Sunday, June 12, 2011

Democrats vs. Republicans

A couple of months ago, our town held city council elections. Candidates were required to campaign in primaries, declaring themselves to be either a Republican or a Democrat. I think this is ridiculous.

City councils deal with local issues: zoning, garbage collection, annoying neighbors, how to run a city on the tiny funds left after states and counties have taken all the monies they want. They do not deal with abortion, foreign policy, or whether or not to destroy the national currency and impoverish the citizenry by overprinting money. City councils do not raise armies and procure battleships to defend their borders.

By forcing a candidate to identify with national party platforms, they may alienate the voters with whom the candidate most closely agrees.

"I'm glad Mabel promised to lower taxes and prevent dogs from biting joggers, but she's a Democrat, so she believes in using taxpayer money to kill children."

"Henry will fix the roads and stop corruption, but he's a Republican so he might halt my adult magazine subscription. Better vote for the other guy."

Of course no one thinks about it that overtly, but the identification does create a little doubt. Unfortunately, this practice is actually quite common in the U.S. 

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