Tuesday, September 6, 2011
While the Koch brothers do their fund raising and Obama Bashing and the Faux Nooz folks yammer on about their non-movement strategy for the up coming session of congress, there is a real disgust surfacing in many ways from ordinary people. One of the thoughts that I am sure you may have had is that you do not want to be part of either party. You may want to be an independent or decide to be part of a third party. I have been pondering what that means for quite awhile now because in some ways I went down that road several years ago.
In the 70's and 80's I was leaning toward Libertarianism but was a Republican. In Arizona that slowly became problematic because the Republican party started drifting to places I did not want to go. When the anti-science, pro-radical-Christian-religionism took hold of the Arizona party and started putting stuff in the in-box for legislation to ban abortions (never mind who pays for it), gay bans, lowering the minimum wage, arresting and detaining the homeless and on and on and on, I stayed with the party because of, it turns out to be a mistaken idea, the belief that Republicans were the fiscally conservative stance. It was not that I was against bigger government so much as that I wanted controls on government growth. That was wrong headed but at the time I did not fully realize how and why it was wrong headed. The sentiment was that, "government was the problem," as Ronald Reagan said. That was not exactly where I was coming from but it was where that sentiment was leading. As the so called Moral Majority took hold it was harder and harder to be the new form of Republican. All this was before Fox news and the heavy handed commentators slamming their guests. It was easier to have a political discussion then.
Leaving out the middle stuff for the moment here is where it led. As a fiscal conservative I abandoned the Republican party in most ways but still called myself one (sorry it was true). I experimented with the idea that perhaps the Green Party or the Nader group wold lead somewhere but here is what that brought me to. The Electoral College does not have a single vote that will elect a President from one of the third party choices. Not one.
To effect policy or to promote the common good what we vote for (or against) comes through one of the two "real" parties. That was when I looked harder at what the basis of the two parties was really about. The light bulb went on and I came to embrace the Democratic party as a still fiscally conservative person. That does not mean what you might think... in fact currently I am leaning more and more toward the progressive end of the scale. Yes, I "admit it" and realize that there is not a single electoral college vote for progressives either. There are votes for Dem's who happen to be more progressive.
The next thing to explore would be the deeper history of the country and what and how the lessons of the past will effect us all. Rereading the Constitution is a great place to start.