Most of the time when things change in one’s life the reason is because that person have moved on. Life experiences continually amass to form a more solid base for beliefs. The evolution of our country’s major political parties has reversed that normal process.
During the early part of my adult life I considered myself to be a member of one of the parties in question. My dear departed father was a strong supporter of that party. The time was an era when the party in question didn’t field candidates in most Mississippi electorial races. Of course the entire family followed our father’s lead.
At that time the party in question represented sound fiscal policy, small but effective government, and individual freedoms as espoused by our founding fathers.
As time marched on their priorities made a sudden and drastic change. Sound financial choices lost their importance. Narrow social issues favored by a vocal minority were emphasized instead. Congressional votes were based on party allegiance rather than constituent needs.
It became difficult in elections to discern their candidate’s views. Each campaign became, instead, a nasty mudslinging affair where millions were spent and nothing was accomplished. Trust became a word that was not normally applicable.
Writing a letter to one’s Senator or Congressman no longer resulted in a return response thanking the constituent for his or her opinion and vowing to take the position into consideration in upcoming votes. Return replies from members of that party evolved into nothing but a long dissertation of the party’s “talking points” on the issue. Written in a condescending manner, those letters usually ended up as trash can filler before the entire missile had been read. One then determined to choose another candidate when the ballot box next came calling.
Shouldn’t an elected official consider their constituents’ needs rather than simply espousing the talking points conveyed to them by strong armed party bosses? What can be good and right about choosing the party line rather than personal convictions to further one’s political aspirations? Shouldn’t the importance be placed, instead, on the needs and support of those individuals whose votes empowered each to make decisions on their behalf?
The party in question seems to not understand why their grasp on power slips as they step further and further away from the belief structure of the electorate. Can it be a surprise that I (and the majority of my family) am now a strong, solid supporters of the opposite party?