I am a product of my heritage.
German and Irish ancestry that settled in the Midwest and produced generations of hard working men and women didn’t have time for much more than family and God. I began my first career at 17—retiring 23 years later from the Army and Army National Guard. During that time, politics was something I watched and opined on within a small group of well tried friends. It wasn’t my job to be open with my pleasure or displeasure of the elected officials. Politics was something that dictated when, and where, I did my job as a soldier.
When I did retire however, I did become active in local and regional politics—while dabbling a bit on the national side. When you live in Iowa, you can’t get away from it. I participated in the caucus process, even captaining a candidate in the 2008 election; I ran for office and served 2 terms as a city councilman; and I participated in some state rallies and fundraisers.
Through it all, one thing became increasingly obvious: there was division between the major parties, as well as in the parties themselves. If your opinion or ideas strayed even a bit from the bull rush movements that were being pushed and championed, you became something less than a party member. There was a sheeple mentality.
The adage advanced by Ronald Reagan just didn’t sit with the prevailing thoughts:
“The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally - not a 20 percent traitor”
It is around this time that I became a bit disenchanted with the process.
I have remarked during past presidential elections that it often seems like the decision on who to vote for wasn’t who the best candidate was, but rather which candidate was the lesser of two evils. This was never truer in my lifetime than in the 2016 election cycle.
Why was it that the two prevailing parties could not produce a candidate that had broad appeal and unified more than they divided?
If I had to guess, it is because we, as a society, have become more divided than we were in the past, and there doesn’t seem to be any changes in the near future. This is a product of the no-compromise, point-fingers, and lay-blame attitude that is prevalent in the halls of any capitol building across the nation—including the big one in Washington D.C.
It is time to get the right candidates running for office.
Those that will return to agreeing to disagree while compromising just enough to produce legislation that has the best interest of the people in mind, not the best interest of campaign financing, cronyism, and nepotism. It is time to find people that want to serve, not have a career. It is time for people to serve America and not special interests.
It is time for changes.