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May-17-2010 13:14TweetFollow @OregonNews
Has There Been a Paradigm Shift in American Politics?Robert M. Collinsworth for Salem-News.com
As a young boy, I was taught to examine the individual running for office — to examine his or her background, experience, history and political record.
(HARRISVILLE, N.H.) - For most of my life, the independent American voter has had clear choices between voting for a liberal candidate or a conservative candidate — usually either a Democrat or a Republican. Then, depending on the situation at the time the voter visited the polling booth, he or she could decide which approach would be best for the state or the country.
Based on recent elections, I would have to say that no such clear-cut choice exists today. Most politicians appear to be very ready to take the easy way out. When asked what to do about a deficit, any high school student given basic accounting training, could (and probably would) quickly suggest raising taxes. This solution does not require any effort, intelligence, sacrifice or skill. We must ask ourselves if this is what we elected our politicians to do. In my opinion, it is not.
How often do we see a politician stand up for what their constituency really wants or needs? Both sides of the political aisle appear to be willing to jump onto the politically correct bandwagon regardless of the wants and needs of their constituency. The primary concern of the current crop of politicians appears to be more influenced by the squeaky wheel than by factual research into perceived needs.
It might be interesting to research what percentage of graduating college students major in political science today versus say 50 years ago. My guess would be that the percentage would be considerably higher today. I would also guess that the reason behind this movement toward majoring in political science has much more to do with the perceived payoff than it does the inherent patriotism of the individual. I believe that the payoff and the ease with which that payoff can be channeled, have caused a major shift from rock-solid political stances to stances that change with every politically correct wind that blows.
As a young boy, I was taught to examine the individual running for office — to examine his or her background, experience, history and political record. Then, consider the results of that examination in light of whatever the current situation in the state or country was and to make my choice of who to vote for based on who I truly believed could (and would) provide the best leadership toward the needed solution. I was also taught that voting the party line regardless was nothing more than shouting “Rah-Rah Team” with no intelligent basis for that cheer.
Isn’t it time we sent a message to would-be career politicians that we want to know what has happened to the politician who actually made an effort to truly represent his or her constituency, the state and the country and to find reasonable solutions to existing problems?
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