Apologies for being offline for 24 hours.  Yesterday I was in an all-day board meeting and then had a full evening of commitments.  This morning a friend sent me the video below from JibJab.com that expressed the cynicism I and others are apparently feeling about this election and our political system.    

It came at a perfect time for me as it fits in with my current thinking about our political parties and how counterproductive I believe identification with the parties has become in terms of actually solving problems in the national interest.  It is almost as meaningless as a professional football game.  Let’s posit that I’m a Redskins fan (not really, though I live in Washington) and you’re a Dallas fan.  All that matters to us Redskins fans is that the Redskins beat Dallas on the Sunday they play.  We get so identified with our team that we actually begin to think of Dallas fans as evil people.  It’s a lot like that in politics.  Most of us are identified, emotionally or otherwise, with one of the two parties and, as illogically as with a sports team, we begin to over-identify with a party and place our party into the good category and the other into the evil category.  We accept campaign tactics in our party that we regularly denounce in the other party, because, well, we’re doing it for the right reasons and they’re not.  Yea, right. 

In Washington, DC we had a primary election yesterday, mostly for city offices.  One of the most contested of the races was between an incumbent, Carol Schwartz, and a newcomer, Patrick Mara, in the Republican primary.  Patrick has apparently won the election.  It was also very clear that he won because special interests spent a fortune to make sure that Patrick won and Carol lost.  It seems Carol, who I supported, had crossed the community’s business interests and that they had declared war on her.  Patrick was willing to take their money.  I must have received a Mara mailing every day for the last 10 days.  There was even a Mara brochure on my doorknob yesterday.  Make no mistake, this wasn’t a grassroots campaign of volunteers.  It wasn’t volunteers who handled the mailings, put up street signs, or delivered the brochure to my home yesterday.  No one cared enough for that.  It was paid help.  Yet, this morning, the Chairman of the DC Republican Committee asked all Republicans in the District, of which I am still officially one, to come together as Republicans and support our candidate.  Why?  Because he’s a Republican and believes in Republican principles.  I ask, “What about how he won and the interests to which he’s beholden?  Shouldn’t that matter too?”

This is why we’re cynical and we have every right to be.  Party has topped everything.  Principle is secondary to party and, it seems, to the ammassing of power by political partisans by means of the political party.  It is sad.  It is, however, our system today.  Here’s the video, which is a perfect commentary on the system “that is” and a far cry from “what should be”.  (And, yes, that’s me at the end getting spun around!)


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