Thoughts from behind the press line

More on politics ... 'tis the season

Don't you just love this time of year? The air is crisp, the mountains are full of color and the political machines are grinding away unearthing their opponent's dirty laundry. Everywhere I turn it seems someone is telling me why I should not vote for the "other candidate." Not why I vote for them, but why the other person is just about the lowest person on earth and not fit to hold office. This partisan wrangling appears to be coming to a full boil as the Tea Party Movement here locally and nationally pushes an even more angry message.

It struck me the other day in an e-mail from UNYTEA chairman Mark Barie they are now boasting more than 1,000 members. With more than 650,000 residents in the 23rd Congressional District, the excitement generated by UNYTEA is representative of what happens all over this country. I think the vast majority of Americans can agree on 80 percent of the issues facing our nation. Unfortunately, we are torn apart fighting over the remaining 20 percent of the issues. The very vocal minority grab hold of the few issues that get our blood boiling and whip us into a frenzy. Then, once the election is over, we are forced to sit passively by while little gets done and wait for the next election cycle to do it all over again.

The last election was all about change. Things got changed and we still aren't any happier. Instead of celebrating our common interests we expend a ton of money and energy fighting over issues that we expect our political representatives to resolve on our behalf. And, if we aren't sending them there to solve these problems through diplomacy and compromise, then their only purpose for going is to add fuel to the differences already dividing us, get great benefits, and a life-time pension. There has to be a better way. The anger Americans are feeling from both sides of the issues need to be channeled into solutions, not more bitterness.

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