Monday, September 15, 2008

A Statement of Independence

As you've might have noticed, I'm somewhat conservative. Does that mean I'm a Republican? No. Actually, I consider myself an Independent.
I've known politicians my entire life. I stuck a cookie in the mouth of Gov. Dolph Briscoe as a boy and visited Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock in Austin because I thought he was brilliant. Both were friends of my grandfather, the late Morris Higley, a newspaper publisher from Childress.
Sen. Phil Gramm helped me get a dorm at Texas A&M and Rep. Mac Thornberry was a pallbearer at my grandfather's funeral.
The first two I mentioned were Democrats, the second two Republicans. I consider them not only skilled politicians, but good men. They served or are serving us well.
I have always admired Gov. Ann Richards and consider James Carville brilliant.
I've always thought Oklahoma Rep. J.C. Watts should have stayed in office and I appreciate the humor of Dennis Miller.
Richards and Carville are Dems while Watts and Miller are not.
Michael Moore may be one of the biggest jackasses in world history followed closely by Pat Buchanan.
I consider Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan the greatest U.S. presidents of the last century.
Why am I disclosing this? I think it's fair for the readers to know it.
We live in a very cynical time on both sides of the aisle and it has become borderline ridiculous. I hate to break the news to you, but there are good people in both parties and there are some who deserve to be ousted.
Currently, President Bush has an approval rating of 32.7 percent and a disapproval rating of 64.7 percent.
By contrast, Congress, which is controlled by Democrats, has an approval rating of 20.3 percent and a disapproval rating of 72 percent.
It looks to me like the vast majority of Americans are a bit fed up with both parties and the entire process.
For me, my biggest concerns tend to be rural issues. Are our farmers being protected? Are the state and federal governments paying attention to the needs of rural schools? Are we getting strong representation form our elected officials? Do we have the best law enforcement for rural residents? Is our health care adequate?
Simply put, we have issues which are either put on the back burner or never addressed at all and it is killing rural America. It's not a Republican issue and it's not a Democrat issue. It's because it takes population centers to get elected to office and that's one thing small towns don't have.
There are great Americans in both parties and there always have been. The trouble starts when members stop reaching across the aisle for the good of us all.
This election season, demand that whomever you vote for begin paying attention to the 80 million Americans who live in small towns. If enough of us do that, the issues affecting us might start getting the proper attention.

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