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America Unhinged: Don't Step in the Leadership
No one has to spread hatred, anger, and division; it already exists within the populace of this once-great nation of ours - old vs young, rich vs poor, Republican vs Democrat. Our political system is broken. Those who say they will fix it usually end up making it worse. Partisan bickering is nothing new and isn't going away anytime soon. Gone are the days when politicians from different parties tried to work together despite their differences - if those days ever existed. Now more than ever, elections always seem to bring out the worst in the political sphere, as it becomes more about beating each other rather than getting things done. Furthermore, independent voters might as well be considered "floaters" in a reality show because we will never have the advantages of a big alliance and are only used to get swing votes before being put out to pasture. However, our votes cannot be bought by pandering or condescension. We matter just as much as anyone affiliated with one of the parties even though we don't get a say in the primaries and have to sit through all the smear campaigns that don't even apply to us; in some cases, this is especially true when politcal zealots try to pass laws to keep certain people from voting so that their party's candidate stands a better chance of winning.
The presidency in this country is four years to a term, and no more than two terms are allowed to be served by the same person, consecutively or non-consecutively. That used to work when our country's goal was to oppose tyranny and there were fewer people living here. Now we have a much larger population and thus more people in Congress representing even more people about whom they may or may not even care. Ergo, it has become impossible for anything to get done within such a time-frame without members constantly trying to undermine each other's causes while simultaneously dealing with and being blamed for the effects of the previous policy-maker's reign. No one wants to admit that they are part of the problem and instead spend all their time trying to shift the blame onto others: their enemies in Congress, the voters, or any other group of people within the population whom they consider to be undesirable or unnecessary. When they can't solve the big issues that really matter, they set their sights on non-issues that are better off left alone and persecute people for creating derivative works or simply for speaking their mind on unpopular issues that largely go unsolved. Under this system, everyone loses.
Every vote counts, but you wouldn't have guessed it based on the way today's politicians are campaigning. Although it is true that they don't have time to go everywhere and meet everyone, many voters may feel like the candidates don't even try to care about anyone aside from the special interests for their own best interests. Nothing's ever clear-cut, as both parties try to win over the same groups of people to their side. The more radical [extremist] congressmen may propose to limit or take away the votes of people they say don't matter, but that should never be allowed come to pass; if it does, then shame on those politicians for trying to rig an election. If we let them get away with that kind of nonsense, then what was the point of suffrage? We must rely on the saner, more moderate candidates who have chosen not to associate themselves with such politics, if they even still exist. Perhaps it would be better if everyone ran independently, thus getting rid of the lies and misinformation spread by the groupthink mentality that threatens our nation. It wouldn't get rid of the smear campaigns, though, as politicians are, at best, only human - they are certainly not saints. The most harmless among them often don't get the party endorsement, so we don't even get the chance to vote for them if we wanted to.
Politicians have a responsibility to everyone in the district in which they serve, not just the ones who fund their campaign (funds that may come from the 1% or maybe the candidates are actually in the 1%). They must act for all the people and not for themselves. It is truly rare to find an entirely unselfish and fair-minded politician these days, if not impossible. Independents, myself included, may not know for whom they will cast their vote in November. What we want are answers, not more obfuscation of facts or accusations that may or may not hold water. We want cooler heads to prevail - calm, collected, and reasonable people, not just socially accepted, politically endorsed, "hip" candidates. Trying to predict which way independent or party-affiliated thinkers vote is hokey at best; it certainly doesn't matter what television shows you watch or web sites you visit (although I cannot recall the parties' national convention coverage being so emphasized by airing on primetime local channels before now). From my perspective at this point in time, it's looking like a choice between a rock and a hard place; I may want to believe in one person or maybe give the other person a chance, but it's becoming nearly impossible to do either while both sides do nothing but campaign by jumping down each other's throats and taking advantage of the each other's mistakes - past, present, alleged, or otherwise. Nothing new here except the names and the issues and the outcasts. The one thing you can always count on is that the candidates are all horrible in their own way and continue to embarrass us as a nation on a global scale.