Letter From Reader

The Florida Times-Union

Across Florida the morning of Feb. 1, citizens awakened with the knowledge that the presidential primary had passed on to another state after ravaging our senses with 10 days of mind-numbing negativity.

The sun was shining. The breeze was gentle. We had survived the quadrennial scrum, but we could do better.

While there are those among us who relish the political carnage — much like those who gawk at disaster scenes — the damage to our nation’s political and economic health is real.

Many who were enthralled by the intensity and vicious nature of the 10 days leading up to the voting day assert that it is our right to engage in this spectacle, as destructive as it may be. And, they are absolutely correct.

Politics as “bloodsport” strains the bounds of rational behavior.

In the depths of our economic dilemma, where has been the debate over policies that will stabilize and reverse our economic decline?

The absence of that constructive debate, and the resulting emergence of workable solutions, represents a collective failure of our corollary responsibility as citizens, candidates and elected officials.

Fortunately, in this era of increasingly shrill hyper-partisanship that threatens to destroy our nation, there is a bright spot.

This new force is “No Labels” (www.nolabels.org).

It was founded in December 2010 by a large group of highly regarded political partisans representing the entire spectrum of Republican, Democrat and independent leaders including Jacksonville’s own David Walker, the former comptroller general and founder of the Comeback America Initiative.

The goal of No Labels is to find common ground and common sense solutions to our critical and worsening economic and political challenges while, at the same time, maintaining vigorous debate at all levels of governance.

No Labels is not non-partisan, nor does it seek to establish a third political party.

Very simply, it is built on the notion that we have only a limited amount of time to cure our political and economic ills before we shrink to the status of a “once great power.”

No Labels observed its first birthday in December with the announcement of its platform of initiatives (all of which may be found online at www.nolabels.org) that are designed to restore civility and accountability to our federal government.

Foremost among its proposals is the “no budget no pay” plank.

This proposal requires that Congress must each year adopt the federal budget by its October deadline or see its paychecks stop until it does so.

Please ask our U.S. senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio and our U.S. representatives to support “no budget no pay” legislation.

Charlie Ranson,




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