours in republic keeping,
James Carroll
BFPNC Chair 

Subscribe to Poor Richard’s Blog

You may also enjoy:

Handcuffing the Lifeguard

This congressional appropriations season, please tell your U.S. Representative to oppose Rep. Biggsโ€™ Appropriations Amendment #4 (homeopathy FDA exemption) to H.R. 4368.

Read More ยป

Declarations

Letโ€™s declare our independence from the modern adversaries that would rip us apart, and redeclare our interdependence to each other.

Read More ยป

Respective Experts

Some legislators refuse to pass certain (or any) gun legislation, saying it is unconstitutional. But, this decision ignores the totality of our history and the design of our government. Read why legislators should pass good-faith gun laws, even if they are unsure of its constitutionality.

Read More ยป