Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey
Do you identify as a Democrat, Republican, or Independent? Whichever label you accept for voting is a respectful “courtesy” statement to others! Any label you wear, political or not, provides valuable, low-level information about who you are and what you prioritize. Some wear their labels loudly, some resist being identified with any group, including gender, race, religious preference, and political groups. When the goal is searching for and applying governing truth in a free republic, it is rude and harmful to insist on the right to privacy and cling to an “undeclared” label. Being forthright about identifying with a political party saves a lot of time and moves past the tedious group task of repeatedly “inspecting our naval”. Political parties work at producing value platforms to allow people to sort themselves, so every premise does not have to be established anew for every group action. Every group communication must include some revealing common presumptions to allow time to be spent accommodating freedom of speech. The clearness of a party label definition is critically important for obvious reasons. Resistance to political stereotyping is understandable because of the fear of inevitable envy, discrimination, racism, pride, prejudice, and other painful human shortcomings; however, the hiding of our world view is a harmful over-reaction.
No label is comprehensive. I am comfortable labeling myself as “Republican”, but I quickly qualify my position explaining I am also a “constitutional conservative” to make sure I am not being included with the “Republicans” who think our US Constitution is obsolete! I also feel compelled to add that while I see my party label as compatible with my total identity, it is subservient to my real identity and values tied to belief in Jesus Christ. Partisanship is not a religion even though it may look like it sometimes, but nobody is expected to embrace partisanship at the cost of violation of his or her conscience!
Elected legislators and governors are expected to wear partisan labels for good reason: to provide information to the voters they are proposing to represent. Like all States, Alaska is just now finalizing a redistricting plan (akredistrict.org) to adjust the “weight” of every Alaskan’s vote to reflect the 2020 census results. In your voting district all three recognized parties should be busy re-organizing according to their respective rules and traditions. The process includes identifying party officers, candidates, and issue advocates and platform planks starting with the grassroots precinct level, to be finalized as the official reorganized State Parties. It is your call whether you are going to involve yourself in what too many now view as a waste of time. Many of you are engaged at some level, but judging by recent embarrassing low voter turnout, most are not. Disdain for politics has done incalculable damage to the proper functioning of our republic. Alaska has become particularly vulnerable because we have a legislative branch of government constitutionally weighted to be weaker than normal. The legislature is supposed to be the most responsive branch to the access and will of the sovereigns (We the People), so our government, in effect, has far less voter influence to make and enforcement of good laws than we should. I won’t insult you with details to inform you about how to get involved; but I will “prod” you by declaring we have exactly the Juneau representation we deserve. Especially if you are one who chose to hide your political identity!
This post was also submitted as an article to The People’s Paper.