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Moving Beyond Blind Party Allegiance

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Posted on November 4, 2018 by By Chris Handy, Delaware Valley University Master in Public Policy (MPP) student.

Courtesy: Delaware Valley University U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, a Republican and Democratic challenger in Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District, Scott Wallace, during debate at Delaware Valley University on Oct. 19.

On the chilly morning of Friday, Oct. 19, thanks to the Bucks County League of Women Voters and the Bucks County Chamber of Commerce Delaware Valley University hosted a heated debate between Republican incumbent Brian Fitzpatrick and Democratic challenger Scott Wallace. They only succeeded in reminding us that the two-party system has failed us.  

There was once a time where the dominating political ideology was service to country. Now our political parties have created a system so dysfunctional that party purity has become the standard. Party before country is the political mantra, and corporate interests now own the parties.

Bucks County residents are not known for their blind party allegiance. As the season changes and the leaves fall from the trees, so too have many political hopefuls fallen from the political stage. Candidates find here that the party rarely makes the difference, but instead the value they offer their constituents.

The Problem Solvers Caucus is a noble symbol of compromise, but sadly they have fallen short on solving problems. Voting is still predominately along party lines, and bipartisan legislation rarely even makes it to the floor. Until the electorate holds their entrenched representatives accountable for supporting bipartisan legislation, co-sponsoring will be just cheap signaling.

I refuse to vote solely along party lines. I  take an expansive view, identifying which candidate will be most influential in their party.  In the House, I  find primarily representatives who are only cogs in the political machine.  With that in mind, the party that reflects my values holds great weight in my decision. It is our honor as U.S. citizens to vote for our vision of the future. Whoever you vote for this coming Election Day stay informed and vote for country over party.

About the Author
Chris Handy is a Delaware Valley University Master in Public Policy (MPP) student. On campus, he is involved with Policy Matters, the University's Policy and Politics Journal.