Another Man’s Ship

editorial-logo3Times are changing and things are changing. What was once considered, at the least, to be freakish is now accepted as the norm. So, in this day of ever changing acceptability, I ask you, what is so necessary about political party affiliation? Does anyone really even care if you are a member of the Grand Old Party or a Blue Dog Democrat? It certainly appears that the Millennials have forsaken the old guard, be them red or blue, in favor of a more independent point of view. Is there anyone out there that still clings to the old party ways? And, if the political associations are as fluid as gender associations, does it or should it even matter anymore?

I watched this week as the governor from West Virginia jumped party ship and changed his color of choice from blue to red. As I listened to him speak on the subject, it occurred to me that it would have been more reasonable for him to have simply denounced both parties in favor living in the great gray zone. Of course, the reality is that the big money is with the big parties, and so those that are playing for keeps are not going to simply walk away from one unless they know they will be welcomed with open arms, and checkbooks, by the other.

Personally, I believe that our two party system is as antiquated as the disco ball, and it is only those that are in some position of power that refuse to let go of the lines that bind. If not for the financial implications, it would make so much more sense for those running for office to run on actual platforms that include more than just flag waving and wearing elephant or donkey lapel pens. Perhaps it is time for a new party to arise and take its place among the elite. The party of the moderate middle, which represents the views of people who don’t live on either fringe. The fringe appears to be what is attracted to both the established parties and, be they rich or poor, they are not the norm. It seems like every election, every year, every issue points to how out of step with the real world those fringe folk are; just look at the big news topics for any day of the week. Normal people, those that live in the moderate middle, just want affordable health care (because ours isn’t free and our funds to pay are not endless), a comfortable life that does not include living out our senior years eating cat food, a reasonable home to shelter our family, and a car to get us to work because, yes, we go to work everyday.

These are not my grandparents’ political parties, just like this is not my grandparents’ country, not anymore. The issues of their days, though equally important, were more pure. We have crossed so many lines in the past thirty years that we don’t even recognize ourselves. Holding onto ideas that are not suited to our times is beyond ridiculous, it is problematic. Just look at our national leaders. They have party power and, yet, they cannot agree on any important issues enough to wield the power that they have coveted. Yes, it is the Republicans that are in power now, but it would have been the same had the Democrats been in the driver’s seat. One only has to look at the imploding of the last presidential election to see that neither party is suited to lead or govern, because neither party has any idea what real Americans want or need.

So, we find ourselves in the Wednesday of the political cycle. Stuck in the middle, suffocated by those that would cling to the ways of the past, all while losing the opportunity to lead to the future. Jumping from ship to ship only finds you on another boat, rowing to someone else’s tune. I would have been much more impressed if Governor Justice would have just swan dove straight into the waters, because, choppy though they may be, it beats walking the plank on another man’s ship.

Source: K. Depew, News Director

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