Thursday, January 15, 2015


Bashing Republicans seems to be the thing to do if you are an advocate for a disability group, aging group or a minority group.  It isn’t particularly smart politics at the moment since they are the majority in both houses in the US Congress and in a lot of state legislatures.  However, it would seem to me that someone at some point would decide that in order to get anything done the name calling will have to stop and reasonable discourse must be the rule of the day.  I guess that will happen only after it is too late to save anything for anybody.

I have spent the last decade living in Republican counties in Appalachia.  I am glad to report that I have not spotted the beast with horns and and a tail carry a pitch fork.  Before that I spent over a decade in a county in south Florida which was dominated by Democrats , the infamous Broward County, and I can truthfully report I did not see the Devil walking the streets there either.

My point is that to demonize either party is to miss the point that both parties are comprised of people with the same goals and dreams.  People disagree on the path to achieve what they see as best for them and their families and yes for the country as a whole.  Neither party has a lock on being the party of the people for the people by the people.

Money certainly plays a major role in our political process.  It is like a high stakes poker game.  You can’t even get in the game to play if you don’t have a big enough stake to plop down.  However, the hearts of the voters are the final deciders of elections.  People may think they vote with their minds, but they really vote with their hearts.  They vote based on their convictions and beliefs and also on who they feel good about or the best about or the least worst about.

If we as a persons with lived experience want to influence the policies our elected officials make, we need to stop calling them names and calling their motives into question and begin calling on them to make friends.  A friend is more likely to see you as a person and the more we are seen as persons the more favorable the laws concerning our lives will be.

© Ed Cooper, January 15, 2015
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