At the risk of offending a few folks, there are precisely two political parties in America. These two parties are in a fierce competition, with nothing less than the fate of the republic riding on the outcome.

No, I’m not talking about the Democrats and the Republicans.

Now, let’s be clear: There are very real differences in the platforms of the Republicans and the Democrats. Conservatives and liberals believe very different things. Those things matter, and deserve to be debated.

But those fights, those important fights, are secondary to the real war between the real political parties. Sadly, it is a war in which only one side is actively engaged.

None of this is new. Besides their theological differences, the Pharisees and Sadducees had competing political interests, yet they united in ancient Israel to work together to thwart those who might upset their cozy arrangement. Read about the arrest and trial of Jesus as an example.

To give a sense of who these modern parties are, let’s consider a long-standing public policy issue, in which there is rare agreement between Republican and Democrat activists. The official party platforms of the Democrats and the Republicans have called, in various ways and forms, for the elimination of corporate welfare. Polling and surveys consistently show voters across the board oppose corporate welfare programs.

Yet those programs persist and flourish at all levels of government. Money is constantly seized from the pockets of the citizens and transferred to the coffers of the corporate cronies – with the politicians gaining more power while fattening their own accounts.

The Texas Legislature, frankly through legislative mismanagement, accidentally allowed the state’s major corporate welfare program to die in 2021. Take the win, right? Wrong. The Republican House speaker has since pledged that the program will be back, with bigger handouts than ever.

The real fight for the future of our republic isn’t the Fox News/CNN/MSNBC pro-wrestling match of Elephants and Donkeys blowing their respective dog whistles for the masses.

The real fight for the future of the republic is between the self-appointed (and self-serving) ruling elite — and the rest of us. The fight is between the cronies and the citizens.

Right now, the citizens are losing that fight because they aren’t even participating in it. Most aren’t even aware it is happening.

Too many of us get distracted. We are enamored by the cults of political personalities. We are lured into humming along with the easy siren song of braying Donkeys and rumbling Elephants. It lets us feel like we’re doing important things, while accomplishing nothing at all.

This is how the ruling elite – those self-interested politicians and the cronies they enrich – all want it. They work to make sure we are arguing over table scraps as they preside over the destruction of our republic while padding their own pockets.

As we are churned up to fight with each other, we lose sight of those who are working to control us.

So, what will we do? Will we continue to cheer as the Elephants and Donkeys in public office bash each other theatrically with folding chairs – without noticing that they are robbing us of our future?

Or, will we fight back? Will the party of the citizenry stand up and fight for our nation? Will we shove aside those who publicly blow the dog whistle of partisan rhetoric while spending their time in service to their insider cronies?

Each of us must decide, and decide quickly.

Nothing less than the future of our republic is at stake.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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