For clarification's sake let me say that I am and long have been registered as an independent. When I was younger I thought myself pragmatic. That's when I believed both parties wanted what was best for the country but had differing ways of reaching those goals.
No more. Politics has become too much of a haven for those wanting to feed at the public trough for life. That's why so many special interests have the grip that they do.
Since I've been here in Idaho I've watched politics on both the local and statewide level with a sense of foreboding. Even at these levels we are not choosing the best; mainly because the really good people don't run. That by the way is a generality. We have some superb candidates from time to time. But only time to time. Today I'm going to address the Republicans who are running a bit amok.
The process runs into trouble when local level workers hijack the party for their own interests. They have their own agenda. This would appear to be the case here. The Republican leaders are due to have a conference to discuss the party platform before the next session of the Legislature kicks off.
Understand that local committeemen and women are in place to help Republicans win elections, not dictate what they should and should not believe. So why is it they want said candidates to be required to support the party platform in it's entirety or be pinpointed as "unfaithful" to the GOP. Isn't that something the voters should decide? What candidate worth his or her salt agrees with everything in a party platform? If they do they might as well be robots. That may be preferable but then I'd be afraid of whoever was programming them. It all comes back to the people in charge and how they got there. I want to hear debate. Not boilerplate.
While the platform contains the usual Republican diet of fiscal responsibility and lower taxes it then veers sharply to the right by urging the purchase of gold and silver, eliminating the election of Senators and going back to the appointment of same, and the ability to nullify any federal law deemed to "violate state sovereignty". It seems to me what people should invest in is their business, not something that should be dictated (urged) by a political party? And who would appoint those Senators? The legislature. No thanks.
So much for the "big tent". Shouldn't candidates have a right to disagree with components of a platform and defend their reasoning without fear of being politically blackmailed? Most party platforms usually are but guidelines anyway and are rarely, if ever, strictly adhered to. Who does all this "deeming" and scheming anyway?
The claim is the loyalty oath requirement was dumped shortly after it was installed but I'm thinking they just blurred the edges a bit. The very idea of loyalty oaths, or whatever name they're assigned,b makes my skin crawl.
It's time to wrap it up for now and the year. We go into a new year with an uncertain future at best. Neither party is showing it's strength at this point and 2018 is going to be another year of political transition. It will be interesting to see what the voting public chooses.