Guns, Immigration and a Divided America

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“I’m for stricter gun laws, but the reason I favor the Republicans over the Democrats and the liberals on gun laws is because they have always been against the Second Amendment and the right to own guns,” said Jim Hensley, 69, a Republican from Grandville, Mich., in an interview after the poll was conducted, and reported by the New York Times.

“Yes, I believe the Republicans should have voted for background checks, and they should not legalize automatic weapons,” Mr. Hensley added. “I was against the repeal of the ban on automatic weapons, and I don’t support the N.R.A. But it’s like marriage. You stick with your wife no matter what, and you don’t just ditch your political party on one issue.”

I picked these comments by Mr. Hensley, not to criticize his views, but to make an obvious point.  We are a country divided by political parties, not by our core beliefs.

Supporting a political party, right or wrong, is not an intelligent way of accomplishing the lofty goals of a nation.  Whether Mr. Hensley is right or wrong in each statement, doesn’t matter.  He should vote his beliefs, and not for a candidate, or party who doesn’t represent him.

I don’t believe that anyone should belong to either party.  Neither has a clear plan to help better the lives of all Americans.  I regret the twelve years I belonged to one, although I never voted along party lines.  I will never belong to one again.

But both Democrats and Republicans encourage the separation, it makes it easier for them to be re-elected and continue their ‘cushy’ jobs.  Many Republicans took an oath to a lobbyist, Grover Norquist.  I would like to see all legislators take an oath swearing that they would not take money from, not even speak to these criminals unfairly labeled as “lobbyists”, a word that in no way defines what they really are, and who they really represent.

Not that you’d know it by the way our congress acts, but issues are very seldom black or white.  The gray areas are where compromises occur, and where the eventual answers are found.  Our government can’t find the gray areas.

Immigration has the same issues.  83% of all Americans polled believe in comprehensive immigration which would allow a “path to citizenship”.  But when asked who they would support, once again the divide is along party lines.

To understand how ridiculous disagreements become on the floor of the Capital, bite the bullet and watch C-SPAN during one of the debates, and try not to fall asleep. ( A second grade reading class shows more intelligence.) The extreme ideas from both sides of the aisle will confirm that there may be no middle on any major issue.

Whether it is something as simple as vocal support, or placing your ballot in the box on election day, supporting one party against another, knowing that some choices are bad, and the only reason you voted for them is because they had an “R”, or a “D” next to their names, shows a lack of both common sense and patriotism.  Are you loyal to a party, or to the United States?  (Closely look at that word “United”.)

A recent poll showed that 48% of Americans believed government functioned best when one party controlled both branches of the federal government.  43% felt they fared better when the power was divided.

If this poll is closely scrutinized, it makes no sense, but it does prove my point.

When government is controlled by a single party, it becomes a dictatorship.  Horrible decisions result in despicable acts, and the will of the people is not even a minor consideration.

Case in point:  There will always exist the legitimate question if George W. Bush actually won the 2000 Presidency.  Recent statements by former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor have solidified that belief.  His party, the Republicans, controlled the House and Senate as well.  Not once in his first four years of office did a single Republican vote against Bush’s demands.  In turn, our country become the most divided since the Civil War, and began a decline in the lifestyles of the working class.

When the same lack of balance occurred in 2004, we saw banks almost fail, (and they never thanked the American taxpayer for saving their worthless jobs), the housing market ceased to exist, and the stock market crashed.

With the increased selective obstructionism by the Republican Party in 2013, our country may be in even more jeopardy when divided by political party.  The Parties cannot agree on a single issue, they don’t even talk to each other.

As long as we have an unintended two party system in the United States, and Americans follow one party or the other like sheep, we are on a path to destruction by way of some type of revolution.  Abraham Lincoln said that ‘no outside force could ever destroy this country, its destruction would come from within’.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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