America's political system has become an ideological battleground between parties functioning exclusively to the primacy of their self-interests, treating Americans as Political Pawns in their 'Great Game.' REDMAP is a disheartening example of how invasive political parties have become in their manipulative practices. Certainly a creative and cunny strategy, taking control of state houses in order to influence post-census redistricting by running negative and inaccurate political ads in local campaigns---even though the Republican State Leadership Committee (RLSC) staff had no personal connection to the community being targeted. The following quote is posted on their website, "We fight for a fair Process." There is nothing about this strategy and or gerrymandering that is in any way fair or in the best interests of our Great Nation. Manipulating the political environment through negativity only sows discord and divisiveness.

The political schism between Republicans and Democrats has become a toxic elixir eroding America's Strength while increasing the opportunity for foreign entities to exploit our vulnerabilities. Moreover, the parties are becoming increasingly divided on fundamental political views (Pew, 2017) making any sort of consensus or compromise nearly impossible. This sort of extreme divisiveness has been playing out on the world stage for the past 1400 years, a political schism that continues to divide the Muslim faith and a poignant reminder of how destructive partisanship can become to a society. In the zero-sum game that is indicative of the stagnant swamp in Congress, solutions are predominantly unilateral, exploiting simple majorities to advance party-specific agendas that rarely represent the overall best interests of the American public. Our political system has become a grudge match between Republicans and Democrats undermining and sabotaging each other at every opportunity. As long as 'We the People' and more importantly Independents, continue down a path of dispatched civic duty, more organizations like the RSLC will manifest and continue to erode away American's greatest strength---Democracy through Diversity. I highly encourage folks to take 20 minutes out their busy schedules and listen to the podcast:

Planet Money/Episode 845: REDMAP.

Why do we accept this? Why do we not choose to make a better reality?

If all that wasn’t disconcerting enough, our feckless Congress continues to abdicate its constitutional responsibilities to the executive branch, as witnessed with the recent Aluminum and Steele tariffs imposed by the POTUS and his administration. Article I, Section 8. Clause 3 clearly states it is the legislative branch's responsibility "[t]o regulate commerce with foreign nations," and yet, Congress has "delegated" its authority through a series of legislative acts concentrating unintended constitutional powers within the executive branch. We have lost our way as a Democracy and have inconveniently become a nation governed by an oligarchy of political elitists.

Holding congress accountable---to do the job they are being paid to do---should be the dominant theme for the mid-term elections. With voter confidence at record lows, 71% polled having little to no confidence in Congress' ability to govern (Marist, 2018), there has never been a better time to disrupt the current dysfunctional gridlock by electing Independent candidates. We need a new breed of politicians that are not polarized on issues, rather they take an objective view serving as arbitrators for consensus building and compromise. Unite America is taking on this charge nationally and has crafted a Declaration of Independents for citizens aspiring to reimage Congress:

As growing partisanship threatens to deepen the divides in our country, we join together as political independents to declare five common principles that we believe can unite a new movement to repair our politics and restore the American dream for future generations.

First, we put the public interest ahead of any partisan or special interest. Government should represent “We, the people” — not the party leaders or those who can buy access to power. As independents, we believe good governance is about rising above petty partisanship and putting the people first.

Second, we use common sense and find common ground to solve problems. We reject today’s zero sum politics and desire to work together with Democrats and Republicans in an inclusive and civil manner to get things done. As independents, we think for ourselves, understand different perspectives, follow the facts, identify root causes, offer new ideas, and make logical decisions.

Third, we stand for the timeless values of opportunity, equality, and stewardship. We want to empower every American to realize their full potential, uphold equal rights for all under the law, and ultimately leave a stronger country for the next generation. As independents, we believe in both fiscal and environmental responsibility.

Fourth, we champion competition, transparency, and accountability in politics. We seek to rebuild Americans’ trust in government by holding ourselves to the highest standards of honor and honesty and by fixing the broken incentives that contribute to political dysfunction. As independents, we support reforms to ensure our political process truly represents the people—including the way we draw district lines, fund campaigns, and run elections.

Fifth, we believe in the shared responsibility of civic engagement. As Americans, we understand it is our civic duty to be informed and engaged on important issues. As independents, we encourage increased citizen participation in our political process and in service to our country

It is time to chart a new path forward, reclaiming our Government and restoring faith and confidence in its ability to govern by electing new leaders whose approach is measured, intelligent, and pragmatic.


robert sayre