I Give Up on Political Parties

I have long ticked off friends and family by not following their lead and subscribing to a single political party.  I’ve made no secret about being registered as an Independent voter.  I think at its core, I find Libertarianism to make the most sense.  Indeed, in the last election I voted for a Republican, a Democrat, and a Libertarian.  I was kind of proud of that.

Lately, it seems as though I have needed to hide more and more friends’ posts from my Facebook news feed.  Maybe I’ve just lost patience with zealots in general, but discounting entire ideologies or people based on a label seems to demean us all and our capacity for critical thought.   I’m not really speaking of a particular current event in the news.  The examples are new every day.  Listening to political opinions has become embarrassingly predictable, both from individuals and pundits alike.  Whoever is on the “other side” will be portrayed as utterly incompetent or thoroughly evil, or often a combination of the two.

I wish we could give up the labels and start having dialogs about individual issues.  It saddens and frustrates me that the best we can offer the world is that “the other” team will somehow usher in the apocalypse, and the only way to fix it is to completely disavow anything they might bring to the table.  I did not think that Bush was entirely evil, nor do I think that Obama deserves that label.  Both men are what we all are – flawed human beings with personal agendas and ideologies.

I resent:

  • Logging into Facebook and hearing how someone thinks we’ll be lucky if we all live to participate in the next presidential election.
  • Being told that Fox News or MSNBC are nothing but partisan hatemongers.
  • Turning on Fox News or MSNBC and hearing nothing but partisan hatemongering.
  • Owning a majority stake in a nationalized car industry.
  • Having my son believe that Alaska is where the villains live, because someone thought it would be funny to make Ted Stevens the villain de jour while playing Batman with him.

and so on.

We seem to be restricted to being either Red or Blue, therefore I hereby declare myself purple.  Of course, that now gives me the right to ridicule, abuse, and marginalize anyone who is not purple.  It’s the American way.

6 thoughts on “I Give Up on Political Parties

  1. javajeb

    OK. I’ll start calling you Barney, however, that isn’t a reference to a certain Congressman. It’s the dinosaur.

    Seems as well that the bifurcation world that’s dominated our political conversation is going from a equatorial-style split to more of a diagonal move, a la the Libertarians. For ref, see the following:
    http://www.reason.com/news/show/133228.html

    Later, Barney 🙂

  2. ThomasH

    Many Americans are in the same position. The only reason more people do not vote Libertarian/Independent is that they don’t think anyone else will and therefore they are throwing away their vote. In any case there is no need to use negative rhetoric to describe the opposition. People should just work harder to fortify their arguments. Like you said, this comes from both sides. Change will come, but it will take someone with the charisma of Clinton/Obama/Reagan to bring it about. Ron Paul/Ralph Nadar/Ross Perot will not cut it.

  3. Lon

    Both red and blue media outlets are planning their attacks on your purple party. The reds will say “purple means gay”, the blues will say “he says he’s purple but he’s not gay enough”. What they actually mean, however, is that “it’ll cost us a lot of time and money to re-do all of our election coverage maps to include another color”.

    My opinion? There’s no red and blue. In actuality, they’re both about the same shade of brown. I don’t know the Pantone number, but it’s the color found on your shoes after you’ve walked in a pasture without looking where you’re stepping.

  4. Wade T

    I agree that the polarzation of politicals is damning the whole process. What we have today in Washington is NOT what the founding fathers had in mind by severing ties with a sovering tyrant. It all boils down to M-O-N-E-Y the politicians with their hands out and the networks by chosing which side to argue for will bring in the most money for the network. Don’t believe that if Rupert Murdoch thought that he would make more money by airing a liberal slant that he wouldn’t do it. What i really resent is the fact that you if don’t agree with Limbaugh or O’Reilly or others on the other side of the table shouting at you, you are Un-American.
    Now we Virginians have to go through this whole process again to elect a governor. CRAP!!!!!!!

  5. Code Poet

    Damn, Lon brought the funny – cheers to him! To add to your list, I resent:

    Giving up my hard-earned personal freedom to carry more than a few ounces of shampoo on my vacation in exchange for the unproven assertion that I am somehow safer.

    Having the government assume that I ain’t smart or capable enough to plan for my own retirement and health care, to the point that they take 14% of my hard-earned income, despite the fact that they have not demonstrated the competence to handle my retirement or health care. We are a brand new business, and yet ALL of our employees get FREE health insurance – and we still operate with a balanced budget. What I would do with that 14% would be a heck of a lot more stimulating to the economy, believe me.

  6. Jeri

    I stumbled on your blog by accident, but I must say I completely agree with and very much appreciate your opinion. Living in a household that is very dominantly Republican, it is refreshing to read your comments.

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