It goes without saying that American politics has deteriorated into rank partisanship, and usually a whole lot worse. But, it hasn’t always been that way.
As late as the 1980’s Republicans and Democrats managed to work together for the common good in Washington. They didn’t always LIKE it, but they did it nevertheless. Republican President, and Conservative icon Ronald Reagan became good friends with the Liberal Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill, and the two worked closely to pass needed legislation. They did it in public, and in private because they had a collegial relationship, and each appreciated what the other had to say. They didn’t agree on much, but they did make an honest effort to work TOGETHER!
Could it ever happen again? Surely you jest. In Washington today the favorite word in Congress isn’t ‘no’, it’s “WRONG!” As any idea the opposition has is WRONG! Any opinion the other side has is WRONG! Someone’s opponent has the WRONG background! And dare I say it? Someone is the WRONG religion/hometown/or even ethnicity. It’s not about governing anymore. It’s about search and destroy. “They get us. We get them.” It’s divisive. It’s distasteful. It’s a perversion of democracy. In fact it’s WRONG!
It’s not any particular side. It’s Washington, and the 24/7 news cycle. In order to feed the News Beast, and fill the gaping maw of cable news, politicians of all persuasions just talk, and snipe, and bitch, and moan. Neither major party wants to actually accomplish ANYTHING! All they seem to care about is GETTING the other side. Whether it’s catching them committing crimes, lying, sexual misconduct, or just good old run-of-the-mill corruption, it’s all about getting them.
Sadly, there is no solution. This is a situation far out of control. Short of imposing nationwide term limits, I can’t see a way out unless some of these people learn to actually LEAD!