Column: We need a party that works for the real people

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 4, 2003

The SWAT Party. That’s the new political party I’m wishing to organize. What does &uot;SWAT&uot; stand for? It stands for &uot;Slow Worm Actually Turning.&uot; It all comes of reading about Bush coming into a fine upstanding state like Minnesota and collecting over two million dollars toward re-election.

Of course to someone who believes as I do, it is quite impossible for him to be re-elected. To be re-elected, it is necessary to have first been elected. Like that splendid hero Michael Moore, I think of our Bush as a &uot;selected&uot; rather than an elected president.

It’s not just Bush, though. I voted for Bill Clinton once and the second time I cast a vote in his favor I was not so much voting for him as I was voting against his opponent. No, it wasn’t his repugnant private life that turned me off. It was his political acts. Not for nothing was he termed &uot;the finest Republican president this nation has ever had.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

As has been pointed out by far wiser citizens, this country is not governed by elected officials, but by corporations. I suspect this will continue to be true as long as they can cough up $2,000 a plate for their chosen candidates. Most of us can’t do that. But there are more of us than there are of them. If we were all to pull ourselves together, study the issues, get off our duffs and go to the polls to vote, we might very well change the direction in which the country moves.

The American poet Edwin Markham in one of his poems finds nothing so awful and obscure as &uot;the long long patience of the plundered poor.&uot; It’s not just the present day poor that are being plundered. The disregard for the environment we witness will impoverish and destroy generations to come. The stupid wars we find ourselves involved in endanger world peace and change little for the better.

Our international relationships have never been at a darker level. I’m not writing from a partisan point of view. I’ve never made a secret of my politics, but I believe in the two-party system. I would willingly respect and support a Republican president who didn’t brag about being a &uot;C&uot; student and whose family isn’t amused at this favorite childhood pastime, putting lighted firecrackers in the moths of frogs because he liked to see the frogs blow up.

Surely in this great, big wonderful country both parties can find candidates for office who have some degree of sanity and common sense. Presented with the choices we are given, I can understand why there are those who never bother to vote. They are needed. The old proverb about the worm that finally turns gives hope.

I am convinced that members of both parties know what is needed for the country. And those of both parties willing to think know improvement will not be brought about by those who can pay $2,000 a plate at political dinners. It’s as much the country of the average and obscure as it is of the wheelers and dealers. It’s time we took it back.

(Love Cruikshank is an Albert Lea resident. Her column appears Thursdays.)