To Party or not to Party?

Published 6:17 pm Saturday, June 16, 2012

By Jon Ward
Guest Columnist

With a title like that, one might wonder if I was contemplating throwing a party while my wife was out of town, or perhaps an after-graduation ensemble. No, the parties I refer to are those of the people running our government.

Will it be the Republican party, or perhaps the Democrats, and let’s not forget the Independents, or the Libertarians, or the Mickey Mouse club. It’s hard to tell the difference when watching CNN sometimes.


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When I looked on Wikipedia to see general names for political parties in the US, I was a bit surprised to find out there are 38 of them listed. There are even more sub-categories under the main 38, with left-wing, right-wing, conservative, liberals and others striving for control. There is most likely a party there with some similarities as to how you and I think and believe our government should be run.

I have to wonder, though — we have two main parties (Republican and Democrat) that have run the show for a very long time. And many people go to the polls and vote, not knowing what the candidate they actually vote for believes in. They vote based on tradition, what they hear on television, how the previous prevailing party ran things and so on.

How many people actually find out what their candidates believe in? Do they hold the same or similar values to you? Are they really going to represent you in their selected positions? Will they be held accountable for the platform they run on? Will they try to fix the mess our country is in, regardless of popularity?

I find it disheartening that everyone seems to know just how broken Washington is, but we never seem to be able to have candidates who really want to change the business-as-usual approach.

We need radical new ideas of how to change this country. We need candidates who choose not to be affiliated with a specific party and stand on their own. We need the partial-truth negative ads to stop crowding our airwaves. We need an honesty and integrity in government that has disappeared.

Our forefathers sacrificed everything for us. But to take a look around our country now, leaves little to be proud of for that sacrifice. As a nation we are broke. We allow anyone to burn our flag as “free speech.” We have racism running rampant. We have gangs of children killing one another. We have taken God out of nearly everything. We allow pollution to continue, knowing the consequences.

And probably the worst thing is that we keep electing politicians who are constantly making up new rules and laws that are stripping away the freedoms for which our forefathers fought so hard.

My guess is George Washington and his buddies would be having another revolution because of the situation.

Yet with all that is wrong, it can always be turned around. When the gentleman at the polls today asked whether I was going to vote in the Republican or Democratic primaries, I should have stated that I was just voting. We do not need to be singled out based on a political group. If I preferred one party candidate for the house, and a different one for the Senate, shouldn’t that be my choice?

Maybe I should ask one of the political parties what I should do? Or not.


Jon Ward lives in Eclipse. Email him at