I’m sorry but anyone — and yes, I mean anyone — who touts political party as a priority in their life is an immediate turnoff. My initial thought is: “Why bother?”
At a time when many Americans wonder what lies at the core of the problems that threaten this country, I wonder more and more if the answer is simply “partisanship.”
Government is Washington is locked in partisan gridlock. Watch any of so-called “news” talk shows on a Sunday and all one sees are hard-core partisans locked in carefully-rehearsed rhetoric that delivers standard, political agenda controlled propaganda without any consideration of fact, rational thought or desire for resolution.
Republicans spit out words like “liberal” and “Democrat” with venom. Democrats return with acidic references to “conservative” or “right-wing.” Any hope for resolution is hopelessly lost in a sewer of political pomposity or partisan posturing.
Both Republicans and Democrats defend the misdeeds and mistakes of their own because they are simply one of their own. Barack Obama is, when one puts aside any partisan considerations and looks at hard facts, a poor President. So was George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and, yes, even the object of Republican political lust — Ronald Reagan.
Yet the failures of any and all of these Presidents were overlooked by the partisans who distorted facts and manufactured hyperbole to try and turn each into something they weren’t — capable leaders of a nation that needed leadership in times of crisis.
America, sadly, has lost its ability to elect leaders because the system is controlled by partisan power brokers who place greed and adherence to money-driven private political agendas above what may be best for the nation.
In 1984, I served as the principal writer for the Reagan-Bush “Voices for Victory” program. It was my job to develop and deliver the “message of the day” for use by the campaign. After the election, GOP strategist Lee Atwater praised me as “true believer.”
But I wasn’t. I was a paid hack who delivered a product of pure propaganda for a nice, large check. The system was then — and is now — dominated by such people — pure political whores in it for the money.
And when America is served by a system dominated by political whores, it is important to remember that the best that anyone can expect from such a system is to get screwed — nothing more, nothing less.
Partisanship, sadly, is not limited simply to party affiliation. A few years later, as Vice President for Political Programs for the National Association of Realtors — which billed itself as the world’s largest trade association — I controlled a political action committee that handed out millions to candidates and ran what was then the nation’s largest independent expenditures program — which ran campaigns to influence voters to vote for or against a particular member of Congress.
That program was a precursor to the large, third-party campaigns that many now feel exert too much “outside” influence on elections. At the Realtors, I compiled an 85-percent victory record with independent expenditure campaigns — all designed to serve the extremely narrow-focus of single-interest issues that served the real estate industry and it alone.
Some of those issues became part of the easy mortgage scandal that undermined the nation’s economy and led to the recession that still grips the nation.
Such was, and remains today, the dangers of partisan politics in America. Partisanship is not just Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, right or left. Partisanship is also found in the special interests that control government at local, state and federal levels.
Such partisanship is, in my opinion, a threat to America. Until people stop using stereotypical political labels to identify themselves and start thinking without the constraints of party identification or philosophical beliefs, we cannot function as Americans or actually confront and deal with the problems we face.
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