HOW did we get to this point in politics?

Victories on Tuesday assured that the Democratic party would have a majority in the Virginia General Assembly.

Minutes after the results were announced, social media was on fire with angry Republican screams proclaiming that the situation was so dire that the end of the world might be near.

You would have thought that Attila the Hun had swooped in and taken over. Come on, folks! It’s not a political crisis.

One woman as much as said that a Democratic majority would mean that there would be an upswing in abortions and that all our guns will soon be taken away.

That’s crazy. First of all, abortion is a moral and not a political issue. Women had abortions long before the State of Virginia was created and they will continue to have them as long as humanity exists.

The wrong and right of this issue lies with conscience, not laws on the state or federal books. Neither Democrats nor Republicans can legislate morality. That is up to the individual.

As for gun control, well, haven’t we been through this before? Remember when Barack Obama became elected president? In 2009, it was declared that before this Democrat’s term was over the government would send policeman around to every house confiscating firearms.

Well, Obama served two terms and all those gun rumors and fears proved baseless. Americans still have their guns.

This business of hating someone just because he belongs to another political party is ridiculous. We are all Americans and in the case of Tuesday’s election, we are all Virginians.

The sky didn’t fall when the Republicans had control of the General Assembly, and it won’t when the Democrats take over.

Let me back up here for a moment because I just wrote what all the TV newsmen have been saying—that the Democrats will “take control” in January. They won’t take control. Democrats will have a majority, yes, but they won’t take control. It will still take a majority to pass any bill, and hopefully every legislator will vote his conscience, not just along party lines.

This “my party is the only party” business has caused many Republicans and Democrats to become independents, especially in local elections. They don’t want to be hounded by party members if they don’t follow the “rules.”

Some people even want political parties abolished in this country. You run for election on your name, your reputation and your personal beliefs, not on some party platform.

The fact that more than $3 million was spent in two Northern Virginia General Assembly races is testament to the fact that this “control” business is getting out of hand. Spending that much money to get elected is ridiculous.

“Control” is a dangerous word in politics. “Control” and party fanaticism in Europe during the 20th century led to two world wars and the deaths of millions of people. Today in America that same fanaticism is rearing its ugly head.

If we don’t stop judging people by their political parties and not by their character, this country is going to be in big trouble somewhere down the road. And that “somewhere” could come sooner than we think.

Over the years I have voted for Democrats, I have voted Republican, and I have voted for independents. I owe allegiance to no party, especially one that wants to tell me how to think. Complete allegiance to one party is how the Nazis took control in Germany in the 1930s.

I know I keep harping on this political polarization issue, but it is frightening to free thinkers. Reciting the party line is akin to being brainwashed and it can destroy a nation.

I don’t fear the Democrats and I don’t fear the Republicans, but I do fear those party members who want to force every American to adhere to their beliefs.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans will wreck this country, but political polarization and hate will.

It has happened many times before. Read your history.

Donnie Johnston:

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