Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Facebook & Martin Van Buren Demand I Endorse Kevin Murphy For The Texas House

On my Facebook account a few days ago I got an invitation to be a friend from Kevin Murphy.

I don’t know any Kevin Murphy.

I investigated the matter. I established that Mr. Murphy is running as a Democrat for the Texas State House of Representatives from the Pearland area. This is House District 29.

Good enough— While I have no idea who he is running against, Mr. Murphy has my strong support.

For one thing, I’ll endorse and support any Democrat running for office who makes me a friend on Facebook. Doing so helps serve my need for attention.

For another thing, I’m a strong believer in partisanship. I don’t need to know what Republican is running against Mr. Murphy.

I’ve read about the founding of our party system in Richard Hofstadter’s The Idea of a Party System—The Rise of Legitimate Opposition in the United States, 1780-1840.  

I agree with what Martin Van Buren says as quoted in Hofstadter’s book—

“…political parties are inseparable from free governments…the disposition to abuse power, so deeply ingrained in the human heart, can be by no other means be more effectually checked.”

(Please click here for an essay on Mr. Van Buren’s role as a party builder in American history. There is also much more information on Mr. Van Buren to be found at that link.  The above cartoon suggest that Mr. Van Buren could not get anywhere without the help of Andrew Jackson. Such a charge is simply not the case. President Jackson had the good sense to often listen to Mr. Van Buren for advice and Mr. Van Buren was as skilled a politician as they come. )

Not only do parties help check the tendency towards an accumulation of power based on personality, they also provide a shorthand for voters to figure out where candidates stand on the overwhelming number of issues we face in the modern day.  

In the Texas House of Representatives, the absence of a party line vote for House Speaker makes that office a focus of backroom intrigue and sneaky double dealing. Democracy calls for the Speaker’s office to be awarded based only on what party wins control of the chamber on Election Day. 

There are, of course, limits to partisanship at the ballot box. A party that is certain it has your vote may be motivated to serve interests other than those of voters.

Voters have the option to not vote at all for a specific position on the ballot if they find the Democrat intolerable. Or they can vote for a Green or other minor party candidate. I personally never vote for any Republican because I feel to elect one Republican assists all Republicans. 

Also, voters should recall that with time the parties can switch ideological places. It’s possible that today’s Democrat would have voted for the more progressive Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican, over the more conservative Democrat Alton Parker in 1904. In the end it is ideas that motivate the partisan.

This is especially so now that we don’t have party machines handing our free turkeys at Thanksgiving or able to give your brother-in-law a job with the sanitation department.

The bottom line?

Vote for Murphy!

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June 20, 2008 - Posted by | Books, Campaign 2008, History, Houston, Political History, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. My rule of thumb is, if there’s a Democrat in the race, I’ll vote for them unless I know that they’re a hardcore conservative or otherwise unworthy of my vote. If I can’t bring myself to vote for the Dem or there isn’t one in the race, I’ll vote for the Green candidate if there is one. If there’s not a Dem or a Green in the race, I’ll vote Libertarian if that’s an option. And if none of the above are an option, then I’ll just write in a vote for myself. I think the only time I’d vote for a Republican would be if he were running against someone openly advocating genocide or something, and they were the only two people on the ballot.

    Comment by Big Tex | June 22, 2008

  2. Thanks for the endorsement. I appreciate the support.

    Comment by Kevin Murphy | June 25, 2008

  3. If you knew Kevin Murphy, you would not only support him, you would contribute to his campaign! He is an intelligent, rational, green, fiscally responsible guy. He is also funny, musically talented, and rabidly supportive of public education (remember when US education was #1?.
    I would add that he is an imminently decent family man but McCain has kind of trashed that as a supportive comment so let me say instead that Kevin is a great father and husband and is exactly the kind of representative we need.
    Good guys rarely enter politics these days but Kevin is one of the few, the smart, the honest, the brave.

    Comment by Suzy Roberts | October 15, 2008

  4. Ms. Roberts- You seem quite certain in your support of Mr. Murphy.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | October 16, 2008


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