At least to me.
For many years I was a registered Republican, having talked myself into accepting that the tenets of the Republican Party were more in line with my life preferences than were the Democrats. I freely admit to being more conservative as the years have passed, even though in my younger days I had my flirtation with libertarian ideology. But lately, I view most, if not all, politicians and their parties with a severely jaundiced eye since their main concern appears to be centered around their continuation in power – ethics, morality and even the rule of law having little sway on their actions.
Consequently, I am now a registered Independent even though I have to follow in the footsteps of a weary Diogenes, eternally plodding along with lamp in hand, subject to mountainous frustration in a search for an honest politician. If Diogenes had limited his search to the halls of power either today or in the distant past he would have given up his quest within a very short space of time.
So as an Independent, I have resigned myself to delivering my vote to those candidates who seem likely to do the least amount of damage if awarded a seat in public office. But even this strategy is proving disappointing, since there appears to be a dearth of true conservatives in any elected office these days. And if there are a few who manage (by some unlikely and herculean effort) to gain political standing, then they become an immediate target for the vast majority of self-serving sociopaths who inhabit the political spectrum and view these interlopers as a drastic threat to their privileged status. After all, if people began to listen to common sense, observe responsibility in action and understand that they are in control of their own destiny largely through their own efforts, then why should they put up with a permanent political class whose attention is directed toward their personal achievement rather than service to the obligation that they so fervently sought during the last election cycle?
My own state of Maine has contributed greatly to my present funk. Two years past I thought that I perceived a glimmer of hope for deliverance from the economic disaster that several decades of Democratic domination had wrought. A Republican Governor was elected and actually talking about the state living within its means, of improving the business climate, of paying overdue bills on time, of controlling runaway spending on welfare benefits and medical programs, of putting some of their earnings back in the pockets of overburdened taxpayers. This visionary actually uncovered corruption in previously unsupervised state agencies such as the Maine State Housing Authority and the Maine Turnpike Authority – and thus, perhaps, may have structured his eventual downfall since he has likely gored too many of the sacred cows of special interests.
The new Governor’s actions galvanized the ranks of the Democratic Party, the state government labor unions, teachers unions, the inhabitants of innumerable “human services organizations” and countless other groups and individuals who make their living from the public coffers. And the new chief executive turned out to be not just a polarizing figure, but one who exercised an unfailing propensity to plant his foot squarely in his mouth via a confrontational attitude and a failure to significantly publicize the progress that was being achieved by his administration. This caused a significant faction of his own party to seize the opportunity to publicly express aversion to the Governor’s policies (and, in some cases, to his character) and to eagerly join with their opposing members of Maine’s Legislature in a “bi-partisan” override of the Governor’s veto of a budget that depended on raising taxes and fees rather than insisting that the government curtail its excessive spending and live within its current revenue flow.
Maine is, of course, simply a microcosm of national politics and these failures of local Republican leaders are greatly expanded by their Washington counterparts who pay lip service to conservative values but are quick to support any and all new and existing programs that will ensure, they feel, their reelection.
For me, I see no reason to return to the bosom of the Republican Party. The downside of that decision is that I see no real alternative on the horizon. Up until now, there has been no third-party entity that has captured enough interest throughout America so as to mount a serious challenge to the current ruling structure.
But one may continue to hope. And in the meantime hold one’s nose in the voting booth.