Ditch the labels, politicians

Jake Tapley

Politics have become much too cliquey for me. I can proudly say I do not affiliate myself with any one party.

There were never any bad intentions when parties were introduced – political figures just wanted to be able to separate candidates by their differentiating ideas. However, George Washington warned against political parties when he said they are “likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people.”

In modern times, political parties have become somewhat of a trademark label attached to each candidate now.


I do not care for the idea that each Republican represents all Republicans or that each Democrat represents all Democrats, and so on and so forth. I find the notion to be absurd.

These candidates are much bigger than their labels, and although we would like to think that we try to recognize that, we also tend to lump people into groups.

On Tuesday night, Indiana Sen. Richard Mourdock was credited (or, more appropriately, discredited) with implying that God might intend for rape victims to get pregnant. This statement caused quite the uproar amongst Democrats.

I’m sure everyone that has been made aware of this event has at least mentally alluded to the not-so-long-ago mishap involving Colorado District Attorney Ken Buck, where Buck infamously said that he had been told by doctors that female rape victims possess a bodily function that can prevent pregnancy.

People may also tend to lump Mourdock’s ineloquent choice of words with Gov. Mitt Romney’s big slip-up, the “47 percent” comment.

Even though it just so happens that all three of these men are affiliated with the Republican Party, which, at best, is indicative of a trend, one should not necessarily arrive at the idea that all Republicans share these ideas.

What I propose, since stripping politics of its party affiliation system is basically out of the question, is that we look at the man (or woman) behind the label.

Instead of playing the match-up game where we find the name with the “R,” “D” or even “I” beside it and cast our vote, how about we take the time to examine the candidates under the premises of what they, as individuals, stand for and what they, as individuals, envision for the future of our country?

If you are going to make the conscious decision to go vote on November 6, do yourself a favor and be sure that you actually have a legitimate reason behind selecting a candidate. Voting “straight ballot” is only a defendable position if you’ve done the research to defend your decisions.