Liberty, not party label, what matters

By Freedom Newspapers

While much of the obsession with today’s elections across the country is focused on whether the Democratic Party will regain control of Congress, a bigger issue looms.

Yes, if Democrats should once again garner a majority in the House and/or Senate, the balance of power will shift somewhat.

And there are a lot of Americans who believe the best possible situation is to have Congress controlled by the party that does not hold the presidency. They feel that offers an effective check-and-balance position against partisanship.

If the Democrats should regain Congress, no doubt the nation might be taken a different direction in some of the hot-button issues. And emotions tend to trigger large numbers of voters who can effect change.

But Republicans have been very good at using issues such as family values, gay marriage and right-to-life matters. If these issues provide a backlash, the GOP has only itself to blame.

Truth of the matter, the Republicans are facing a day of reckoning. They’ve had time to demonstrate their use of unbridled power. And they will be judged on everything from the war in Iraq to the state of the economy.

On the other hand, the Democrats haven’t been very effective at offering better alternatives to current policies.

Looking at the bigger picture, neither party has been particularly strong on things that provided the bedrock for the United States from the beginning.

For instance, individual liberty has been eroding since 9/11 as a number of wide-reaching laws, including the controversial Patriot Act, have allowed government to be more intrusive in all of our private lives.

Meanwhile, government power and the resulting runaway spending seems to be expanding no matter who controls Congress.

So we might all be better off if we could shake some of this us-vs.-them mentality as far as party labels are concerned.

Does it really matter whether Democrats or Republicans control Congress? Those emotional issues might see some change, but the overall direction of bigger and more powerful government probably won’t be derailed no matter how it all comes out.

Probably what would be best for all concerned is a trend toward candidates, regardless of the party label they choose, who would fight for liberty and limited government. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of that kind of thinking going around in political circles these days.