Each day I question whether my fellow citizens are inattentive or have just given up. Voters passively accept bad public policies and tolerate partisan games played by both political parties. We need to demand higher standards.

Start by eliminating the straight-ticket voting option. Voting is a responsibility that shouldn’t be packaged like a fast-food combo meal. Carefully scrutinize each candidate before recording your vote. Pushing a single button based on party affiliation without knowing the candidates is absurd. It surrenders our ability to elect an effective and representative government.

Next, open primary elections to all voters to attract more moderate candidates. Most people are tired of the radical left and extreme right fighting each other without making any progress. Informed thinkers vote purple, not strictly red or blue.

Raise hell with Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf for playing party politics with voting machine funding. Condemn him for the outrageous increase of his administrative staff salaries awarded in January. Question if there is a link between the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees’ 16% pay increase and the union’s $1.4 million contribution to his campaigns.

Castigate the Republican-led state Senate for its members’ red-faced screaming match with Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. Their behavior was unprofessional, embarrassing and one step short of barroom brawling.

Party politics prohibits “center ground.” It has paralyzed cooperation and problem-solving at all levels. Polarization and groupthink have resulted in a dysfunctional, mismanaged and ineffective government. Be an informed voter; help immunize us from this destructive myopia and acrimony.

Bob Bodnar

West Lampeter Township