Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Voting the Party Line

In my state, and in the states where I have lived in the past, the law requires that you belong to a political party in order to be allowed to vote in the Primary Elections. Therefore, when I turned voting age (twenty-one at the time) I did register with a party. I chose the party opposite to that of my father, since I was appalled by his political and social philosophies. But I never did vote the party line. I always chose candidates who I felt were right for the job and just might actually cast their votes for the people who elected them. No doubt I was wrong many times. Politicians do have a way of deceiving the public on that score. But I tried.

Years later, when I moved to this town and had to seek employment, I found there weren't a lot of good opportunities here except with local government. The Township offered steady work in an interesting field, wonderful hours, was close to my home, and offered medical coverage, and vacation time which coincided with that of my school children. Not much of a salary, but I was still receiving survivor benefits from Social Security for those children. It was enough.

Knowing that I would now be working for and with politicians, the day I went to work for the Township, I also went to the Election Board and changed my voter registration to Independent. I am glad that I did that, and have never had cause to regret it, even though I cannot help any party choose a candidate in the Primaries. I worked at Town Hall for many years, through many administrations. I never received any favors or bonuses because of a political affiliation, as I know that many did. But no matter which party was in office, the big boss knew that I gave straight answers instead of telling him or her what I thought they wanted to hear, and most of them appreciated that. Those who did not simply avoided talking to me.

There are various reasons that some people become so adamant about their political party that they blind themselves to all reason. In many cases, I'm sure, it was Daddy's party, and Granddaddy's party - family tradition - so they just continue the affiliation without ever thinking about it. They vote the party line without ever once bothering to ask a question or look at the facts of the situation. In some cases, they cling to a line because of long standing prejudices they cannot or will not give up. I'm talking about both major parties. There are thousands of people in our country who are easily influenced by any good, strong speaker clever enough to use the right catch words and phrases to sway the masses.

And of course there is just plain laziness. Too much trouble to do a little home work - research how someone has voted in the past or what they have or have not accomplished in office. Just accept that statement the candidate made to the newspaper or the little brochure he handed you at the door. Oh - He's a good family man with a wife of many years and kids in the school system. OK. That must make him "one of us". He says he won't raise taxes. He says he'll be tough on crime. Well then! Sure!

We have been living forever with a certain type of health care system. Over the years if has changed - for the worse - but it's the system we are used to. We complain a lot about the cost. We're more than a little shocked to hear that there are people out there who don't even get health care - but we don't happen to know any of them. We run into problems ourselves from time to time - but they are familiar problems aren't they? All too familiar. Then people in Washington start talking about new ideas of how to do it. It's really confusing. So-called experts disagree with one another. There are some pretty scary stories going around about what MIGHT happen if this new thing goes through. Maybe someone will try to take away our right to make our own decisions. Maybe it will cost too much. Maybe a lot of things... And don't forget that we follow the party line, and many people in our party don't want it to happen.

For God's sake! For our own sake! For our country's sake! THINK FOR YOURSELVES ! Do a little serious thinking and comparing and sort out all these wild rumors and insinuations and scare tactics. Turn off the TV and look around you.

When I started this post, believe it or not, I had no intention of even bringing up health care. But it's out there isn't it? Unavoidable. We need single payer care for everyone. We need to stop filling the pockets of the insurance and pharmaceutical guys and get the kind of care we all deserve instead of allowing someone in an insurance office miles away contradict what our doctors tell us we should do to be healthy, or to save our lives. And I guess it's pretty clear by now that it's a one party idea, and the other party seems willing to defeat it, even at the expense of the health and lives of thousands of people. What the heck - Congress has wonderful health care. Let the people wait several more years - or forever.


Anonymous said...

I agree with your content. I have always preached that a Jew or a Catholic is not born in a Baptist home.

If you are born a Catholic or a Jew then your home is inhabited by either Jews or Catholics but not Baptists.

Politics is identical.

I must say, having said that, the conservative party spokesmen like Rush Limbaugh have sickened me on the politics of the mop water bucket altogether.

Thanks for your visit to my Pick a Peck of Pixels Blog and for your comment there about Japanese trains and the toilets. And your visit helps me get closer to my original goal: 10,000 visits. Pick a Peck of Pixels

Daryl said...

Excellent post .. by the way your post's title seems to have lost a T

Deborah Godin said...

Terrific post. I've been wondering lately about all those people railing against health care reform (a significant number, even discounting the astro-turfers)...surely they aren't all rich, with adequate healthcare plans, and surely they or someone they love or know has been is a catastrophic medical/financial sitution. The blinders of party etc affiliation my be strong indeed for them to not change.

Judy said...

Wonderful post, Bobbie. I agree with you completely. I have never voted just the party but always the person. I admire someone like you that stands up and tells it like it is. We need more like that. It seems there are those out there that disagree with everything the President does or says. It is the most frustrating thing to me.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

If only Town Hall was that way again. Through my many-many spout offs to you, you know how it is today. I don't understand why they don't realize that it is a job. A job that serves the residents of the Township and not their own political needs.

I too vote for the person and hope that they do good and try to keep some of the promises. I NEVER BELIEVE the 'lowering of taxes.' We ALL KNOW this will NEVER happen.

Something must be done about health care. But it should be a health care plan for everyone - and by that I mean the politicians should have the same health care plan. They are NOOOO different then the rest of us. I think my weinie-wuss boss had a good idea. When people sue hospital or doctors, a large portion of the settlement should be put toward health care reform. Maybe this would reduce the number of lame suits filed and huge pay-outs by juries.

Sorry, I'm having a bad day and just spouting off some.