Random Black and White
|From Black and White film|
I was playing with some film. Did the developing in my kitchen, scanned the results. I kinda like them.
|From Black and White film|
It's not my usual style to rant about something political in a fairly public place, but there's something that's been bothering me for a long time and I'm feeling the need to explore it in writing. An essay in the true sense of the word.
The root of my rant comes from statements like "the Democratic Party doesn't have a clear position" and questions from people who seem to think that this is a failing for the party. I'm not sure that I can agree with that. I think there's room for disagreement within a party, even if everybody is holding to the same core values.
On the pages of the DNC, they offer this statement summarizing the values of the party:
The late Ron Brown — former Chairman of the Democratic Party — put it best when he wrote, "The common thread of Democratic history, from Thomas Jefferson to Bill Clinton, has been an abiding faith in the judgment of hardworking American families, and a commitment to helping the excluded, the disenfranchised and the poor strengthen our nation by earning themselves a piece of the American Dream. We remember that this great land was sculpted by immigrants and slaves, their children and grandchildren."
That means something very different to me than others I have spoken with. I think the goal of social programs is to help give people a chance, but not to support them if they squander that chance. I think we need drastic reform in the areas of social security and welfare to turn them away from something that people rely on and into something that catches people and gets them on their feet when they fall. I'm willing to let those who fail to try fall and land hard, but that's me. Others think we should prop everybody up whether they try to help themselves or not.
Now... I don't mean that we should let people who want to stand on their own fail. Sometimes people don't have the tools or skills necessary to last without help. Social programs need to be designed to identify those needs and provide for them. I think money is a very small part of what people need, assuming food and shelter is provided.
Back from the tangent ...
I really think that politicians should remember that their job is to represent the people in their district. People give their votes for a variety of different reasons. Some vote based only on moral beliefs, some vote based on key issues, some just vote for the party that they've always voted for, however the greater good of their district should trump all party line policies.
Terms last for multiple years. Many things can change very quickly.
Suppose that a major employer in a region closes. People who were employed there are suddenly jobless. With a higher unemployment rate, other businesses in the region suffer due to lack of overall cash flow. People who were once well enough off to not be interested in welfare or other social programs suddenly find themselves in line at the un-employment office.
If these people had voted for a politician based on their state at the time of election, they're stuck with that representation until the next election. That person needs to be someone who can be trusted to do what's right, not someone who can be trusted to vote on party lines.
I guess what I'm really trying to get at is that party politics rarely get to the nuances of the needs of people in various regions. I doubt most people agree fully with either party's platform, so they pick the issues that are most important to them at the time of the election and vote that way. I want a politician who can place a vote based on the actual needs of their constituants rather than being tied to what their party or their campaign platform said. "Waffling" as some like to put it can be a very good thing. It can show that the person exists in a changing world and votes based on reality rather than only based on the world they've created in their head.
I think I'm done for now... I'm not sure where these thoughts are going yet, but when they get there I may write more.