The Republican National Convention just finished, and the Democratic National Convention just began. I didn’t watch the former, and I’m not going to watch the latter.
I’d like to say that I’m boycotting both out of some sort of political fortitude or maybe the belief that one was better or worse than the other … or any reason other than I’d rather sit through a painful episode of “Honey Boo Boo” than listen to either party drone on about why they deserve my vote.
To be perfectly honest, I have not had any indication in the past ten years as to why either party deserves anyone’s vote. I’m sure there are stalwarts out there who will say I’m being silly and will triumphantly hold their party’s flag over my editorial grave, AKA the trashcan where they left my article. You know what? That’s fine with me.
My malaise with both parties is pretty simple. Neither has done much to improve the United States. Sure, there are little things here and there, but can I honestly say that the country is better than it was four years ago? No. It’s not all the president’s fault, either. If we’re going to assign blame, the problem is where to begin.
There’s the Tea party, which rose to popularity shortly before the 2008 campaign. I’ve been to a few of their rallies, and I’ve heard the rhetoric. I believe many of the folks involved have good intentions but are seriously misguided. To me it is a whole group dedicated to stalling, tearing down, fighting government. They’ve built their base on in-fighting, with many of their candidates hoisting banners of no new taxes and no compromise.
Then I look at the regular Republicans, who largely allowed themselves to be taken over by the tea partiers. Together they have devoted the past four years to defeating Obama at all cost – let me repeat: “all costs.”
Then I look to the Democrats, who had the power and squandered it. In addition to the White House, they had control of the House and Senate before they lost the House. They have consistently bungled their messages and failed to support their own agendas. They have barely been able to support Obama.
By the way, the great birth certificate debate actually got its start in the Democrats’ camp. It was Hillary Clinton’s primary campaigners who produced that gem four years ago.
Both sides offer extreme points of view that I cannot come to grips with, beginning with the legislative logjam that threatens to ruin our governmental system.
The Legislative branch has atrophied. The Democrats can’t agree and the Republicans just want to defeat Obama “at all costs.” That no-compromise, all-or-nothing attitude is poison.
Whatever happened to being good stewards?
Why can’t a political party or a politician just make that promise and follow through? If there was a change, I would hope it would be that. All the fighting, grousing and gangrenous political rhetoric – that belief that if it doesn’t work the way I want it to, right now, I’ll just kill it off – is not helping the nation.
Why can’t a group like the tea party use its influence to affect change that will improve the nation and not take the negative position? If you believe in limiting governmental power, then why not get a politician who will work to that end in a positive way, rather than a divisive one?
We can work together. It has happened before. We can be good stewards.
We just need to get out of our own way.