It all depends on who is in power. When the Republicans are in power, the Democrats are the whining babies. They ridicule their President about “Mission Accomplished.” They complain about him on foreign soil. They insult his intelligence and constantly bring up that he might once of been an alcoholic. They oppose every bill that he makes so that he’ll compromise.
And when the tables are turned, they’ll denounce the very same thing they just did.
Such is the cycle of power. Those that are in it believe that they are owed unquestioning ability to dictate policy. They discuss everything as a mandate from the voters because “the voters chose us.” When they’re out of power, the same people will discuss how mandates are much less broad, how there’s a mandate for a small changes, not big ones.
And it’s not just policy.
The same people that say that a given tactic is wrong will switch and say that it’s right. Backers of a given policy will suddenly become the policy’s biggest opponents should the opposite side decide that the policy wasn’t so bad after all.
The Other Side is Evil/Stupid
It’s all about the votes. You see, at one point in time only land-owners voted. Now that everyone has the right to vote—and few people actually do—the game is more about how many registered voters can you get to the polling place than about whether you have the best policy for the country.
To that end, politicians exaggerate the opposite side in order to get people to the polls. They say that one candidate is stupid and a cowboy. They say the other is a Muslim or the Anti-Christ. They say that the Patriot Act is the end of privacy, but then turn around and pass Health Insurance Bill that potentially creates privacy problems with medical records.
They’re after power and control, and they know the game.
Just like then Sen. Obama was able to beat then Sen. Clinton in the primaries because he knew the timing of the primaries, our elected representatives have gerrymandered districts and know just the right things to say and do to continue to keep them in office, and they consistently bad mouth the other side.
Is There a Solution?
There are a series of steps that could be taken to fix the problem, but it’s bigger and has gone on longer for any one solution to fix—and that’s why many people have given up or are looking to another revolution.
The problem is that all of this comparing and all of this name calling has divided our nation to the point that it is no longer about who has the better policies or discussing these policies, but it’s become about the character of the people that hold the policies. It’s no longer “I have the better idea” but “I am the better person, I’m less of a hypocrite, and I’m smarter than you.”
We’ve gone very far down the path of splitting this country—where both parties have tactics have taken root and are now bearing the fruit of the animosity and fear used to get listeners, to get votes, and to get power. We are reaping what we sow—and that is truly scary.