It is difficult to analyze any situation without personal biases creating a distortion in a person’s perceptions and beliefs. We are all guilty of this problem but the current times have people thinking in extremes. This situation leaves no room for discussion and change. If I believe that I am absolutely right then those who think differently must be absolutely wrong. Therefore there can be no discussion or opinion modification.
Our politics has always had opposing views and opinions. The 1990’s elections and the so-called “Contract for America” to me began to change the dialogue from differing views open to discussion to an either/or position. During this period a Democratic President and the Republican Congress had substantial differences but managed some wiggle room to advance the politics of this nation. Into the 2000’s the differences continued to widen. There were numerous causes from war to entitlements to religion. The breaking point in this was the 2008 election. There was some pushback against the Republican agenda by the electorate reflected in the Congress but most importantly in the election of a Democratic President who was born of a white mother and a black father. We dance around this fact and some criticized his birth and his right to be President. Naturally there would be opposition to his proposed policies and agenda. However when the minority leader in the US Senate declares that it the job of the Republicans to make this President a one term President, it goes far beyond the loyal opposition. Since the members of Congress can not limit the President to one term, then how do they work to achieve that goal. The option the Republicans chose was to deny any and all of the President’s actions from legislation to appointments. This is not opposition or Washington gridlock. It is out right obstruction by the Republicans and is absolutely Un-American. The Republicans continuously voted as a block to deny any action by the President. In other words the Republican Party was more important than the American people and the needs of this country. If you doubt this count how often during the Obama Presidency the Republicans failed to cast even one vote for any President Obama action.
Allocating money for infrastructure work was one of the first such challenges. If the millions we spent in the middle east were used for our own infrastructure we would not have the road, bridge and related problems which are overwhelming today. Healthcare is the one that really set off the “loyal opposition.” A plan to increase healthcare coverage for 40 million uninsured Americans was belittled, opposed and villified. First it was a government program even though it requires people to obtain private insurance which about 18 million people have done. Since it passed we have gone from death panels to how many votes to repeal it? How about an alternative or amendments, after all the need for people to have insurance is essential. Apparently not to the opposition.
The US automobile industry was in economic dire straits when the Obama administration injected public money into its salvation. An action that was totally objected to by the Republicans including their presidential candidate. This industry has completely rebounded and saved many jobs for Americans. At the time this was being discussed there was an article which I read commenting on the fact that the employee parking lots of American automobile manufacturers were crowded with non-American made cars and trucks. I have so problem with the globalization of industry where automobiles may be built with some parts or components produced in other countries. However when our own workers aren’t willing to purchase their own American manufactured products, who should we blame for the decline? Who we should blame for not supporting the effort to save the automobile industry is a different issue.
When I listen to the current group of Republican presidential candidates, I can’t believe what I am hearing. Somehow we need to make America great “again.” I honestly believe it is still the greatest country in the history of the world. Sure there have been some lower points in how we have acted as a nation and a people. Wealth and military strength aside we are the greatest nation now and into the foreseeable future. If Mr. Trump and his fellow opponents disagree let them put on a uniform and go off to war rather that rattling a saber none of them has ever carried but are so willing to send others sons and daughters to war. I believe all our candidates on both sides hold strong religious beliefs. However I have no right to try to impose my religious beliefs on others. If various religious groups are unable to convince people that some belief they hold is a sin, then don’t try to impose it on me by making it illegal. I respect your right to have your beliefs and may even agree with you but that does not give us the right to say someone else must believe as we do. A nation of immigrants and we want to build walls and deny refugees access to our country because of where they come from or the religion they practice. Our leaders preach fear not understanding or truth. It is my understanding that 50% of the middle east refugees are children or elderly but our candidates don’t mention that, they just call for hate.
We now see the candidates for President of the United States acting and speaking like junior high kids Are they going to meet by the bicyle rack after a debate or primary to actually fight it out? That’s how several of them are behaving with their potty talk, distortions and outright lies.
The Republican Party in the electoral process has been trying to appeal to its supporters in an a dangerous fashion. In order to get out the vote their appeal has been to religious beliefs rather than civic issues. We should all be guided by our religious beliefs in what we do. That does not mean our religious beliefs should be converted to civic beliefs for all. Focusing on gay rights or abortion rights is a direct appeal to vote primarily based on your personal religious beliefs and in effect to incorporate those beliefs into law. Your sin should not be my crime. If the Republican Party should divide into pieces during this election process, it will be a suicide not an electoral murder.