Friday 09 Dec 2016

The Twitter Party
AJ Robinson

Back when I was in high school, I saw the first episode of a TV show called “Cosmos.” It was pure happenstance; I was channel surfing and just happened across the show. I watched for all of about ten seconds and changed the channel; too boring and the presenter in the turtleneck sweater seemed like a geek. As there was nothing much else on, I ended up back on the show a few minutes later. I again changed the channel, but still boring.

Third time was the charm. I was finally into the show and totally hooked by the time the first episode was finished. After that, every week, without fail, I watched, and the show changed my life. Many aspects of the show touched my life. I felt a real connection to science and the world. In the final episode, the host, Dr. Carl Sagan, spoke of the need to protect the world. He talked about how there were many powerful special interests that wanted to continue the arms race. As he put it, we knew who spoke for the nations, but who spoke for the Earth?

Recently, I recalled his words in a related issue: our current political situation.

Given the high cost of running for office, politicians are becoming more and more beholden to special interest groups. It now costs millions to win an election. Thus, elected officials don’t connect with the ordinary woman or man. These officials do not commit to helping the common people. Oh, they pay lip service to the poor and working classes, but when was the last time any of them did anything to help those people? All we get are speeches about protecting the so-called “job creators” and the need to cut spending.

We seem to have two parties now, the Soulless, and the Spineless. One party is interested in helping those least in need of help, and the other seems incapable of fighting for anything they believe in.

We know who speaks for the corporations, the rich, and the powerful lobbies, but who speaks for the common people.

As long as people who run for office have to kowtow to the super PACs or Political Action Committees, they will never act in the best interest of the regular Americans. Yet, how can anyone win an election without a huge “war chest” for endless ads?

I got to thinking, what’s needed is a way for people to connect with each other, exchange ideas, and get behind a candidate they believe in. To be honest, I don’t Twitter, but I do know that many people do. They it is a fast and easy way for them to make contacts and exchange snippets of information. Maybe what we need is a new political party: The Twitter Party.

Let’s have the common folk chat via Twitter, come up with a platform and find candidates who will actually implement legislation that will help the poor, improve education, create jobs, which pay a decent wage, rebuild our infrastructure, get the wealthy to pay their fair share, care for the sick and elderly, and move our nation forward.

The day we make money unimportant in winning an election is the day we get political leaders who actually speak for the common people.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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