Let’s see, yesterday I voted for Bugs Bunny as Governor, Yosemite Sam for Attorney General, Wile E. Coyote for State Senator and Porky Pig for Congress. Oh, and in an upset decision, Andy Taylor for Sheriff. They were all write-ins of course. I just couldn’t find anyone among the Republicans and Democrats who I agreed with on the majority of the issues. It was a matter of having to pick from black or white when I really look best in gray. Neither party offered anything that was the least bit whole or complete. They all looked like partial globes – northern or southern hemispheres only.
OK, OK. There are more parties out there besides the Democrats and Republicans – Libertarian, Green, Constitution and a whole slew of micro-parties. But they suffer from the same problems that the ruling parties do – they are myopic. They are practically one issue entities encroaching on our electoral system, emerging from the far left and far right wings of American political philosophy. Though many us might agree with aspects of their platforms the rest of their ideas are so far out there that most voters don’t consider them seriously.
And that’s my problem with today’s Republican and Democratic party politicians. Seems like everything boils down to a matter of either this or either that.
God help you if you are concerned about global warming AND would like a smaller government. You can’t ignore the evidence that man must have something to do with the Earth’s environmental problems but you also recognize that CAPs and UN inefficiency are not the best way to go.
Or maybe you aren’t altogether that crazy about the new federal health care program but are well aware that we can’t continue to ignore this national crisis which is affecting millions of Americans.
You may very well oppose the war in Iraq but understand that in Afghanistan the threat is quite a bit different.
You might think that convicted terrorists should be locked away for good (or even executed) but you stand firmly against water-boarding, racial profiling and the Office of Homeland Security.
You are proud of America’s men and women in the military yet realize that the Pentagon is ponderously bureaucratic and wasteful. And that our elected leaders have been very wasteful when it comes to lives, both our soldiers and those of innocent civilians.
Perhaps you are disgusted at the way some hardened criminals use the system to avoid being held accountable for their crimes but at the same time you are completely opposed to mandatory sentencing or expanding prisons and police forces.
Your understanding of history has shown that government mandated socialism often leads to forms of authoritarian nationalism but this same history has shown that unchecked capitalism is a brutal and vicious monkey on the backs of many people. The profit driven market economy is what makes the trains run on time but it is also the thing that pushes many people under their wheels.
You may even be a person of faith, perhaps a devoutly religious Christian, but understand that a secular civic society is the only guarantee of our religious freedoms. You might think the Christian obsession for ‘putting God back into America” and ‘prayers back into our schools’ is just another example of the majority’s selfish disregard for minorities coupled with their fear of the ‘other’ and has nothing to do with God. Nor is it the business of any government, local or national to promote religion. At the same time you think that the ‘new’ atheists need to take a deep breath, pour themselves a drink and smoke a nice cigar. Chill.
You might believe that the Federal government should let the states pretty much handle most things themselves but that a line must be drawn somewhere, as in when some school boards want religious myth taught as science. Or pass laws that transcend the U. S. Constitution.
You might love your country, but you don’t think that Americans are better than any other people. The American system of government might be, but not the people themselves. You might be proud of your country’s achievements but you can’t ignore your country’s sins and excesses.
You are concerned about the problems inherent with an undocumented alien population but you remember that your grandmother spoke only broken English.
So who do you vote for?
Good luck finding anyone from today’s current crop of politicians that don’t see (or admit they don’t see) everything in black and white. In most cases our choices is in yesterday’s election merely consisted of one extreme versus the other. Government as savior or government as Satan. One party line at odds with another. They can’t be too extreme.
I’m sure that a lot of people, concerned about the looming deficit and the rapid expansion of governmental power, held their noses and voted for conservative candidates that they might otherwise never give the time of day. I seriously doubt that everyone who voted for the Tea Party candidates were in complete agreement with all, or even most, of the sentiments they put forth. They were just fed up with the Democrats so they voted the lesser evil. And I’m just as sure some (but not too many, I guess) people voted Democrat for the first time because they couldn’t abide certain extreme Republican convictions, even if they agreed with most of the others.
So if the Democrats and the Republicans can’t seem to field any centrist candidates then maybe it’s time for a Party in the Middle. Or whatever – Moderates, Centrists, Compromisers, even the Wishy-Washies or Namby-Pambies (if that makes the zealots happy). A political party that says that compromise is the key, that the problem is often too much conviction, too much patriotism, too much compassion, too much government and, at times, too little government. Too little lack of modesty.
If we don’t start getting some moderate, centrist, cooperative candidates on the ballots then I may have to continue writing in candidates from the Warner Brothers ticket. At least I’m not throwing my vote away.