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Party Time

Most of my life I’ve considered myself apolitical. As a product of parochial school I admit I am inclined towards a sense of social justice.  I like to consider myself capable of critical thought so my voter registration officially lists me as an independent. When I cast my ballot it is from a framework of what candidate, proposal or amendment makes the most sense to me. My choices are not determined by what “my” political party is pushing.

            During the last 24 months, our country has been assailed by a confluence of crises: economic meltdown, investment scams, banking failures, massive unemployment, record-breaking weather disasters, international political upheaval and an enduring threat of terrorist activity.  Simply reading the list is daunting. Addressing and solving each of them requires time, money, leadership and individual participation.  Everyone must be part of the solution not just part of the noise.   

            America and Americans are struggling. Yet much of the political energy in this country is being expended on defeating the party in office and ensuring that Obama is a one-term president. The mission has become eliminating his prospects for re-election by undermining, blocking or simply not supporting the president’s ideas. It’s the “unfortunate” price of ousting Democrats. This misplaced emphasis is appalling to me. “Hello!” The cost of this approach is continued crises.  People remain unemployed. Homelessness increases. Do Republicans not realize that the bottom line of this tactic is the expectation that Americans will flounder for four more (now two more) years simply so they can say the Democrats failed and get their turn at bat.

            Our focus should be on committing to the success of proposed solutions so that the country—the people of America— can enjoy the basics of American citizenship: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  We cannot afford this you-against-me approach. Working together for the health of the country is a far superior goal to simply ousting the other party out of office.

            Please, quit blaming and start cooperating. Stop being a Democrat or a Republican and be an American. Those statistics—each of them represents a person, a family, a neighbor. When you consider propositions, imagine your spouse, friend or neighbor’s face as you tell them why this is the best option. Look into their eyes. Do a gut check with your conscience and then choose how you will be part of the solution.

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