Who was it who said that politics is not for the faint of heart?
It is no surprise to anyone who follows the day-to-day machinations of our politicians that American politics has become a blood-sport.
Not that the game of politics has ever been a stroll in the park; it hasn’t. But something sinister has invaded our political discourse of late, and that something is tearing our country apart.
What is that something?
In fact, negativity has viralled into all aspects of American life.
America has become a nation obsessed with what’s wrong with our country rather than what’s right. As a country we see the glass as half-empty rather than as half-full. We find the worst trends in a poll that might actually have small indications of better days ahead and we glom onto them. We rub our hands together with glee when the opposition is one-upped.
We’ve become like the uncivilized in the stands of the Roman Coliseum, watching the gladiators fight to the death, shouting “Kill, kill, kill.”
Transfixed by the Boob Tube we find joy in the on-air barkers, also known as political pundits, as they tear the opposition to shreds with clever but mean-spirited and highly-negative silver tongues.
In most ways, we can blame this pessimistic ailment on our contemptuous leaders. But we must also blame ourselves for allowing our politicians to lead us down this path of unrighteousness.
Yes, there are those who are angry with the ugliness that has become the norm on Capitol Hill. The Tea Party movement formed in response to current Washington ways. But like the old guard on Capitol Hill, this new group quickly became part of the establishment, screaming about what is wrong with Washington rather than what is right.
We just celebrated Labor Day, officially the start of the 2012 campaign. Congress comes back into session later this week. If you thought things were negative before, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Despite this country’s huge economic woes, we are about to watch our politicians descend into the depths of political darkness. Such a descent could prove catastrophic to a country already in its darkest days since The Great Depression.
On Thursday night President Obama will present his plan to solve the job crisis to a joint session of Congress. Is there doubt in anyone’s mind that the following day the Republican opposition will be hitting the airwaves and the editorial pages of our major newspapers spewing their negativity on the president’s ideas in an effort to destroy his presidency?
Which makes me wonder what the opposition could accomplish if the Republicans took all their negative energy focused on thwarting President Obama’s efforts at every turn, and turned it to the positive.
What a novel idea for a party and a politician: Winning an election or a political argument by putting forth a positive agenda! Of course, in fact, they’d most probably lose if they did. Politicians reflect the people. These days the people would rather watch a gladiator combat than a beauty contest, which for a time was the criterion for electing our leaders and a part of what got this nation into the negative place that is.
Oy, another negative thought. But, forgive me for being just one more of those cynical political pundits.
Halli Casser-Jayne is the author of A YEAR IN MY PAJAMAS WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA, The Politics of Strange Bedfellows. She is the co-host of the popular The Halli and MoJoe Show on BlogTalkRadio airing Sunday 5 PM/EST. To read more of her musings visit her @ The CJ Political Report dot com and Halli Casser-Jayne dot com.