I was driving to the polls to vote the other day. While out on the highway, driving at a steady pace in the center lane of five-lane traffic, the traffic began to slow as if there was a wreck or construction ahead. As I got closer, I could see signs with flashing arrows to detour either left or right.

As I got even closer, a bigger sign indicated socialists should exit to the left and racists should exit to the right. There was no other choice. As I got even closer I saw an innocuous sign — “Sponsored by The Media.”

The decision was easy for the few people in the far left or far right lanes. However, for those of us in the three middle lanes, a tougher decision had to be made.

Statistics show that 34 percent of registered voters are independents, followed by 33 percent and 29 percent Democrats and Republicans, respectively.

Bell curves have been used to graphically present distributions of data. For example, if we wanted to show a picture of how fast people can run, the vast majority (90 percent) of us are average and fall in the center/highest part of the bell. On the far left and right, in the very smaller parts of the bell, would be the 5 percent on the right who are super fast and 5 percent on the left who are super slow.

The same analysis can be applied to how smart people are, how athletic people are, etc. An analysis of any aspect of human nature will show that we all have varying degrees of similarity, with a very small percentage falling extremely left or right of center.

Based on this analysis, it’s safe to say less than 5 percent of the United States’ population are extreme socialists and less than 5 percent are extreme racists. From the way the two candidates were portrayed in the latest election by the media, one was a socialist and the other racist. We were all swayed and played by less than 10 percent of the population, thanks to the media’s influence.

We’re a compassionate society. However, we also don’t want society to become dependent on our compassion. Compassion and responsibility are two fundamental traits that make us unique and makes me proud to call myself an American.

How did we let such a small group of people, speaking from the far left and far right, take control of our thought process? Perhaps a Todd Beamer, the hero who shouted, “Let’s roll” as he led the charge to regain 9/11 UA Flight 93 from extremists, is now needed to rescue our two political parties.

Perhaps it’s time that a third party forms to represent those of us who choose to drive in the three center lanes?

Drew Broussard lives in Friendswood.

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(3) comments

Bailey Jones

[thumbup] And thus it has always been. The First Amendment and the irresistible spoils of political victory make it so.

Humans love labels. It's our nature to look to words to categorize our surroundings. Words like socialist, racist, communist, fascist, and my own guilt pleasures - Trumpster, Trumpuppets, and of course, Trumpoodle - do nothing to advance our mutual understanding of each other.

Humans are mentally lazy. We have evolved to try to minimize the amount of energy that goes into the biologically expensive bowl of goo that sits between our ears. Labels make it easy.

The way out is to engage our opposites on specific policies and solutions. It requires more effort than most people are willing to exert, and it requires the willingness to let go of old ideas when presented with better ideas. And mostly, it requires the desire to value mutually beneficial compromise over political victory.

In short, it takes our better angels. And it takes real angels, in the form of our political and media leaders, to set the example.

Bailey Jones

Also, if anyone is looking for a straight forward unbiased look at the news that isn't all about politics, I've started watching The News with Shepard Smith on CNBC. From 6-7 PM, or on-demand. It reminds me of the evening news in the good old days.

Paul Sivon

It’s like drug addiction for many and people can’t seem to bring themselves to just turn off the propaganda. The bias is overt and the people are drinking the bile through a fire hose. Turn off TV and your computer with the talking heads, take a walk outside, and return to rational thinking. You can get the key facts in minutes a day, if you are following media for hours a day, watching shows like Hannity, Colbert, or Joe in the morning, you have been compromised, and it’s your fault. Just look at the Trump trolls on the GDN comments, you could turn into one of these creatures if you are not careful.

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