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Health of Our Country

I have a new New Year's resolution: I will no longer vote for democrats or republicans. Given a good choice I plan on casting my ballot for third party candidates. Why? You might reasonably ask. I don't enjoy throwing my vote away. Yet that it exactly the result with our current two-party system of intransigence and political maneuvering. It's all about control. Who has it? Whose going to get it back. Long gone is a spirit of compromise to get the job done. Any job. Ted Kennedy, despite his fiery rhetoric, worked across the aisle. That kind of perspective died with him as did his dream of health care reform. The victory of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts was a set-back not only for Obama's legislative goals, and much-needed health care reform, but is an indication of how dysfunctional we are as a nation.

Someone please tell me how affordable health care, one where the insurance companies don't run the show, is a bad thing. Do Republicans like the idea of an individual being denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition? Even with limits on abortion access and the dropping of a public option Republicans still wouldn't vote for it? It certainly wasn't a perfect bill, but governance isn't about perfection. It's about fixing problems and making life better for citizens. The Republicans aren't interested in health care reform just like the Democrats aren't interested in giving tax breaks to the wealthiest of Americans. They would rather prey on people's fears and cater to special interests.

Still, the Democrats are no saints, and are just as guilty of stubbornness and unreasonableness. Despite their speeches and promises every politician just wants to get reelected and so the endless cycle of campaigning, elections and money and 24-hour news analysis continues. The party out of power has become the equivalent of a spoiler, existing only to criticize and bide its time until it can return to prominence. My guy won. Your gal lost. Has it really become that childish? So that's why I'll be voting for a third-party candidate. Someone who isn't beholden to politics as usual. And most importantly, someone who the other two major parties will have to negotiate with to pass legislation. It's time we start demanding our politicians actually do something beyond simply getting reelected. Let's set some term limits. That way if they don't do anything while in office they won't have the luxury of doing nothing forever. Fresh blood and fresh thinking.