Lots of Hot Air Blowing In Tampa

Tampa is going to be one windy city this week. Hurricane Isaac isn’t going to be the only one blowing a lot of hot air this week. This is the week of the Republican National Convention. It’s the week that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan “officially” accept their nominations to represent the Republican Party for the offices of President and Vice President. Woo-Hoo!! It’s the week that every “Big Stick” in the Republican Party is thrust center stage to whip the GOP into a feeding frenzy. Eloquent speeches, righteous indignation and a strange sense of optimism thought to be lost long ago are going to be the main course. It would be AWESOME…if it just wasn’t a “Republican” convention.

I admit, this is the first time since turning voting age, that I actually couldn’t wait to pull the lever. I don’t ever remember being this excited about a candidate, PERIOD, much less a Republican candidate. Ya see, regardless of what my progressive acquaintances say, I am not, nor have I ever been a member of the Republican Party. I am now and have always been a Libertarian. And even then, I refuse to tow their party line.

I believe, as George Washington did, that the “two-party” system is one of the biggest detriments to our system of government. Thanks to this “two-party” system we have now, our nation is now seriously divided against itself. Seems to me, we learned a lesson about that back in the late 1800’s. Then, like now, there were serious issues at stake that the country was quite literally of two minds. Two minds, two choices, no compromise on either side of the aisle. Those issues so divided the nation that men were willing to spill even the blood of their own family members to further their ideals.

Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that America’s first Civil War was strictly about the issue of slavery. Then, like now, there were issues about taxation, property ownership, and unfair intrusion by the government into the free market. Slavery might have been at the top of the list, but it was by no means the only issue men were willing to kill and die over.

My point here, is not that I think our nation is poised on the brink of civil war. Nor, that this election will decide that in any way. It’s more of a warning NOT to get caught up in the “either/or” of politics. Often, our choices are not really narrowed down to just two. That’s what the mainstream press would have us believe. They’d have us believe that either the GOP or the Democrats have the solution to our nation’s problems. Any other group is just out there on the fringe or they’re ideas are “too extreme” to be given any credence.

I think if you poll the entire nation, you’d see that the average American is much too complex to stick in one slot or the other. Most Americans’ viewpoints are scattered all over the political spectrum. Identifying with the GOP on some issues and the Dems on others. They (The mainstream media) refer to those folks as “moderates” as if these people are really only lighter shades of the two parties. I like to think we’re all a little deeper than that.

So, while I will happily march into the voting booth to cast my vote for a Republican for President, the GOP doesn’t hold a monopoly on my ballot. Not now, not ever.

But, for the record, I think the GOP has finally managed to put together a ticket that could very well get this nation back on level footing. And hopefully, this convention will mark the beginning of a new Republican Party that will put the people of this country before their own partisan politics.