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Cal Thomas laid the blame right where it belongs in his Jan. 24 column in the Quad-City Times. It’s your fault that we have government shutdowns, that Congress is ineffectual, that critical government functions and services go undone or are done so poorly and costly that Americans are ashamed of our leadership. I am also to blame.

We mark our ballots for the incumbent who may have no demonstrated credibility beyond winning an election. The incumbent is on the ballot by the grace of the party hacks. The parties elect our government, not the voters. Party members have stifled us with political correctness, driven us toward bankruptcy with fiscal policy that is beyond absurd, delighted our enemies with childish foreign policy and weakened our military to the point that a dictatorship the size of Pennsylvania has us in a panic.

The best candidate no longer wins. Only the wealthiest. A third party cannot gain credibility because we refuse to recognize the failures of the “in” parties and the possibilities posed by new thinking. Those who fund candidates have found tremendous success while those of us who vote our conscience are swept under the rug.

It is said that a bad apple spoils the whole bushel. Well, we’ve got one rotten bushel and clearing it to the staves will lose some talented and capable people, but we have acquiesced ourselves into a corner that leaves us no choice. Is there enough fortitude in Washington to lop off the gangrenous limbs?

Bill Wohlford

Bettendorf

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