From the 13 March 2011 Lockport Union Sun and Journal (Lockport, NY)


By Bob Confer

Obama can do no wrong. Just ask a Democrat. Chance are, millions of them from across the US sighed a collective "my hero" last week when it was announced that he was reversing his stance on Gitmo and going back to military tribunals for suspected terrorists. Iíll bet they also pumped their fists in triumph when he alluded to possible military intervention in Libyaís internal affairs.

Whoa, wait a minute! Arenít these the same folks who railed against the Bush Administration for forever holding and abusing detainees while not offering them the decency of a fair trial? Yes, and theyíre the same once dove-like individuals who harassed the Republicans for being hawkish about our wars in Iraq and AfghanistanÖthat same Afghan conflict they donít mind sending our troops to now that their Chosen One is at the helm.

The hypocrisy of the Left is stunning. It ranks right up there with that of the GOP, the party that touts itself as having the best interests of small government in mind yet thinks nothing of doling out corporate welfare, taking away our freedoms with the USA PATRIOT Act, redefining the Founding Fathersí version of national defense, subsidizing farms and oil companies, bailing out Wall Street, and developing Constitutional amendments to say who should or shouldnít be married.

I can find dark humor in all of this, but when I look at the big picture of things thereís nothing even remotely funny about it. Americans are being played by their respective parties for the gain of those in power. Most people may think one way (or they think they think one way) about social, economic and legal issues but are more than happy to cast aside that belief system, as ingrained as it may be in their psyche, to support the actions of the respective party. Just a few months ago, who would have imagined Democrats being so quick to call for a no-fly zone in Libya or the newly-empowered Republicans being so unwilling to even mention entitlement reform as the federal budget is developed?

The two parties are closer than we think, closer than weíll ever know. They are both for big government and, therefore, bad government. They just have their own versions of it. When you add up all their bright ideas and the programs and systems they develop to benefit their specific constituencies, youíll find that both parties are equally responsible for the financial mess the country and the states face in the short-term (out of control deficits) and long-term (unfunded obligations to the tune of trillions). Itís not a Left versus Right issue. Itís a Right versus Wrong issue. They all behave in a disappointing and completely unconstitutional manner, one that has harmed our nation, past, present and future.

Thatís why we need to get serious and abandon this concept of the two-party system. Itís getting really old. Stop supporting your party, both vocally and financially. Why would you want to throw your heart into something you donít actually believe in? Why would you donate your hard-earned dollars to a political mob complicit in the theft of the same through taxation?

Most of us are free thinkers, we just happen to pigeon-hole ourselves into assumedly-rigid political systems because thatís the way itís been done by our families, our peers, and ourselves from that very first day we registered to vote. Letís abandon that and think freely and be freely without the restraints that society imposes upon us.

Iíll join you. Long-time readers know that I had registered Libertarian some years ago. Iíve grown to despise even that title because it assumes that I cannot think independently about government and the issues that affect me. It also opens the door to my fellow Americans to make assumptions about me, just like each of you do when someone announces theyíre Republican or Democrat and you quickly - and subconsciously - paint them as friend or foe, intelligent or ignorant. I plan to drop the LP label because Iím my own special interest group, my own think tank, a free man -- just like you can be. My challenge to you is this: This spring, before the next election cycle comes around, contact the Board of Elections and identify yourself as an independent (just be careful not to fill out the Independence Party line). You probably are an independent philosophically, so letís make it "legal". Letís make it a way of life.