A Bridge Too Far?

Is there a bridge to span today’s politically, socially and religiously bifurcated America? If so, you won’t find it among today’s political parties. There seem to be no independent thinkers and the pressures to acquiesce to party decisions is stifling. It is not surprising that the approval rating of congress has not been above 25% in over ten years. Perhaps we needed political parties 200 years ago when our population was ignorant of the issues and communication was difficult. But in today’s world of information overload, people have the ability to know and make decisions themselves. We don’t need Republican or Democratic blockheads to drag us into the quicksand that bogs us down today.

I do not talk politics in my classes. However, when students ask me outside of class about contemporary political events, I’m not reluctant to tell them that I have not voted for a republican or democrat for our federally elected officials in about 15 years. Both parties are hopelessly corrupt. We need independent politicians who make decisions based upon what is right, not based upon what party leaders dictate. I am fully aware that independents have little chance of getting elected. The general population is blinded into thinking they only have two choices. My hope is that I might create some momentum to encourage people to think about their vote. A vote for the lesser of two evils, is still a vote for evil. For our last presidential election, I ran a mock campaign to be elected. People tell me that I actually received some votes. I might do the same this time around. This is to say, I’m not going to play your game anymore.

I’m no prophet, but when I look at the coming days, I see a dark foreboding storm arising. I know there will be turbulent times, yet, I still hope for the best. That hope is kindled by a few rays of sunlight that have penetrated the storm clouds. Notably, my spirit was raised by a development in our recent local Huntington politics. Huntington is a staunch republican city, a hard core republican town. A solid independent candidate threw his hat into the ring for the mayoral elections in November. This guy had never run for political office before and nobody expected him to win. He won. I doubt that my political proclamations over the years had anything to do with the victory, but it shocked me into thinking that maybe people are getting sick of all the political rot. Maybe that thought will infect the rest of America.

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