When looking at the current state of the United States, political differences and strife almost seem commonplace in recent years.
From the recent Mueller investigation to attacking students for their personal beliefs, to the idea of “political correctness,” the media and government have undoubtedly become increasingly biased and polarized about what values should be guiding the country.
Yet people should know that political differences and partisanship are not new in the United States, according to Tom Del Beccaro, an author, speaker, and small business lawyer.
If political differences are not new, then some may ask why there is so much fighting in politics today. Del Beccaro’s recent book, “The Divided Era,” seeks to answer this question by analyzing the history of U.S. politics and the ideologies that have guided the government and country.
“Over the years, I’ve been asked many times why there’s so much fighting in politics,” said Del Beccaro. “I wanted to write a book that explains, with references to history, the cause of our current divisions.”
— Thomas Del Beccaro (@tomdelbeccaro) November 8, 2018
When the U.S. government was first established with George Washington as president, it was founded on the principle of “limited government, especially limited central government,” according to the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE).
“Historically, most of the time there are two sides politically in any country, and maybe minor third parties. But it basically breaks down into two divisions,” said Del Beccaro.
Many of the early U.S. presidents were Democratic-Republicans. In 1829, Andrew Jackson became the first president to identify as a Democrat, and in 1861, Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican president.
According to the FEE, as government spending grew over time, the need for taxation grew, which led to a greater need to set restrictions and regulations, and later, an increased employment force. These factors combined to cause the government to grow larger and have increased division on policies.
The division between the two political parties can be traced back to the early stages of politics.
“As I explained early on in the book, I quoted Justice Marshall talking about how America had broken down essentially into a conservative party that wanted strict adherence to contract law, and a liberal party that didn’t want that adherence to contract law,” said Del Beccaro.
In the United States, the Democratic and Republican parties are the two dominant parties. However, with the upcoming 2020 elections, many self-proclaimed socialists or “Democratic socialists” have been increasingly vocal about straying from tradition in favor of a far-left agenda.
According to Del Beccaro, if a government continues to grow and takes control of a larger and larger percent of the economy, the country may shift into a socialist state or communism.
To clear up the confusion that often exists between socialism and communism, Del Beccaro explained, “It’s a continuum, so you go from a free small government at the beginning, and as government grows, power centralizes.”
Eventually, the government takes control of more and more policies that govern society and people’s lives.
Del Beccaro wrote in his book: “The key to understanding the Divided Era is that by allowing government to decide more and more issues, we are inviting more and more partisan fights.”
This leads to larger governments and greater division, he wrote.
In analyzing the current state of politics in his book, Del Beccaro also laid out some proposed strategies for returning to a less divided government that is capable of setting unifying goals.