Partisanship: The real evil of our political system

102913republicratsAs a newspaperman I tend to ignore partisan posturing by politicians and elected officials who think their job is ruled by their devotion first to party and second — if at all — to constituents or their job.

But as an American and a voter, it bothers me to see our public officials put reason and rational thinking aside just so they can put party first and align themselves with candidates with questionable records and/or beliefs.

We see partisanship taking over more and more in this year’s Virginia governor’s race when elected officials allow or even actively seek photos of themselves standing with other candidates involved in scandals or serious ethical questions.

Republicans stand next to ethics-challenged Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli while Democrats cuddle up to be photographed with Terry McAuliffe, the former chairman of the Democratic Party and who has had more than a few questions raised about his ethics and business dealings.

When one considers the many problems that plague our governments at the local, state and national levels, the one constant that seems to be at the root of all is partisanship — a blind loyalty that puts party above service to the people or the country.

When an elected official or a wannabe to the job starts a conversation with something like “as a Republican” or “as a Democrat,” I tend to turn off and ignore anything that follows. It bothers me that they apparently place allegiance to a political stereotype above their standing as an individual or an American.

The years I spent working inside the political system in Washington taught me that no political party puts service to America ahead of its own agenda or allegiance to itself.

The political system exists to serve the moneyed special interests that control the agendas of both political parties.  Service to the people is secondary and too often discarded.

Our lives would be better served by public officials who remember that they are servants of the people and not to organizations that use elephants or donkeys as laughable symbols.

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