For all the talk that our political system is broken, I think it’s actually pretty solid. That is not to say it shouldn’t evolve. Along with a few other things, I think there is too much money in politics, gerrymandering should be illegal, and it should be a lot easier for eligible citizens to vote. The mid-term elections proved once again that people for the most part want a balanced, moderate government. The Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives and the Republicans maintained control of the Senate. This means all new legislation will require bipartisan support. Some believe this will only create more gridlock, which is probably true, but gridlock, at least in my view, is not necessarily bad. Legislation should be representative of the will of the majority of our citizens, not just a few, so it makes sense that the creation of new laws should require plenty of thought and negotiation on the part of our elected representatives.
What is depressing is how partisan everything has become. Our elected officials, with the help of some god-awful media personalities, have somehow convinced us that our political adversaries are our enemies and that anyone who does not believe the way we do is downright evil. It’s gotten so ridiculous that most people can’t really explain why they support one party of the other. They only know what is spoon-fed to them by the media source of their choice. When I turned 18, I registered to vote as a Republican, mostly because I liked Ronald Reagan. When I got little older, I switched to independent for about two years. I now consider myself a moderate democrat because 1) I don’t believe in the theory of trickle-down economics 2) I support more liberal social policies such as civil rights for all, and 3) I think we need to do a lot more for the poor and underprivileged in this country. For the most part, democratic policies tend to align with my thinking, but certainly not always. In my work, it is important that I am not partisan, but I also have too many friends that are Republican to buy into the false notion that I’m always right and they’re always wrong — or even worse, that I am always on the side of good and well… they’re not. Unfortunately, not enough people have the fortitude to think this way. I guess it’s easier to be part of a gang.
Here is a test: Immigration, abortion, and gun control are three of the most divisive issues in America today, but I believe that most Americans agree with the following even though you don’t hear people saying it much…
- People who believe we need secure borders are not racists
- People who believe that hard working, undocumented immigrants should have a path to citizenship are not pro-crime
- People who are pro-life are not by definition anti-women
- People who are pro-choice are not by definition indifferent to human life
- People who support the second amendment do not want to see more mass shootings
- People who believe we need tougher gun controls do not want to abolish the constitution
I will add the following, considering today’s political sentiment
- People who criticize the president are not anti-American
- People who believe in the Bible are not irrational or stupid
- People who don’t believe in the Bible are not irrational or stupid
I believe all of the above; however, I also believe there is such a thing as right and wrong and it’s important that we say it when we see it… for example:
- People who demonize undocumented immigrants and exaggerate their criminality are probably racists
- People who blow up abortion clinics or fail to condemn those that do ARE indifferent to human life
- People who try to harm the president for no reason other than he is part of another political party are anti-American
Like all people, I have my biases, but that’s all they are. I am willing to challenge my beliefs and evolve them when a better viewpoint comes along. More than anything, I love and respect all people and truly believe as Americans we all fundamentally want the same things: health and security for our families, and the real opportunity to live the life we were destined to live. If we begin there, and stop demonizing everyone that disagrees with us, we will all be better off. I hope to hear more from the silent majority in the middle in years leading up to our next elections.
Inflation has impacted all of us. The price of almost everything has spiked faster and harder than at any time since the 80s. Few things can obliterate a modern economy more than out-of-control inflation.
For most people, there is little upside to writing about the January 6th hearings, but as you probably know by now, I don’t worry about those things. We all must stand for something. The hearings have almost everyone taking sides before a single witness is called. Democrats believe that the events of January 6th were a calculated effort to undermine our democracy by demolishing two of the most sacred tenants of our nation, free elections, and the peaceful transition of power.
Most people consider themselves either a conservative or a liberal. I think if we forget political parties, which flip their positions on things all of the time, and instead focus on the actual definition of what it means to be a conservative and what it means to be a liberal, we might be able to temper the emotional reactions some of us have with political discourse.