Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) who left the Democratic Party in December 2022, said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that she would not become a Republican.
Partial transcript as follows:
SINEMA: Well, one of the unfortunate things that’s happening in Arizona, and we see this in other parts of the country as well, is that the two political parties have gotten more and more extreme. They’ve moved away from that center of working together and finding that common ground and they’re, they’re going towards the fringes because that’s where the money is, and that’s where the attention is, and that’s where the likes on Twitter are, and that’s where you get the clicks and the accolades. And there’s an incentive to continue to say things that are not true and not accurate. And that’s how you get folks running for political office, who are outside of the mainstream. Now, you’re sharing this data, and it’s important data. Something else to think about, though, is that Arizona is one of the states that has the highest level of Independents in the country. We are a state of folks who don’t often march to the drum that is being taught to us, right. So most of us don’t fit neatly in one box or another. And I think the challenge that we have right now in our political discourse, is to make it okay for folks to think on their own. Make it okay to be different than those who are around you. To make it okay to have an opinion that is different than your colleagues or your family or your friends. And instead of saying, you must agree with whatever it is that you were told by your company, or whichever may, you know, whichever political opinion that you are more closely aligned with. Instead, say actually, a diversity of thought is not only important, but it’s integral to the protection of democracy. But in today’s political climate, Margaret, as you see every day, there is less tolerance for difference. There was less willingness for individuals to have their own opinions to make their own decisions. And I think that’s something that we have a duty to do, which is to remind everyone you should think for yourself. It’s okay not to agree a hundred percent with another. It is, in fact, important to our democracy that you’re not doing that.
BRENNAN: Well you, with your own party affiliation challenge the two party system?
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BRENNAN: Are you done with parties entirely?
BRENNAN: Now that you’re an independent, you’ll never become a Republican?
SINEMA: No. I mean, I just, I’m laughing because I literally just spent time explaining how broken the two parties are.
SINEMA: So you don’t go from one broken party to another.
BRENNAN: Point taken but you’re talking about trying to function within a system that is built around those two parts.
SINEMA: That’s right.
BRENNAN: And so you get stuck in that in order to continue to function in our democracy.
SINEMA: Well, Margaret, there was certainly attention for folks to try and get me stuck there, but it hasn’t worked. Right. You know, Arizonans know this, that over the last two years, in addition to being unwilling to march along the party line as I was told to do, what I did instead, was forge meaningful bipartisan relationships with folks across the political spectrum and passed incredible legislation that has changed the lives of Arizonans and will continue to do so for years to come. So what I’m- what I’m hoping is that these last two years of work, whether it be the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the marriage- the Respect for Marriage Act, Electoral Reform Count Act. I mean, the list is really long. Each of these pieces of legislation passed with broad bipartisan majorities through the United States Senate. Passed through the House, signed by the president. I hope that that demonstrates to Arizona and to America that our system works better when we put down the partisanship, when we seek to find the common ground. And when we block out that noise of the detractors on the outside, who seek to destroy the opportunity to solve those bipartisan challenges.
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN