Political parties are past their prime

Published 6:43 pm Friday, February 12, 2010

I’ve been thinking about Abraham Lincoln this week. Friday was his birthday, marking the 201st anniversary of his birth.

Lincoln said in speech used in a campaign for the U.S. Senate that a house divided against itself cannot stand. At the time, he was talking about the slavery debate that was going on, but those words can also ring true in politics today.

Partisan politics seems to have just about reached a head. Just about each night on TV, I see or hear about politicians of one party railing against the other, blaming the opposing party for things not getting done. I guess the opposing party is to blame for forcing a politician’s party to have to spend time criticizing its opponent instead of putting that time to better use — or to any use at all.

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I am a registered voter, but I am not registered with any party. Political parties seem to have outlived any use they may have had and have certainly gone beyond any purpose in governmental actions (which is, these days, a contradiction in terms). Not only are the two major parties spending every waking moment butting heads, but voters who are registered with one party will often vote for the other party if their registered party isn’t doing well or isn’t popular during Election Day.

The two-party system is not just malfunctioning; it’s flat-out broken. Neither party is getting anything done, and the entire span of a Congressional term is being used to campaign for oneself and against the opposing party instead of working to achieve. It’s getting — or has gotten — ridiculous. Politicians have become all about the party and none about the purpose.

I think the best way to get government working again is to vote for someone who is not affiliated with any major party. Do some research prior to the state primaries this summer and find a candidate who has good ideas but is not beholden to promote partisan politics as the members of the major parties apparently are. There was a lot of talk about “Joe Six-Pack” in the last election. Maybe it’s time we give ol’ Joe the job himself.

Frankly, I’ve had enough of the accusations, the finger-pointing and the fault-finding that has run rampant between the two major parties. The two-party system is not working and needs a major overhaul. Voters like me and you are the ones who can, at least, get that done.

David B. Snow is the managing editor of the Demopolis Times.