Independent Thinkers Should Write 'Independent' When Questioned About Party Affiliation



If you read the Letters to the Editor in the Payson Roundup on Dec. 29, you saw a letter from a local conservative who raked a local liberal over the coals for his recent letters.

Now, I don't intend to take either side in their liberal-conservative tirade, but I do take issue with the partisan politics that inspired them. Some of our founding fathers, George Washington in particular, bitterly opposed political parties, because they feared what we see happening today. The liberal writer, for example, castigated Bush supporters for failing to "stand up to evil," defining Iraq as an illegitimate war.

The conservative, on the other hand, without responding to the issue, brought up one of his own, stating that abortion is the "right to kill a fetus," and is, by implication, "evil."

Who's right?

Both of them, of course.

If the war in Iraq is defined as a war of aggression, then it is, if that's the term you want to use, "evil." If abortion is defined as the killing of a child, it too is "evil." And I doubt that either of the two men involved would argue with those two sentences.

So, why the bitter, raging argument? Why the name calling? Why the obvious hatred?

Why? Why? Why?

Because, folks, the minute you lend your unequivocal support to a political party instead of to the fundamental values of right and wrong, you place yourself in a perilous moral position. You no longer argue issues, you parrot viewpoints.

It is impossible for any man or woman of conscience to always agree with a political party, and any attempt to do so is a sure and certain way to erode both your morals and your credibility.

Now, I'm not saying that either of the two very vocal men who wrote those letters to the editor is, to use their own term, evil. In fact, I believe that they are men who are likely to be of high moral character.

If they weren't, it is improbable they would so deeply immersed in such issues. To feel strongly about something, you have to care about right and wrong. So, let's leave them out of the rest of this column and talk about you instead. Do you sometimes support your party when your guts are telling you that it might just be wrong?

Do you sometimes vote for someone because he or she takes a position on a knee-jerk issue, turning a blind eye to some of his other politics?

We all do it. But maybe it's time we quit. Maybe it's time we stopped letting cynical politicians lead us around by the nose and began writing in "Independent" when questioned about party affiliation. You're an independent thinker, aren't you? Well, aren't you? Okay then, let the folks in Washington know it. Don't let them count you as already bought and sold because you feel strongly about a single issue. Require the folks we send to Washington to represent us, not some monolithic view of government, which simply does not square up with the multifaceted people we truly are.

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