In today’s clouded political climate, it pays not to sleep with strangers |

In today’s clouded political climate, it pays not to sleep with strangers

Someone once said that politics makes for strange bedfellows – probably no one you would care to sleep with.

Politics in the 1960s and 1970s were more of what we considered true party politics. If you belonged to a party, you adhered to whatever its party platform was at the time – no questions asked, no deviations. You agreed or you were not part of the party. It was as simple as that.

Some might say that was good, and others would adamantly disagree. I think we can blame the war in Vietnam for that. At that time, we began to question authority and to question the positions of the political parties.

I was a Democrat for nearly 20 years. I became a Republican at the insistence of the sheriff I worked for, a party loyalist. I remained a Republican for about 16 years and bailed to become an unaffiliated voter – aka an Independent. For the past two years, I have been seriously involved with the Democrats again.

I suppose I could argue the position of any of the political persuasions.

I do not believe it is important you have political beliefs in one direction or another. I think the most important thing is that you believe in something. An old saying tells us that if you don’t believe in something, you will fall for anything.

Colorado is an interesting state when it comes to politics. San Miguel County has the highest-ranking elected member of the Green Party. Art Goodtimes is a county commissioner and a member of the Green Party. I know Art. He is a great guy and very interesting. He crochets during meetings. What a great stress reliever.

Breckenridge boasts the only elected member of the Green Party on a town council. Jim Lamb has served there for several years and does a great job providing a balance in that group.

San Miguel County also has the highest-ranking elected member of the Libertarian Party. Its sheriff, Bill Masters, is a longtime Libertarian. He has written an excellent book on the failure of drug laws.

Leadville has the only town council with a majority of its members belonging to the Libertarian Party. Must be the altitude.

When I think about the Libertarian Party, I am reminded that Libertarians are pretty much against large government and laws that interfere in people’s personal lives.

They are against drug laws, while at the same time, they are against any kind of gun control. Some of my best discussions about government have been with Libertarians. There are many Libertarians in Summit County, and they are quick to call me to let me know if the county has overstepped its role in people’s lives.

I sometimes think that Republicans are successful because they base their political platform on having a good economy and encouraging less government interference. They always tout fewer taxes and less government. They also have a strong family agenda coupled with partnerships with religious organizations.

Democrats say their party is the party of the people and represents the common man and woman. They believe a good strong government supported by a good tax base will lead to the best society. Democrats always support strong environmental, educational and social programs.

Regardless, it is really up to you and me to decide what positions we can support. It may have a lot to do with how you were raised or how a teacher or mentor influenced you early in your life.

As a more-than-casual observer of the political condition, I think the most important thing a political party can do is find two or three things it can support and tell people about those things.

Political parties should decide what they are for and not what they are against.

Frankly, I get tired of politicians spending all of their time, energy and resources letting us know how bad the other guy is and how much he has hurt our country. When you are my age, you can remember the rats and the angels in both parties in the past.

I personally enjoyed the recent Denver mayoral race, in which one of the issues was parking meters. I have always thought we should do away with parking meters. It is just another way government interferes in the personal lives of our citizens. Wait a minute. Could I be a Libertarian?

Columnist and County Commissioner Gary Lindstrom liberates his opinions in this space every Thursday.

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