Nathan Fletcher is a California Assemblyman running for mayor of San Diego. Fletcher was elected to the Assembly as a Republican, but he’s tired of party politics because he is not very good at it.
Presenting himself as a moderate, Fletcher pointed to his legislation on veterans, job creation, water infrastructure, and health care. He has now left the Republican Party and turned to being an independent candidate while criticizing his Republican and Democratic opponents for their partisanship. He is now pushing a platform for jobs, government reform, environment and education.
Being an independent is a difficult journey because neither party is a political base. It is easy to become a political ping pong ball knocked back and forth between two ideologies.
Both the Republican and Democratic parties are always going to be dominated by the extremes. In the past, there used to be room for moderates. Today, particularly in the Republican Party, those extremes don’t tolerate moderate dissent anymore than the Bolsheviks tolerated the Mensheviks in early days of the Soviet Union.
Until voters start to reward moderates by electing them, there is only going to be more extremism, more rhetoric and more nasty politics. Fletcher may or may not be a good candidate for mayor, but he deserves kudos for bucking the partisan tide and putting down some of the hate-mongering. Here are a few words from Fletcher but his entire comments deserve listening too.
“I don’t believe we have to treat people we disagree with as an enemy. I’ve fought in a war and I’ve seen the enemy. We don’t have enemies in our political environment here…but in today’s political environment you’re expected to play the game.”
“I’ve been told by people in the Republican Party that I’m not very good at this…I could care less about playing the game.”