This isn’t about one president. No one president can accomplish what they promise during their election campaigns since Congress is really running the show. If that’s news to anyone, I’m even more sad for this country. To be fair, I have been so repulsed by political discussions for so long, that I avoid them. That doesn’t mean I’m stupid, and I’m listening more now. What I am now is incredibly sad, and overwhelmingly unhopeful. It also stirs up painful reminders of how politics divide families, and erode even simple interactions. There is nothing civil about US politics.
The divisions between the Republicans and Democrats is certainly nothing new, but it’s gotten to the point that there seems to be absolutely no common ground- like the fact that we all live HERE isn’t a good enough reason to come together. A few days after September 11, 2001, there was that nice gathering of Congress on the Capitol steps singing God Bless America (and without the ACLU or athiest organizations threatening them with a lawsuit over a religious song- go figure; must have been their day off), and that was nice. It is the last time I remember seeing any sort of overt public unity among our elected officials. It was the last time I remember feeling like this is one country, “indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”.
During the Bush Administration, the ‘left’ media was nothing but vicious towards President Bush. There wasn’t even any minimal respect for the office of the POTUS. That wasn’t something I’d seen before (and please don’t start in on my lack of political knowledge- I’m just writing about what I remember; I spent a fair amount of time simply trying to survive personal issues to be all that cued in to what was going on in the world). It was personal. Pure anti-Bush… because people didn’t like him? He wasn’t a democrat? He had an accent? JFK had an accent, nearly got us into nuclear war with Cuba, and yet he walked on water… even more so after he was dead. The country mourned what COULD have been. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act.
Bush dealt with something that no other president had been forced to deal with, and there really isn’t a ‘perfect’ way to manage terrorism on home soil in a country that had, for the most part, been mercifully spared until then. There was the first WTC bombing- and OK, so maybe Clinton could have done more- but I firmly believe he did what he thought was best with the information he had. Nobody gave Bush that same consideration. What’s to say that in the vast deserts of Iraq there aren’t WMDs? Do we really know? Maybe they aren’t there. Which leads to the only option- the far left is into some consipiracy theory that they mock the extreme far right of getting into with their apocalyptic storage sheds and ammunition accumulation.
So Bush did what he thought was best. Is it better to be proactive or reactive with terrorism? Nip it in the bud, or clean up the mess? Congress signed off on the military action, and domestic surveillance programs. It’s not all on Bush’s head- but that’s so easy to blow off, since it was a democratic Congress that passed those things. They certainly can’t take any responsibility…gotta be all on Bush.
The economy undoubtedly started to go south on Bush’s watch. That’s a no-brainer. He brought Obama into the picture before the swearing in to ensure the smoothest transition possible. Obama had a mess to deal with, but it’s not like it was something that was done purposely to undermine the stability of the US… or do people think that? (padded room time). Obama had to appear like he was doing something, so we all got those token checks to ‘stimulate’ the economy. I paid bills; I didn’t stimulate anything besides the utility companies.
The ‘right’ media certainly doesn’t have anything decent to say about Obama. I no longer read any media without looking for other sources of the same story before I even consider thinking about it. It doesn’t do anybody any favors for either side to attack ‘the other guy’. It just makes them ALL look petty. And there are so very few media options to get anything approaching ‘fair’.
The most unity I’ve seen in the past 3 1/2 years is when Representative Gabrielle Giffords so nobly came to the State of the Union Address (or some such gathering in the Capitol), and she got what appeared to be genuine welcome and support after being shot and nearly killed by some whack job in an Arizona grocery store parking lot. SO, let’s see- the worst event of terrorism on US soil, and the near death of one of their own- those are things worthy enough to join together and be supportive about. The budget, economy, healthcare (which nobody had time to review before voting), education (we’re dropping every year in the sciences and math), and just getting along aren’t worth enough. Congress supports the destruction of this country whenever they get together- by inaction. The survival of the country isn’t a reason to work together. Watching CSPAN is like watching a schoolyard nanny-nanny-boo-boo contest. They get nothing done that actually matters.
I have no reason to think they’re going to act like adults in Washington, D.C. any time in my lifetime. This country will continue to fall apart, and with the lack of emphasis on general education in public schools, the next generation is getting zippo to help them figure out how to get out of this. Congress is a body of elected civil war participants with words and inaction as their weapons. The country is imploding, and pride is going to keep it moving in that direction.
I don’t identify with either party. I’ve got relatives that think I’m so far right, I’m fascist- but that’s based on what I don’t want to hear about, nothing about any actual conversation to actually find out what I think (or make assumptions because of my personal spiritual views; I didn’t come from a cookie cutter, no matter what someone thinks). Come election season, I don’t want to hear about people’s political views. I miss the days when those things were kept private, and didn’t color what someone thought of another person. Or destroy relationships. I’ve also got friends that make me cringe with thier intolerance about anything to do with the left- if it’s democrat it’s wrong. Period. That is just as counterproductive as what they blame the other side for doing- because it’s the same thing. I find it all quite repulsive. I believe everyone should have political views just as strong as they want to…and I believe I have to right not to put up with them in social settings. There are groups to share common ideas, and I’m not in those groups. Everybody wants to be heard, but nobody wants to listen.
The house has not only divided, it’s not much more than crumbling rubble. Can it be repaired? I don’t know. But if those who ‘represent’ us in Washington, D.C. can’t get it together, this country is going to slide downhill even more quickly. What took 236 years to build up will go down like a house of cards with the slightest winds. Our allies won’t stick around a train wreck forever. And for those of us here, who remember ‘good’ years, it’s going to be a very painful thing to watch. This isn’t just about a presidential election- it’s about government growing their asses up and doing what’s right for the majority of the country in a way that is responsible and sustainable. Or get ready for anarchy.