I am really starting to hate this election cycle. Don’t get me wrong, I love politics but this…what I am seeing unfold in front of me is appalling. It isn’t Trump, or Clinton or any candidate that is making me upset. We will always have ambitious individuals who we never seem to be genuine even when they try. It isn’t Sanders or Cruz with their aggressive attacks on Washington and Wall Street.
No, what is getting to me is what actually animates people. I frequent a number of message boards and the number one thing that is filtering to the surface is Sarah Palin. She gets so many people fired up, either because they hate or love her. Or it is some terrible fabrication about Hillary and how she runs a crime syndicate or how Ted Cruz was a loser in college. These are the things people are focusing on. Or my personal favorite, lets look at the debates. The Republican debate, whether it is the reality TV segment of Donald Trump, or the Obama hate brigade, it was shockingly rare for any of the candidates to focus on substance. Or the fantasy that was the Democratic debate where none of the candidates offered a meaningful proposal of how they would pass…anything in Washington.
Then again, how could I blame the Democrats for not seeking bipartisan support. I have watched politics my entire life and every year, one constant has emerged: The most powerful force in American politics is hatred. Oh sure, Obama was elected on hope and change, but it only took two years for a massive GOP wave to take a majority of state level offices and the House. They did this with nothing backing them but a frenzy of rage and disgust against President Obama.
President Obama tapped into an idea that the country could be better. That we could unite and the Democratic party ate it up. He saw more success on an electoral level than anyone since Ronald Reagan. While the rest of his party didn’t enjoy similar success, it did show there was a real desire to change the direction of the country. Where is that vision? Where is that desire to bridge the divide? Ben Carson has talked about how he wants to unite the country and then gave a laundry list of Conservative causes so I guess that counts, right? Not a single candidate is running for President of the United States. Bernie Sanders is attacking corporate America and is running on a heavy Us vs. Them idea. Hillary is running against the GOP with as much drive as the GOP is running against Obama. Try to imagine Cruz, Trump, Sanders, or Hillary uniting the country behind them, or even a portion of their opposing party. Does anyone seriously think most of the country hasn’t already made its mind up about them? Does anyone see Trump or Cruz working with Senate Democrats to overcome a filibuster, or Hillary and Sanders working with House Republicans to pass a budget? Its a laughable idea.
The nation has such a toxic political environment that we keep rewarding politicians that throw the biggest bombs at their opponents. Donald Trump has been the most trans-formative candidate in this election and its because he tapped into such voter anger. Trump, for better or for worst has become the embodiment of the American electorate and that should be an embarrassment to every one of us. Trump has taped into a desire to beat our political opponents. The notion that a real dialogue is meaningless and we need to just break their will and do what America ‘needs.’ Trump’s rise was inevitable, the product of decades of hate mongering by the political class. The product of the media who can’t get enough of him, and most important of all, the product of the American people.
Just a loop of Trump insults…and we can’t get enough of this guy
We live in a Republic, we choose who we send to Washington and for decades we have rewarded those politicians who are not problem solvers but bomb throwers. We have watched news shows that trumpet fear instead of substance and we have created a blog-o-sphere that endless feeds us every atrocity those evil (insert political group you hate here) has performed this week. Oh sure, we can blame plenty of people for this but ultimately the American people are responsible, I am responsible. We have treated our political enemies as if they are enemies. How many people do you have to tip toe around political conversations with? How many people do you refuse to talk to anymore because of it? THAT is the problem and as long as it persists, it really doesn’t matter who is elected. United we stand, and divided we fall has never been more applicable. In 2016, if the voters don’t take that truth to heart, the next four years will look depressingly similar to the last 16.
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