Smyth: Regular citizens need to take charge to fix politics


Richard Blackman of Bridgeville nails it with his commentary: When it comes to fixing America’s broken politics, the hard part will be making it happen (“Candidates need ‘specific, peaceful plan'").

It’s clear that today’s politicians aren’t going to provide the leadership that’s needed. They’re too busy demonizing the opposing party to actually get anything done. All they care about is perpetuating themselves in power.

There has always been some of that in politics, but it’s worse now than ever. Both major parties are guilty. That’s why so many citizens want nothing to do with either party. They have become politically homeless. Many are so disgusted that they avoid even talking about politics.

But political issues are too important to be left to the politicians. We, the people, are going to have to rise up. It will have to happen one citizen at a time. Mr. Blackman is doing his part by speaking out. Hopefully, he’ll be able to convince others to do the same.

What can ordinary citizens do? First, confront politicians who attack the opposition. Challenge them to instead engage in civil discussion of the issues, to try to understand opposing points of view, to be willing to learn from others and even to compromise, when necessary, to solve problems.

Second, consider joining those of us who no longer support either of the two major political parties. A quiet revolution is taking place, and there’s growing hope because America now finally has more independent voters than Democrats or Republicans.

Third, work to reform your state’s election laws to allow open, nonpartisan primaries. Party primaries have low turnouts, making it easy for small groups to control who gets nominated. By the time most reasonable voters start paying attention, they often feel forced to choose between “the lesser of two evils.”

Open, nonpartisan primaries could make a huge difference by forcing candidates to appeal to the center, not just to the extremes.

Joe Smyth

Scottsdale, Arizona

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