Middle-of-the-road politics healthy
The other night at dinner, when pressed about my opinion on a controversial political issue, I was called out for being too wishy-washy, too middle-minded: “You mean to say you don’t have a strong political stance? That’s cheating, Amanda. Pick a side!”
Now I may be a little biased, but I don’t think choosing not to identify with a political party is cheating at all. I think it’s actually quiet intelligent. Who cares if I follow the elephant or the donkey, the red or the blue? Why do people think we have to choose between the far-left Democrats and the far-right Republicans? There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a more middle-of-the-road approach to politics. Both parties have valid and stupid reasons for the stances they take on various issues. So I hold unique personal opinions on all issues, regardless of whether those opinions agree with a specific party.
So many people vote a straight party ticket without even getting to know the candidates — or even worse, without really learning about the important issues. Voters can’t be bothered to have a solid foundation for their own beliefs, which is simply blind voting. But shouldn’t the American people be 100 percent sure and confident in something that dictates our country’s rules, regulations and policies, regardless of the political parties we Americans claim to follow?
To be honest, I’m sick of the radical “right” and the radical “left.” What I think our country needs is a new and improved “center” — a coming-together to advance our country and society, uncontrolled by these inflexible starting positions. As Congressman Bruce Barton once said, “You can afford to have a decent regard for public opinion; but you can never afford to let yourself get into the pathetic condition where what ‘they say’ or many say will keep you from doing what ought to be done. It is a hopeless condition to be in, because what ‘they say’ today is not what ‘they said’ yesterday or ‘will say’ tomorrow.” Have we really been conditioned to believe people need to be pegged by a single label? Things change; it is inevitable. Life is messy, complicated and can’t simply be run by one “side” or the other. No one group can satisfy all our needs, so why not combine the two for the betterment of the entire nation? I have never been a die-hard “party” person. I favor responsible government, irrespective of its size and responsible in the sense that these officials should be prepared to accept tough choices and shared sacrifices, not repeat mindless slogans or misquote our Founding Fathers. Instead of looking back to the past, we need to move forward by fixing the present. Forget the whole red-versus-blue debate. I guess you can say I’m pushing for more purple politics.