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Let’s get political

Democrat. Republican. Green. Working Families. Liberarian. Independent. Conservative. Liberal. Me, I’m pretty tired of these labels by the time Nov. 5 rolls around. But I’m more tired of the vitriol attached to them or rather, the hate directed to the people who embody them, from the “opposite” side.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard a Republican say she hates Democrats, or vice versa, I’d be able to quit my job and move to the tropics, just in time for the first Lake Effect snowstorm. Whatever happened to civil discourse?

According to a Gallup poll, as of Oct. 6, 2013, 38 percent of the country is Republican (including those who “lean” toward that party), 48 percent are Democrats and 47 percent are Independents. That’s a pretty even split, even if we don’t include the seven main “third parties” that operate on our ballots. And if we listen to the pundits on Fox News, CNN, NPR and others, at least half of those hate each other.

I’ll be the first to say that I chose not to affiliate myself with a political party, when I registered to vote. Not because I don’t hold strong opinions. My friends, family and I’m sure, many readers, will affirm that isn’t the case. I hold a strong stance on many issues, I exercise my right to vote in every election in which I’m eligible to do so and I think all Americans should do the same, regardless of affiliation. As my mom likes to say, when we head to the polls together to pull the lever for different candidates, “Your vote can cancel out mine.”

So why didn’t I toe the red or blue line? Because if there’s one thing that will make me turn off the radio or the TV or close my Internet tabs, it’s party infighting. I think the bipartisanship that seems to have taken over our national and many local races, especially in recent years, is directly contrary to the foundations on which this country was built. No, the Democrats aren’t perfect. Neither are the Republicans. Neither, I think we’ve all noticed, are most humans.

We need to stop blaming one party or another for our We need to stop blaming one party or another for our country’s problems. We need to stop voting for candidates simply because they have the right letter next to their name.

Most of all, we need to vote with our hearts and our minds, not our political affiliations and we need to acknowledges that we’re all people, regardless.

So, on Nov. 5, I’m going to head to the polls and try to do exactly that. I suggest all of you do, too. Whether or not our politics agree.


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