The last 10 years have roiled American politics more than any time since the late 1960s. With the divisive 8 years of the Obama administration to the ugly contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Trump’s mind-bending first year in office has sent the left into new levels of rage unreached by the right during the Obama years. Americans are unhappy with our political system and the two major political parties that control it. Despite the booming economy that is finally shaking off the last 8 years and the 2007 recession.
The country is divided: along political lines, ideological lines, demographic lines and geographic lines. Many red state voters feel ridiculed and belittled and showed their strength by electing a president who is anathema to many blue state voters from coast to coast. Many blue state voters lament their looming tax increases and having to send more of their hard-earned money to Washington and then onto those same red states they see as backward and undeserving of coastal elites’ largesse.
Defeating one’s opponent, is the highest order of the day. The effort to impeach Trump without cause a gaol of the left. Moving the Trump agenda forward a goal of the right. In between the Mueller fiasco and the damage he continues to do to the country contributing to the partisanship and divisiveness.
In the latest government shutdown, the issues at play were quickly degenerated into a game of who would “win” the politics. Our kids, our elderly, our military and DACA became bargaining chips for both the red and blue teams to push back and forth across the table. Our “representatives”, both parties have lost the will and the ability to govern. Among a vast majority of Americans, they’ve also lost the credibility to do so. And in the end and after much bluster we remain in the same place as before the shutdown.
What we can control how we proceed on this American journey, the people we choose to represent us, the way we choose them and how we communicate, and insist on, our expectations of them. The problem is the long term effect on the country with the people who are career politicians and serve themselves their monied interests and party before the people that elected them.
The question we face is which path do we take.