You can’t look at me and see which half of my face is white and which is black. A person from another world would see us as completely the same. Just by looking at each other we can’t tell who is Republican or Democrat. If we could tell the difference at a glance, we could avoid interaction, or know when to keep our inflammatory comments to ourselves. Our communication with others could be pleasant and peaceful.
At the beginning of the American Experiment there were no political parties. The person who got the most votes won the election and became president. The runner up became Vice-President. Our new country quickly learned having a president and a vice-president with opposing views made things difficult. Candidates began selecting a running mate with similar views. The two party system was born.
Today the two major parties have become polarized into very different camps. Republicans claim to be fiscally and socially conservative. Democrats claim to be inclusive and socially liberal.
It is not obvious who is on which team, but I hear people talking about it. At the YMCA, the local hospital, area restaurants, people talk politics and who is in which party.
We live in the same neighborhoods, maintain our property, raise our children and send them to the same schools. We stand on main street with our flags for the Fourth of July parade, and the annual Christmas parade to welcome Santa to town. We shop in the same places, work in similar jobs, pay our taxes, and deal with the same issues of health and happiness. We belong to the same clubs, organizations, and churches.
The representatives we choose should represent all of us. The party label should be used as a guide of a similar political approach, but not as a guarantee that a party candidate thinks like you. Look past the party rhetoric at the entire person, their record and service.
Our political views may be different, but our ballot is secret. Say whatever you need to get along in the world. Vote for the best person. If that isn’t the party candidate, no one will know.