I’m in tune with the body politic. I sort of have to be. One might also say that, due to my profession, I approach these matters objectively. Actually, objectivity is part of my make-up anyway; I’m not known to make snap judgments and decisions based on emotion. This does not mean, however, that I do not have an opinion on any number of matters currently on the national and world agendas. I do, and I intend to weigh in on one right now.
I come from good Democratic stock. I am not, however, a registered Democrat. There are idealistic differences between what I believe and planks in the Democratic Party platform. The bulk of these “incompatibilities” are in the form of “nanny” laws. I just cringe when the government tells me what I must do or not - under penalty of law - for my own good. I believe in liberty over control at every possible point in the policy making process. I’m realistic, but all things being equal - I’m with liberty first.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have a Republican Party that is very selective in which of its principles it will stand by. Of course, it’s the party of small government, decreased regulation, etc. - except when it comes to issues of personal liberty. A woman’s right to choose is always a headline getter, but it’s not the only instance where government control is given priority over personal liberty. As far as small government is concerned… well, I don’t live under a rock.
Both parties are ripe with hypocrisy and corruption. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, yes, but power of any kind is a corruptive influence for some. No, not all and perhaps not even most, but enough that the entire capital emits a fouls odor. Unfortunately, even the good ones will protect the bad - a saga both parties have reveled in exposing in the other year after year. Change is again in the air - but where to go?
Keith Brumley, a minister from the Milwaukee, WI area and a fellow blogger has brought to my attention an interesting possible direction. As you may have surmised, I am not affiliated (read, registered) with either the Democratic or Republican Parties. I plan to re-register as a “decline to state” voter (for professional reasons) but I think it’s quite obvious that I identify with a certain third party. The Libertarian Party could be described as more conservative than the Republican Party - especially these Republicans, but at the same time, depending on the issue, it is more liberal than the Democratic Party.
How in the world could a third party candidate make any real inroads into the “system” that is set up to elect only one of two parties? Indeed, how can a real option become available for the office of, say, president? There is precious little real difference between the two parties currently. Oh, sure - there is plenty of difference in what they say, but look at what they do.
U.S. Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) has recently formed a presidential exploratory committee. What’s that you say? There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell for a Republican to win the White House? Perhaps, but this is no ordinary Republican. He was the Libertarian nominee for president in 1988. From a conservative idealistic point of view, Paul’s Libertarian ideals are far more representative of the Republican Party than the party is acting right now. From a liberal point of view, getting government out of certain social entanglements looks like a good thing. From every perspective, it would be difficult to be worse off. It would be a breath of fresh air and maybe, just maybe, it might bring some common sense back to government.
I want to be clear that I am not endorsing Paul. Honestly, I know very little about him. I know my friend Keith is behind him, and I am glad to see Keith involved in politics again - he has been so disgusted with the entire process. I know that he has hope and faith in our nation, as do I. My point in all this is to encourage participation in the political process. Pay attention. The quagmire we are involved in might be avoided in the future if we hold our elected officials accountable - and we do that at the ballot box. There are other options.