The juxtaposition of what we believe to be true and what is actually true lies mostly on a struggle between logic and emotion. Pragmatism and idealism. Likes and dislikes. We view life through the prism of what we believe to be reality which is driven by our own biased world view.
It used to be when I disagreed with a friend or colleague or even stranger, we could leave the discussion with the understanding that we disagreed. Now, I must hate the one who disagrees with me and rather than battle in the arena of ideas, I must destroy him by rallying like-minded individuals to boycott.
How did we come to this?
The easy answer is to blame President Trump for this new approach to discourse. There is some truth to that statement since he deploys schoolyard tactics in the way he deals with those who disagree with him. He is the quintessential bully. By the same token, the political and media elites actually started the fight by mocking him the minute he announced his candidacy.
Of course, he is a joke so that may explain why they mocked him. Then again, the elites are no better than him and have outright contempt for the American voter whenever we dare not elect their chosen candidate.
There is no end to this crazy wheel.
The problem is we have moved away from discussing issues to destroying people. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh knows that game. So does Merrick Garland who was denied an opportunity to be a supreme court justice because the Republicans, the majority party at the time President Obama nominated Garland, decided they didn’t want to have a hearing in the last year of President Obama’s second term.
It seems the only thing our political leaders know how to do well is weaponize legislative maneuvers. But this is nothing new in the halls of Congress and the Senate.
Throughout history the minority party has always tried to displace the majority party whenever it could. The most obvious event is Watergate. President Nixon carried nearly every state but that did not stop the Democrats from using impeachment as a weapon. The connection between the burglary of the Democratic National Committee and President Nixon’s campaign led special prosecutor Leon Jaworski to name President Nixon an “unindicted co-conspirator.” And that began the downward spiral to his resignation.
Not to be outdone, the Republicans returned the favor when they appointed Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr to look into the Whitewater controversy that embroiled President Clinton. Starr never indicted President Clinton for their role in Whitewater, but he followed a thread of allegations about sexual misconduct by the president.
His affair with Monica Lewinsky and subsequent efforts to deny the accusations became a case of perjury and obstruction of justice – leading to his impeachment by the House of Representatives in late 1998. Another ridiculous waste of time and money. His actions may not have been moral but having an affair does not rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanor.
In short, the Republicans wanted to overturn an election much like the Democrats tried to do in 1973 and seem eager to do in 2019. A brief look at all the impeachment proceedings throughout history bear out the same pattern. The elitists didn’t like the fact us voters picked someone they didn’t want.
I think it’s time all political leaders stop the stupidity and get to work. Here’s what is missing but sorely needed. Legislators who debate issues based on the ideas and the philosophies. Tell me why the Green New Deal is better for America and not that I’m evil if I oppose it. Inform me why Socialism is better than Capitalism without resorting to emotional tugs at the heart using those less fortunate as pawns. How will providing for them help the society as a whole?
Instead of practicing the art of destruction, our leaders need to start leading. But then again, I’m a naïve cynic. I believe people inherently want to do the right thing but I know inevitably that is not true.