I challenge everyone who links themselves to a political party to a little thought experiment. Unplug your thoughts from your party’s platform and don’t think about the talking points spewed by political pundits and politicians. Stop and think about what you believe.

What are your core principles? What is the role of a government? How much or how little should we be taxed? How should those taxes be spent? Do you believe in people’s First Amendment rights when they oppose your views?

Think about our current wars, marriage rights, security, NSA spying, government whistleblowers, net neutrality, etc. Think about where you stand, not your party.

Once you have rethought your principles, honestly evaluate your party’s recent actions and decide if they really align. If you’re like me, you realize that the party you have aligned with for the past 10, 20, or 30 years no longer stands for the same principles that made you align with it at the start.

In my lifetime, the Democratic Party has shifted from a party of free speech and anti-war principles to one that tries to silence conservative voices on college campuses and has supported a presidential candidate who voted for or supported every military action in the past 20 years. The GOP has gone from the party of small government and reduced taxes to a party that created the largest domestic surveillance program and out-of-control federal spending with no genuine effort to cut taxes.

I could list a dozen other issues on which both sides have flipped. Regardless of which party you have supported in the past, if that party does not match your views, you need to stop supporting it. Look to alternative parties that match your principles.

In this area, you can find Libertarian, Green, Constitution and Socialist parties all looking for support, or you can opt to be a registered Independent and not support any party. But please stop supporting these two parties out of loyalty for “your team” and find a team that deserves you and represents your principles.

James Jaworski
Bucks County