The mariner can be quiet no longer. On the one hand, he is pleased that the tea party conservatives have disrupted the greedy, do-nothing, teat-sucking plutocrats of both houses of Congress. It is about time ideology became an element of government decision making. It is unfortunate that the ideology is extremely populist. The tea party call to arms aims to dismantle a modern government, albeit largely dysfunctional, that reflects modern society, manages modern financial reality for the nation, responds to international issues that are complex, requires funding and quid pro quo relationships.

Further, on the brink of a global disaster that requires the best of every nation working together to defeat global warming – an issue that is no longer politically debatable – populism is too myopic to manage the future of the world.

On the other hand, the teat-sucking regulars of both parties are defending the current concept of government by lobbyist and refuse to bow to the tea party desire for a 1920 era government. While the regulars may have their own licentious interests at heart, one must accept the old saying that one’s enemy’s enemy is one’s friend.

What the tea party fails to give credence to is the diversity of life, need, priority, and ideology that constitutes the American experience. Like the tagline from “Naked City” (1950’s), “There are 8 million stories in the naked city…,” there are 380 million stories in the United States – few of them, if any, are identical. The tea party forgot that part.

Neither the tea party nor the political regulars have the best interest of the American citizen at heart. This lack of interest in the citizen has led both sides down a long, multi-year path to the point of no return. Each side has boxed themselves into a corner where neither side can consider the well-being of the nation but rather are like two bulls horn to horn, death to death. We will pay for the show.

Did you know that state politics have become so polarized – and reinforce that polarization by abusive gerrymandering – that it takes only eight tossup states to decide the winner in a Federal election?

The centrists do not get off free. The tea partiers, the feminists, the occupy Wall Street folks, and all the other activists of any stripe each believe in something. They are willing to put their money, their time, their inconvenience, their conviction, where their mouth is. Centrists may ask, What mouth? The activists are not afraid to suffer name-calling. They believe in something and try to do something about their beliefs. Not so with the centrists. They want life to be so-so, undisrupted, just let them eat out on Fridays and cut the grass on Saturdays. So the United States gets fed to left and right extremists, forcing more dysfunction and expense on the public.

The last word: If as many voters showed up for every primary and voted in every non-Presidential election as voters who vote in a Presidential election, the nation would be a truly different nation – and for the better. There’s no such thing as an independent voter.

Ancient Mariner

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