One of the many definitions of the word “politic” is “showing good judgment especially in dealing with other people.”
There has been nothing “politic” about this year’s presidential campaign. I would go farther and say there has been little “politic” about our government for more than a decade now and the momentum definitely seems to be building in the opposite direction of “good judgment.”
In a diverse, free society, a melting pot if you will, there is truly only one means for effective government, and it is the dreaded “C” word of compromise. This once noble word has unbelievably become viewed as vulgar in modern day politics, more vulgar than standing on a presidential debate stage and discussing the varying sizes of candidates’ physical attributes.
How did we reach this point where if you disagree, you are the enemy? You are irrational. You are immoral. You are the devil, simply for having a different viewpoint.
Once upon a time, differences of opinion were celebrated. Those differing minds came together to debate, hash out the differences and work toward, clutch your ears because here comes that vulgar word again – a compromise.
I’m not suggesting that prior generations didn’t get a little messy with their politics and their debates seeking the ultimate middle ground didn’t get contentious.
Thaddeus Stevens, the powerful Republican leader in the House of Representatives during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency virtually coined the insult “fatuous nincompoop” when referring to many of his colleagues in Washington.
And yet, he worked with these “nincompoops” well enough to pass the 13th Amendment.
Today, we’re not trying to accomplish something as monumental as abolishing slavery. We citizens just want better roads and bridges, adequate funding for education, to protect the environment, less burdensome taxes, affordable healthcare, a strong defense – things you would think could easily be accomplished through compromise.
But no, we have a pool of presidential candidates who want to literally build walls around the country, enact socialism, talk about their rivals perceived “small hands” and what that may mean on the larger, or if you will, smaller scale. We have a candidate who proudly hails he compromises on nothing and prefers to shut down the government, and the nation, than give an inch on any issue. We have another candidate whose past government work may have at times crossed criminal lines.
I don’t know what to make of any of it, but I remain optimistic that eventually, “politic” will return with good judgment and the willingness to work with others to find the right path for the country going forward.
If we’re truly going to uphold the Constitution and literally interpret the meaning of the founding fathers of this country, which based on what they’ve said is very important to virtually all of this flock of candidates, then you have to recognize our nation’s founders devised a system of government that only runs on compromise.