By. Chris Stritzel
Following the August 7th primaries in Missouri, I was let down when the candidate I was supporting, Austin Petersen lost to Josh Hawley. While I should've saw this coming, I simply ignored the fact. I supported Petersen because of how his ideas aligned closer to mine than Josh Hawley. Now that Hawley is the nominee, I can't vote for him and I certainly can't vote for Claire McCaskill. I know I am writing to a select few readers but hear me out, I am a Republican but I am open minded. Give me ideas that I support, and I can work with you. In this case, neither of the two major party candidates give me ideas that I can go ahead with to support and work with. After digging around and doing research, I have landed at a candidate that I can get behind. Craig O'Dear is a political Independent. Say what you will about him, but he donated to politicians in both political parties before saying "enough".
I've always looked towards what could be done better in this country and city but I have found that the bitter political divide is only growing and not slowing down. People are divided heavily on whether or not they are straight Democrat or straight Republican and for me, it doesn't really matter as long as you have ideas that I agree with. On a national scale, the two parties aren't helping our country at all and so I believe it is time to say goodbye to them. It's become a game of goofball men and women who can't get a grip when it comes down to agreeing to make this country right. It's all partisan. There is no "cross talk" between the parties and no "independent thinking". It's all party line bickering and ideas. This problem is only going to get worse unless voters put an end to it, and not by electing more party line goofballs.
This November, I am voting for Craig O'Dear to try to put an end to this partisan craziness. Why this is a long shot, I am going for the guy whose campaign successfully collected 22,000 signatures (10,000 required) to get on the November ballot without running any ads. 14,983 of those signatures were certified by the state of Missouri. It was all done by hard work and dedicated volunteers who want to see change and these people are on both sides of the aisle! Can you believe that? Republicans and Democrats working together for an Independent Candidate? It's crazy if you don't believe it. But what's not crazy is that there are people out there, like me, getting tired of seeing the partisan show take place In DC. It gives America a bad look to the rest of the world. We're the land where dreams come true, so why are politicians destroying this dream through bickering? One word: power.
When you think about it, when was last time that you seen a politician, on the right or left, that hasn’t used any type of scare tactics in their ads? It’s hard to think about is isn’t it? The Republicans and Democrats use scare tactics in order to gain power and to manipulate their voters votes just so political power can be gained. If we are to move forward as Americans, scare tactics are not going to help us or work out the way that the two political parties think, they will only further divide us based on ideologies. Craig O'Dear appears to be basing his campaign off of unity and the duty to do something right. Policies that have failed in both parties are left out of his plan while ones that need work are brought in and given the Independent mind treatment. Everything is thought of from a different perspective in order to create results that the other two parties can't seem to achieve.
Some examples of this are healthcare, abortion, environment, fiscal responsibility, immigration, 2nd Amendment and economic inequality. All of these issues are big for both parties in power in DC but both have radically different ideas. O'Dear sees these issues, and others, as a way to open dialogue between Democrats and Republicans in order to get progress done on these. The best ideas are kept while the less good ones are thrown away. This helps since the two big party central committees aren't breathing down your neck. Craig has to report to the people of Missouri and not these central committees which allows him to vote the way his constituents want. It's the only way policy, that puts our nation's people first, is put in effect.
I believe that if Mr. O'Dear is elected to U.S. Senate, he will be a voice for every single Missourian regardless of political party or area of the state in which they live. In a time like this where division is so high and partisanship is at an all time high, it's time to declare your independence away from the two parties and go for what your heart and mind desires. In this Senate race in Missouri, neither candidate aligns with my views more than Craig O'Dear and I think you'll also find that your views align with those that he is presenting.
I wish Craig O'Dear luck on November 6th and I hope you all give him a serious look instead of voting along party lines. We have the chance to try to fix this mess, and electing more Republicans and more Democrats isn't going to fix it.