A phrase that was popular many years ago was,"I vote for the candidate, not for the party."
Inherent in that statement was that the speaker sought out honest, forthright candidates who would listen to a debate on an issue and make his or her own decision about the matter.
The candidates would not be dictated to by party bosses. The candidates would be guided by conscience.
Now, also inherent in the statement is the assumption that there are strong, well-intentioned candidates in both parties. That seems obvious. Years ago, they were called statesmen. The country's best interest was at heart, not the party's.
Sadly, there does not appear to be as much statesmanship now as there was in the past. There were phrases associated with statesmen ("Politics stops at the water's edge," "Don't air our dirty laundry in public," etc.) that are never heard anymore. Perhaps with the experiences of Vietnam and Watergate, for example, such pronouncements are outdated and naive.
But the intent was to work on a bipartisan basis for the good of the country. Maybe we can't go back to the naive "good old days," but surely there must be a way to stop the hyper-partisanship that has stalled the country.
In this election, we'd urge voters to look at candidates individually. Who has a history of working with the other side? Who is more likely to put country first, party second?
Unless we elect candidates from both parties who are willing to work with each other, the gridlock in Washington will continue. What we need are statesmen - not party hacks.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.