Whose Fault is this Mess in Washington, Anyway?

9 Jan

If I’m being honest, I think the fault of Washington ineptitude is my own.  But it is yours, too!

Sure, politics in America is ugly.  Lately, I’ve heard some say it is “more ugly than it has ever been!”  There is a lot of hand-wringing going on that Democrats and Republicans just can’t (won’t?) get along.  But the hyperbole that things are “worse than ever” is a bit over the top, no?

One must only read a bit about the formation of our nation to see that competing interests and philosophies have always been part of Washington politics.  The birth of our country, our constitution, our federal bank, the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, prohibition.  These issues all led to some fairly acrimonious debates, to say the least.  I mean, you don’t go to war (slavery) and quit drinking (abolition) because of slight irritations. Is what takes place in Washington today any worse?

Perhaps it would be good for our country as a whole if you and I stepped away from absolutes?  Can we find a way to give the opposite opinion any benefit of the doubt? Any way to lend at least a bit of credence to an alternate point of view?

The interview of Speaker Boehner in the Wall Street Journal linked here is interesting to me on many levels.  One, we must take it for what it is worth, coming from the opinion pages of the WSJ.  Their editors are notoriously conservative of late.  Ever since Rupert Murdoch became their daddy, their former level, unemotional and insightful conservative stance has morphed into a more Fox-like “we are the only truth” attitude.

What are your thoughts on this interview? Does it ring true to you? Are you able to read the words without instantly judging them as false or lies? Many folks, on both political sides, have no capacity to hear the other point of view any longer. What is that all about?

Whatever the level of truth in the interview, it is troubling to me that VP Biden, not President Obama or Senator Reid, had to step in at the 11th hour to avoid an easily avoidable economic debacle.  It is Senator Reid’s job to help the Senate work things out with the House of Representatives.  It isn’t his job to engender so much acrimony he is told to “F&*! off” by his counterpart in the House the very minute that man sees his face.

Our representatives are acting ugly right now.  But that isn’t new or news. Don’t they simply reflect us? When is the last time you can recall holding an open, respectful debate with a person on the opposite side of an issue from your own opinion?

For me, I enjoy the art of discussion and debate.  I enjoy being enlightened. Is anyone out there feeling the same way? I have love for my conservative and democrat friends. How can we get America talking again?

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