Recently, I’ve been talking with a lot of my friends and colleagues about the state of modern politics in America, and how the official and time-tested political parties of “right” and “left” are, for the most part, so polarized that it hardly seems that they really cater to the needs or concerns of their constituencies at all anymore. Instead, they seem to have become the strained and bulging carriers of an excessive amount of special interests, in addition to brandishing views and values that are more often in the ideological extreme, so as to cater, apparently, to large swaths of would-be voters, rather than standing on principle and logic.
I had been discussing political issues this morning with one of the listeners of my weekly podcast how, a sweet gal (and former Government employee) named Betty June. While she is far-left, she supports Second Amendment rights, and she agrees with me on virtually all the different scores of topics we addressed. These days, I call myself primarily a centrist, espousing obvious conservatism when it comes to economic issues, while by the same token, remaining vigilant over human rights issues that some would call politically “left.” I call them common sense, and to date, I’ve found no issue in American politics–either on a state or national level–that has ever caused me to want to change my party affiliation… then again, I’m registered in the State of North Carolina as an Independent. It has proven to be a decision I’ve never come to regret.
During my conversation with Betty June, a friend and political mentor came to mind suddenly in relation to the state of party politics in America today. Dr. Carl Mumpower, a former member of city council in Asheville, NC, is someone whom I’ve always managed to learn from in our conversations and interactions, and though we may not agree on every minor detail at all times, I have always admired his resolute and reasonable disposition. He is a man who, if anything, grounds himself intellectually, and enough so that his interpretation of political happenings also remains unshaken.
I also recall Carl telling me a few years ago, in response to my observation that he often seems to espouse more Libertarian viewpoints, that he is “a Republican to the core,” and that his feeling is not that his actions remove him from his party, but instead that other Republicans, especially in Washington, are not carrying what he would all true conservative values. Again, this is an attitude I admire; however, in my own personal view, while conservatism (especially in the fiscal sense) is something that resounds with my philosophy, I am not one who would be comfortable, in any sense calling myself a “Republican.” Much the same, you won’t find me putting a “D” by name name on any voter registration cards either… call it Libertarianism if you like, but I think that the true conservative must also take human rights into serious consideration, and whether the situation calls for fair treatment of individuals based on race or color, sexual preference, or anything else. We are all human, and unless revoked by their own choice through illegal or wicked action, a person should always be afforded the sovereign right to treatment as an equal.
It is funny, in retrospect, that Dr. Mumpower had come to mind during my exchange with Betty June, since by the time I got around to opening my emails, I found a press release from Carl, which included a very provocative statement in the title: “Mumpower threatens to leave Republican Party over water.” What, I wondered as I continued to read, could have caused such a sudden (and bold) change in his attitude? Read more