There are so many people who love to comment about politics who really have no idea of what politics are or how politics work. Far too many people confuse government and politics. Way too many people think that elected officials should be independent, as in not having a political party affiliation. These folks pride themselves on being independent voters. What a true disservice those folks do to the governmental electoral process while all the while believing they are doing a public service!
Politics is all about power; the accumulation of power and the exercise of power. Politics exist in every organization or group of people in which the number of members exceed one. It is not confined to government, let alone the election of governmental representatives. Politics are found and played in churches, charitable and civic organizations, places of employment, school parents clubs, little league sports as well as all amateur and professional sports, scouting, --- well, everything in non solo human endeavors.
In this Roland Hansen Commentary, I am focusing on politics and the process of electing and/or appointing people to positions in the service of government.
In order to accumulate and exercise power, it is necessary to have the support of others who will assist throughout the entire process of gathering, exercising, and maintaining power. That is where political parties come into play of the governmental electoral arena. Persons who identify with a political party do not necessarily give up their individual identities, ideas, or thought processes.
A political party is a coalition of a diverse group of people who may indeed have many differences but who have identified some common concerns, common ideas, and common goals they wish to see in the formulation and application of public policy. In order to accomplish those ends, a political party, as an entity unto itself, will find a common middle ground upon which its diverse members will rally. In doing so, the political party will establish a political platform consisting of many planks.
People who slam political parties and partisan politicians as playing politics are, in fact, in the process of playing politics themselves. Those independents who cry for independents to be elected to public office to the exclusion of those who identify with a political party would condemn us all to a world of chaos. Other than slamming political parties and slamming politics and slamming government itself, these "independents" have no common grounds upon which they think, believe or act. While these so-called independents may cry for less government, less taxes, less governmental regulations on private business enterprises, decry our public education system, despise universal health care coverage, bemoan "corrupt" politicians, condemn a mayor or city council or state legislature or Congress or other government elected or appointed office or body, and all the other negations they so espouse, they generally have no real proposals containing specific methods and means by which public policies may address the concerns of the community in a productive, positive, results-oriented manner.
Without a common platform with specific planks such as found in a political party, it is not possible to have a government that could function and be free of chaos. Thus, independents and politics equate in my mind as an oxymoron.
Meanwhile, here in Toledo, Ohio, there are a couple of factions that seem to be more about taking down the other guy rather than putting forth positive concrete ideas and suggestions on how to improve our community. I don't think I will mention Take Back Toledo or Teamwork Toledo. oops.