This country is in the midst of another election season. Thankfully, it will be over very soon.
Every two years, the same madness overtakes this country: the smear ads that appear almost comedic after years of viewing them, the over-the-top rhetoric from both sides about how their opponent is virtually the Antichrist, and the rubes who buy into the bull speaking their mind too loudly.
The biggest reason the political climate in this country has changed so negatively since the dawn of the 21st century is that what most politicians are practicing isn’t politics.
How does this writer know this? Because politics is based around one simple and beautiful thing: compromise.
The art of compromise is essential to a healthy political climate and politicians actually getting something, anything, done.
There are always going to be two parties and they’re usually going to disagree, but compromise allows them both to get some of what they want without something like, say, a government shutdown. Compromise also allows both parties to pat themselves on the back for getting at least some of what they wanted without technically giving in to the other side.
The biggest part of the problem is that both the politicians and the American people are too comfortable playing the blame game, seemingly until the end of time. The specifics of who and why are very important, but what is more important is fixing the problem.
That’s what it’s all supposed to be about, right?
Not in this country, not anymore.
No, apparently we all would rather continue down a negative path than give an inch to the other side of the debate, even if it meant helping to solve those problems that need solving. At the end of the day, politics has never looked more like (not to be vulgar) a never-ending pissing match than it does today.
Possibly the best example of this was with how politicians on both sides publicly dealt with the shutdown last year: passing the buck and pinning the blame on the other party.
And what did all of that accomplish? That’s right: nothing.
Republicans and Democrats are no longer two political parties, but two teams in constant battle against one another in the biggest bloodsport of them all. And the people are all-too-willing spectators despite being the only losers in this game.
One question that used to be asked when politicians’ performance and productivity slipped was “who do these people think they work for anyway?”
That question doesn’t get asked anymore because the answer was given a long time ago, and that answer wasn’t the American people. Instead, the answer to who politicians on both sides work for turns out to be a select group of the American people with deep enough pockets to manipulate the process for their gain only.
Here’s a quick insight into how the political game works:
Politicians work off the notion that people are stupid, gullible, easily fooled and can’t think for themselves.
They prey on people’s insecurities, prejudices, ignorance, frustration, desperation, hatred and fear.
And you know what? It works.
It has to work or the people of this country would have sent the message that it doesn’t a long time ago.
Sadly, the people of this country likely won’t because, despite the need for a change to the political climate for the good of the people and the country, we’re too comfortable with how the game is played today because it confirms our thoughts on the corrupt nature of politics and politicians.
The best proof of that is that once someone gets elected, it’s almost impossible to vote them out as the re-election rate for incumbents (no matter the position) hovers around 90%.
We hate them because they’re not doing their job, but we won’t vote them out. That’s as big a part of the problem as anything.
A vital way to keep power from running amok is by speaking truth to power. And the most basic truth to power is that all politicians are only where they are because of the American people, at least those who vote.
When it comes to politics, everyone from the politicians to the people have forgotten that it’s more about what is right and what is wrong rather than who is right and who is wrong.
Maybe Halloween was the perfect day to post this article because the possibility of the political process continuing down this path to oblivion is pretty scary.
America, you have the weekend to make up your mind.
Make the time count.
Do the homework.
Become what this country needs more of: educated voters.