On the Widening Divide

History clearly shows that divisions and differences have dominated Washington politics for long than any of us have been alive, so what is going on in Washington is nothing new – but that does not mean it is right.

Political parties, whom themselves are dominated by special interest dollars, have a strong degree of control over the dutifully elected officials. The 2010 primary season for all 435 representatives and a third of the senators will soon be in full swing. Let’s say three candidates are vying for a parties nomination. Watch closely to see if a particular candidate is party-endorsed over the others. That fact says more than we think (and could be a post in itself).

I am sure you have seen TV ads from special interest groups hawking a particular position, but have you ever read a political party’s fund-raising letter? All are for the sake of raising dollars for gaining power, political parties and their special interest cast the opposition as villains while casting fear about America’s demise.

For self-serving purposes, politicians and special interest groups spew twisted half-truths and party rhetoric aimed at benefiting themselves, their party, and the special interests they represent to anyone interested in listening. It is sad that many voters fall prey because of their selective hearing and lack of information.

Listen to the continual beating drum as talk show hosts relentless attack the opposition as if they were satanic powers of evil. Unfortunately, these talking heads appeal to the uninformed that seemingly have an inability to think for themselves.

Although it is not limited to the current health insurance debate, lawmaker behavior serves as an example of adults disguised as middle school students threatening their peers as if club membership is at stake. Then again, others may describe current legislative behavior as a toddler screaming and kicking to get their way, which is probably a favorite lollipop.

Not all that long ago, the Republican and Democratic parties found common ground because overlap existed within the political spectra – yet today that common ground is either absent or minuscule. Today climate is about a party getting what it can when it is in control.

Not only do people who have sold their personal soul for personal gain dominate today’s political climate, these lost souls armed with self-imposed blinders and poor listening skills seem incapable and unwilling to find a solution outside of the political comfort zone.

As for we in the pragmatic center who want to do what is best for the country, we simply watch the continual battle of serving self-interests over America’s interests – Unquestionably, not an example of political grace.

Governance has turned into a sporting event with sides cheer their side and booing the other. No, maybe it is more like an event at the Roman Coliseum as sides watch the warriors against the lions as the hunt for the red meat, then leave with a smug sense of pride.

Instead of focusing on re-election, we need elected officials who are willing to make tough decisions to do what is right. Then again, if they did what was right they probably wouldn’t get re-elected. Maybe we (Americans) are simply getting what we deserve.