Minnesota Farmer

The politics of division
October 17, 2010, 11:58 am
Filed under: Politicians, Politics | Tags: , , , , , ,

As elections near, all of America seems to be taking sides.  Everyone is telling you how bad their opponent is, and very few are telling us what they really believe in and how they will make life better for all.  In the midst of all of this negative I read an article in Time by Joe Klein.  A statement, that is not new to him, stood out in that article.  “…No matter where we come from, the things we have in common as human beings are more important than the things that divide us.”

Two years ago candidate Obama’s campaign was all about the possible.  “Yes, we can,” became the viral chant of so much of our nation.  But the election was barely over before politicians and the news media were dividing us again.  The possible again became impossible because we were divided by petty issues.  What few laws were passed were so messed up that it will take an army of civil servants to figure out what they mean.

Our founding fathers had a vision for the future.  It was a future without kings.  A future where the people were in charge of their own lives.  It is a vision that keeps bringing people to our country even today.  A future where “you can” because there is no king telling you that you cannot.  A future where opportunity is open to all.  A future where the strength of your mind and your hands will allow your children to live better than you did.  That future is in danger because of the new kings of the day.

Here’s another quote that I do not know the origin of.  “Government is the art of serving the people.  Politics is the art of consolidating power.  The two come together, but not very often.”  Most of our present day politicians start out with the goal of serving the people, and all too often end up consolidating power.

I was once an idealistic worker in politics.  My conservative nature drew me to the Republican Party in an era when the Democrats were in power.  I continued my activity with the Republicans through some of the darkest days of the Nixon administration and into the heady days of Ronald Reagan’s glory years.  I learned a lot about politics.  Not all of it was good.

I do not like the politics of division that takes hold of people when they do not have a grand plan to work for.  I have seen people come to gladly work for a Reagan or an Obama when the cry is positive and have seen them disappear from politics all together when division occurs.

We need another “Great Communicator” to draw us together and put American to work again.  I do not think our economy is in such tough shape that we need another “New Deal,” but a clarity of vision would help.  It is time for our politicians to stop fighting over power and get our country moving again.  Perhaps what they need is more time working with the people and less time in Washington.  I think we could use some new blood in politics, and some “time out” spent by those in power now.

The founding fathers vision of America did not include the “kings” of politics we have in Washington today.  We need to get back to the citizen legislator.  We need term limits and fewer perks for our politicians.  It’s time politicians started living by the laws that they impose on us.  It is time for those in Washington to go back and spend some time with the people they represent.



4 Comments so far
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Nicely put – and I agree.

Although, I do believe that the founders did envision to some degree the politics of division for this reason – people who do not automatically agree with one another can ultimately come to a compromise that works (hopefully) for most or all. So, strife and disagreement I believe is a fundamental element of politics. And the rhetoric is part of that.

I think too if we want our government to be what it was intended, it is up to us to remain vigilent, educate ourselves on the issues and hold feet to the fire to ensure that our representatives truly represent us and our needs. Rather than expecting them to provide for us our every whim. A fine line perhaps but an important one nonetheless.

Writer Chick

Comment by writerchick

But most folks are so lazy. So few even understand the process. The things that are blamed on one person are quite often the fault of another. So many expect quick results when it can take YEARS to make anything happen in an economy as big as ours is. Politics is frustrating for those who understand it. It’s no wonder that so many choose not to vote.

Comment by Michael

Hey Michael,
I don’t think that most folks are lazy – I do think most folks are busy and stressed and especially now. And yeah, somewhere along the way people went on autopilot. But people who vote based on political ads and free lunches are never going to inform themselves of the issues.

Yes, politics is frustrating – but the few of us who do understand can actually I believe affect quite a bit of change.


Comment by writerchick

OK, so maybe lazy is a bit too much. Confused. Overwhelmed. Frustrated. There are so many parts of politics that people have problems understanding. Life is complicated. We want it to be simple.

Comment by Michael

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