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As Long as We Remember...

September 10, 2009

What’s up with that?

Chris Cavey

The strict definitions of political parties are changing driven by the thought patterns of a disgruntled populace. Election 2010 will not be exclusively “R’s” and “D’s.” Instead it will be directed by where you fall in place on the liberal/conservative political spectrum.


Democrats have run to the right and Republicans have leaned to the left, each trying to box the voting population into centrist beliefs and opinions. The media has done their best to paint a picture of everyone in the political middle with the kooks on the fringes, and it just isn’t so.


A simplification of the core platform values of the two major parties are: Republicans wanting smaller government with Democrats pushing for broader government. Since there is no such simplification in political philosophy, people are becoming confused as to their party’s beliefs.


Voters are finding in this economy that they desire to be fiscally conservative regardless of party affiliation. They can also be economically conservative, socially conservative to varying degrees, or conservative when it comes to our national security and still claim either side of the aisle at home.


It has become confusing and undefined. So what then is a liberal?


A liberal is typically someone who thinks government should promote unilaterally equality through broad government-run programs; they tend to be more international in their global thinking. They are proponents of ideas such as universal health care.


Ah-ha! The current log-jam of party affiliation and the new defining marker of political thought.


In Maryland and across our nation the idea of universal health care has erupted a conversation where the public is trying to define this issue in partisan terms and can’t! They are confused and the media continually fuels the fire of confusion.


The liberal media has long painted conservatives as gun-slinging, pro-life, fat-cat whackos, who are out of touch and uncaring for their fellow man. Yet lately, the guy and gal on the street have found maybe they have had enough government intrusion and – with tough times – being economically conservative just makes sense.


The current town hall meetings are littered with just plain, everyday people from the neighborhood. If you could poll the voter registration, you would most likely find a broad mix of “R’s” and “D’s,” plus an overwhelming dose of unaffiliated voters.


The largest growing sector of voters is those who choose not to affiliate with an individual party. My personal theory is most are children. They see no value in political parties. Their parents can’t explain their own party registration except to say “they registered like their parents before them.” Not an acceptable answer in today’s world of motor-voter, when there is an easy undefined unaffiliated choice available.


The other large portion of the unaffiliated voting block is those who are disgruntled with their “former” party. Democrats, who feel their party has left them, however, are too embarrassed to become a Republican. Or perhaps Republicans, who feel their party is full of right-wing hypocrites, yet would die in shame to tell their friends at work they ever registered as a Democrat.


The debate on healthcare has brought to light the fact it will be philosophy, not party, which will drive the outcome of the next election. If the economy continues as is, the candidate who presents conservative economic and fiscal principles in a logical and socially acceptable manner will swing the tide.


A tide that will be today’s unaffiliated voters, they are the “new millennium’s” version of Reagan Democrats; fiscal and economical conservatives who want a strong national defense. Except they are people who refuse to take a party label due to complications of certain party philosophy, or old tired labels issued by an old school media.


This coming election will boot many old school political party incumbents. Their replacements might have the same registration but will enter their term with a different paradigm in their political philosophy. They will be conservative in their nature…or not.


What will follow, in time; will be a shift in thinking of the two major parties. They will have to adapt or they will wither and die from lack of public participation.


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