A headline that has appeared in my Internet Explorer home page claims that Presidential Candidate John McCain’s aids are complaining that Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin is “going rogue” by getting off the carefully scripted stump speeches and inserting more of her own ideas into her talks. What did they expect? They picked her because she is a “maverick.” She’s a soccer mom, not a stay at home mom! She is used to yelling at her team to kick a little asphalt. She is being true to form, and they are not happy with the turn of events. Politics – go figure. If they wanted someone who was going to support the status quo, it is strange that they picked someone who has shown a willingness to buck her own party at times – an image that John McCain touts about himself.
I know of some dyed-in-the-wool Democrats and Republicans who cannot imagine how or why people would ever vote for a candidate from the opposing party. There actually is a good reason to have lots of candidates from the opposing party be in office – it gives your party someone to blame when things go badly. So both Republicans and Democrats benefit from a two party system in which both parties are viable and strong – you can always blame the other party for what is wrong with the economy, foreign policy, domestic policy and your insurance policy. Many dictatorships do offer one party democracies, and we know these as tyrannies. Besides having someone to blame for what is wrong, true democracies have competing ideas which tends to improve the rationale and policies of all the political parties.