America has come a long way over the last 2½ centuries, scientifically, technologically, culturally and politically. In many cases, as a country we have advanced the cause of the American dream. But there is usually a price, aside from any monetary value, that must be paid for progress, and although it brings with it significant and inevitable change, it can also bring hardship, division and strife.
Yes, we may have come a long way, but regrettably have allowed petty squabbles and differences to spoil many worthy achievements. The American people, their political representatives, have never been more polarized and divided as they are today. The Obama administration and the 2016 presidential election has furthered the divide to devastating proportions, causing tremendous disdain, derision and civil strife. In the political class, republican and democrat parties are facing each other across a wide chasm, a self made social, cultural and ideological abyss that only seems to expand each day.
As a people, we cannot deny we have become so set in our thinking and way of life that we refuse to even consider another point of view, and will go to great lengths to diminish, insult and denigrate someone who might disagree with us. However I do believe liberals and progressives, there is a difference, can be the most vociferous and arrogant of the factions that populate this nation. This dangerous situation has further been made greater with the introduction of the internet and on line social media interaction.
The ideological differences, especially in politics, are complicated and can be realized when you consider what occurred in 2010 with the introduction of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).Without a single republican vote, the entirety of the democrat party were unified and voted for the bill, many knowing the legislation was flawed. To paraphrase the House majority leader at the time, Nancy Pelosi, “We have to first pass the bill before we know what’s in it”. Like a bunch of mind-numbed acolytes, they looked no further than achieving a legacy-worthy notch in their party leader’s (Barack Obama) belt. And to hell with the opposition, who needs them, we accomplished this for our president.
President Trump made a number of promises during the campaign. He and the republicans had an opportunity to repeal Obamacare and implement their agenda passing the American Health Care Act, and advancing health care reform. They failed mainly because they are a fractured party with a wide spectrum of positions on issues. But consider this, democrats march in lock step, devoid of individuality and independent thinking, they usually vote yes or no in unison to anything their master’s- this would include their base and party leaders- demand of them.
Whereas republicans, as frustrating as their politics can be at times, can think for themselves, possess the capacity to disagree among one another, and perhaps on occasion vote their conscience and what they believe to be the right path for their constituents and America, even on occasion at the risk of their political status.
The Founding Fathers forewarned us of the dangers that could befall the American people if they failed to take the right course as patriotic citizens. Samuel Adams wrote, “If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin”.
And James Garfield, “Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature….