Let’s Just Be Americans

I have a confession to make. I was registered as a Republican, but I recently switched to Independent. Confession? I guess I don’t have to make it sound like I’m exposing a sin. However, background whispers do make me feel like there are some people already with their mouths hanging open in disbelief. How can a good Christian leave the ranks of conservative Republicans?

Sometimes I wish there weren’t parties in our government. Can’t we just all be “Americans?” It sometimes feels like there’s a battle going on between Republicans and Democrats, each one pushing their own agenda while what’s good for “Americans” lies stuck in the muck of corruption.

I’m so sorry if I’m sounding judgmental rather than discerning. I realize there may be politicians who truly do push for what’s the best for Americans as a whole rather than what’s the best for their party or their own pockets. I am certain there are those who agree with George Washington; “I have no other view than to promote the public good, and am unambitious of honors not founded in the approbation of my Country.”

But I am so tired of politics. Election is several months away, but I already am so sick of the mud-slinging and slander of candidates vying for the Republican spot. Turns me off big-time. Why can’t they just relate to us what issues they are passionate about and what values they stand for?

I’d like to see each candidate strive for the value of integrity – honesty and morality. George Washington once said, “I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.”

Why does “winning” need to overshadow truth? Why don’t we practice what Abraham Lincoln expressed? “I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.”

Are we bound to be true? To live by the light we are given? We don’t have to be a Republican or a Democrat. Let’s just be Americans. Americans who take to heart what Abraham Lincoln said in 1865 at his second inaugural address: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”