The only way to fully understand a problem and all it's angles is to listen
There was a time when gridlock in congress was a good thing. It meant that no poorly conceived bills would get through, and congress would only pass the things that we really need. Now they can’t seem to agree upon anything anymore. When I say that we need to unshackle progress I mean that we need to stop this perpetual deadlock that our politics seem to be stuck in. There are a number of reasons why we can’t have a real discussion about what we should do. We belittle each other, we use tactics to ostracize our opponents, we do basically everything we can to make sure that we never agree upon anything.
From what I remember from previous administrations, people may have disagreed with each other, but they still worked for what was best for everyone in the country. I remember somewhere in the mid 2000’s, around the time when former President Bush was reelected, the concept of bipartisanship died for most people. We the only thing that was important for us was defeating those who would dare disagree with us. When President Obama took office, several politicians came out stating that they hope he fails and that America learns it’s lesson for electing him(see here). These quote sound like the rants of petulant children and not of the people elected to run the country. We want our own side to be right even if it means sacrificing the well being of this country. And the stagnation found in congress is proof that this plan has been put into action.
Look at how little congress has been able to get done. Congress itself manufactured an emergency, the fiscal cliff, and even still was unable to come to a decision in time. But how are people supposed to work with people who hate them. People who want to destroy them. Don’t get me wrong I’m not blaming one side or the other. I just would like to point out the fact that if any of us were as unproductive as congress, we’d all be fired by now. What company would stand for a department that can’t come to a decision, that takes lengthy vacations during a crisis, and only seems to do something when they have something to gain themselves. And then they give themselves a raise in pay (see here).
While this may be a children’s story written by Dr. Seuss. I think the situation will sound all too familiar.
Something has to change because we can’t go on as we are now.
First off we need to stop letting extremists set our agenda. I understand what the Tea Party stood for when it was established, but being bought out by the Koch Brothers destroys much of their credibility. Any residual credibility is destroyed by blatant displays of racism, sexism, and homophobia. The Tea Party has to weed out these undesirable elements, or the Republican Party has to weed out the Tea Party. Democrats also have to be willing to compromise and pick our battles. I’ve heard so many Democrats who preach open-mindedness but become just as inflexible as many conservatives. There are crazy people on both sides of the isle and we need to make sure we only give them the attention they deserve…….. none.
Second we have to stop going into this like it’s a civil war. People are more divided now than we’ve been in decades. Neither side is 100% right or wrong all of the time. I hate to put things so bluntly, but if you go into politics thinking that people who don’t share your opinions are evil, then you’re part of the problem. We share a country and no one side has the right to push their way of life on everyone. We’re basically a remarkably dysfunctional family. And as much as you’re annoyed by your bleeding hearted cousin, or you dislike your slightly bigoted uncle, at the end of the day you can’t take away from the fact that they are part of your family. If you have trouble listening to the opinion of someone who disagrees with you then you have no business discussing politics. You’re only going to impede its progress.
Third … well we just need to listen more and be willing to compromise. No one has the right to impose all of their beliefs on everyone. We have to be willing to meet in the middle. And we have to be willing to admit when we’re wrong. If logic and the facts both seem biased against your position then you need to reevaluate where you stand.
I know that Politics is a dirty, game. I understand that it takes complex strategies and tactics to win elections. But once an elected official is in office, it is their duty to serve their people as best they can. It’s NOT their duty to win more seats for their party. It’s NOT their duty to help out special interest groups or lobbyists. It’s NOT their duty make people from different political parties fail. Their job is to represent the men, women, and children in their district. They are supposed to stand for the people who voted them into office, and the ones who didn’t vote for them as well. There is no ‘MY’ America, it’s OUR America and together I promise you, we can make her great again.