People, Not Parties

Originally posted at on September 24, 2011

No Labels – partisan – bipartisan – nonpartisan – Democrat – Republican

We don’t always vote for people. We tend to vote for parties.

When you grow up Republican, you adhere to the party’s principles. You know what your party stands for, and you vote Republican. You don’t even need to find out what the candidate really stands for, and you couldn’t even find out if you wanted because he keeps his promises to himself.

Most importantly, you vote Republican because you don’t want the Democrat to win.

As soon as you declare yourself a Democrat, you make a huge segment of the population despise you.

I participated in No Labels “town hall” meeting yesterday: a huge conference call between 200 Americans all over the country and two moderators who volunteer for No Labels. is a non-profit organization getting a lot of press lately, mostly because Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, wants bipartisan cooperation in Washington. No Labels’ organizers want us to all get along, and mostly to set up a policy to handle the debt crisis that will actually work.

I agree with their goals; it is as admirable as my idealistic goal of building consensus among the centrist population of America. If they can withhold enough cash to keep the politicians in line, we might get the Republicans to work with the Democrats and vice versa.

It reminds me of a parent withholding a child’s allowance to get them to clean up their room.

Congress is not a bunch of children, though they may act like it sometimes. Maybe what we need to do isn’t to withhold cash from them. Maybe we need, really, to fire them. When a company is full of mutinous pirates, holding hostages, sometimes it is best to clean house and start fresh. We couldn’t do that with our kids because they belong to us, but the Congress has been “hired” by us, and we don’t have to stand for poor performance.

Yes, if we want change immediately, maybe we need to send a strong message. Time will tell whether it is enough.


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