If you are my age, you were probably a fan of the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. In those days, it seemed to be a competition. I remember big arguments with people saying the Stones died when Brian Jones died, or that the Beatles were just a bunch of pretty faces with a pop sound. History shows that both bands were hugely successful and had talent to spare. Oh, if all of our problems were that simple today. History has not erased the abortion argument, and it hasn’t helped with gun control. In fact, if abortion became illegal and guns were restricted in any manner, the debates would just get worse and the divisions larger.
The two major parties are the same way. Both act irrationally on their pet issues. Look at the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. That was pushed through in the first two years under Barack Obama. The Democrats knew it was flawed, but they figured that there would be time to review areas and tweak them. They didn’t count on the Republicans totally rejecting the entire plan and demanding repeal at all costs.
The Republicans recently did the same thing with the tax reform. They needed a win after not repealing Obamacare, and not getting a replacement through for DACA. They knew that their plan was flawed, but the Democrats weren’t cooperating, so the Republicans had to shove it through.
Party idealism and politics have replaced common sense and bipartisanship; not to mention civility. I personally did not believe that either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton were very good candidates. The Democratic Party needs younger blood. The millennials need someone that they can relate to. I sort of thought that Rubio might be the Republican’s answer, but the Republican party is in a civil war, and both their moderate wing and their right wing are suffering; thus no real consensus on passing anything.
In Missouri, the Republicans have a stranglehold on statewide politics. So much so that they do not even want a reasonable investigation into the claims against Governor Greitens. I am sure that this will become a major campaign issue as time passes, and I intend to try and find out the opinions of all of the Republican candidates in the area. They were so quick to pillory Bill Clinton and Al Franken, but hardly a peep was sounded about Roy Moore or Eric Greitens from their side.
That’s divisive politics, and something that should be avoided. I do not claim to have all of the answers. At this point, I do not even know all of the issues, but we should always be willing to listen to both sides of an argument, and then be able to state our case on that topic. All politicians owe their constituents at least that much. Another area where politicians fall short at times is when they claim that they have the answers to all of the issues within their state; that their constituents gave them the power to make decisions for them. I do not agree with that. Now, there are some issues out there where you will find five different opinions when there are five people present. As a politician, you must search for the common ground, and then build from there. Try not to go into a discussion on a bill or law with only your party’s recommendation or mandate to guide you. Things that are great for urban areas may not be so great for the rural. I would have to break with my party if there was a bill that hurt my region.
If a Democratic leader of my party were accused of something, I would be fine with an investigation going forward quickly and seeing where we all stand after that. False claims and vindictiveness should not be allowed, but legitimate concerns should have a decent follow through.
I am not running for this position because my opponent is a bad guy. By all accounts, he is a good man. I am not running against him because he is a bad politician. After all, he has won three straight elections. I am running for the position because I think I will do a better job in Jefferson City. I believe that the politics are stagnant there, and that only one side of an issue is ever discussed. We need a more balanced legislature, and if the shoe were on the other foot, Republicans would be saying the identical thing.
I continue to be amazed at the hatred and false claims being spread by both parties. I personally do not see a viable candidate for president on the Democratic side. Bernie Sanders, Senator Warren and Vice President Biden know how to play the game, but none would win the general election. The Democrats need to move on from the established people, including Pelosi, if they want to attract young voters. By 2020, there will be a huge growth in voters in their early 20s. They are not going away.
Republicans need to stop having bitter primaries where the moderates and right wingers kill each other’s chances for a win in the general election.
I want to work with people and listen to people. I want to be a student of history and learn from past mistakes. I want to be accessible to my constituents, and I hope I have enough common sense to listen to both sides. I will be campaigning for myself, and I will try to minimize berating my opponent. I will, however, try to understand his stance on a few issues at the appropriate time; such as his opinion on gun control and Eric Greitens. We can save all of that for any debates down the road.
That’s about it for this article. I will try to get into more local issues in the future, but I thought it might be helpful for people to see my motivations in running for this position.
By the way, the Beatles were better!