Most American voters are centrists, so who’s to represent them? From the way we draw districts, select candidates, fund their campaigns and elect representatives, something has broken down. I see the solutions coming from non-partisan redistricting, public financing of campaigns, (we own the airwaves, after all, and that’s the biggest expense) break-up of media concentration, and civics education. I’m not holding my breath.
Meanwhile, in the spirit of bi-partisanship, I would like to point out some politicians who have found the fortitude to cross party lines..
This month, twenty-seven first-term Republican congressmen voted against their leadership to terminate development of a second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Pentagon settled on the Pratt and Whitney 135 engine, but Congress has insisted on funding a second engine built by General Electric/Rolls Royce to be built in Ohio by constituents of House Speaker John Boehner. This fight has been going on for years; this is a VTOL Stealth fighter, the most expensive weapon in history. With an annual defense budget of over $600 billion, exceeding that of all other countries combined, it’s time we stop looking at our procurement process as a big pork barrel to roll around. Kudos to these freshmen reps for standing up to their ‘leadership.