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The disarray of political parties
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Will Rogers once famously noted he was not a member of any organized political party: he was a Democrat.
If ol' Will were around today he could say the same thing except he could also include the Republicans. Right now it would be hard to ascertain which party is in more disarray.
The Democrats are in control. Well, they have a majority in Congress and own the White House but saying they are in control might be a reach.
The Republicans are on the march but they can't seem to figure out exactly which way to go. The Tea Party, which is not really a party but a movement within the Republican Party, has given the mainstream party leadership hives because they don't know what to make of this group.
And the Tea Party has not broken ties with the Republican Party and thrown down the gauntlet as a legitimate third party.
In the race for governor of Georgia the Democrats have a retread and the Republican runoff is between two people fighting to be acknowledged as a "real" conservative.
Both sides yammer about getting their message out. And after whichever sides loses the leaders will stand up and mumble about how they failed to get their message out.
It never occurs to the losing side they succeeded in getting their message out but the voters thought the message was stinko.
Then you hear about the party trying to solidify its base, which appears a difficult proposition considering they seem to have no idea what their base is.
We have liberal Democrats, middle-of-the-road Democrats, conservative Democrats, middle-of-the-road Republicans, conservative Republicans, conservative-conservative Republicans and there might even be a liberal Republican out there somewhere if you looked long enough.
Then we have a whole bucketful of third parties but none have ever established themselves as a serious contender.
You would think the time would be ripe for a legitimate major third party to emerge but each time someone touts themselves as a third party candidate they are usually a nutcase who is clueless at best and frightening at worse.
Right now for a voter to try and figure out who stands for what is a little like the blind man trying to pick up a garden hose in a room full of snakes.
He knows he'll end up with something but will not be sure what he has until he feels the fangs.
The result of this is that candidates seldom tell the truth. Even when they don't lie they couch statements in a manner designed to leave out information. This is the political equivalent of duck and cover.
This lie of omission has become a standard for politicians and it is not limited to any single candidate or party. It is the greatest misdirection play since the wishbone and a standard of political campaigns.
Will Rogers also said he never met a man he didn't like. Wonder what ol' Will would think about our current brand of politicians?

Ric Latarski is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics and can be reached at