I consider myself to be a reasonable person. I am sure there are those who would disagree with me, but that's another story. Regardless, I particularly consider myself reasonable in regards to my political views. This attitude seems to be putting me at odds with the party that I have traditionally claimed as my own.
The easy way out is to switch parties. But I don't quite fit there, either. I have always considered myself to be somewhat on the conservative side, but I also am willing to see the other side's point of view. I guess I am more moderate than the "true" conservatives, and yet not so liberal as to be a "true" liberal.
It is possible to have civil political discourse as evidenced by the first ever award for civility (Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life), which was given to David Brooks and Mark Shields of the PBS News Hour program last week. David Brooks is the conservative and Mark Shields is the liberal, and while they don't always agree, they do listen and respond respectfully to the other. Frankly, it is refreshing!
It shouldn't be, though. However, it seems as if the two parties have become so polarized, and have made every issue an either/or situation (one side or the other) that civilized and reasonable politics have become impossible. To use kindergarten language: The kids (read: Republicans and Democrats serving in office) don't play well together. There is no middle ground, and those who seem to be centrists and moderates are leaving public life when they should be the ones the others emulate.
Recently, two good senators, Olympia Snow of Maine and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, have announced that they will not seek another term of office, and they both basically stated that the reasons were this lack of respect for civility, moderation, and reasonableness. They are tired of all the in-fighting and the inability to get along.
To me, this is a shame. In fact, I like Olympia Snow's moderate views so much, and saddened by her decision that I chose to write her name in on my primary ballot for President of the United States. I know it is a useless gesture; I know my vote won't be counted, but I could not, however, vote for any of the candidates running for the position in my state.
I want some moderation and reasonableness and civility in my politics. I want to go back to the day when those who ran for office really did what was right for the people, were not "owned" by political action committees and such, and were not negative all the time. Is that too much to ask? Or is reasonable politics an oxymoron?
Maybe I am old-fashioned; maybe I am crazy; maybe I am stupid, and maybe I should be from the state of Maine since they seem a bit more reasonable and civil, there.
Causes Nancy Smith Supports
Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association