A very well- known American founding father and President once stated: "I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the state, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party, generally. This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy." What Mr. Washington is referring to are political parties and how they create divides in the American democratic ideal. It is no secret that the majority of the American populace associates with either the Democrats or Republicans. It is obvious, just by looking at this site's many political debates, that the aforementioned divide is real and quite menacing. While many associate themselves with these parties because of specific regional and cultural upbringings, many choose to think independently and morph liberal and conservative ideals. The point of this post is not to rail against the ideals of one party or another, but to stress the utmost importance of being an independently- thinking, well- rounded, objective individual. Points of Importance Think independently. Try to be the shepherd instead of the sheep. Do not be afraid to embrace ideals from all parties and all walk of life. That being said, practice temperance of ideals at all times possible. Listen to what others have to say and take it all in. When two major political parties monopolize and dominate the political forum, those well-rounded people who are so highly admirable lose their voice. Just because one thinks a political candidate is not electable, one does not vote for them? Avoid this at all costs. If most people agree with a political candidate's views but does not vote for them because they are not electable in their eyes, their views as voters are doomed to be skirted as they "settle" on a more electable, but less compatible choice. If everyone settles, nobody will be heard at the volume they should be! The "scourge" I refer to not only encompasses the dominating parties of the day, but also to our political attitudes as citizens. Vote on the ideal, not the party. Do not think as factions vying for dominance. Extremism is a bad, bad thing. Remember: "Only the Sith deal in absolutes." :smile: Hopefully my multi-faceted point rang true to you all. Lets get a healthy, good- spirited discussion out of this.