Less than 100 yards into my four mile Sunday morning walk I passed an SUV with a window sticker that boasted, "PROUD DEMOCRAT."  Really?  Proud why?  Of what?  Of who?

The Democrat Party is in such disarray at all levels.  It is hard to believe anyone would want to brag about being a member let alone a proud member.  And this holds true for the Republicans as well.  Both major political parties are disgraceful.  Neither represents the interests of the taxpayer.  Their only interest is self-interest and fat paydays.   America is facing a leadership crisis.

In Washington the Democrats have dissolved into a minority bent on obstruction.  No new ideas.  No direction.  No vision for the future.  Here in Massachusetts, one of the few places where Democrats still enjoy a majority, they are all about rewarding themselves with big pay raises while spending your money in an uncontrollable fashion and advancing an agenda that offends most hard working people.

Washington Republicans have proven that they are all bluster.  They spoke for years about what they would do if only they were in charge again.  They have been given that opportunity and still can't accomplish a thing.  With the exception of a handful of  members who rage almost hopelessly against a much larger machine, the state's Republican Party is almost non-existent.   The leadership knows it is grossly outnumbered and doesn't seem to care.

Like or dislike President  Trump, he is the bi-product of all of this garbage.  People have lost faith in the system and the ability of elected officials to lead.  Trust in the media has never been lower.  Public disgust is apparent.

If ever there was a time for a third party to evolve it is now.  America yearns for heroes.  For leaders.  For honor.  For greatness.  The Democrats and Republicans have let us down and at last their corruptness and ineptness is on display for all to see.

Despite your window stickers there is not much to be proud of these days in the way we are governed.  It only change when we change.

Next year we have an opportunity to make wholesale change in the make up of our state and federal governments.  Reject all incumbents and insist that their replacements are held to a higher standard.

Our future depends upon that swamp being drained but only we have the power to pull the plug.

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.