It’s obvious that the tea party has made some strides in the political system in the United States. But like anything new, sometimes it’s one step forward, two steps back.

I say that in light of the tea party’s representative nutjob Christine O’Donnell who won the GOP nomination for Senate in Delaware. While the tea party may be pushing for change, this wacko may be just a bit more than they want as a face of the party. Then again, anyone who thinks Sarah Palin is a viable presidential candidate, doesn’t have a lot of sense anyhow.

But this isn’t just a tea-party situation. This kind of thing has happened in the past with Democratic or Republican candidates since some of the candidates’ “credentials” aren’t fully exposed until after they are elected.

That stuff about her admitting to have been involved in witchcraft when she was in high school really stands out. The funny thing is, she tries to write it off as saying that she’s like other people who did crazy things when they were young.

Yeah, we all did some crazy things. Some people — not me of course — may have been involved in some under-age drinking or snuck a cigarette or snickered at some naked photos at school. The may have toilet-papered a friend’s house or egged his car.

But witchcraft? I find it very unlikely that any tea partiers — the white-wing (err, excuse me I mean right-wing) conservatives that they are — indulged in witchcraft or satanic rituals when they were young.

What a sheltered life most of us must have led to have missed out on seeing blood on a satanic alter!

This kind of thing has the Democratic Party in stitches laughing about the plight of the GOP because of how such tea-party candidates will negatively affect the outcome for Republicans. But believe me, I’m not laughing.

This country is in a serious mess. And I don’t care if you are Democrat, Republican or a tea party backer, we need to put people in office with common sense and the ability to make decisions for the good of the country, rather than the good of the party.

Even though I’m fairly liberal, I’ve voted for Republicans in the past and I’d vote for a tea party candidate if he or she were the best person for the job.

Right now with the mid-term elections coming up, people are talking change. But it seems for way too long we’ve talked about change. The major change we need is how we operate our government.

You cannot have representatives at the state or federal level facing re-election every two years. They are in office for one year, then the next year is spent trying to run again for office. And two years is never enough to effect any change.

We need four-year terms for representatives so we truly can gauge what they are doing for us (or to us). And there needs to be term limits of eight or 12 years for all elected officials so they don’t become completely corrupted by the system as many have.

In too many elections, we are forced to vote for the “lesser evil” than for the best person for the job. In this country we need some heroes. Instead we get witches!

The Herald’s Lynn Saternow writes this column each Saturday for the Opinion Page.