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Two recent developments caused me to pause and think seriously about whether membership in a political party today is a blessing or a curse for our city, state or country.

The first event to catch my eye, as it did everyone else’s, was the Senate’s vote on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Only one Republican Senator voted against confirmation and only one Democrat voted for confirmation. Do you mean to
tell me that only one Republican Senator out of 50 had serious enough reservations about the allegations made by Dr. Ford to determine that Judge Kavanaugh might not be the right person for the Justice job? And, only one Senator on the Democratic side felt that Judge Kavanaugh had the integrity and moral fiber to earn the promotion to a lifetime job. Only one in each case?

What that says to me is that U.S. Senators are voting more with their parties than with their minds. I would far rather have men and women elected to that position who can think independently and come to their own conclusions.

Further evidence that this is the way much of the country thinks came in my emails recently. It was a document from the party I chose when I registered to vote outlining the party’s position and recommended vote on each of the multitude of items on the ballot for the midterm elections held in early November. I am confident that the other major political party did the same to those who registered as its party members.

True, the ballot in question is a challenge, especially for those who do not keep up with political issues or with each person running for a particular office, be it local, state or national. What bothers me is that the disinterested segment of the voting population will undoubtedly print that document, lay it next to the ballot, and vote as instructed by the voter’s party, not using a single brain cell to make his or her own determination of who should be elected or how to vote on a particular issue.

By condoning this approach, we are floating aimlessly towards a sort of mob rule, where a few people intimidate a great number of people to do what the small group wants, which is usually something that will benefit them financially in the end.

To be sure, there are benefits to like-minded people banding together to accomplish a common goal. But has this approach gone too far and intimidated voters into leaving the thinking to the party leaders and not doing the research and decision-making that would
lead each of us to make an informed, rather than forced, decision?

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