I May Change My Political Party Affiliation !

Like you, I voted my conscience. But even as I drove away from that polling place, my conscience began challenging me.

Bottom line: I may change my political party affiliation.

Here’s the deal. At this point, I am fed up with each political party treating all other parties like villains or demons. I get sucked in with everyone else—easily dismissing rivals as self-centered, misguided and perhaps even evil human beings. But it is not so. I want to stop thinking those thoughts.

There are just as many wonderful, well-meaning, principled people in those other parties as there are in my own. People in other parties are not horrible demons, nor am I.

Shall we start reaching across party lines and cooperate in the best interest of our country? I wonder if “reaching across” is even possible. Each party thinks the other is the enemy. We never listen to enemies. We only try to defeat enemies. To destroy enemies. To prove that enemies are justly despised as enemies.

My conscience tells me that half the population of this country is NOT my enemy. We are in this world and this country together. We are brothers, sisters and neighbors.

Our political party system has morphed into self-righteous, militant camps that will do and say anything to defeat the other parties. We have lost our vision and quest for the greater good. Parties focus on how to defeat anyone who does not agree with them—to win at any cost.

But my conscience tells me the cost is too high.

If I stay with my present party affiliation the enmity will most likely persist—the other side won’t listen (to me), and I won’t listen (to them). We will continue in our smug, justifiable polarity that threatens to destroy all that we hold dear.

If I change my party affiliation, the change may help me listen more genuinely and generously to opinions other than my own. Perhaps, some who see me as the enemy will begin to recognize a friend.

At least, if I change political parties for the next four years, I might have a better chance of engaging in fruitful conversation with good people who happen to disagree with me. It is only political party affiliation. It is a conversation, not a covenant.     A conversation, not a conversion.

How can the most important conversations of our lifetime occur if we persist in seeing each other as enemies who must be defeated?

I am writing this post at four o’clock in the afternoon on Election Day. Tomorrow I may, in fact, change my political party affiliation.

No matter who wins this election—we all lose if we do not figure out how to make some compromises that move our country forward in justice and peace for all, not for one political party alone.

What do you think? How might we diffuse the political party animosity?
Please, chime in . . .


  1. Tina Hill says:

    Amen! I follow Abe Lincoln’s definition of leadership – build a Team of Rivals. As much as I have strong disagreements with some of my colleagues, I so appreciate hearing their opinion to weigh against mine. It helps if the opposing opinion is given with civility :)

  2. Thanks, Tina! Communicate with civility. Lobby for the greater good. And vote your conscience. Thanks.

  3. Maureen Ryan Griffin says:

    Amen! So well said, and just what I needed to read early this morning — an action to take to create “conversation, not covenant,” “conversation, not conversion.” Clearly, the only solutions to our country’s deep wounds and difficulties lies in creating community, with each of us bringing the best we have in us to the table. Thank you, Pat!

  4. This is beautiful and full of wisdom. Thank you so much.

  5. Larry Whalen says:

    Welcome Pat to being an american where we have at least three choices:

    1.) Have a nanny state from cradle to grave, where goverment takes everything and provides everything

    2.) Capitalism where the risks are much higher, but so are the rewards

    3.) don’t vote and accept what cometh from dc.

    Thank you for voting your conscience.

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