This election season has prompted me to reconsider the way we go about electing public officials. After several months of disillusionment with our current system, I've decided to start a movement (or at least attempt) to make a distinct paradigm shift in our political process. In essence, I believe that the only way to make a legislature of individuals who truly represent their constituents is to elect independent candidates free from the obligation to follow party lines. What follows is an open letter I've written entailing my motivations:
I fully support your right to disagree with politicians and encourage you to speak out against misrepresentation, dishonesty, and poor policy. But as the peoples of this country, it is our duty to band together in these times of strife and unify for the collective good of our citizens and humanity in general. Be educated about the issues. Be passionate about your opinions but attempt to think freely and be unbiased by those around you. As humans we have all been uniquely blessed with the ability to critically think for ourselves about individual issues. By defecting from your own thoughts to the hivemind of one party or another you disenfranchise your own intelligence and, in essence, admit that you are incapable of understanding these issues and will allow someone else to think for you.
Let's recognize when our thoughts and actions drift from disagreement to radicalism. Radicalism is a poison to our country and the freedoms of every American. When we elect radical officials, they attempt to win party support by leaning farther right or left. Eventually the parties we currently embrace will not represent anyone but the most extreme of either faction. We drive a wedge between ourselves and the ones around us who love us; family members from family members and neighbors from neighbors.
My plea is for each of us to become individuals again. With the passing of this election, we enter a time of reflection and introspection. How do you really feel about each issue? Ignore the partisan opinion, the media portrayal, the pundit pontifications. As a single individual, with your own thoughts determined by your own values and reasonings, how do you feel about each issue? When we stop accepting regurgitated sound bites and start reasoning apart from any party, we can accomplish amazing things.
Be independent. Trust yourself to analyze the issues. Stop following the well-worn path and make your own. I promise you'll like the journey.