Politics! A word you hear quite often: in every segment of life, work, school, and in the home. In fact, education probably has more politics than any level of government, and how many times does a decision of where to eat on Saturday night or what movie to attend come down to a family vote or the patriarch or matriarch making the decision? That is politics.
People look at it as a dirty business (and it can be) but can life be played without it? Is there a utopian society where people can rule their own lives without chaos or anarchy? The answer is an emphatic no! However, does politics always have to be controversial? The answer is yes and no. If you agree with decisions that are consistent with yours there is no controversy, and if you don’t agree, enough said.
However, it cannot be all or nothing. Within a democracy such as in America, one has the right to disagree and, yes, people truly have the right to speak up. Deals are made, or to put it in a less derogatory way, compromises are made, in a give and take manner. At times it looks one-sided but generally, as with minority groups, it is what you can ultimately get for your party and the people it represents.
The word ‘corruption’ is used so loosely these days. Every deal or compromise cannot and should not be construed as corruption, although there are those who believe otherwise. Yes, there are those actions behind the scenes that make you cringe but these would not be considered corruption, unless one abused their political office and veered far from their responsibilities of what is within the best interests of the people they represent.
As a political leader, my responsibility is to attempt to assure quality representation for the Republican constituency in Clarkstown and Rockland County. In a democracy, it is critical that choices be given to the people. However, this is not always possible. Candidates must be willing to come forth and accept the responsibilities that come with that candidacy but that does not always happen. It takes much time, money and dedication to run for office, and even then there are questions on “what are my chances?”
There are those who are discouraged because we have a third party system, that was put in place giving voice to minority political groups; however, now these voices are most often the determining factors (controlling factors) in many elections, and yes, many deals are made as a result of jockeying for these third party lines.
New York is one of eight states that legally allows cross-endorsements or electoral fusion, and probably has the highest profile of all of them. Other states abandoned it when in 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court decided by a vote of 6:3 in Timmons v Twin Cities New Party that fusion is not a constitutionally protected right.
It is discouraging at times when we have quality candidates, who have excellent credentials and would make terrific public servants, but cannot get any of these third party lines that would give them a fighting chance against an already overwhelming majority. Many potential candidates see the writing on the wall and decide not to run at all.
Until the system is changed, the voters need to recognize the candidates who are running for office; the people who will be making decisions for them in the five towns and Rockland County as a whole; the people who represent your money and your best interests. We must become educated voters, not because we have been Democrats or Republicans all our lives. Our county is burdened by major debt, taxes are skyrocketing, and our bedroom community is congested and restless.
If you are not happy with the system – CHANGE IT! If you are disgruntled, don’t just talk or blog like so many whose sole purpose is to complain and be divisive – COME OUT and HELP!!
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