How much faith can voters on either side have in a candidate who stresses bipartisanship over all else? From my point of view, very little.

Most people go to the polls with the express intent of voting for their favorite candidate. And by extension, we expect our candidates to uphold their campaign promises and to support our views. A candidate who promises to work with the other side at every turn is a compromised candidate from the very start.

A recent report from the Senate’s Lugar Index brought this point to light in their latest release. The Lugar Index, brainchild of former Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, ranks each member of Congress according to how much or how little that member reaches across the aisle to work with the opposing side.

And surprise of surprises, the Lugar Index has ranked Maine’s Susan Collins as the “Most Bipartisan” member of the Senate. And again no surprise, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders sits last on the list.

So conservatives who have no choice but to vote for Collins are in fact voting for someone who has repeatedly demonstrated a total disregard for party affiliation. And socialists who would love to see the American system of government turned upside down, including a loss of many constitutional freedoms, has no better champion than Bernie Sanders.

Bipartisanship curse

Bipartisanship can be either a curse or a blessing. Mostly it’s a curse. Any politician who totally eschews bipartisanship runs the risk of being labeled an obstructionist or worse. “Let’s work together to get this thing done,” some will say. And the Susan Collinses of this world are only too happy to oblige. But do people such as Sen. Collins really do justice to their constituents? No, not by a long shot.

Most of us who have any horses in the race vote for a candidate who will not cater to the opposition. If this were not so, voting would become nothing more than an exercise in futility. We vote so that our candidate will win and finally go on to uphold our views in Congress.

More so, voters hold the universal hope that their party will have enough power and votes to override the votes of the opposition. We also hope that, given the votes, our candidate or candidates will have the fortitude to plunge ahead and do what they were elected to do. Unfortunately, we have some Republican politicians on the national level who would better serve their respective states by becoming independents or even Democrats.

But the days of Republicans who care little about anything else than getting elected and not making waves are on the wane. The people who voted Republican in the last election now see the futility of electing to office politicians who quickly abandon party principles. In the wake of President Trump’s election, the dissipation of America and American values has come to a screeching halt.

Trump voters want their elected representatives to mirror their concerns and to act accordingly. We absolutely don’t want our elected officials cozying up to Democrats and progressives. What we do want is for our representatives in government to use their power to promulgate Republican ideals. This holds especially true in cases where the Republican side has the power of numbers.

There is absolutely no valid reason for Republicans to wantonly discard the progress already made by acceding to Democrat demands. Let me share an analogy.

Sports fans all have their favorite team. And as such, they want their team to win. They don’t care how nice the players are to the opposing team. They are, after all, the opposition.

What would fans think if their team acted in such a way as to give the other team breaks? Politicians do this in the name of fairness, but it really isn’t fair at all. In fact it is unfair to those who elected them. A ball team that acts in the same manner as self-serving politicians will quickly lose fans. And loss of fans equals loss of revenue to the team. In other words, any ballplayer who “crosses the aisles” will and should be summarily fired.

That represents exactly what will happen to aisle-crossing Republicans in the future. Americans have had enough of this tossing hard-won victories aside in favor of that anomalous, needless, “bipartisanship.”

We’re fed up. I predict that in the not-to-distant future, Republicans will begin acting like Republicans. We must and will seize the moment, and when that happens, world watch out.

Tom Seymour is a freelance magazine and newspaper writer, book author, naturalist and forager. He lives in Waldo.