I fell into conversation today with one of the butterfly and rainbow crowd.  You know the sort.  Strumming on their guitars, waving their protest signs, and ignoring every pragmatic answer that comes down the pike.  (All fine and well when you are eighteen, but the dude was older than I am….at some point you grow up.)   After leaving him stunned by my assertion that the Democrats were out of touch with the people and only wanted a feel good message more suited for a youth camp than a nation, he was amazed I considered myself a Democrat, and actually more amazed that I gave two wits for life issues and could call myself one.

Then of course I had to explain that many Democrats still had causes in spite of their naiveté.   I said too many Republicans had kept the good message of liberty, but ignored the common good on which this country was founded.  I tore into their ignorance of citizenship and reminded him that none of the liberty loving founding fathers ever meant for us to ignore one another, which seems to be all the rage among the right. (For some reason, Medicare is an entitlement, but a tax break for the wealthy isn’t.)  Close to the end of my cool rant was the assertion there is an increasing rarity of pro-life Democrats and intellectual Republicans.  Both still exist, but they get drowned out by the extremists that exist in increasing numbers in both parties.  In fact extremism rather than good policy seems par for the course.

All of this in an election year!

Of course we have the unelectable Greens and Libertarians.  Their vision works on a more consistent level if you really think a tree in Oregon is more important than a logger’s job or the Constitution should be thrown out for Atlas Shrugged.

I really don’t know what the nation is coming to.  You can argue for gun control and against capital punishment, but you can’t stand up for those who have no voice whatsoever or you can argue for liberty and altogether ignore social obligation.  Why is it not obvious that there is something wrong with both of those places?

And this in the nation which is the world’s greatest hope….the nation that stands unique among all peoples and places as a beacon to the world.  Do the political parties not get it….If we fail in our obligation and in our great call to a democracy that honors all people, then the world is in a precarious place.  I mean what would be its hope?

The truth is that these extremes are disappointing and not fitting of a proud people.  I mean on our great trek westwards did we not expect everyone to pull their weight and contribute, yet when a wheel broke on the wagon or a family did not have enough to eat, did we not come to one another’s aid?  Where is that ethos?  We are not a weak people and neither are we callous.  Why does one party seek to honor ineptitude and the other the lack of care?