Putting Aside Poison-filled Politics
Wednesday - November 15, 2006
Maybe it’s time.
Everyone’s talking about change - change in the direction of the war, and change in the balance of congressional power. There’s no doubt in my mind and in the minds of most Americans that we need a course correction, and the recent election was the people’s way of saying that loud and clear.
But I’m afraid we will blow it. I’m not talking about we the Democrats, or we the Republicans, but we the people, all of us - Americans. And that’s because we have forgotten about civil discourse in this country.
Already, there’s talk of the possibility - some say probability - of gridlock on Capitol Hill. Pundits predict that a lame duck president with the power of the veto will butt heads with a Democrat-controlled Congress driven by a thirst for revenge. I’m telling you right now that if that happens I will be pissed. I’m sorry, but there’s just no other word for it. And I think a lot of Americans will feel the same because we are sick of the partisanship, the finger-pointing and the puerile “gotcha” mentality that has poisoned our political well.
Those last couple of weeks before the election were really ridiculous, especially that John Kerry botched-joke debacle. The sight of a senior senator and the president of the United States rolling in the mud of acrimony, throwing insults and tantrums and accusations, was truly the low squirmy moment of the season. Americans were embarrassed for both sides.
Now that the election is over, all that is moot. It’s time to put the nastiness aside because the problems won’t solve themselves while the politicians fight. Democrats have won, but that doesn’t mean they have all the answers, especially to the most intractable problem of all - the Iraq war. What it means and what people are hoping is that they can provide a fresh approach to the problem. It’s going to take the best minds and the collective will of both parties to come up with a workable solution to Iraq.
Bipartisanship is a word that is being heralded by Democrats who say they will not do what the Republicans did to them. No one, they say, will be shut out of the decision-making. The new leadership says there is room for all and that the key will be to work together. That includes, of course, the president.
So yes, it is time now for change. It’s time for Americans and their leaders to start talking to each other, rather than yelling at each other. It is time to pull together in unity for the good of the country.
It sure sounds good; let’s hope it’s not all euphoria and rhetoric. We’re going to need talk and action to make it work.
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