I am a lot like the majority of Americans, I think. Over the years I have gone back and forth between the two major political parties, never fully satisfied with either and always wishing there was another choice. I supported President Barack Obama's election and campaigned for him, but now, a year later, it seems that no matter his intentions, his party remains wedded to the same politics of spending and big government that we have seen in the past.
And so - after a lot of soul searching about where this country is going and the seeming inability of the two established political parties to make the necessary changes to confront our current political, military and economic challenges - I have decided to throw in my lot with the Reform Party of the United States. I am now working with the national party headquarters of the Reform Party to build a strong party structure in Maryland. Part of that effort is to get the party on the ballot and to begin recruiting and running candidates for office at the local, state and national levels.
This is an organization that I think reflects the opinions and desires of the great majority of Americans and stands for common sense and moderation - not extremism, rhetoric and special interests.
America has spent most of the last decade shipping our nation's manufacturing base overseas and transforming ourselves from the world's economic powerhouse to the world's largest debtor nation. Increasingly, we see around us households in which not only do both spouses work, but both work multiple jobs, just to keep their heads above water. The media debate endlessly the question of when the economy will pick up again, when the real question is: what economy? Once we outsource all of our work and move every element of production abroad, what is it that the average American is supposed to do to make the money to buy all those big screen TVs made in China?
Abroad, we continue to expand our military commitments and allow ourselves to take on ever greater responsibilities for the internal affairs of other nations. We are not only the world's policeman, we are now apparently responsible for creating viable nation states in parts of the world that have never known such entities before. All of this is being done at a cost in blood and treasure we can ill afford.
We need a strong defense. We do not, however, need to entangle ourselves in the affairs of every nation on earth. Imposing democracy at the point of a bayonet is not a viable policy.
We continue to send untold billions of dollars abroad to buy foreign oil (much of which finds its way into the pockets of our adversaries). This not only a massive drain on an already ailing economy, it is a major national security issue. It leaves us in a position as a nation where we are forced to involve ourselves with regimes that share none of our values and which often work contrary to our interests. It is time to stop talking about energy independence and time to make it happen.
Our government remains under the control of a class of individuals who have spent their entire adult lives either as politicians or lobbying other politicians. They are responsive not to the needs and desires of average Americans but to corporate donors and special interests. Most of us have lost our voice.
If any of what I have said above strikes a chord with you, and you would like to get involved as well, please contact me. We want to solve the problems America faces, and we can't do that without your help.
Charles S. Faddis, a Davidsonville resident, is former head of the CIA's weapons of mass destruction terrorism unit and coauthor of the book "Operation Hotel California." His e-mail is charlesfaddis@hotmail .com.